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Pupil premium funding – A case for careers support in primary schools

Aishah Bargit imagines a world in which there is plenty of funding for schools' careers support

  • Pupil premium funding – A case for careers support in primary schools

Hello Year 4, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Here you are, all grown up and finding your feet as young adults.

It’s been 10 years since you called out for my help in numeracy or cheered when I’d announce which experiment we were tackling in science.

In those 10 years I’ve watched you adapt to a global pandemic, finish primary and secondary school, before going onto university, apprenticeships and embarking on your career journeys. I couldn’t be prouder of how far you’ve all come. 

Future plans

I can’t help but think back to the days in Year 4, when I’d ask what you wanted to be when you grew up, and you’d say, “I want to be a scientist, Miss Bargit!” or “I’d like to be a teacher like you, because it looks fun!”.

Even though you were only eight or nine, as your teacher I knew how important it was for you to start thinking about where life might take you. 

Our Science Days would encourage you girls especially to consider a career in technology, medicine, or mathematics, while our regular conversations about what your parents do, or why older people go to university, helped you all realise that no job would ever be out of reach if you worked hard enough.

Busy timetables

When I started teaching, there was little time to fully immerse careers into your education. Our teaching timetables didn’t allow for it.

After covering all of your key subjects, planning and marking lessons, and supporting any additional needs, there sadly wasn’t much time left to think about anything else. 

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020 our resources were stretched even further. As your teachers we needed to make sure that your development and education didn’t suffer as a result of weeks spent out of school, and not being able to interact with each other as you had before.

As a less affluent community, I know many of your families had additional things to think about on top of school, like ensuring you had everything you needed to learn at home, or that you’d be able to get the lunch packs the dinner ladies would usually give out.

It wasn’t an easy time to focus on your times tables and handwriting.

A manifesto for the times

However, things did start to change when the education charity Teach First released a manifesto for school recovery in the summer of 2021.

It featured 11 proposals of support for schools as they recover from the pandemic. This included more school funding for those in disadvantaged communities, a call to reduce teachers timetables by 20% and a focus on careers education at primary school level.

With the manifesto influencing policy makers, members of government, education policymakers, business leaders and the wider public, it helped springboard change for schools like ours. 

Soon, we had a careers leader in school, we received the right guidance on how to deliver careers education, and it became a natural part of the primary curriculum.

I remember you all on Careers Day, dressed up as web developers, radiologists, teachers, and construction managers; asking questions to our business leader guests, and starting to understand what your future might hold. It was fantastic! 

All this was only achievable with the right funding, which many schools like us, in disadvantaged communities, struggled to secure before then.

Alongside implementing careers education, the extra funding also allowed us to reduce our teaching timetable by taking on more staff to share the load.

This gave me more time to support you in your next steps and ensure I was being the best teacher I could be for you.

If it wasn’t for campaigns like this, your lives could have turned out very different.

While you were only small when I taught you, I could see the great big futures ahead of you, and I’m so happy that I was able to do everything in my power to make sure you got there. 

Now as you go onto change the world in your own ways, I hope you remember your time in Year 4 at Springfield Primary Academy and keep in touch! You know Miss Bargit loves to hear about your adventures.

From Miss Bargit


Aishah Bargit is head of Year 5, RE and languages lead, and Year 5 teacher at Brownlow Fold Primary School in Bolton. She was formerly a Year 4 teacher at Springfield Primary Academy.

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