School’s careers programme proves successful one year on

dsc_1021One year after its launch, the Aspirations Programme, created by Hartlepool’s Dyke House Sports & Technology College (Dyke House), is already making great progress in helping students to reach out for career success.

The Aspirations Programme was created to provide information, opportunities and support for pupils, parents and staff in order to raise aspiration and achievement throughout Dyke House College and its cluster primary schools.It is co-ordinated by Sally Holt, a former graduate of St Chad’s College, who was inspired to get involved after she witnessed the creative and innovative approach Dyke House has to solving problems. Sally also organised and spoke at the event.

To mark the occasion, a celebratory event was recently held at Durham University’s Hatfield College, to reflect on the successful first year of the Aspirations Programme. The programme is led by current research and focuses on students who are most able but least likely to go on to higher education.

Programme co-ordinator Sally Holt said: “We work with pupils, forging coherent progression pathways which enable them to compete with their privately educated and advantaged peers.

“In a society where the most vulnerable are 55 times less likely to progress to Oxbridge, compared to their independent school peers and in an area with one of the greatest progression gaps in the country, our pupils cannot imagine a future career path, for they do not know the opportunities available to them. It is the vision of the Aspirations Programme to imagine for our students – to imagine better for them. By converting that imagination into action, that truly is power.”

This year the Aspirations Programme has engaged with 62% of students from years 7-12 in the Dyke House area, with hopes of increasing this percentage in the future. It is evident that educational disadvantage is not faceless at Dyke House and the Aspirations Programme is determined to pursue its vision to see every child maximise their potential.

Andrew Murphy, Head of School, “It is only when this truly occurs that students will have the opportunity to be the leaders of the future”.

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