Thanks to the Gatsby Benchmarks, careers in schools is now high on the priority list. I thought it would be useful for me to share my top five tips for universities on how they can best support schools to meet benchmark 7 (Encounters with Further and Higher Education).
One of the biggest barriers for careers professionals is the amount of time they have available. Some schools will have given the role of Careers Lead to a teacher who is often trying to juggle teaching hours, planning time, marking work and everything that comes under ‘careers’! Partnering with a university that values their time and keeps form filling (and other admin based activities) to a minimum will be massively advantageous to a school.
Taking the time to understand the student group the university will be working with is really important. All schools will have high achieving cohorts through to at risk of NEET students, students where English is their second language, SEN students… All of these cohorts deserve the chance to hear about the option of studying at university, but the way you communicate/engage with each group may differ. The list of different student groups is endless and the key to running a successful event for a school is to understand the group you’re working with and what the school is hoping to achieve from the event for that particular group.
Being upfront from the beginning about the amount of time, resource and staffing you will require from a school will make a huge difference to the success of the event you are running. Everything gets booked in a school so far in advance that if you email By the way, we will need a computer room for our event next week to a school, there is a very high chance that will be impossible to arrange and the event will have to be rescheduled or cancelled.
Creating resources that can be adapted to suit different groups is both time saving for universities but also means you are able to widen your offering to schools. If you have a topic that can be run with Year 7 through to Year 11, that you can amend to suit each age group, this will often be greeted with open arms from a school, especially if it is the first year they are working towards Gatsby Benchmark 7. It’s also important to remember that schools know their pupils best, often universities won’t work with Key Stage 3. If you have a request from a school to work with this age group, understand that it is for a reason and try to be flexible in what you can offer.
Remember, you are not speaking to university age individuals. The students you are working with may be as young as 11 and, on the whole, will engage far more with an interactive activity rather than a ‘death by powerpoint’ style presentation. Take the age of your cohort into consideration and imagine what you, or your children, would have enjoyed at this age.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
by Alexandra Roberts
posted on 30 Nov '23
You may be asking yourself why, amongst a university’s outreach offering, there are specific events for students from certain backgrounds or with certain characteristics. Within this blog, we will explore university targeting.
by Sarah Hewitson
posted on 30 Nov '23
Applying for a creative course requires more than just grades. Developing a portfolio of work, attending an interview, or writing a personal statement will form a key part of your application. This blog includes lots of tips when crafting yours!