Helena Romanes in Great Dunmow wins quality award for careers advice and education

Helena Romanes staff receiving the Recognition of Quality Award at County Hall in Chelmsford.

Helena Romanes staff receiving the Recognition of Quality Award at County Hall in Chelmsford. - Credit: Archant

Good careers education, information and advice and guidance has won Helen Romanes School in Great Dunmow a Recognition of Quality Award.

The award was conferred on the school at a celebration evening at County Hall in Chelmsford.

The accolade is part of a nationally recognised scheme. The school submitted a portfolio of evidence to show that the establishment had met the criteria and principles of the standard.

After the work was submitted, the school was visited for an assessment, when various members of staff and several students were interviewed as an audit of the work being done at the school.

The assessor’s report said students “spoke in glowing terms” of the open door access they had to careers coordinator Pamela Abbott and her responsiveness to their queries. It said they spoke maturely and reflectively about how they had been helped to develop skills and knowledge to progress to adult and work life.”

The report added that students felt well-prepared and informed to make decisions at key points during their school career. “There is a thorough programme at the school to support sixth form students through the UCAS (universities admission) process or move to a higher apprenticeship.”

It added that the school has developed a comprehensive and progressive careers, education, information advice and guidance programme across the years from seven to 13. It said the provision for year eight students was “more intense than commonly seen, as this is when they make their options choices. Similarly, “students are also very well prepared and supported for the transitions from key stage four to five and post 18.”

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Commending the school’s ongoing developments, the assessor said Helena Romanes makes effective use of evaluation and feedback from students and suggests it should consider also engaging parents for feedback.

It might also encourage students to keep a record of their achievement at key stage four to help those who move elsewhere at 16 or go into the sixth form.

Pictured left to right are Julia Yates, senior lecturer, School of Psychology, University of East London, who gave the key note speech, Pamela Abbott, careers coordinator at Helena Romanes, Helen Witty, head of curriculum and Councillor John Aldridge, Chairman of Essex County Council.