Building the essential skills to succeed

Building the essential skills to succeed

The Government recently launched its White Paper, Skills for Jobs, to reform post-16 education and training. Higgins Partnerships supports this drive and also believes it’s important to build essential skills earlier on in a child’s education and has been working closely with organisations such as Skills Builder Partnership for many years supporting schools and colleges to improve essential skills education.

As a Collective Impact Member, Higgins Partnerships is currently working with three schools and colleges across England essential skills education through a capacity building, whole school programme: The Skills Builder Accelerator. This helps students develop the eight essential skills for success:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Problem solving 
  • Creativity
  • Staying positive 
  • Aiming high 
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

Working with two primary schools and one secondary school across three local authorities in Ealing, Hounslow and Hertfordshire, Higgins Partnerships support has meant:

  • eight teachers have accessed Skills building training and resources across the three schools 
  • 1,971 students are taking part in the project 

Amy Ross, Head of Social Value at Higgins Partnerships said: “As an organisation we are committed to help grow and develop our future generation to ensure they are equipped with the essential skills that are critical to progress and succeed in employment and life.

“Working with organisations such as Skills Builder Partnership ensures that skills are clear, measurable and recognisable to both employers and educators. Our work with the three schools are also serving to help disadvantaged communities where 62.1% of students from the schools speak English as an additional language compared to the national average of 19.5%.”

Mike Zatyka, Head of Growth Fund at Skills Builder Partnership commented: “We delighted to be working with Higgins Partnerships to help transform how young people develop essential skills through their education. As a Collective Impact Member, Higgins Partnerships is enabling committed schools to develop and implement whole-school skills strategies, supported by staff training, flexible teaching resources and underpinned by the Skills Builder Framework for Essential Skills. On behalf of our partner schools we want to say huge thank you to everyone at Higgins Partnerships for your fantastic support!”

The Accelerator programme aims to achieve three outcomes within each school:

  • School-level improvement in essential skills provision — this is measured by progress towards skills strategy objectives agreed by each school 
  • Teacher-level improvement in confidence in teaching essential skills — measured by teacher feedback surveys 
  • Student level improvement in essential skills — measured by teacher feedback surveys and data from formative assessments carried out by teachers. 

So far, all three schools have completed their first teacher training sessions with 94% of teachers reporting feeling more confident in teaching essential skills and 81% said the training helped them understand the purpose of teaching essential skills. All teachers also reported that they had already observed progress in their students eight essential skills.

One teacher commented: “the best part of the programme is having a wide range of different activities that are enjoyable for the students to take part in.”

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