Q7. How does your school ensure that pupils receive relevant encounters with further and higher education and work-based learning providers to help them make career decisions about future learning options?

Why is this important?

Many young people have little understanding of further and higher education establishments, especially if their families have little history of post-16 and post-18 education. Likewise, for some the idea of undertaking an apprenticeship might not align with family expectations or experiences. Applying for education opportunities can therefore seem daunting for many young people and they can fail to understand the advantages that different routes can bring.

All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace. Ensuring that pupil have these learning experiences needs to be well managed and can be very resource intensive, particularly if there are few local education providers8.

What strategic questions should you ask the senior leadership team about providing encounters with further and higher education providers?

  • Who has responsibility for managing and co-ordinating encounters with further and higher education providers?
  • How does your school ensure that all pupils receive opportunities to visit a range of learning providers including sixth forms, colleges and universities?
  • How does your school ensure that all pupils receive information and opportunities to learn about apprenticeships and work-related learning providers?

Case study of good practice

Students at Selby High School have a variety of experiences of further and higher education providers from Year 8 onwards. The school has links with York and Hull Universities and in some cases the universities visit the school and run workshops. Tasters days are provided at further education colleges in Selby and Pontefract for Year 10 students and the colleges are encouraged to provide Year 11 assemblies and attend parents’ evenings and careers fairs. Representation from further education providers is encouraged on Year 11 results day in addition to the support provided by the independent careers adviser

Essential resources to support your school to achieve this Benchmark

Resources for school leaders and teachers:

Additional resources to support your school to achieve this Benchmark

Resources for school leaders and teachers:


8 Spielhofer, T., Golden, S. and Evans, K. (2011). Young People’s Aspirations in Rural Areas. Slough: NFE


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