Amber Rudd MP visited Saxon Mount School in St Leonards to see the work being done to prepare pupils for the fast-changing world of work.
Also visiting the school was Christine Hodgson, chairman of The Careers and Enterprise Company, the national organisation helping to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work.
The visitors heard from Saxon Mount School and how working with local employers as part of the Hastings Opportunity Area, is helping them to improve the life chances of pupils with Special Educational Needs.
Saxon Mount School is part of the Careers & Enterprise Company’s national ‘Enterprise Adviser Network’ of more than 2,600 schools and colleges across England.
Working closely with East Sussex County Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, the Enterprise Adviser Network works across the area to support schools in building relationships with employers and delivering great careers education.
Each school in the network is paired with a volunteer business leader from the area, known as an Enterprise Adviser, to work together to improve careers education and prepare young people for the world of work.
Saxon Mount School and its Enterprise Adviser, Jody Frampton from John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance Ltd, have been working together to deliver their careers and employer engagement plan.
Miss Rudd was able to hear first-hand from year 10 students about how the careers activities they’d been involved in had benefited them and their aspirations for the future.
Jody has arranged multiple work experience placements for Saxon Mount students at John O’Conner with students gaining a practical understanding of grounds maintenance work and related machinery through employer-led workshops.
The Hastings and Rye MP said: “It was fantastic to meet with Christine Hodgson once again and to meet with the wonderful staff and students at Saxon Mount School. The work that Saxon Mount School are doing to help prepare their pupils for the world of work is great to see.
“Jody’s work as the Enterprise Adviser for the school has clearly helped the students tremendously. I was glad to hear the students speak so passionately about the activities and placements they have been undertaking and how they have helped their career progression.
“I am pleased that our local employers are working closely with our schools to ensure that the Opportunity Area funding not only helps to provide our young people with the best education possible but also supports them into the world of work.”
Richard Preece, executive headteacher and CEO, Torfield and Saxon Mount Academy Trust, said: “We are very fortunate to be working with such good partners from the Enterprise Adviser Network, the Careers & Enterprise Company and the Hastings Opportunity Area. Our school provides for pupils who have some significant barriers to learning, independence and social mobility.
“Yet through this partnership working and because of the work of our amazing staff in ensuring our curriculum meets their needs, we are able to better prepare our pupils for further education, training or employment once they leave us. We are proud to say that we have an excellent track record in this aspect of our work.”
Christine Hodgson added: “It’s wonderful to see the Enterprise Adviser Network on the ground in St Leonards and in particular the outstanding work being done at Saxon Mount with many local employers connecting with their young people. The impact is far reaching in terms of attendance, attainment and positive career outcomes.”