Survey shows link between engagement with the world of work and attainment in primary schools.
A survey published by the Education and Employers charity found that 90% of primary school teachers thought that engaging children with employers/employees and the world of work has an impact on their academic achievement.
- At least 90% of teachers across the UK thought engagement with employers had an impact and the figure rose to 97.4% in the West Midlands and 95.1% in Yorkshire and Humber.
- In schools with more than the national average of pupils receiving free school meals (commonly used as an indicator of disadvantage), girls are more likely to experience positive impacts from engagement with the world of work than boys, teachers believe.
- Overall, primary school teachers thought that girls are nearly 50% more likely to receive positive impacts than boys.
The president of the National Association of Head Teachers (the professional body for over 29,000 school leaders) Anne Lyons, is calling on the government to give much greater priority to primary schools to ensure all children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, get the chance to meet a wide range of volunteers from the world of work. Ms Lyons believes this raises and broadens aspirations, improves academic attainment and is an important driver of social mobility. In response to the findings of the survey she said:
“NAHT has long campaigned for primary age children to have access to the world of work. What’s important is that these experiences demonstrate the amazing range of opportunities all young people can carve out for themselves if they can find a passion to call their own at school and learn to live and work in harmony with their fellow pupils. Primary Futures gives children that opportunity and it’s fantastic to see it endorsed by such an important body as the OECD and for its work to be strongly backed up by this new data. The NAHT wants any new government to ensure that all primary school pupils, regardless of where they live in the country, get the same chance to meet a wide range of people from the world of work who do a wide range of jobs – if we want to raise and broaden aspirations and improve social mobility this is vital.”
Across Wiltshire several careers leads who ordinarily work with secondary aged students, are also establishing links with local primary schools, to ensure that KS2 children have exposure to the world of work. A connection between education and employers is crucial in so many respects, so one of the long term goals of the Swindon and Wiltshire Enterprise Adviser network (SWEAN) is to also work with primary aged children.