Qualifying for the Future – article in New Stateman

Although this was produced earlier this year, it is an interesting document. With a forward from Edge, It covers such wide and varied fields as discussions from the FutureLab initiative and our understanding of what Schools, Colleges and Universities could be, information on how to market your institution from the Head of the Marketing Communications Consultants Association, analysis of the training offered by the MoD, a word of caution from NAPO, about how we need more education with the prison system to prevent reoffending,  how getting young people involved in their education helps them with learning to lead, (and I must disclose that this does feature one of my schools in Somerset, Wells Blue School !), Dress Codes for schools, what do they mean ?, and engaging parents  to promote a love of learning. This document finishes off with a round table meeting of the way forward amongst a select of the good and the great. Interesting reading. http://www.newstatesman.com/pdf/futurequalifying09.pdf  Having some knowledge of guidance work within the prison system, and the work of Edge this can give an insight into a wide range of work and career related issues.

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Higher Education guide – from Connexions in the West Midlands

It is interesting that such minisites as http://www.heguide.org.uk are now appearing. They do provide a useful summary of the HE options and can be promoted by the Connexions Services secure in the knowledge that it ties into a more generic approach to promoting the options at level 4 and above. At it is not tied to any provider it should be seen as impartial and even-handed in what it does.   There seems to be two points of view for this kind of work. One is that it replicates info which can be found elsewhere on the Web, not least from UCAS of course, or indeed other provider such as the local Lifelong Learning Network, (although they are coming to the end of their funding now).  The alternative view is that there is so much info out on the web that it does confuse people and websites such as this one can be a useful starter to progress through what be available.  Perhaps with the increase in students attending university within their regional areas this sort of locally promoted website might grow. Interesting times…

Interesting in working in the NHS, but want to do a non medical degree ?

It is a cliché that the NHS only employs Nurses and Doctors, but even so other options are not always known to everyone. If you are planning to study a degree, whether it is Media Studies or Zoology and have ever thought what you can do with it, why not take a look at this site: http://www.whatcanidowithmydegree.nhs.uk. Great fun to see what you can do with a range of subjects…and you also learn more about Britains largest employer at the same time. approaximately 1.3 million people work in the NHS, could you be one of them ?

A website to help research your study subject

This is the first in an occasional series of websites which I’ve found useful (but are not always well known about). I’ve found this website a useful resource. It can be used with students  who might just have got their GCSE results and are now looking to go onto 6th form study, possibly considering which subjects they might finally take. Or you could use it with students looking at a Diploma or another vocational or occupational course that would still allow them to go onto a degree should they choose. Alternatively a student might be halfway through their studies and now faces completing the UCAS form to apply to University. What help is available for them ?
If you have every wanted to find out about a subject in more depth you probably use the internet, but it can be difficult to find useful, reliable info about a chosen career area even if you use Google. Well now there is a website which has gathered the best of the web for you, and arranged this over the main subject fields covering degree areas from Aeronautical Engineering to Womens Studies. Have a look at this and see if it helps progression with  career choices http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/
There is even an Internet Detective course available to help you sort out the gold from the dross http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/ Everything is free and quality controlled by a national team of lecturers and librarians from UK universities. An excellent resource I think

Clearing – adventures in Media Land

It’s that time so beloved by the press, politicians and general experts of all hues, the annual exam results period. I’ve been interviewed on various local radio stations for this event, and dealt with the challengeof speaking in sound bites rather than give a full, but probably too long for the radio, answer to questions. I’ve also recording a Pod-cast on our website about this time covering most things from getting the exam letter, opening the envelope celebrating (or commiserating),  and answering some of the more common questions people have about clearing and what to do next. There is lots to say and do right now, and although we stayed open late on this and next Thursday, (and we are open late every Tuesday anyway), clearing does continue for several weeks and in fact the rush to “sort something out” quickly can be a difficult choice. As always the advice must be to talk to someone either where the student has studied and is known, or at a suitable guidance organisation, where all options can be considered and plans can be reviewed. I do feel like offering Good Luck to everyone who has their results at this time, whilst being aware that students on vocational courses had their results several weeks ago.