Where to next?

I hope that many of you were able to attend the Careers Fair on Wednesday evening. It was my first experience of such an occasion at LGS, and I was impressed by the number and range of opportunities represented. There was a real ‘buzz’ of conversation, and stalls were piled with prospectuses as well as some edible bribes to attract attention! Sixth Formers had benefited from some careers talks/ guidance beforehand, while three brave volunteers from Year 13 were interviewed and debriefed by OL employers in front of their whole peer-group on the previous day. Many of the exhibitors were in fact OLs, able to explain where their LGS education had taken them.

The choice of university courses, apprenticeships and career paths is far broader and consequently more bewildering than in the past; and we all know that new jobs are springing up as fast as others disappear. My father spent his whole career working for Thomas Cook and we thus enjoyed some splendid holidays! He is probably turning in his grave at the demise of a company which he loved and which apparently failed to move with the times and to reinvent itself. Our young people will need frequently to reinvent themselves in the future, adapting to new jobs and roles during the course of their lives, and we must therefore teach them to be flexible in their approach to career-planning, to be prepared for fresh challenges and to keep their options open.

What most impressed me last night was actually the feedback from many of the exhibitors. They variously said how much they enjoyed talking to our pupils and how engaging and interested they found them. One told me it was the best careers fair she had attended, as the pupils rather than the parents asked all the questions!

The independent sector has been criticised recently for providing a disproportionate number of leaders, holding positions of responsibility throughout society. But this is not just down to higher grades; it is because the holistic education we offer nurtures a natural self-confidence and the softer, interpersonal skills so important for success and happiness in life.

So, the right sort of information and careers guidance is undoubtedly very important – as are the qualifications needed for certain courses and professions. But life is often tortuous and serendipitous, and we must therefore give our children the confidence to embrace and enjoy the multiple opportunities which come their way.

Best wishes

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal