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New parent

A Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to Navigating Secondary School and Career Planning.

Navigating how to support your child through secondary school and in the planning of their career is a daunting task but one that we at HOP think is very valuable. Here are some practical tips for parents to support their child through secondary school and towards their chosen career path.

Supporting Career Exploration in Secondary School

  • Encourage Self-Discovery: Encourage your child to participate in school clubs and outside of school activities that align with their passions explore. This may help them understand their interests, strengths, and values. Exposure to a variety of experiences can help them discover potential career paths.
  • Help with Career Research: Assist your child in researching various career options. Encourage visits to career fairs, open days and talks by industry professionals. Help them research online resources and careers websites like us here at HOP, National Careers Service or National Careers Week to gain insights into different career paths.
  • Help them Academically: Emphasise the importance of academic achievement and support your child in setting academic goals. Guide them in selecting subjects for their GCSEs and A-Levels, T-Levels or BTECS that align with their career aspirations or if they aren’t sure on their career goals, then align with their passions. If you or they feel they could improve academically, help them raise attainment with metacognition techniques. You can find help on this with our Future Thinking Programme. Encourage them to seek support from teachers or tutors if needed.
  • Foster Real-World Experience: Encourage your child to gain work experience through part-time jobs, internships, or volunteering opportunities. Work placements can provide valuable insights into the world of work and help develop essential and transferable skills sought after by employers.
  • Provide Emotional Support: Create a supportive environment where your child feels comfortable discussing their aspirations and concerns. Listen actively to their thoughts and feelings about their future career pathway, and offer encouragement and reassurance as they navigate their way through.
Anjas Art

Guiding through Higher Education or Further Education

  • Explore Higher Education Options: Discuss the different pathways to their career, including university, colleges, and apprenticeships etc. Research institutions and courses that offer qualifications relevant to your child’s career interests. Attend university and college open days and explore virtual tours to get a feel for the campus environment. Ask family and friends if they know anyone that is in a career that you child is interested in and arrange a meeting.
  • Assist with UCAS Applications: If your child wants to apply to university, help them prepare for the UCAS application process. Support them in researching courses, writing personal statements, and gathering necessary documents and ID. Ensure they meet application deadlines and provide impartial guidance on responding to offers from universities.
  • Discuss Financial Planning: Discuss the financial aspects of higher education, including tuition fees, student loans, and maintenance grants. Explore available financial support options such as student loans from Student Finance England, scholarships and bursaries. Help your child understand their financial responsibilities and budgeting skills.
  • Encourage Continued Learning: Explain the importance of lifelong learning and skill development beyond secondary school and GCSE’s. Discuss options for undergraduate and postgraduate study, professional qualifications, or vocational training relevant to your child’s chosen career path. Encourage them to stay updated on industry trends and developments.
  • Support Independence and Decision-Making: Encourage your child to take initiative and ownership of their educational and career decisions. Guide them in researching career possibilities and making informed choices about their future. Offer impartial support and guidance while empowering them to make independent decisions.

We really feel that if parents use these tips, we have suggested parents can help their child lay a solid foundation for a successful career journey. If you need any specific advice on how to support you child please get in touch!

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