A host of representatives from the public service sector joined forces at LVS Ascot as the independent school held a careers evening to educate students on the range of options available to them when considering further education. Two former students also returned to talk about their professional development, and how they transitioned from A levels to successful careers without opting for the traditional university route.
The speakers – Nick Chubb and Alastair Bolton from the Merchant Navy; the Royal Air Force’s Tony Pickett; Thames Valley Police Sergeant Cassandra Oswald; Katie Humphrey from the NHS; and the Met Office’s Dr Lee Hawkness-Smith – revealed the ways to access funded further education within their organisations, through apprenticeship options allowing students to learn as they earn whilst developing careers. This was followed by an alternative viewpoint being pitched by Kally Tomkins from Royal Holloway University of London, giving students the opportunity to fully consider all options available to them. The evening was launched by keynote speaker, Andy Gardner from the Central Careers Hub, who revealed research findings into the most effective ways for students to progress into careers. He told the audience about the range of training options they could take up.
The final two speakers were former LVS Ascot students able to demonstrate that, through training available to them on the job, they had successfully developed impressive careers without the need to go to university. 22-year-old Ben Viney was at LVS Ascot for 14 years from Reception class to Year 13, and left to join construction company, Laing O’Rourke, where he was able to learn on the job and is now a planner on the Crossrail site at Liverpool Street Station.He was followed on stage in the all-ability school’s theatre by Tom Slingsby, also 22, who was at LVS Ascot from 2007 to 2014, and whose training to become a pilot whilst studying led to him flying easyJet passengers by the time he reached 20.
The evening was devised by the school’s WOW (Women of Work) group, made up of Principal Christine Cunniffe and a host of professional mothers from the school, who are creating innovative ways to use their experience to educate LVS Ascot students on career options.
Christine Cunniffe said: “As a school which focuses on inspiring young people to exceed their expectations and helping them grow as individuals, this was a highly successful event in showing students that there are lots of different routes they can take to the future, depending on their individual skills and ambitions, and helping them find the path that best suits them. I was incredibly proud to see two past pupils in Ben and Tom up on stage – prime examples of the types of students we have here and the character they leave with, which allows them to go on to enjoy such successful careers.”