#963 Parent Engagement with Careers and Aspirations
Norwich Opportunity Area Team
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What did we do?
There is a wealth of evidence that the earlier children and young people are exposed to different types of career, the more likely they are to have broader aspirations for their future selves and are less likely to avoid certain career routes based on stereotypes. Local stakeholders told us that the Norwich Opportunity Area (NOA) Team must work with parents and communities as well as children to inform aspirations and showcase successful role models.
The NOA commissioned an external local provider, Camouflaged Learning, to work with primary schools to audit existing approaches to parental engagement, test out new sessions for parents and children to participate in together to explore careers, aspirations and ideas about the future and then run CPD sessions for school staff to plan how to incorporate new or different approaches within their school in future.
The parents were so keen to express their gratitude for these sessions. The feedback was really incredible. This has never happened before and gives us a great legacy to build on.
It has been really helpful to have these conversations at home now, and we’ve now been thinking about our aspirations and also what inspires us- including each other!
The information you’ve given us about where to look, and the skills you’ve taught us will really make a difference in our lives. It will do my daughter so much good to see that girls are just as capable as boys too!
Feedback from a Norwich primary school who participated in the project and parents who attended an engagement event.
Summary of impact
Participant numbers increased with every session with overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents, pupils and staff and a high level of parent engagement with the project. Feedback from sessions showed parents and pupils had an increased awareness of career and work opportunities in their local area, and also reduced gender specific role stereotypes. Parents also fed back that they felt more informed about how to support their children, as well as about techniques they could use at home as a family.
The NOA commissioned an external provider to deliver the project; Camouflaged Learning. Schools were offered the opportunity to sign up to the project via the NOA. Initially each school completed an audit of existing approaches to parental engagement to review what already worked well and what schools wanted to get out of the project. Camouflaged Learning liaised with each school to agree suitable dates for sessions during the school day and schools encouraged parents to attend. Most schools accessed 3 sessions, planned to be followed by a staff CPD session, which was unfortunately partially disrupted by Covid-19.
What would we do differently
The number of parents participating in sessions grew over time as word of mouth spread positive feedback about the sessions between parents but possibly introduction sessions in advance could ensure full sessions are made the most of, or using the resource to run shorter sessions over a longer period of time. In future, we would aim to include staff CPD and embedding successful approaches in school throughout the programme rather than as a final stage. Some CPD sessions were partially disrupted by Covid-19.
A key ingredient was creating Interactive sessions that specifically aimed to engage both with parents and children together to discover and celebrate what they are good at.
The project was funded by the NOA and the total cost was £90,000.
Resources to do something similar yourself
As part of the parental engagement events designed and run in schools by Camouflaged Learning a workbook was created to support schools with parental engagement:
WOW Catton Grove provided young people, parents and their extended community with an awareness, knowledge and ownership of the ‘world of work’ within their neighbourhood and beyond. We ran 3 sessions; 'WOW Treasure Hunt' to explore what local jobs makes their neighbourhood 'tick' today.
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