15billionebp have a dedicated team of careers advisers who work with partner schools to support young people with their career decisions, often with young people who need targeted support to help with their progression. This case study covers the journey of one particular student who was referred to a 15billionebp careers adviser.
The student had been referred to our careers adviser as her Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) was causing her to have a lot of absences from school, which was having an understandable impact on her course work, social relationships, emotional state and motivation.
Some of the particular issues our careers adviser supported the student with were:
• Guidance around career planning after her missing so much of the GCSE coursework. She was worried as this would have an impact on her chances of getting into a medical based career.
• Discussing the different post 16 qualification routes and where they could lead to, and trying to keep her options as open as possible.
• Support with analysing and managing difficult social situations and relationships.
• Supporting her to raise awareness of the needs of students with SCD within the school.
• The careers advisor also arranged for a colleague from a partner organisation, who happened to have SCD as well, to come in and meet the student as a “guest mentor” on several occasions, so that our colleagues could share her experiences of managing SCD as an adult.
• She often became quite down when she came back to school from a stay in hospital and had to catch up with work and what was going on with her friends. 15billionebp feel it helped her just to have someone listen to her when she felt things were getting out of control. The 15billionebp careers adviser put focus on her positive achievements and completed a Progression Plan to share her support needs with colleges/sixth forms.
It is unusual to have the opportunity to find out what impact the career guidance has had 6 years later, therefore 15billionebp were very pleased to get a call in 2018 from this particular student, who said she wanted to thank the careers advisor for the support and provide an update on the impact the careers guidance had and what she was doing now.
After year 11, she went on to sixth form and successfully completed a BTEC in Health and Social Care. She then decided to follow her interest in education and special needs, and after some research embarked on a degree in Education and Childhood Studies. She is now completing her second year of the course. Her passion for her field of study is very evident, and she is on track to attain a first class honours degree. After her undergraduate degree, she intends to gain a master’s degree in social work and her long term goal is “to become an interdisciplinary social worker to influence policy and eventually law for children with special educational needs and disabilities with a focus on invisible illnesses like Sickle Cell”. She has particular interest in working to support the health, emotional well-being and achievement of children with SCD in education.
The student told 15billionebp that the career guidance helped her to feel that her views were worthwhile and gave her time and space to talk through some quite difficult career planning issues, at a time when she felt that she would not be able to reach her goals. It helped her to make decisions and to find her way in life.
The career discussions in year 10 and 11 had a substantial impact in ensuring that she was aware of the range of alternatives to science GCSEs and A levels, and in broadening her awareness of possible career routes relating to her interests.
She is now a very confident, successful and motivated young woman who wants to help other students who may be facing barriers to their progression.