The £2.4m SfE programme was introduced in 2015 to run until July 2020 with the aim of aligning the skills provision for young people with the needs of local businesses, and to strengthen engagement between those local businesses and education providers.
By September 2019 grants of more than £2m were awarded to 35 secondary, seven special schools and four colleges in Warwickshire to improve the journey of young people moving from education to work. Our evaluation aimed to quantify what improvements the funding has made to the schools/colleges’ Careers and Employability support, identify other positive impacts it has had and identify what support would not have been available without the funding.
In addition, we aimed to establish the challenges that the schools/colleges would face if funding ended in July 2020.
By conducting 21 in-depth interviews with Career Leads and Career Advisors at the schools and colleges, our questions asked how the funding was used and what impact the funding has had - with specific exploration of case studies and examples.
We explored the concerns and challenges that key stakeholders felt they would face if funding ceased, and discussed whether they felt the Warwickshire Careers Hub was a good enough provision for Careers information moving forward.
The results of our evaluation have included case studies, examples and qualitative results that helped to inform Warwickshire CC about how the funding has impacted the school/colleges’ ability to enable young people into the world of work. Amongst the positive impacts, we identified that the schools/colleges were able to upskill career team members, invest in resources and fund extracurricular activities, all of which have subsequently increased student aspirations and widened engagement to include parents and local businesses.
Outcomes, case studies and opinions of those directly affected by the SfE funding have been able to give Warwickshire CC an in-depth insight into how their programme has been viewed and valued, helping to fuel decisions about its future.