Carterton Community College win School Award at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards recognised the best talent in the county with a special virtual broadcast on Thursday 1st October 2020. Scroll through the broadcast to 10 minutes 16 seconds to see the School Award announcement.

In addition to celebrating the achievements of the county’s Apprentices, the Awards also recognised schools, who play a crucial role in inspiring young people to consider and start an Apprenticeship.

The School Award was won by Carterton Community College, which was praised for being outward looking, listening to employers, hosting business breakfasts and making outstanding links with employers. Also commended were the innovative methods used by the school to broaden student knowledge, such as Career Ambassadors and career detectives. Judges were also impressed by the senior team buy in to careers and how supportive they are of the Careers Lead's activities.

Praise for Careers Lead Jackie

Headteacher Chris Hart said: "We are delighted and proud to have been awarded the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2020 School Award. It is testament to the unstinting and dedicated work of our Careers Lead, Jackie Mustoe, both within the College and across Oxfordshire, in coordinating a huge array of training, employment and educational opportunities for young people."

"Jackie is a passionate advocate of the importance of careers education in raising youngsters' aspirations and in developing teachers' and students' understanding of the importance of academic success and personal development in realising their ambitions. It is this which has driven our careers and guidance provision to a high standard, supported by an array of employers and providers from Jackie's impressive network and from our OxLEP Enterprise Advisers."

What makes a winning school

The Award was sponsored by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), who were looking for schools that demonstrated the promotion of Apprenticeships as part of a wide ranging and inclusive careers strategy, including:

  1. Positively promoting Apprenticeships within school across all year groups and with students of all abilities (and parents/guardians), ensuring and evidencing high impact on all students. Evidence could include % of students progressing into Apprenticeships, advice/support provided for students with additional needs
  2. Strong Enterprise Adviser, employer and further education/training provider engagement and evidence of embedding sustainable relationships. How does the relationship with the business community support access to information about - and progression of students into - Apprenticeship opportunities?
  3. Use of Compass / Tracker to ensure progress against all Gatsby Benchmarks and raising awareness of progress/requirements across the whole school
  4. Progression of the Gatsby Benchmarks 5 (encounters with employers) & 6 (experience of workplaces) against previous year and future plans to achieve the Benchmarks
  5. Senior Leadership Team engagement – evidence of increase in whole school approach, how careers education is embedded in the school improvement plan, ethos and culture in school
  6. ‘Leading the way’ with a variety of meaningful and high quality employability interventions – evidence of innovation and impact on students
  7. Strong use of school Career Lead and time deployed

Shilpa Bhatt, Apprenticeship Manager at OUH said: "The panel felt that Carterton Community College stood out with overwhelming evidence of employer relationships, dedicated career promotion spaces and good use of resources. They also used innovative developments to engage with local businesses. The Careers Lead, senior leaders and governors showcased commitment, energy and experience. Huge congratulations from all of us here at OUH - enjoy your moment, it represents the true spirit of your school and all the work you do for your students!"

Special careers prizes

Congratulations also to Icknield Community College and King Alfred's Academy, who received Highly Commended Awards.

OUH have also awarded special prizes of interactive careers activities to each of the finalist schools, to give students an insight into careers with the NHS.

See our article for details of all the winning and highly commended entrants.

Join the conversation

Join us for Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (#OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 1pm every Thursday for latest on the Awards and join in the conversation using the hashtag #OAAwards2021.