Career Connect

Oliver Masters completed the Careers Leader qualification with Career Connect. Oliver is Careers Lead at The Greater Horseshoe school, an independent special school in Devon for ages 8-18. The school was recently graded outstanding by OFSTED.

The Greater Horseshoe School was recently graded outstanding by OFSTED.

Speaking of his academic achievement, Oliver Masters said: “We are fairly new as a school – five years old – and this qualification has put me in a great position to set the course for our whole-school careers provision.

“I’ve honed my skills and picked up tools and approaches that are helping me to create more impactful experiences for our students. I’ve worked in careers for a long time, but this is my first careers role in a school.

Meaningful encounters with employers and providers

“For many of our pupils, talking about the future can be scary. It can be more challenging for them to process than it is for someone who is neurotypical. That’s why a focus on meaningful encounters with employers and providers is so important.

“I now feel more confident in working with providers and employers to build understanding, and advocate for support for our students as they prepare to move on. I have been able to work with some great employers and providers and articulate the benefits for them and our students.

“As a school we are now committed to arranging a provider visit for our young people at least once every half term. This includes colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers.

Changing the way we do things…

“I have also changed the way we run our Aspirations week. Activities used to be subject based, but we now take a whole-school approach. We regularly build careers themes into assemblies. We update our career boards at each of our three sites and make them an attraction for students. During our summer fair, which celebrates our students’ achievements, every department now hosts an activity that has a link to careers. “

Our school was recently graded as outstanding by OFSTED, which is fantastic, and on their visit, the inspectors spent a long time looking at our careers provision.

Speaking of his assessor, Oliver said: “I have autism, and my assessor Steve was great in offering flexible assessment options. I completed a number of assignments as recorded discussions because I struggle to process written words and with typing. Through my research for the discussion, it led me to change the way some of our processes work and the way we approach careers advice with our students.

“I had a great relationship with Steve, he always gave me honest and clear opinions on how I was doing, and this helped me identify where my school can improve.

“This course has taught me how to do things differently while meeting our Gatsby benchmarks. It has prompted me to change some of the ways we did things and how we approach careers education with our students. It has shown me that I can do things differently while also satisfying the guidance.”

Read more stories of success in our Impact Report for 2022/23

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