Going for Gold FUTURES, 2014 has seen the review and much needed, re-launch of the schools Careers provision following a 3 year period of uncertainty brought about through changes in Government Policy and funding cuts.  This cumulated locally in the ultimate loss of the Connexions Service both in schools and within the community.  Despite these challenges Penketh has successfully navigated the course ensuring a continued NEET figure of 3% for 2011-2012 with 2013 achieving the reduced NEET figure of 0.7%

The school has continued to embrace the new challenges and targets made by the present Government whilst also maintaining its high level of commitment to its pupils, ensuring impartiality for all, with weekly access to an external Careers advisor from the independent company “MPLOY” solutions.

Enterprise programmes are delivered to pupils from Year 7 through to Year 10 and pupils are given opportunities to experience aspects of the “world of work” at KS3 on the “Discovery Scholarship programme” through STEM, also ASDAN programmes.

All Year 10, pupils have the opportunity to experience employment and the “world of work” during a one week Work Experience placement,  this year being held, 16th– 20th June 2014.  It is intended that this will be followed by a linked Year 10 Enterprise activity.

KS3 Option’s at Year 9 allows pupils access to a wide, though challenging Options choice and where appropriate creative and tailor made choices are pursued.  At KS3 the year group currently has 3 Option Bands (E, P, and S) to choose from, these cover the English Baccalaureate and Vocational courses.

Access to KUDOS is made available to all pupils.  Kudos is a bought in web based programme that following data input, suggests careers and helps young people to explore career options. Kudos is made available by the school. Pupils have access to the “licence log in” details from either their Form tutor or the Futures Offices.

In Year 11 pupils are encouraged to attend College Open Days and access the wide range of external visitors, prospectus’s and application form’s available outside the “Futures” Interview room, which is located around the entrance area of Thompson building (C Block).  Specific Year assemblies are held to deliver key information at appropriate times and Form periods are used for “Drop in” information gathering activities.

The department has an open door policy and all pupils have access to an External, Impartial Careers advisorbased in the “Futures Interview room” on a Wednesday 8:00am – 4:00pm for both “drop in” and appointments.  Parents are able on request to join their child and attend such interviews.

The school has achieved over the years a number of National awards for both achievement and innovation, including the well-established Investors in Careers Award. Presently the school is working hard to ensure all aspects of the current National kite mark award are established within its programmes.

The school has recently extended the “Going for gold” post cards initiative to “point recognition” for Non – Academic achievement.  This is identified with “FUTURES” post cards which are awarded for a wide range of individual life skills, attitudes and achievements that a student demonstrates much needed for Personal development and within the world of work.