A new initiative aimed at improving the prospects of primary school children by familiarising them with the world of work has attracted the support of over 1,000 schools.
Primary Futures is a nationwide scheme that was devised in order to boost pupils' academic performance, raise their aspirations and help them make connections between what they learn in school and the world of work.
According to the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT), the initiative has the backing of those in teaching jobs.
Some 95 per cent of heads said they would be happy for their primary school to work more closely with employers if it was easier to do so.
In addition, 90 per cent thought that an effective way of illustrating the benefits of literacy and numeracy for children would be to ask volunteers to discuss their job, how they use these skills at work and the significance of their primary school education.
The initiative will provide free access to a vast network of volunteers from different backgrounds and professions, from apprentices to chief executives and archaeologists to zoologists. It has been developed by the NAHT, along with the Education and Employers Taskforce charity.
Russell Hobby, NAHT general secretary, said: "Primary Futures is transforming the way children connect their learning in primary school with the many opportunities that lie ahead.
"I would wholeheartedly encourage every employer to support this scheme by becoming volunteers and every school to take advantage by joining us on this exciting journey."
Education secretary Nicky Morgan backed the scheme, pointing out that it would enable children to come into contact with a wide range of different professions. "It is exciting to see schools taking the initiative in this way," she added.
The OECD's Andreas Schleicher said that youngsters sometimes struggle to understand the relevance of the skills they learn, and the new initiative would help to make them more aware of the relationship of education to life opportunities.
Posted by Alan Douglas