Barry Gray, Business studies teacher and Assistant Head Teacher at South Hunsley School, Melton, Yorkshire since 2008.
“As part of my role in school, I ensure that all tutor groups have careers education. We began working with the Start programme in 2015 to get our students access to a broad database that could develop their understanding of their future qualifications and career options.
The key thing about Start is that both students and parents have a web-based portal that is accessible 24/7. This enables conversation in school to continue at home so that students can look at their options and uncover the type of careers they want and discuss it with their parents – the accessibility factor is brilliant. Start offers a brilliant reassurance to parents that their child is getting a concise route through possible career options and choices.
The personalised nature of the Start programme replaces some of the things we would have done in schools. The breakdown of having the children state their likes and dislikes within the programme is useful as it focuses on what the students enjoy to help ascertain a possible career path.
We use the programme a lot more with students who are picking their GCSEs, or finishing their GCSEs to give them a curriculum-specific guide on their choices ahead. We’ve also introduced it to Years 7 and 8.
Our students have massively benefited from Start. For students to have something to use to think about careers is crucial. One of most common things students have said before about careers guidance is that it can be vague, but Start dispels this. Through building a personalised profile, students understand the benefits and how it will help them. For students who have no clue about what they want to do, Start is great for giving inspiration and ideas. All our students like the interface as it’s simple and user-friendly. For them, it’s important to know the skills required for a certain job so that they can work towards them.
Start makes up the bulk of our career advice at school now. We have a careers advisor for one to one input, but the students have to have completed their Start profile before booking an appointment. The Start lesson plans and resources empower our form tutors who aren’t experts in careers to help students with personalised information and guide them through the programme.
Start has reshaped our entire careers advice programme, and allows us as a school to make sure we are offering students and parents everything they need in terms of careers. Start is a fantastic tool for any teacher wanting to deliver the best careers service to their students.”