National employers meet to judge the Santander Career Academy of the Year Award

Career Ready supporters met in February to judge the Santander Career Academy of the Year Award. The Award celebrates excellence and provides a catalyst for further development of the Career Academy. The winning school will be awarded £5,000 for the development of their Career Academy with the runners up receiving £1,500 and £500.

Twelve fantastic centres entered this year, but three rose above the others: Franklin College in Grimsby, Longley Park Sixth Form College in Sheffield and Northern Regional College in Northern Ireland.

The judging panel included a range of Career Ready supporters, bringing different experience and expertise. Anoushka Brown (Santander), Grant Paterson (RBS), and Carly McDonough (Lloyds Banking Group) provided an employer perspective whilst Ian McLarty, Academies Development Manager from last year’s winning centre, Cirencester College, and Rhiannon Evans, former member of staff from Career Ready, provided an education perspective.

The judges used the opportunity to discuss employer/school relationships from a range of angles. Grant Paterson of RBS described it as “a great opportunity to collaborate with CSR colleagues from Finance and Education to short-list candidates for Career Ready of the year.”

This year’s judging was based on the five new programme Quality Assurance pillars; each pillar was marked out of four to select three finalists. Each centre was given individualised feedback on their entry.

Grant Paterson commented on their decision: “The winning applications told a clear story about what they had achieved and the difference they’ve made to the lives of young people.”

Judges will now visit each centre and take part in a range of activities that will give them a feel for the Career Ready programme. The winner will be announced at the London graduation on Tuesday 12 May 2015. 

Thank you to all the schools that entered and good luck to the finalist schools.