Charlotte oversees careers and enterprise provision from Year 7 to Year 11. A teacher for more than 40 years, she was chosen as the Careers & Enterprise Company’s National Careers Leader of the Year in July.
“Five years ago, after 37 years, I retired from teaching at Penrice Academy – a role which included organising careers and work experience. However, I returned for one day a week to continue my role as a careers leader and that has grown to three days a week.
I love my job, I enjoy working with the students and helping them decide on suitable pathways; working with employers is an integral part of my role. I also value talking to colleagues and seeking their advice.
I think the new careers strategy is brilliant because it simplifies what we’ve been trying to achieve. Having the eight benchmarks to work towards gives the programme structure. To achieve these benchmarks, it is crucial to have the support of the leadership team. I have a great line manager, an assistant principal, who helps me to achieve the school’s aims and recognises my work.
However, for full-time teachers or those just starting out, it can be difficult. When I was teaching as well, I found myself working weekends to fit in the careers work. My advice would be to tackle one benchmark at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. Similarly, you could start
with one year group and follow them through, it really depends on
It is vital to build up a list of employer contacts. Networking is important. I work with our enterprise advisers to look for potential employers to support our schooI. We are building alumni – these are our future leaders. I have a past student, now an HR manager, who is more than willing to attend assemblies, workshops and take on work experience students. It all comes back to building networks and relationships.”