Encounters with Higher & Further Education
Meaningful encounters with providers cover a wide range of ways young people can learn about their compulsory post-school options. They provide off-site visits and direct interactions with key institutions, staff, and alumni. Covering the full range of learning opportunities available to students.
What good looks like
All students should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both technical and academic routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.
*A ‘meaningful encounter’ is one in which the student has an opportunity to explore what it is like to learn in that environment. This includes academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and the workplace.
Why this matters
“It is not enough for young people to develop career ambitions, they must also have access to sufficient information and support to broaden ambitions and to inform self-awareness of what it takes to achieve their aspirations and enable progression towards career goals.”
Career ready? How schools can better prepare young people for working life in the era of COVID-19, Dec 2020
Getting started with BM7
Refresh your knowledge and understanding of all pathways at key transition points:
Consider how you can share this information about pathways at key transition points with students, staff and parents/carers
Refer to the Making it Meaningful checklist when planning any Benchmark 7 activity
Meaningful encounters with providers cover a wide range of ways young people can learn about their post-compulsory school options. They provide off-site visits and direct interactions with key roles, such as lecturers, current students of apprenticeships.
No, the requirement is one encounter by the age of 16 so you only need to provide one.
The key word here is meaningful. If there is no sixth form that is accessible to the majority of students then there is no point in promoting an option that is not a realistic option. However, this is where the work of Careers Advisers (BM 8) may help to identify provision or opportunities that should be highlighted to individual students and their families
The requirement state those ‘who are considering applying for university’, however, you should ensure that students are aware of all options and are being encouraged to consider aspirational outcomes, of course, this does not always mean university and should be applied to those it is relevant for.
An Independent Training Provider could be any institution providing a recognised pathway into work or training which can include apprenticeships, pre employment basic level training or recognised vocational training.
The government introduced a new legal duty from January 2018 which requires all maintained schools and academies to ensure there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to access all pupils for the purposes of informing them about approved technical education qualifications. Schools are required to publish a Provider Access Policy on their websites setting out when and how providers can access students through the year.
Yes, it is important that all students, whatever their ability, understand the full range of options available to them so they can make an informed choice when making decisions at 16 and 18. This includes the full range of learning locations and
qualifications on offer.
Careers Leaders may need to help teaching staff and others across the school understand all the options available to