“The volunteers are super excited to be in school and this passion rubs off on the students and they get to talk to so many different professionals, which will help them to consider a wider range of pathways.”
- Name: Stuart Gander
- School: Eastbury Community School
- Role: Head of Careers Education
- Area: Barking, East London
Tell us a little bit about your school.
We are an all through school for 3-19-year olds and there are roughly 1850 students (primary school all the way up to sixth form). We are in 1/5 of the most deprived areas of the country, with a large proportion of students from ethnic minority groups. We are a specialist maths and computing school and our pupil premium students is above national average. We achieved outstanding from OFSTED for the 16 to 18 study programmes criteria and we were awarded the Investors in Careers Mark, the highest accolade a school can receive for its excellence in careers education.
Why did you decide to get involved with Inspiring the Future, and when did you sign up?
I undertook the ELP course through Teach First in 2015. Our course leader promoted your site and it was a no brainer to sign up and get volunteers in as soon as possible. We have been using Inspiring the Future for 3 years now and we will continue to use the outstanding inspirational volunteers in years to come.
What kinds of activities have you held with Inspiring the Future?
We host many careers events in school including; mock interviews, speed networking, careers fair, pathways evening and other workshops and interventions.
Was there an especially inspiring moment that happened at one of the events?
I think all the events have been inspiring for our young people, but the speed networking event will stand out to me this year. I was able to secure 20+ volunteers and all 300 students in year 9 took part in the morning event, which ensured that students got the opportunity to speak to many different professionals from different industries. Many students commented in their evaluation that this really helped them with making the right decisions for their GCSE subjects.
Another inspiring moment happened at our mock interview day for year 10. We had two alumni volunteers that were with us and it was a lovely surprise in the morning when I realised, they were ex-students.
Has an Inspiring the Future volunteer come in that has a job you hadn’t heard of before or had access to? If so, please can you give us an example?
Yes! We had a data scientist for Hotels.com for the networking event with year 9. This was an unusual job and something I hadn’t considered, so it was great that the students could ask her questions and find out a little more on what the job entailed.
What kind of impact do you think the activities have had on students participating?
Inspiring the Future has made an instrumental impact on our young people. The volunteers are super excited to be in school and this passion rubs off on the students and they get to talk to so many different professionals, which will help them to consider a wider range of pathways.
Would you recommend Inspiring the Future to other schools?
All schools should sign up as it meets so many of the Gatsby Benchmarks and increases the number of encounters with employers.
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