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Establishing contact with schools

Finding the right contact in schools can be difficult, but be confident that schools value the opportunity to work with employers. Once you make the initial contact it is critical to develop that relationship and ensure all students have the opportunity to discover the career opportunities available to them.

The nature and timing of the visit could vary from school to school.

Examples are:

  • A slot in a year group assembly.
  • A talk or demonstration as part of a science or technology lesson.
  • A careers session.

These can be short talks, practical activities or demonstrations.

Ensure you have the time, employees and resources to provide what you are offering. Do make sure you don’t overcommit. It is better to form close, long-term relationships with a few relevant, nearby schools and deliver on your promises than spread yourself too thin.
  • Make it personal - contact details can often be found via school websites or a call to the school direct to identify a named person.
  • A lead subject tutor or head of year may be a better contact than a head teacher, although the head teacher may delegate to the appropriate staff member.
  • Make an initial contact by phone, letter, email, or visit the school. You could invite them to visit your organisation.
  • E-mail is not the best for an initial contact as it often gets overlooked. A direct personal contact is more likely to be successful.
  • Follow up in writing: please see the pro-forma letter in ‘sell the concept’ below.
You can then work with this contact to organise a suitable session.
  • Carry out a full review to ensure any marketing or promotional materials reflect the desire to increase diversity.
  • Consider language and images that will engage girls and women, as well as other diverse groups.
Next Checklist: Running an outreach activity

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