Since September 2017, Hello Future has been working in schools and colleges to support learners with their next steps and exploring the different opportunities available to them through higher education.
During this time, we have had the pleasure of working with a number of teachers & advisers.
We sat down with some of them to find out how the Hello Future programme has supported their work.
From the activities your learners have taken part in, which do you feel have been the most useful/beneficial to your school/college curriculum?
From a Careers Lead and SLT perspective, I think that the willingness to financially support the various careers and raising aspiration activities have been massively important to us. Secondly, I would add that the mentoring worked really well, with lots of positive feedback from the students.
Has taking part in those opportunities impacted learner decision-making about their future?
Yes – the Heads of Year report that direct contact with Hello Future mentors and Universities through trips, etc. has expanded our students’ worldviews massively.
Has being involved in the Hello Future programme had any wider impact on your school or college?
Yes – we were able to work with the University of Cumbria for one year on a CPD programme looking at increasing the engagement of disadvantaged students in lessons, from which important lessons were drawn to improve classroom practice. Without funding from HF, this project would never have happened.
Do you feel it’s important to have programmes like Hello Future working in Cumbria?
Yes- Cumbria is so far away from universities that many students use geography, social isolation and the fear of student debt as excuses for low aspirations. Having organisations like Hello Future to help students see the world beyond their post code is of huge benefit to our students and HF will be a massive loss to Energy Coast UTC in future years.
What do you consider to be the main attributes that would make Cumbrian learners successful at HE/Degree Apprenticeships?
In the words of our Head of Y11, “Cumbrian learners are highly resourceful and resilient in their day to day lives, due to a lack of resources in the local area, this would make them ideal candidates for HE/Degree Apprenticeships where there is a need to be able to think independently and show initiative.”
What do you consider to be the main barriers for Cumbrian learners to progress to HE/Degree Apprenticeships?
Geographical isolation, mono-cultural society, access to jobs in the West at/or linked to Sellafield, fear of financial debt and parental expectation (“Get a job at Sellafield and that’s you set for life.”).
What advice would you give to young people thinking about continuing to higher education/training?
Identify your own barriers – who or what will stop you from pursuing your dream and then get help to address each of these barriers regularly. Keep the goal in mind, write it down, and know what you need to do every day, week and month to make it a reality.
Please use this space to add additional commentary about the relationship between your school/college and the Hello Future programme so we can best demonstrate the usefulness of the programme to our Cumbrian community.
We have found that the Hello Future programme has always been willing to work with us so flexibly that you are almost a part of our school.