What will you do after leaving school? - Guardian Teacher will you do after leaving school? Introduction to our guide ... HANDOUT 1 ... bands including Five and Westlife;

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  • What will you do after leaving school?

    Introduction to our guide

    Dear teacher,

    Thanks for downloading the unis not for me education pack. We hope it provides

    some inspiration and helps you and your students tackle some of the challenging

    decisions facing young people today.

    Unis not for me is one of the leading authorities on alternative education and career

    choices for young people. Our website aims to provide independent careers advice to

    young people exploring the alternatives to university, whether thats leaping into work,

    further study, or attending university later in life.

    The site was inspired by my daughters experience. She chose not to go to university,

    despite considerable pressure to do so. We actively campaign to tackle the stigma

    many young people face around their decision to bypass university, from education

    establishments, other parents, and even other students.

    We are not against university and support it as a considered choice for

    thousands of students across the country.

    However, we do believe that students should have the opportunity to consider all the

    routes and options open to them, making choices based on their personal interests and

    talents without recourse to outdated myths and stereotypes.

    Included in this resource is a lesson plan, supplementary materials to that plan and a

    poster which you are welcome to display in your school. You are also welcome to add a

    link to our site from the careers section of your website.

    Now is the time to start thinking afresh and supporting young people to make the right

    choices for them.

    Sarah Wrixon,

    Co-founder of unis not for me


  • Year group 9-11



    50 minutes



    Internet access and workbooks



    Identify a range of education and employment routes available to students on leaving


    Understand the potential benefits of these varied routes.

    Consider the routes of interest to them based on their skills, ambitions and interests.

    Summary Students have an objective and informed view of the many and varied routes to extend

    their education or prepare them for work, and begin to consider the ones most applicable

    to them.

    Lesson Introduction Introduce the topic.

    Starter Students form groups and are presented with a collection of celebrity photos

    with accompanying questions. Students could use internet research to find out more

    about the celebritys background or guess themselves which routes they have taken. (A

    list of useful websites is provided in the handouts.)

    Main Using the internet, students will remain in their groups and be asked to research

    one career or education route and present back a compelling case to the class on why

    they should undertake this route after leaving school. (Some notes have been provided if

    internet access is not available.)

    The routes presented could include the following:

    - Studying at university or college

    - Gap year

    - Apprenticeship

    - Going straight into work

    - Starting a business

    Students listen to all the presentations and have the opportunity to pose questions or

    challenge the information. Once all the presentations have been delivered, students vote

    for the choices they might consider.

    Plenary Students are asked to explain why they voted for each option.

    Pass out Students will be asked to identify one interesting fact they learned when they


    Evaluation Students will have a better understanding of all the career and education options

    available to school leavers and appreciate the strengths and benefits of each. They

    should value graduate and non-graduate opportunities equally, and be capable of seeing

    where their own skills and interests fit.


    What will you do after leaving school?

  • Introducing the topic

    You may wish to introduce the topic by asking a few students from the class how they

    will make their decision about what to do after leaving school.

    Will they be driven by the type of job they want to do?

    How important is cost in deciding whether to continue their studies?

    Do they feel expectations play a role in their decision expectations from parents,

    their friends, or expectations they have about themselves?


    What will you do after leaving school?

  • Name?

    Current job?

    First job?






    Current job?

    First job?





    What will you do after leaving school

  • What will you do after leaving school


    Current job?

    First job?





    Current job?

    First job?





  • What will you do after leaving school


    Notes and talking points: Getting a degree at university or college. The average starting salary for a graduate is estimated

    to be 26,000 (Association of Graduate Recruiters) and graduates are estimated by the Office for National Statistics to earn considerably more than non-graduates over their lifetime.

    A degree is a necessity for some career choices, such

    as becoming a doctor. Many employers stipulate having a degree in their

    selection criteria and run schemes to attract graduate talent.

    Many institutions are charging annual tuition fees of

    around 9,000 a year.

  • What will you do after leaving school

    HANDOUT 2/gap year

    Notes and talking points: Gap year. An opportunity to gain work experience relevant to

    your career plans, either in the UK or abroad. Potential to pick up new skills -such as learning a new

    language as well as people or organisational skills which might be appealing to an employer.

    Gap years will need to be self-funded and depending

    on your choice, can bear a considerable cost. An opportunity to distinguish yourself in the jobs

    marketplace on your return.

  • What will you do after leaving school

    HANDOUT 2/apprenticeships

    Notes and talking points: apprenticeships. Earn a wage whilst developing your skills among more

    experienced staff. The average salary of an apprentice is 170 per week.

    Opportunity to work towards nationally recognised

    qualifications. An increasing number of businesses are creating their

    own apprenticeship schemes providing a means to work for some of the nations most popular employers.

    There are more than 200 different types of

    apprenticeships across a broad range of sectors and professions enabling you to hone in on your area of interest or passion.

  • What will you do after leaving school

    HANDOUT 2/work

    Notes and talking points: straight into work. Provides the opportunity to earn straight away in the

    profession of your choice. Through online and part-time study, you can bolster

    your qualifications whilst earning your employer might even pay.

    You will need to be prepared to work your way up.

    However, some of the UKs most influential chief executives started their career in entry level posts.

    Another avenue worth exploring is school leaver schemes offered by a range of employers from accountancy firms to retailers. They can provide work experience and/or apprenticeships too.

  • What will you do after leaving school

    HANDOUT 2/business

    Notes and talking points: start a business. Starting a business is something you can do to fit your

    circumstances you can earn elsewhere while you make a start.

    You will have to face some tough choices, though. At

    some point, your business will need your full commitment and sacrifices may need to be made around your social life and living arrangements.

    There is free support and mentoring available through

    government schemes, such as Start-Up Loans. Starting a business allows you to pursue your passions

    and interests. It is a high risk choice but the rewards can be considerable.

  • What will you do after leaving school


    Route Advantages Disadvantages

  • Current job: Presenter and music


    First job: Worked in the

    mailroom at EMI

    Education: Left school before sixth form

    Achievements: Managed successful

    bands including Five and Westlife;

    producer behind the hugely popular X-

    Factor and has an estimated worth of

    225 million

    Current job: Author, Harry Potter series

    First job: Researcher at Amnesty


    Education: Exeter University French and


    Achievements: Over 450 million Harry

    Potter books have been sold worldwide.

    Spin offs such as the movie, merchandise

    and Harry Potter world have broken

    commercial records. J K Rowling has

    donated an estimated $160 million to



    What will you do after leaving school?

  • Current job: Chef, restaurant owner,

    presenter, campaigner, author

    First job: Worked at his parents pub

    Education: Westminster Catering College

    Achievements: Award winning TV

    programmes and best selling books, set-

    up a training academy

    for disadvantaged

    young people,

    campaigned to

    improve school


    Current job: Co-founder, chairman and

    CEO of Facebook

    First job: Setting up Facebook! But prior to

    that, Mark also created his own family

    online messaging network called ZuckNet

    at just 12 years old

    Education: Studied computer science at

    Harvard University but dropped out before


    Achievements: Facebook has more than a

    billion active users and has

    transformed the way we



    What will you do after leaving school?

  • Wouldnt all academic types benefit from going to university?

    The pursuit of learning does not have to include going to university. It is certainly an

    option both on leaving school and later in life but it is far from the only option.

    College can provide an alternative setting for studying so-called academic subjects

    and might be a more supportive environment for some. Research by the Association of

    Colleges1 shows that higher education students taught in colleges are more satisfied

    with the academic support provided than their peers at university.

    Isnt a university degree essential to securing a good job?

    True, there are a number of careers in which a degree is necessary. That said, there

    are plenty of surprising examples where one is not. Take the legal profession. Its

    possible to train to become a legal executive lawyer through college, which as well as

    specialising in cases relating to family or company law, can also provide a pathway to

    becoming a partner or judge.

    While a degree can increase students eligibility to apply for certain jobs, employers are

    often looking for more work experience and evidence of employable skills around

    presentation, sales or technology is often just as important. According to the CBI2,

    even in the professional services sector, nearly a third of jobs dont require any degree

    at all.

    Isnt college just for those who wish to pursue a vocation?

    Colleges offer a variety of courses, not just vocational ones. Every year, 170,000

    students study some form of higher education in a college setting whether thats a

    degree, higher national diploma or foundation degree in courses ranging from social

    sciences to the visual arts or even zoology.

    Its true that colleges are known for their vocational offerings, but it is for that very

    reason that people might be surprised by the range, status and professionalism of

    vocations supported, from aeronautical engineering, applied psychology and

    criminology to journalism. These can provide a great fast-track route into a specific

    career and many can be topped up to degree level later if the need arises.

    1 Association of Colleges College Key Facts 2012

    2 2011 CBI Education and Skills Survey


    What will you do after leaving school?


  • Dont graduates enjoy swifter promotion and have greater earning potential?

    Averaged salary figures from the Office for National Statistics 3 show that graduates

    earn an average of 12,000 a year more than non graduates.

    However, alternative options do not always restrict earning potential. For the

    entrepreneurial, for example, this potential is only limited by an individuals

    resourcefulness and ambition. Also, for those who work their way up through a

    business, theres no reason to hit a ceiling due to education and, even if this happens,

    there are plenty of opportunities to study later in life employers might even pay.

    But isnt earning potential the key thing that students should be focusing on?

    There is more to life than money job satisfaction should not be undervalued and

    there is no sure-fire educational pathway that is guaranteed to lead you to it. Making

    the right decision as an individual means students can exploit their strengths and get

    the most from their education and training. Ambition and informed decision making can

    then carry them, whatever path they choose.

    Arent some alternatives to going to university simply unadvisable? For

    example, isnt starting a business in the worst recession since the 1930s a

    recipe for disaster?

    The business landscape is constantly changing, opening up new opportunities to those

    who know where to look. Government and other agencies can offer start-up funding4

    you can even crowdfund it yourself to help get your business off the ground. Thats

    how unis not for me got off the ground!

    To see a simple summary of the alternatives to

    university, visit www.unisnotforme.com/options

    3 Office for National Statistics

    4 The government-backed Start-up Loans scheme


    What will you do after leaving school?