Top award for Norwich schools career project

An innovative link-up to try and bring future careers to life for primary school children through contact with employers has yielded a national award.

Ann Starkie, founder of Norwich-based AS Careers, has won a National Careers Award for her pioneering work with Tuckswood Community Primary School.

The awards, organised by the Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG), which took place in Leeds, are a celebration of careers best practice in the UK.

The award was presented by the president of the ICG, Steven Higginbotham, to Mrs Starkie for her World of Work project involving year six pupils from the Tuckswood school.

Mrs Starkie, 41, from Hethersett, said: 'The aim of the project was to raise and broaden the career aspirations of young people in their last year at primary school so they may go on to achieve in secondary education and beyond.

'It was pioneering because careers-related learning is normally targeted at older children.'

The project involved local employers coming into the school and visits by the youngsters to employers such as Archant Print in Thorpe St Andrew, Hethel Engineering, Norwich City Football Club and The Ecotech Centre at Swaffham.

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Deputy head teacher of Tuckswood Community Primary School, Tony O'Rourke, said: 'The World of Work project is very powerful in linking together the schools-based learning of the children with the skills needed to become economically successful adults in their later life.'

Other companies that contributed were Virgin Money, Colin Edwards Graphic Design, City College Norwich and Careersoft, who provided First JED so that visit videos could be uploaded and utilised in careers education sessions in class.

The World of Work project was funded by UnLtd – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs – and was the first project of its kind to be run in the UK.

Claire Stewart, development manager at UnLtd, added, 'We are lucky to work with inspirational individuals like Ann who are socially-minded entrepreneurs creating ventures which make the world around them a better place.'

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Is there something unusual happening at your school? Contact Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email