Careers education at Woodham Academy has been recognised as an example of outstanding practice by the Department for Education.
Recent guidance on careers education issued to all secondary schools in the country includes a case study on Woodham Academy.
In 2012-13, Woodham Academy piloted an apprenticeship awareness programme for students in Year 9.
Representatives from six local companies delivered presentations about their apprenticeships programmes to the students.
Following a visit to the company, students worked with the companies to produce an advertising campaign to inform young people of apprenticeships within that company.
Parents and members of the local business community were invited to a presentation evening, where a prize was awarded for the most effective presentation.
This year, Woodham Academy has successfully repeated the Apprenticeship Awareness Challenge working with Gestamp Tallent, Ebac, SWDT Ltd, Finley Structures, The Bignall Group and A-Tech Fabrications.
The school is also piloting a Workskills Project to target young people in Year 10 at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training).
The Workskills project resulted in an improvement in students’ attendance and engagement with education.
Early indications show the benefits of the Apprenticeship Awareness Challenge.
The proportion of young people choosing apprenticeships has increased from 2.5% in 2009 to 7% in 2013, representing double the County Durham figure. More students are choosing GCSE engineering and increasing numbers of students are progressing to A level.
What is most improved is the school’s NEET figure of 0%, compared with a County Durham figure of 2.6%.