Will US scheme for schools work here

McGavock High School Academy of Aviation offers students the chance to work on planes. Inset, Mich Stevenson

McGavock High School Academy of Aviation offers students the chance to work on planes. Inset, Mich Stevenson

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A seminar at the Bulwell Academy this Friday will ask if a successful American scheme linking employers with schools can work locally.

It will look at whether Nottingham schools can repeat the successes of Nashville, Tennessee, which had one of the worse educational performances in the USA ten years ago.

Mich Stevenson, chair of the National Ice Centre, who is one of the driving forces behind the Nashville project

Mich Stevenson, chair of the National Ice Centre, who is one of the driving forces behind the Nashville project

The event is organised by the Edge Foundation, a think-tank which champions technical, practical and vocational learning. A spokesperson said: “High school attendance was poor and the number of students achieving a high school graduation diploma was well below the national average. Ten years later, Nashville is acclaimed as a centre of excellence.

“One of the key factors was the development of deep and lasting links between employers and educators.

“Students at Nashville’s public high schools now have a clear understanding of what employers look for in young recruits, and why learning matters.”

Paul Halcro, head teacher of the Bulwell Academy, said: “We have good links with local employers, but I’m convinced there’s even more we can do together in the future.

“I’m particularly interested to explore two of Nashville’s great ideas. One is the “Freshman Academy”, a year-long programme which gives 13-14 year olds a fantastic insight into careers.

“The other is a scheme called “externships”, where teachers visit local businesses and plan curriculum projects which they deliver together in the next academic year.”

Mich Stevenson, chair of the National Ice Centre, who is one of the driving forces behind the Nashville project.

Jay Steele, chief academic officer, and Marc Hill, the chief policy officer at Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, will discuss how they achieved such wide-ranging success.