Give five-year-olds careers lessons, say teachers

Almost half of primary school teachers (47 per cent) believe children should start learning about the world of work aged five or under, according to a poll. Tes reports.

The vast majority (97 per cent) said that introducing children to the world of work can be very influential in broadening aspirations and bringing learning to life. Similarly, 98 per cent said it helped to challenge gender stereotyping about jobs and subjects.

The survey of 250 teachers and members of senior leadership teams was commissioned by Education and Employers in collaboration with the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and Tes to find out how UK primary schools are responding to the Department for Education’s Career Strategy, published last December.

The poll also explored what schools are doing on the ground to develop pupils’ understanding of the world of work and the challenges they face in doing so.

Despite widespread support for careers-related learning, only one in three (33 per cent) had heard of the DfE strategy.

The most common activity cited was curriculum-linked activities followed by “aspiration days”, numeracy and literacy activities and “enterprise days”. Many (43 percent) said their schools organised such activities annually, with almost as many saying these were staged termly.

Employers’ engagement in career learning activities was also prized, with 94 per cent saying they believed it was important to invite volunteers from the world of work to be involved in activities offered to children in primary.

One teacher explained that the curriculum  was “already overcrowded”. “I only organise things that fit in with the curriculum objectives I am teaching,” they said. “But I ask the visitors to be ready to talk about their jobs, alongside the other reasons why I have invited them and invite the children to ask questions about their job.”

Read more Give five-year-olds careers lessons, say teachers

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. Children learn about jobs all by themselves and from their parents. What does your dad do? What does your mum do? etc etc
    I think this proposal is a case of teachers psychologically projecting their own job dissatisfaction onto the children; in which case it is the teachers, not the children, who need to be learning about careers.

  2. Anonymous

    So if their Mum is a cleaner and the Dad out of work what kind of jobs are they learning about ? This is all about raising aspirations and opening up their eyes to a whole world of opportunity in roles they probably don’t know exist and people c ant always do that on their own if they have limited role models. Teachers wouldn’t be allowed to project their own job dissatisfaction on their children… that would be unprofessional . It would be done properly and in an organised way.

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