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“A journey not a jump”  

It is helpful to think about ‘careers’ as a journey. It is not one big decision that needs to be made once and for all in the future, like jumping off a cliff into the unknown. A career journey is made up of lots of small steps which can start in Year 7 and build as students progress through the school and beyond.

Careers education, information, advice and guidance are offered through a varied programme of events, lessons, and one-to-ones at King Edward’s School. This programme is primarily co-ordinated by our Head of Careers, in partnership with the Director of Upper School: Higher Education & Careers and Heads of School. 

At KES, we build career skills into student learning across curriculum lessons and co-curricular activities. Students are encouraged by all staff to discover their unique interests, strengths, and skills. As they widen their experiences and subject knowledge, and as they grow up through the school, they will be supported to reflect on what brings them the most energy, meaning, and satisfaction. 

Students are asked to consider which tasks, work environments, and subjects they most enjoy and what personality traits and strengths they bring to their work. Career navigating is a life-long journey, which can have many twists and turns. We want students to be able to identify, understand, and express what matters to them in their work choices.

There are assemblies throughout the year, visiting speakers, interview skills workshops, visits to industries, and events at higher education providers. We are privileged to have the support and involvement of an active alumni network and welcome Old Edwardians to speak to the students on our ‘Career Panels’ and at networking events. 

Parents and Old Edwardians also volunteer their time and expertise to provide career advice and guidance to students and support with our Year 11 Work Experience programme. In Year 11 students are offered a one-to-one Careers Advice Session, and Sixth Formers can book follow-up advice sessions to support their careers and higher-education decision making.

“Attending the networking event today has been really helpful understanding why people love their job and learning about the career path they took.”

Year 10 student

A Careers Event at King Edward’s School, Birmingham on Wednesday 28 June 2023.

What is the future of work?

Increasing pressure on higher education, along with significant changes in the job market require a school careers programme that is forward thinking and adaptable, but one that also remains focused on the individual needs and choices of students.

Employers believe that critical thinking and problem-solving skills will continue to grow in prominence in the next five years. Newly emerging skills that have made it to the top of the priority list are skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. 

Degree Apprenticeships are rising in popularity and availability and are an alternative pathway to the traditional university route. They focus on building and using employability skills from the outset, alongside university learning. Degree Apprenticeships are available in IT, media, finance, engineering, law and many other subjects, now including healthcare.

Find out more

  • Talks are organised throughout the year and National Careers Week is held in early March annually. This offers an organised programme of speakers from different sectors, employers and higher education to talk about different career pathways and destinations. Online events and citywide opportunities are also advertised.
  • Students will be given opportunities to take part in enterprise, skills and networking events with professionals, Old Edwardians, parents, employers and universities.
  • Sixth form students receive tailored ‘Future Pathways’ and ‘University Networking’ events, with speakers from different universities and subject areas.
  • Students do their school work experience at the end of Year 11. This week-long placement gives them the opportunity to learn about researching and applying for a job, being in an adult work environment and testing out ideas for future career areas. Work Experience Policy, Procedure and FAQs gives more information.
  • Students can do work experience and voluntary work at any time during their leisure time and school holidays. Virtual work experience is also encouraged.
  • All students take part in some careers lessons and these are more focussed as they move up through the school. Lessons will also support students to use the Unifrog careers portal to record and navigate their career journey.
  • Students of any age can make an appointment with the careers advisor to discuss subject options, career ideas and ask for help with the Unifrog online careers portal. 
  • All students are given a Careers Advice Interview at the beginning of Year 11.
  • Support given with CVs, applications, mock interviews and assessment tests.
  • Signposting to and provision of careers resources and research into specific careers areas.
  • The impressive and extensive list of Old Edwardians provides a ‘Careers Link’ network that can be used to identify university students and professionals who are willing to offer advice, mentoring, talks and work contacts to current students.

Provider Access Statement 

KES are enthusiastic about welcoming providers into school to talk with pupils of all ages about the opportunities and pathways available to them. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997. 
Pupils in all years are entitled to find out about apprenticeships, technical qualifications and to hear from a range of local providers about their opportunities, pathways and application processes. School provides a number of careers events throughout the year which providers can get involved with including assemblies, careers talks and speed networking events. Paper copies and prospectuses can also be displayed in the Careers Room and Library. 
A provider wishing to request access should contact Rebecca Cuthbert, Head of Careers via

Where next?



University Destinations

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For further information about the KES careers programme, please contact:

Mrs Cuthbert
Head of Careers

0121 472 1834 (ext. 2017)

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