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Teacher Externships - Cherakee Bradley - The Edge Foundation

01 October 2020

Cherakee is the Education and Employer Engagement Coordinator at The Edge Foundation and her role is to help bridge the gap between education and employment.

The Edge Fundation is an independent charity dedicated to shaping the future of education in the UK. They believe that a coherent, unified and holistic education system can support social equity and enable all young people to fulfil their potential with their mission being 'To give all yound people the opportunity to achieve their potential'. 

Evidence shows that the students engagement, creativity and achievement in technical subjects is enhanced with rich employer access. Edge are fully committed to ensuring real-world context in education whilst providing understanding of subject content and promoting real purpose. The linking of curriculum and industry context should always ensure students are never faced with the question 'Why am I studying this? What am I ever going to need this for?' Edge's research shows that a broad and balanced curriculum, including creative and technical subjects, rich employer engagement, teacher autonomy and interactive pedagory, can help to bring learning alive and prepare students for more than just a set of exams. 

Edge's plan for education includes:

  • Create a broad, balanced and relevant 14-19 curriculum
  • Make School work relevant to the workplace; get employers involved
  • Give teachers more support and freedom; encourage collaboration between institutions to share best practice and resource
  • More high Quality apprenticeships for young people to help them earn and learn
  • Ensuring a flexible, dynamic and value for money higher education system that helps prepare young poeple for the real world

What are the benefits for the teachers?  

Teacher externships give both teachers and students a better insight into the world of work. As teachers develop the curriculum they can relate business and careers into the classroom and students get real world experience. Teacher externships also build relationships between schools and employers, enabling them to find other ways to work together and build on the relationship.  

What is a teacher externship?  

Traditionally the externships take place face to face. A teacher spends a full day with the employer and they explain how they use a subject in their business, for example, how science is used within the business. Teachers can then link their curriculum directly to the business whilst teaching.  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, externships have been adapted to work online with virtual experiences. For the autumn term, they will be delivered as a meeting online with presentations by the employer and discussions between the employer and teacher on how their subject is relevant and used in the business. From here teachers then plan a project linked to their curriculum and start to develop resources with the business. Students complete the project in school and develop the relevant employability skills so that they are more prepared to enter the workforce. This will provide a great insight into the career opportunities available to them. To complete the programme, a Q&A session is held virtually to ensure the teacher can answer all questions and successfully deliver the project in the school.  

Teacher externships have a really positive impact on both the school and on the business. Evidence shows that 80% of teachers agreed that participating in an externship gave them an insight into the world of work. In addition 75% of teachers were more confident about offering career advice after participating, and had developed their subject knowledge to support their own CPD.  

What is the business commitment?  

It is anticipated that three to four hours over two days are required with an additional information and feedback session to help evaluate the impact of the externship. In relation to operational matters, the programme is fully supported to ensure the company is matched to an appropriate school and teacher. Training is provided prior to the externship starting as required by the business and the whole programme is facilitated by Cherakee. Businesses leave the process with excellent education links, a report on its impact on the local community and experience of supporting its potential future workforce.  

Watch the full talk from Cherakee: https://youtu.be/0HMkTfAzpDQ  


About North East Ambition 

North East Ambition is an education and skills programme delivered by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership that supports all schools and colleges in the North East to achieve the Gatsby Good Career Guidance Benchmarks by 2024. 

Working in partnership with education and industry, it aims to ensure each and every young person in the North East has access to quality careers education. www.northeastambition.co.uk 

For more information about North East Ambition and how it can help your company, contact neambition@rtcnorth.co.uk or the STEM team at 01915164400


North East Ambition



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