Careers and Post 16

Primary Aspiration Raising

We have brought together an exciting package of support to raise primary children’s awareness of the world of work, including facilitating links between employers and schools, challenging gender stereotypes and raising awareness of higher education.

This support will include CPD from Primary Engineers, access to Steam School, support in using the free Primary Futures website to bring employers into your school and extensive employer engagement aligned with Opportunities Doncaster.  Partners in Learning will also be identifying and sharing existing best practice to kick start this initiative and we’re linking in with HEPP who are currently doing great work raising awareness of HE in Doncaster secondary schools but have recently recruited a primary lead who wants to pilot activity right here in Doncaster.  We think it’s a really exciting package of support and activity we’re keen to work with schools across the borough to find effective ways of making best use of it.  We’ve deliberately gone with an offer here that is either free or cheap in the future, so once practice is embedded there are no financial reasons this can’t be maintained.

To help schools in making the most of this we’re looking to identify natural groups of schools who can work together to develop and share best practice at first between themselves and then more widely across Doncaster. These could be pyramids, Multi Academy Trusts or other existing school networks of a manageable size.  If you’re interested please contact Saul Farrell at

Primary Futures

We are funding Primary Futures, which is a specifically designed free programme for primary schools which raises children’s aspirations and helps them understand the link between learning and their future.

Primary Futures connects schools with inspirational, diverse volunteers to discuss careers and the educational routes needed to achieve them. Across the county tens of thousands of volunteers have already registered, from apprentices to CEOs, in a multitude of roles.

Click here to find out more.

Careers Hub

This has been funded by the Doncaster Opportunity Area. Secondary schools, Pupil Referral Units and special schools are eligible for support.  We have a mainstream hub and a hub for PRUs and special schools.

The model is based on the North East Ambition pilot and the Careers and Enterprise funded hubs that followed.  As such the hub brings together careers leads with employers, universities and providers to develop and share best practice in careers education, information, advice and guidance.   This work is supported through a package of over £5,000 of funding per school per year to identify approach to raise performance across the hub schools.  The hub also has access to emerging best practice from the other hub networks across the country.

This year our Careers Hub was successful in bidding to become one of the CEC wave three hubs, so is now funded by the CEC, as well as the Opportunity Area.  This is hugely positive as it brings sustainability for the hub beyond the lifetime of the programme.

All potential settings in Doncaster are part of the Hub, that has seen performance against Gatsby benchmarks increase significantly over the life time of the programme.

For more information contact

Doncaster Careers Website (Start)

This has been funded by the Doncaster Opportunity Area. Secondary schools and post-16 providers are eligible for support.

We have selected U-Explore to deliver a Doncaster careers advice website. This is based on their ‘Start’ website, which many schools in Doncaster already use. The focus on Doncaster specifically enables the site to be tailored to our local employers, local young people and to the growth sectors in the borough.

Visit the Doncaster Start website here.

Zero Gravity

An ambitious locality-based pilot which seeks to raise the number of young people accessing Oxford, Cambridge and highly competitive Russell Group universities. The Zero Gravity Doncaster project provides a cohort of young people digitally-enabled mentoring through an app, matching young people with undergraduates who study at their chosen university in their chosen subject area. They then work together through the application, interview and admissions process, with the defined aim of raising participation in Higher Education. In the 2020-1 admissions cycle, over 60 young people from Doncaster participated through the scheme.

Social Mobility Foundation Programmes

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) supports ambitious young people from low-income backgrounds to access top universities and careers. They run programmes which are completely free of charge programmes and feature mentoring, internships with top companies, university application support, and professional development and skills workshops for high achieving young people across the UK.

The charity provides support in 11 professional sectors, including Law, Medicine and Accountancy. Students apply to join the programmes in Year 12. Support continues from Year 12 throughout university to help young people obtain graduate jobs.

The SMF is also running free residential internship programmes for students interested in Accountancy, Banking & Finance, Digital, Engineering & Physics, Law and Medicine Students undertake a one or two week internship with the host organisation and take part in fun evening and weekend activities. They also receive advice sessions, opportunities to build professional skills and a dedicated mentor before and after the internship.

Applications are now open. More information and the closing dates can be found on the website here.

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