North East Ambition at William Leech Primary

William Leech Primary School is one of 70 schools in the North East to be selected to work with North East Ambition on a pilot project to build careers aspirations and inspiration in primary pupils.

What is North East Ambition?

Part-funded by the European Social Fund, the North East Ambition Programme is a regional initiative run by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) to ensure that all North East schools achieve the Good Careers Guidance Benchmarks by 2024.

Inspired by research conducted through international visits, analysis of good practice in English schools and a comprehensive review of current literature, the benchmarks cover different dimensions of good careers guidance, including hands-on experience in workplaces and encounters with further and higher education as well as a sound understanding of the current labour market.

In achieving these benchmarks, every young person should be able to identify routes to a successful working life, make more informed decisions about their future and be better prepared for the workplace so they can play a more fundamental role in the region’s economic regeneration.

Inspiring ambitions from an early age

Research conducted by North East Ambition highlighted the need for a careers programme at a much earlier stage in a child’s education after it was revealed that:

  • Children have their first aspirations aged 3 to 4 years
  • By age 5 and 6 years children they are beginning to think about what they can and cannot do because of their gender.
  • A UCAS Survey found that being certain about entering higher education by the time a child leaves primary school (or earlier) means a child is over twice as likely to end up at a more competitive university than someone who decided in their late teens.
  • Young people start making career limiting decisions by age 10, which they solidify by age 14.

William Leech Primary is currently in the second year of the project and is well on the way to developing a stable careers programme for children from Nursery to Year 6. Our careers team, supported by NELEP, is also working with Duke’s Secondary School to develop a careers transition programme to take pupils from Year 6 to Year 7.

Tracking success

As well as our progress toward the North East Ambition’s Career Benchmarks, William Leech was also selected as one of seven schools to be a real-time review school for research. We partake in regular meetings; logging our careers related learning and discussing the progress that our pupils and the school is making with the project.

We’re also working with Learn by Design, an independent company that brings education to life through curriculum and extra-curricular support workshops, for primary and secondary schools nationwide. Our careers journey is being used by Learn by Design as a case study for other schools nationally.

Find out more about North East Ambition.