Careers stereotypes are harmful to children

Between the ages of 6 – 8, most children start to develop gendered ideas about careers. These stereotypes follow them into the world of work, affecting the rest of their lives. Watch the video below to see this in action.

By the time they’re 10, they’ve typically begun assigning social value based on ideas about social class and intelligence. They internalise long-lasting assumptions about what opportunities are available to them. They start to abandon fantasy careers, becoming more aware of potential constraints on their futures.

This is where Careers-Related Learning (CRL) comes in.


Why careers-related learning helps

Careers Related Learning gives pupils the opportunity to explore and practise non-academic skills like empathy, communication and resilience, preparing them for the transition to secondary education and working life.

Some primary schools already have strong CRL strategies in place, but others are being left behind, with little or no framework in place. We’re building a toolkit which allows primary schools to deliver CRL which lets students better understand the implications of the things they learn.

Research shows that CRL works even better when parents are involved. During Primary School, parents tend to be pretty engaged with their children’s’ education, so it’s the ideal time to raise both their aspirations.

Our aim is to empower primary schools to enrich children’s’ learning with real-life experiences, bridge the gap between parents and students and give pupils the best tools to transition to secondary school and achieve their goals.


What does the research say?

Research is strongly in favour of introducing CRL in primary schools.


Reality in numbers

4 - The number of inspection categories featured in the proposed 2019 Ofsted Inspection Framework which reference career-related learning.

6 - The age at which children start to adopt stereotypes based on gender, ethnicity and social background.

7 - The number of times primary schools or primary aged children are referenced in the 2017 DfE Careers Strategy.

9 - The age at which children start to abandon fantasy careers and start to become more aware of potential constraints on their futures. 

This video by Primary Futures explores how, early on in their education, children already define career opportunities as male and female.

Do you have questions or suggestions for our Primary school toolkit? Get in touch!