How to get your perfect job

Schools careers services advise their students about finding their perfect job. This can be challenging should they be, for example, inundated by a group of boys saying they want to play for their local Premier league football team.

It’s not about shattering their dreams but providing them with realistic options and the information to help and guide them into other potential roles should their football trails not give them the career break they are hoping for.

DES has an active work placement team working with schools throughout Haringey and in Islington to provide work placement experiences and events to assist pupils learn about their options after school.

In December 2018, DES participated in two careers fairs held in Tottenham schools. On both occasions Harry Moore, an apprentice from our sister company, Diamond Build Plc, attended to tell students about his job and how he is making construction his career of choice.

The first event, at Harris Academy Tottenham, featured 25 employers who met small groups of pupils from years 10 and 11 to talk about their profession, work and career routes.

Many pupils asked Harry questions ranging from how he got his apprenticeship; how many days he studies on day release; is his job interesting, to what kinds of buildings does he build and where are they?

The event was also an opportunity to promote Diamond Build’s apprenticeship scheme for all school leavers who may wish to start working at 18 rather than go straight into higher education. Details can be found here:

The second careers event at Park View Academy hosted over 30 employers, sixth form colleges, universities and advice agencies, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the University of Westminster and various local companies, all wishing to promote their career / study / work opportunities.

At both events it was really not surprising to hear a lot of students say they still had no idea what they wanted to do for their career. All we could advise was to encourage them to work hard to get good grades and then they would have more choices and options when leaving school.

Diamond Education Service Launch

Transforming School Food

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Read the inspiring story of one governor’s experience to transform the quality of their school dinners.

“It’s not necessarily something you think about: you sign them up for school meals and off they go! The fact that they complain about soggy chips or lumpy custard seems inevitable – after all, school meals are hardly expected to be exciting or liked. And the thought of making packed lunches every morning is a chore you can do without when you’re busy trying to get everyone out of the house.

In becoming a governor, I was principally motivated to help the school achieve outstanding status and I was prepared to help the head as much as possible in this shared goal. When it was brought to my attention that the quality of school dinners and uptake by the children, had a direct impact on their academic performance and thereby the school’s results, I took a keen interest.

So with the head’s blessing, I joined forces with a like-minded mum to find out more. We visited local schools, interviewed their heads and kitchen staff, held meetings with the current catering contractor, the local authority, School Food Matters, and a variety of companies who were providing individual contracts to local schools.

The outcome was a report to our board of governors recommending a change of contract from the incumbent as they were providing a completely unsatisfactory level of service; we’d discovered the quality and quantity of food was lacking in all respects. Staff and the children were equally unhappy. The board accepted our recommendations unanimously.

But we faced a challenge, the number of children on role and also choosing school meals was not enough to interest any of the catering companies offering cook from fresh contracts. The local authority was keen to keep us on board as they too had upped their game and were now seeking a borough-wide cook from fresh contract – so we stayed. But to provide cook from fresh, we needed a bigger kitchen and equipment as the incumbent contractor owned what we had. We shared our ambitions with the school community and the PTA, who agreed to fund raise for new equipment, and the head explored how we could accommodate a larger kitchen space. Achieving our ambitions seemed a long way off.

However, and fortuitously at roughly the same time, the local authority asked the school to expand to permanent two-form entry – this involved substantial rebuilding work along with a new kitchen and new equipment. It was an amazing stroke of luck.

We now have one of the best school kitchens in London (and is used by the new contractor as their training base), our meals are cooked from fresh, they’ve achieved Gold standard and the uptake is around 80 per cent. Staff and children are much happier. We also recognised that creating a healthy and happy food environment went much further than just the school meals. We worked tirelessly to ensure that we took a whole school approach to food running growing and cooking classes and even keeping chickens!

And the final icing on the cake (excuse the food based pun!): last year we achieved ‘outstanding’ status from both Ofsted and the Diocese.

Robert Hawker, Parent Governor, Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, Richmond

For more information visit: www.schoolfoodplan.com

 

Robert Hawker is the Director of Marketing for Diamond Education Service.

Copy taken from Governors for Schools blog: www.sgoss.org.uk

Matrix Accreditation for Barrett Bell Ltd

Barrett-Bell Ltd (formerly Advanced Training Solutions) was first established in 2006.

The aim of Barrett-Bell is to provide a reliable and professorial service to help people gain valuable knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications that they may need to start or further their careers within the gas industry. We measure our success on the success of our learners and have a 94% achievement rate. As such ‘word of mouth’ is our main form of advertising. We currently operate and have training centres in Watford and Stevenage.

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