Recent research from Talking Futures, found that “more than 75% of parents felt that giving relevant career advice to their children was almost impossible in such a fast-changing jobs market”. At the Priory Federation of Academies Trust, careers education is a key priority, and is a central part of achieving excellence through the Priory values.
We know how important it is for our students to be able to have conversations about their careers with people at home. We therefore hope that this short guide, in the form of FAQs, helps you with having those conversations.
As always, careers teams in each academy can also support with any of these discussions, and are very happy to speak to parents and carers, as well as students.
What are the options available to students?
The short answer is there are lots of options available to students. The two main decisions your child will make will be what they do after Year 11, and again after Year 13. These are called their Post-16 options, and Post-18 options. Below is a guide to post-16 options. Your child will receive more bespoke information about post-18 options when they join us in our Sixth Forms or on an apprenticeship programme, including opportunities to visit universities, and hear from different providers.
Where to study?
Within the Priory Federation of Academies Trust, we have four Academies with Sixth Form provision; LSST; City of Lincoln; Witham; and Ruskin. Each Academy offers a range of A Levels, BTECs, and T Level courses. We also have a suite of Apprenticeships. You can access information on each in the post-16 options section of the website. There are other options for your young person too, and each Academy’s careers team arranges opportunities for your child to speak to, and hear from, other training providers.
What subjects 'should' they study?
There is no single answer to this question. Students should think about what they want to do when they leave school, and work backwards. For many jobs, there isn’t a requirement to have studied certain subjects, but a good way of checking this is on the National Career Service website, the UCAS Website, or speaking to a member of their academy’s careers team.
What if my child has no idea what career they want to do?
This is not something to worry about. Even as adults, we can struggle thinking about what career we want to do, or what job we would like to do next.
What is important is that your child knows what kinds of skills they need to go into the world of work and to manage their career, and they know which ones they could improve – this is something you can discuss with them. They should also be encouraged to speak to the Academy’s careers advisor.
What if my child changes their mind about the career they want to do?
This is very normal, and in fact we are living in a period of time in the world of work where people are retraining and completely changing careers all the time. We expect young people to change their minds about their aspirations. This is partly because they are curious about all of the amazing jobs out there, so it is a good thing!
The important thing is to reassure your child that it is fine to change their mind. It may also be beneficial to speak to a careers advisor, which can be arranged through your child’s academy, to explore some of these ideas further.
When should my child choose subjects linked to the career they want to do?
Your child’s first decisions with regards to their career typically come when they choose their GCSE Options. Fortunately, it is very rare that the options that they choose will impact the careers they can do in the future.
The decisions that students make in Year 11, and after Year 13, are the ones that are more likely you impact what careers are open to them. That is because this is when you may choose a specific pathway, linked to your interests, passions, and/or aspirations.
I don't know what jobs exist/I've never heard of the job my child wants to do?
In short, you don’t need to! We are living at a time of massive changes to the world of work, and jobs that our students will go on to do, may not even exist yet.
Instead, focus on how important skills are going to be for your child, such as self-awareness, communication skills, confidence, and broader employability skills – all things that will also be developed as part of their career education programme in their academy.
What is the main thing I can do to help my child think about their career?
Here are a few things we recommend to help with your child’s career planning and career management:
- Help them to explore pathways – attend open events, ask questions about their aspirations and keep the conversation going. Don’t feel like you need to have the answers – that is where step four can come in!
- Let them lead with researching and exploring, but support and empower them to make positive decisions.
- Share your story – what career journey have you had? What did you like and dislike? What lessons did you learn? What skills were important?
- Encourage them to talk to careers professionals – each student has access to careers teams within their academies, who can support them through difficult decisions or with difficult questions, or simply to help them explore what options are available to them.
Where can I get more information?
You can speak to your tutor, any member of staff, and any member of the careers team, to receive more information and support about choosing your options, or more generally about careers.
Use the Useful Links section of the website to see a range of helpful websites, organised into specific areas, to get more information.
The Academy welcomes and actively invites parent and carer input and feedback on our careers programme, as well as asking any career-related questions. This can be provided by contacting the Academy’s Careers Lead, or emailing email@example.com.