An educational project led by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and creative production agency Ruddocks has been recognised in a national report as an example of good practice.

The Greater Lincolnshire Careers Hub teamed up with Ruddocks to stage a summer Teacher Encounter programme for students at Cleethorpes Academy.

What made the project stand out was the interactive educational handbook that Ruddocks’ Managing Director Paul Banton provided to teachers following their encounter.

The handbook contains several curriculum-related activities that can be used by teachers to bring their subjects to life, and each task is directly related to the work of the company, such as a creating a design brief or providing quote estimates.

The report, entitled Evaluation of The Careers & Enterprise Company’s Teacher Encounters Programme and published by academics at the University of Derby, highlighted the handbook and the Teacher Encounter at Cleethorpes Academy as an example for others to follow.

The handbook is currently being used by Cleethorpes Academy to help develop students’ knowledge in media, and the academy is in conversation with Ruddocks to develop the resource further so that it can be incorporated into more subject areas.

“As soon as Paul revealed that he planned to create a handbook to support the Teacher Encounter I was really pleased,” said Alex Nightingale, Enterprise Co-ordinator at the LEP Careers Hub.

“One of the integral aims of the programme is to support subject teachers to enrich their lessons with content from the world of work. The fact that Cleethorpes Academy is keen to develop this further shows the value of our Teacher Encounters programme and of the resource kindly created by the team at Ruddocks.”

Paul Banton said: “My experience of the Teacher Encounter has been really positive. Having undertaken several different initiatives over the years, engaging with schools in various ways, the concept of hosting teachers from myriad schools here on site, so they can see at first hand the skills and roles we have available as an employer, is without doubt the best.

“There’s nothing like being able to get up close to the different functions within our business and talk to some of the team for getting a real sense of where the employability opportunities lie. I really felt the participants were fully engaged and I’m pleased and excited to see how things develop with Cleethorpes Academy as we continue the journey together.

“It’s the first time we have been involved in anything quite like this, and having Cleethorpes working alongside us to develop the scheme and workbook we created will be really interesting. I very much hope that we are piloting a blueprint for the future that enables young people and enterprise come together and create pathways into employment that I do not believe exist today.”

Connor Russell, an ICT teacher at Cleethorpes Academy, added: “Exploring Ruddocks proved to be incredibly insightful. Led by Paul, the team demonstrated the start-to-end process of designing creative graphics, which has given me a comprehensive understanding of their entire process, from the initial client enquiry to the distribution of the final product.

“Our visit highlighted the cutting-edge technology required to print for the masses, but also showcased the skillsets required to work at a printing company. When I returned to the academy I passed on the knowledge I gathered to other members of the department so they can also implement this into their teaching.”

Connor said that in future he and his colleagues would embed the handbook in aspects of their teaching.

“Whenever we teach a creative topic such as graphic design, we will look at using some of the elements of the handbook such as asking students to create a design concept before creating the product. We could also look at setting the lessons around a client (the teacher), providing students with a brief to work from and getting students to pitch their intended product which will allow them to get feedback that can be considered when developing their product.”

The Greater Lincolnshire Teacher Encounters Programme is designed to help teachers increase their confidence and knowledge of the range of opportunities in today’s world of work. It provides an opportunity for teachers to engage directly with employers to learn about the different career pathways relevant to their subject and how that subject is applied practically in the workplace.

In 2022/2023 77 teachers took part from 25 different educational institutions across the region. The Greater Lincolnshire Careers Hub plans to run more Teacher Encounters in 2023/2024 after recent successful encounters with Siemens Mobility and Care Plus Group.

Find out how you can get involved with the Teacher Encounters programme.