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Perhaps you are a barrister and can help a current wykehamist
‘WELCOME TO MY WORLD’
EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT IN HIGH PERFORMING ENGLISH
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS
Professor Prue Huddleston
Centre for Education and industry, University of Warwick
Dr Anthony Mann
Director of Policy and Research, Education and Employers Taskforce
Welcome to my world….
• ‘Perhaps you are a barrister and can
help a current Wykehamist discover
something about chamber life?’
• ‘Social networks are very important,
very interesting, the way external
involvement creates a culture of
expectation, a culture of achievement, a
learning environment.’
Research questions
• To what extent do high performing
independent schools engage with employers
to support pupil learning and progression?
• Why do they do it?
• How do they go about it?
Methods
• Focus on twenty high performing independent schools: Times
2009 league table
• Desk research
• Six in-depth structured interviews:
3 boys’ schools, 3 girls’ schools
3 in London, 3 outside London
3 boarding, 3 day schools
(Fieldwork, November 2010 to June 2011)
Methods
• Literature review
• YouGov survey of 1,002 young adults
(19-24), for comparative purposes
(February 2011)
Runners and riders
2009 Rank
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Name
Withington Girls’ School
Westminster School
North London Collegiate School
St Paul’s School
Magdalen College School
St Paul’s Girls’ School
Perse Girls’/Stephen Perse Sixth Form College
Wycombe Abbey School
Royal Grammar School
City of London Girls’ School
Town
Manchester
London
Edgware
London
Oxford
London
Cambridge
High Wycombe
Guildford
London
Runners and riders
2009 Rank
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Name
The Lady Eleanor Holles School
Eton College
King’s College School
Sevenoaks School
Guildford High School for Girls
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys
Oxford High School for Girls GDST
Winchester College
South Hampstead High School GDST
Town
Hampton
Windsor
Wimbledon
Sevenoaks
Guildford
Elstree
Borehamwood
Oxford
Winchester
London
To what extent do they engage employers?
Types of Employer Engagement
Institutions
1
Careers IAG
Withington Girls ‘ School
Westminster School
North London Collegiate School
St Paul’s School
Magdalen College School Oxford
St Paul’s Girls’ School






Stephen Perse Foundation/ Perse Girls

Wycombe Abbey School
Royal Grammar School, Guilford
City of London School for Girls
Lady Eleanor Holles School
Eton College





King’s College School, Wimbledon
Sevenoaks School
Guildford High School For Girls
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
Oxford High School GDST
Winchester College
South Hampstead High School GDST





2
Work
Experience
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
3
Business
Mentoring
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



4
Enterprise
Activities






5
Work-place
Visits






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

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
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
6
Visiting
Speakers





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
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To what extent do they engage
employers?
•
•
•
•
•
•
100%
90 %
85%
80%
45%
25%
undertake enterprise activities
engage in work experience
provide careers advice
invite visiting speakers
arrange workplace visits
support business mentoring
How typical is this behaviour of all
independent schools?
School type attended between 14-19 * Work experience participation
rates
14 – 19 Non-selective
Work
with sixth Form
Experience Yes
90.0%
No
10.0%,
N
530
Grammar
with sixth Form
86.1%
13.9%
122
Independent
with sixth Form
84.8%
15.2%
79
N
649
82
731
School type attended between 14-19 * Percentage receiving careers
advice
Careers
Advice
14 – 19 Non-selective
with sixth Form
Yes
43.8%
No
56.2%
N
530
Grammar
with sixth Form
48.4%
51.6%
122
Independent
with sixth Form
57.0%
43.0%
79
N
336
395
731
School type attended between 14-19 * Frequency of
careers advice
14-19
Non-Selective
Grammar
Independent
N
with sixth Form with sixth Form with sixth Form
Careers Never
51%
47%
39%
338
Advice Just once or twice 39%
39%
39%
268
More than this
10%
14%
22%
83
N
496
116
77
689
School type attended between 14-19 * Enterprise
competition participation rate
14-19
Enterprise
Competition Yes
No
N
Non-Selective
with sixth form
27.2%
72.8%
529
Grammar
Independent
N
with sixth form
with sixth form
38.5%
37.5%
221
61.5%
62.5%
510
122
80
731
School type attended 14–19 * Mentoring
participation rate
Mentoring
14-19
Yes
No
N
Non-Selective
16.3%
83.7%
529
Grammar
15.7%
84.3%
121
Independent
15.0%
85.0%
80
N
117
613
730
Why they engage with employers?
•
To help pupils get into university courses of choice
“My view is that they ought to have had time with a GP and time at a hospital
before they put in an application.” (Teacher, girls’ school, D).
•
To help pupils decide on career goals and how to achieve them
“The vast majority certainly have an individual interview with myself and other
members of the staff and they will bring it up again what they learnt from that
work experience and what it might have encouraged them to go on to.”
(Teacher, girls’ school, D)
•
To help pupils develop employability schools
“You have a compelling mix of personal skills and academic qualifications and
extra-curricular achievements that when you’re an employer you say: “this
guy looks good.” (Teacher, boys’ school, A).
Why they engage with employers?
•
To help pupils develop networks of value after leaving school
“It’s all part of a good education, isn’t it? It’s all part of equipping
them to leave school in the best possible position..” (Teacher, girls’
school, E)
•
To help stimulate a culture of expectation & aspiration
“What I hope is that they see the range of possibilities…I want them
to realise that there’s all sorts of options that they can consider. I
talked to them about careers that none of us have ever heard of.’
(Teacher, girls’ school, E)”
How do they engage with
employers?
•
Alumni networks
“It’s such a good network through the old boys’ association, and the
parents; we have sent out a blanket request and people will say yes
I’m happy to help.” (Teacher, boys’ school, B)
•
Parental networks
“The girls can get in to do the places but it tends to be that they follow
through the contact so it might be a parent contact… they follow it
through themselves… and I would probably say it’s on the strength of
the school that they get it.” (Teacher, girls’ school, F)
How do they engage with employers?
Governors’ networks
Interviewee: “Well there you go you see, this is the classic... one of our governors
professor X is the... what’s the grandest thing you can be... not chair... senior...?”
Interviewer: “Director?”
Interviewee: “ At an NHS foundation trust... we had a meeting and wanted them to
go in and do some work, and they do quite a lot of work and they produce
presentations to the board, to the CEO, in the foyer of [large London hospital] all
their photographs all their recommendations and they have to do that and they have
to stand up and give a speech about it. Now that is putting them on the spot, it may
be a bit uncomfortable, they have to do the work…but it’s going to resonate far more
if they do that than if they shadowed... I want to produce more things like that.”
(Teacher, boys’ school, A)
How do they engage with employers?
• Through intermediaries
“...we have a personal advisor from Connexions who comes in once a
week, I’ve used Connexions, if you like, but I’ve used them as a
consultancy service...” (Teacher, girls’ school, E)
• Pupil approaches
“I think also our girls are pretty good at taking…very astute at taking,
advantage of opportunities. When we took them down to the ‘Breaking
the Mould’ competition… one of our girls negotiated her own sort of
media work experience with the person who shot our video...”
(Teacher, girls’ school, D)
How do they engage with employers?
Direct approaches from employers
“...they were always looking for very bright women most of
these companies… In fact I’m always being approached by
investment banks because they have various programmes... But
I wish they would do something slightly more co-ordinated…
They get in touch with you as if you had never heard of an
investment bank... Well actually they’re the third investment
bank this week!” (Teacher, girls’ school, E)
Work experience
- Strongly linked to HE admissions
- Often undertaken in the summer between
lower and upper sixth, or after GCSEs (briefing and de-briefing?)
- Self-sourced after career counselling
- Not always inspected for Health and Safety
-Not curriculum linked
- Written references secured
“... The key thing... I think is what have I learnt?” (Head of Careers, girls’
school, D – reflecting on work experience)
Similarities & Differences
Similarities
• Expectation within
state/independent schools that
pupils will undertake activity
within the broad curriculum
• Types of activities within
schools were roughly similar:
careers fairs, work experience,
enterprise activities…
Differences
• Independent schools use
employer engagement not so
much to engage learners
within a broad learning
experience but to clarify,
confirm and support pupils’
choices
• Independent schools provide
more personalised careers
advice to their pupils (small
numbers)
School type attended between age groups * Usefulness of Work
Experience
14-19*
Non-selective
Grammar
Independent
deciding on a career
54% (16%)
59% (19%)
81% (36%)
getting a job
27% (9%)
31% (10%)
47% (15%)
getting in to HE
25% (6%)
28% (11%)
42% (13%)
N
441-470
94-105
53-67
School type attended between 14-19 * Usefulness of Enterprise Project
14-19*
Non-selective
Grammar
Independent
deciding on career
37% (5%)
48% (6%)
46% (3%)
getting job
29% (5%)
36% (4%)
33% (7%)
getting in to HE
33% (5%)
35% (5% )
57% (7%)
N
101-156
29-48
12-30
School type attended between 14-19 * Usefulness of Careers Advice
14-19*
Non-selective
Grammar
Independent
deciding on career
59% (10%)
62% (12%)
81% (28%)
getting job
39% (7%)
38% (7%)
55% (13%)
getting in to HE
37% (10%)
46% (7%)
37% (17%)
N
223-232
55-58
40-47
(Including a sixth form or college; percentages outside of brackets represent respondents
who felt that their work experience helped them ‘a lot’ or ‘a little’; integers in brackets
denote individuals who felt that their work experience helped them ‘a lot’)
Employer Engagement & Social Reproduction in
Independent Schools
• Structural mechanisms in place at independent schools make it
easier and less problematic for their pupils to progress 
networks, careers guidance, cultures of aspiration and
achievement: ‘But I would also like to say that these kids are in
the sweet shop, they’ve got it all, they can pick and chose.’
• Substantial pools of expertise and experience on which to draw
 the ‘McKellen effect’
• Emphasis on elite professions: ‘Professions are rather narrowlaw, medicine, journalism, not many airline pilots (a few military).
Questions?
• Are the purposes of work-related learning, including employer
engagement, the same, or different, within independent and
state schools?
• What is replicable in terms of models to help facilitate pupil
learning and progression, and to what extent can they be
transferred to the state sector?
• What policy initiatives could help to encourage learning about
employer engagement across the state and independent
sectors?
Professor Prue Huddleston
Centre for Education and Industry, University of Warwick
[email protected]
Dr Anthony Mann
Director of Policy and Research, Education and Employers
Taskforce
[email protected]
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