"This year we grew our work with Ahead Partnership by launching new initiatives through their school-specific programme. 41% of pupils involved are eligible for Pupil Premium. The national average is 29%. This suggests our programme is reaching more students from disadvantaged areas - which is an important part of our work in levelling the playing field."
Landsec Sustainability Report 2017
"Ahead Partnership have brought so many renowned employers together to help prepare learners for the world of work. Such partnership work hugely benefits young people, helping them prepare for the transition from education to employment."
Sam Wright, Principal, Wakefield College
92% OF EMPLOYERS SAID MAKE THE GRADE HELPED THEM BUILD MORE POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH SCHOOLS
90% OF STUDENTS SAID THAT TAKING PART IN MAKE THE GRADE ACTIVITIES LED THEM TO WORK HARDER AT SCHOOL
93% OF YOUNG PEOPLE THAT TAKE PART FEEL THAT MAKE THE GRADE HAS HELPED THEM BE BETTER PREPARED FOR THE WORLD OF WORK
Why it works
Our programmes run with a proven, externally validated model which is supported by some of the UK’s largest employers, the Department for Education (DfE), government and the European Commission.
In 2016-17 we commissioned an independent evaluation of our work. This was carried out by York Consulting and assessed the effectiveness of the programme during 2013-16 when the programme received funding from Big Lottery Fund.
The report revealed six critical success factors which underpin our model's performance, effectiveness and impact as a tool for both employers and learning providers.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Schools and employers all agreed that it would be difficult and very costly for them to emulate our programmes themselves. Finding staff resource, fostering relations, developing ideas and suitable materials is challenging and more easily delivered through Ahead Partnership.
WORKING EFFECTIVELY IN PARTNERSHIP
At the centre of our programmes' success is effective partnership working. Employers and education partners consistently report that Ahead Partnership is professional, organised and based on a strong two-way dialogue.
Employers view our programmes as an effective and high impact way of addressing organisational objectives around education, unemployment and/or local communities. Education partners report that our programmes better equip young people for the world of work and helps them make more informed decisions.
Education partners and employers all agreed that the programme is tailored to their own priorities/needs. Activities are tailored to local circumstances, both social and economic, and a strong sense of local relevance is brought through insight provided by our team.
CO-ORDINATION AND COMMUNICATION
Our programmes significantly reduce the administrative and operational difficulties faced by employers and schools when setting up and maintaining education-business partnerships. All partners praised our project management, administration and co-ordination skills.
TEAM AND ETHOS
Our staff are considered to be ambitious for our purpose, innovative, helpful and committed to continuous improvement. Our team and its ethos are integral to our brand and the success of our programmes as we all want them to excel.
The government’s new Careers Strategy (2017) highlights the importance of employers’ involvement in careers programmes, and how they can shape and inform their future workforce by engaging in well-planned, face-to-face activities with young people in their operating areas.
The Good Careers Guidance Report (2017) defines the key features of a successful careers programme known as the 8 Gatsby benchmarks, which are all at the core of our model.