The Kingswinford School, Dudley
The Kingswinford School in the Dudley local authority area has held a quality award for CEIAG for some years - and was accredited initially with the Black Country Quality Award at Gold Standard in 2007. The school put a lot of thought into succession planning as the long-time post holder was nearing retirement, taking the opportunity for a well-managed hand-over. When new co-ordinator Leyla Palmer took up her post in September 2013, she also had help from other members of the experienced careers team, including from the school's Connexions Adviser who is trained to support with the Prospect's Quality Award for CEIAG. The Accreditation Board had no hesitation in reaccrediting school with the Award, agreeing with the Assessment Team who had commended the school for giving CEIAG a very high profile with the Senior Leadership Team and for a progressive careers education programme. Assessors noted the excellent resource base, very informative website and information boards around the school, including one dedicated to local LMI.
Special mention was made of the very strong Careers Department in terms of organisation and links with others within the school and outside.  Assessors were keen that team member, Emma Stevens, should receive a certificate to mark her contribution.  Leyla Palmer confirmed that she has taken up the opportunity to link with another local school, Summerhill, whose experienced co-ordinator has maintained a Gold Standard of provision for some years. Leyla fed back after this accreditation, saying that it was hard work but that she now has the opportunity to continue to add to her portfolio as she adapts and develops CEIAG provision. Assessors appreciated the hard work that had so obviously gone into the submission as they were "very impressed that the careers coordinator was able to supply us with the answers to subsequent questions we asked following our assessment of the portfolio. An extra portfolio was given to us on the day of the visit to the school covering everything we had asked for, and more. Considering the careers coordinator is relatively new to this role, she has done the school very proud in producing the evidence for this award - which shows what succession planning on behalf of the school can achieve."
Leyla and Emma fed back on their experience of the Award process they suggested some future development ideas for the Quality Award, including an option for organisations to be able to enhance the portfolio by showing Assessors some of the activities as they are going on. Leyla also spoke about a recent development in her own teaching area, IT - where the Head of Department constantly inspires students with details about all the fabulous careers linked to IT qualifications having spent some time with the Google organisation.
Headteacher, Mrs Bronwyn Hedley, was thrilled with the Award and organised a large scale photo-shoot to capture the award of the certificates. She was even more excited when told that the Accreditation Board had made an extra and rather unusual decision - to invite novice co-ordinator Leyla to submit a second, very short report and portfolio as a fast-track route for the school to reclaim that coveted Gold Standard for CEIAG.
The Gold Standard was duly awarded to The Kingswinford School in November 2014
Date Added: 22 September 2016
People meeting at a conference.