Increasing poverty has brought the problem of hungry school children to critical levels, with teachers reporting rising numbers of children unable to concentrate or misbehaving in class as a result of not having been fed properly at home before arriving at school.
Schools across the country are responding to plea for help by setting up 'Breakfast Clubs' for students. Typically there is no discrimination between those families that can afford it and those that cannot, every pupil will be able to start their school day fed and ready to learn. It is really important that as many parents as possible take up the new service as it will save them money and it positively contributes to making a collective effort to get children into school bright and early, and ready to learn.
Proponents of free school breakfasts say they the service will improve pupils' academic concentration, attendance, behaviour, encourage healthier eating habits and help improve relationships between parents and the school. All of this is good stuff isn't it and what we want for all children?
You sometimes do find that the stereotypes associated with business still do exist, that all entrepreneurs are white middle aged men wearing suits. The reality is very different!
Last year we saw a 15% increase of 16-24 years starting their own ventures and we’re now seeing more start-ups from women than ever before. The new Start Up Enterprise Loan being offered by the government is a step in the right direction and will give many their first step on the business ladder. In addition to the cash support young people also receive a mentor, whose time and experience will be invaluable to facilitate their learning curve. More details are available here http://www.enterprisenation.com/slk/
The School Speakers team have been glued to this year's series of The Apprentice. We would like to welcome on board Adam Corbally and Nick Holzherr as speakers. We asked students and teachers who their favourite characters were from this year’s show and these two gentleman topped the scoreboard. Read about Adam and Nick on their speaker profiles.
Carl Hopkins and Sue Stone from The Secret Millionaire already visit students through School Speakers. We were touched, and inspired, by entrepreneur Matthew Newbury’s episode during May 2012 and we’re delighted that he is now available to visit students too. Matthew’s profile is available here.
We have a number of student enterprise days available, The Apprentice and Dragons Den, themed being very popular, see here.
School Speakers passionately believes that all students should have to good, objective careers advice. We have a wealth of speakers who visit students all across the UK inspiring and advising on career destinations, employability skills, CVs and interview techniques. To view our careers speakers please click here
Speaking recently at the Institute of Career Guidance - Commissioning Career Guidance Services conference in York, David Andrews OBE listed four key reasons to invest in careers guidance. These were:
1. The 14-19 education system and beyond will not work without careers guidance.
2. It is not possible to reduce the number of young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) purely by having a targeted support service.
3. Results will go up as careers guidance raises aspirations, increases motivation and raises achievement.
4. 10% of students starting a higher education course do not complete. Careers guidance encourages research so students are informed about their journey.
These outlined points came in the week that the Department for Education confirmed its statutory careers guidance requirements which all schools must deliver from September 2012. Under Section 29 of the Education Act 2011, schools now have a duty of care to secure access to independent careers guidance for their pupils in years 9 to 11. Careers guidance secured under the new duty must:
• Be presented in an impartial manner
• Include information on the full range of post-16 education or training options, including Apprenticeships
• Promote the best interests of the pupils to whom it is given
Through the new requirements, schools have been made more accountable for the successful progression of students to further education, higher education and skilled employment, providing independent guidance along the way.View & Comment on this post - May 3rd, 2012In a fast changing world, which is becoming increasingly competitive, it's essential for young people to leave school with a range of skills that are needed to survive life outside the classroom. These skills can be referred to as an 'enterprising toolkit' and its content is at the top of every employers agenda; ultimately as educational leaders it is our responsibility to help students gain their first step on the employment ladder. An enterprising mind-set has been proven to support academic performance, confidence and all round aspiration. It is key for young people to understand the importance of social responsibility and how it's an integral part of tomorrow's business world. In the wider world we should ask all young people to use their talent, contribute and make a difference. We have a number of speakers visiting schools to teach students enterprising skills.
1. Being a young person in today’s world job hunting, or deciding a career path, is a bit like walking over an exploding mind field. You only have to pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV to see the ever depressing statistic bombs going off:
2. The pool of 16-24 years old unemployed seeking benefits has now risen to a staggering 1.3 million and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
3. A recent survey revealed that top employers feel that 1 in 3 students leaving school do not have the appropriate skills for today’s work place.
4. A record number of graduates are unable to find work with an estimated 30% of last year’s leavers still unemployed
5. It’s estimated that there are approx. 150 young people venturing after every one opportunity – whether that be a job, apprenticeship or university place
6. The increased cost of going to university has deterred a suggested 10% young people from applying to university
The days are long gone from students being on one way transmission completing A Levels, walking into university and then strolling into a semi-guaranteed £25k a year job. Alternatives to university are urgently needed and starting your own business is now a valid career option for young people, we saw an increase 15% of 16-25 entrepreneurs in 2011.Employers have a long list of skills they demand from their work force and young people are expected to arrive at work day one with some of these. The top 100 employers were asked the key skills they wish for from young recruits:
Good communication skills, applies to written and verbally English
Good attitude – hard working and eager to learn. Realising that they’ll have to put in the hours and start at the bottom to climb the ladder.
Be a team player and also have the ability to lead.
Use their initiative and be proactive.
Take a risk, grab a challenge and push themselves out of their comfort zones!
Be emotionally robust and resilient to change (including rejection and failure).View & Comment on this post - February 29th, 2012
Student teams from schools/college/universities will have the opportunity to run their very own mini sports retail business with live products and complete practical business tasks under the leadership of the Mad Ants Directorship team, the team with many years experience in education, creative design & marketing, finance & business have the perfect knowledge to lead and develop the teams. The term long project culminates in a business awards evening. A team building event for the winning team and a 2-6 week paid summer Internship for the most enterprising student at Anthill House.
Students will undertake 8 workshops covering all aspects of business. Learning vital skills in management, finance, marketing & sales. As well as covering all areas of key skills, the project covers the curriculum delivery of Economic Well being and Financial Capability as well as 6 hours of Student Enterprise learning.View & Comment on this post - January 30th, 2012
2011 has been a busy year for School Speakers! We have now over 165 speakers registered with us, delivering workshops and talks across all areas of the curriculum on a nationwide basis to students of all ages and skill levels.
As a thank you for your continuous support if you book a speaker before the 31st January for academic year ending July 2012 and you will receive a discount of 20% off the speakers fee.
We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
School SpeakersView & Comment on this post - December 22nd, 2011
With unemployment amongst young people at a record high, I have spent a lot of time recently writing and speaking about issues surrounding this and ways of tackling them.
The current job market is a statistical minefield and in terms of apprenticeships there are approximately 87 people applying for each available apprenticeship position. I feel the government should be investing more money into helping employers fund more apprenticeship schemes and running them for longer periods of time instead of short, eight week placements which isn’t long enough for young people to learn adequate skills.
I also feel there is a lack of information out there for people. The majority of Job Centres and schools don’t offer young people enough in terms of career advice and/or training – a severe oversight in my opinion. The average time for a consultation with someone at a Job Centre is around three minutes and I’m sure most would agree this doesn’t allow scope for proper assessment or consultation.
There are certainly some schools stepping up to the mark and making the effort to help their students, despite having careers services pulled from public education, but so many more aren’t doing enough. Young people need the support of schools and careers services now, more than ever.
Some of the current systems in place, such as school leavers and graduates being excluded from apprenticeship schemes and having to be on benefits for nine months before they can apply for them, seems ludicrous. This also has undertones of young people being viewed negatively as lazy and unwilling to work, when in fact the current economic climate is affecting people across the board, from school leavers to those with masters degrees.
One area that is reacting more positively is the academies who are looking to integrate more relevant subjects into the curriculum, as well as more vocational training and work experience placements into areas of the curriculum to help kick-start schools leavers looking to get into a career and preparing them for the world of work.
Moving forwards, I hope Nick Clegg can work to make his scheme more streamlined and to fund apprenticeships instead of subsidising them to make them more appealing to employers. I also hope society can become more understanding of social and moral responsibilities to help young people gain the skills they need, rather than dishearten them further.
Claire YoungView & Comment on this post - December 5th, 2011
- Over 90% of people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
- You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample
- HIV is not passed on through spitting, biting or sharing utensils
- Only 1% of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
- You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
- There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV
Every year in November the UK shines a light on the issue of bullying and across the country schools and academies play their part to show everyone that bullying is not OK.
I was bullied when younger at primary/secondary school and sadly didn't know what to do about it or who to turn to at school. There is so much schools can do to prevent this from happening such as smile and compliment days, assemblies, drop-in-sessions to teams of young people taking ownership of the issue and coming up with creative approaches- the possibilities are endless!
Currently as an ambassador for The Diana Award I work with schools/academies and other organisations to inspire young people and adults to play their part in making sure everyone feels happy and safe and encourage a culture of looking out for each other. I visit organisations to tell my bullying story, deliver interactive workshops and work with young people to shape their school or communities approach to the issue of bullying. The best schools look at this issue all year around, in all lessons/contexts and sometimes they need a little bit of inspiration, which is where I come in!
Remember it's not just anti-bullying week for one week- it's all year around!
This year's theme is 'Stop and think- words can hurt'.
Interested in booking Alex? contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Alex's work here: http://www.youtube.com/user/SchoolSpeakers?feature=mhee#p/f/6/TPY6RK_bLbwView & Comment on this post - November 9th, 2011
Effective careers support and guidance is vital to teenagers when current issues surrounding university fees, apprenticeships and skills are at the forefront of students’ worries. Objective advice is key so that students know all of the options available to them.
At a time when we have record figures of young unemployed, advice for 16-18-year-olds is critical. This is why I started my School Speakers business – to provide a service that impassions and motivates young people; it provides them with much needed information and gives them the drive and belief to realise their potential to pursue their goals.
The government is now planning to create a new National Careers Service by April next year and schools will have a legal duty to offer careers advice to pupils. It is important that this happens and schools maintain this and don’t cut corners with costs. Face-to-face guidance and support is vital and this should be strongly and confidently delivered in order than teenagers get the best support they can.
I look forward to seeing schools pushing this initiative through with the courage and conviction that is required.View & Comment on this post - October 14th, 2011