From education to employment

Government-backed careers scheme Our Future is praised by Derby school after positive Ofsted visit

Landau Forte Academy Moorhead are champions of the Our Future project. Image: Penguin PR

A DERBY headteacher has praised a ground-breaking Government-backed project that she says has helped raise aspirations for the youngsters in her school.

Landau Forte Academy Moorhead, in Alvaston, was praised by Ofsted following a monitoring visit earlier this year for its ‘positive partnerships with the community’ and, according to head Ruth McNeil, the Our Future project – which aims to connect youngsters in some of the most disadvantaged areas with the world of work – has helped with this.

She said: “Our Future has had a significant impact on raising aspirations across our school in every year group. Through an accessible and easy to use portal we have been able to access high-quality learning resources and bespoke support from outside professionals to fully embed and sustain our career-related learning with real life, hands-on activities to enable our children to thrive within their own community.”

Landau Forte Academy Moorhead are one of several schools in the city and county to have taken part in the Our Future that aims to raise aspirations.

And as funding for the project comes to an end, those schools who have taken part have been sharing how Our Future has impacted them and how they intend to use the free Primary Futures platform, from UK charity Education and Employers, and career-related learning resources developed for primary schools in the future.

The school has taken part in city-wide competitions based including one where pupils designed a recycling bin and had the winning design manufactured for them.

Ruth added: “The classroom-based activities we have taken part in have had a positive impact on our children’s oracy, most explicitly their ability to ask and answer questions.

“Our children loved the recycling project, in which we were awarded first prize, and a future proofing the future exercise, in which one of our pupils designed a helmet and we won a second prize.

“We fully endorse the support throughout the programme and will take many of the projects forward into our school development plan.”

The Our Future project – delivered by a consortium of experts including Learn By Design, a market-leading education outreach company, dmh associates, who are specialist in careers policy, research and practise, and national charity Education and Employers – began as a pilot scheme in nearby Derby but, earlier this year, was rolled out across Derbyshire, and to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire too.

More than 60 schools and multi-academy trusts, including those who have pupils with special needs, participated in the project, with over 10,000 children and teachers supported through a range of inspirational career-related learning activities that cover topics such as STEM, English and the environment.

Early research into the impact of the Our Future project shows that 74% of pupils agreed with the statement ‘I can do any job I want when I grow up’, which is an increase from 61% before taking part. Eighty six per cent of pupils agreed that doing well at school will help them to get a better job when they leave school, too.

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, of dmh associates; who have led research into careers-related learning in primary schools, said: “Over the last two years, the Our Future programme has worked in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the city, inspiring volunteers, teachers and senior leaders, too.

“We have supported more than 10,000 children and teachers – just like Ruth and her team at Landau Academy Forte Moorhead – through a range of inspirational career-related learning activities. From this, we know what works and what more needs to be done to improve children’s life chances.

“The project has been a huge success and we hope that it has left a lasting legacy here in Derby.”

Primary schools in Derby can continue to contact the Our Future delivery team and Education and Employers offers all state primary schools in the UK the opportunity to access volunteers via the Primary Futures platform. They’re always looking for new volunteers to share their expertise, too; this can be done by signing up to Inspiring the Future –

Learn By Design offer a range of interactive and engaging career-related learning activities that schools can explore while senior leaders can keep up to date with their research and careers work by signing up to the dmh associated newsletter at

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