Below are links to a few resources we find useful and relevant to commercial education. These relate to practical guides, research findings, events and forums which are not listed under ‘Recent Projects’.
See our Recent Projects for further information on CET-supported programmes
The Teaching and Learning Toolkit (and its Early Years companion) are accessible summaries of educational research which provide guidance for teachers and senior leaders on how to use their resources to improve learning outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged children and young people. The Toolkits do not make definitive claims about what will work but rather attempt to provide valuable information about what is likely to be beneficial, based on existing evidence. They summarise over 40 approaches to improving learning, summarised in terms of average impact on attainment; cost; and strength of evidence supporting it.
Founders4Schools (F4S) is a free service for state maintained and private UK schools and colleges that connects students aged 8+ with local leading business leaders. The outcome is for students to be better-informed about their future options, motivated to succeed and inspired to lead enterprising lives.
Young people can learn from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and employees. Businesses have the opportunity to put their company on the map and to help students develop employability skills. Their Workfinder app connects young people to work placements across the country
The Missing Piece, The Essential Skills That Education Forgot
Tom Ravenscroft believes there is something fundamental missing in education and in his book ‘The Missing Piece’ he reflects on the essential, non-academic skills which will be essential to thrive in the 21st Century. These are teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, creativity, listening, presenting, aiming high and staying positive.
Developed over four years in cooperation with over 60 organisations and individuals across the sector, Enabling Enterprise’s Skills Builder Framework looks at eight essential skills that children and students need so that they can succeed in life: listening, presenting, problem-solving, creativity, staying positive, aiming high, leadership, teamwork. It takes each of these eight skills and breaks them down into teachable and learnable nuggets - from the age of three through to adulthood. It has been used by 10,000 teachers and over 200,000 children to date.
Enabling Enterprise has also created a toolkit for employers that offers advice for embedding the essential skills, the Framework and the principles into work with young people. CET supported a project to develop enhanced training to teachers which ultimately contributed to the framework (see Recent Grants).
The trustees and advisors are considering the 139 page report completed by Pye Tait Consulting in 2021, and factoring the findings into our discussions on the CET’s future strategy. This work is continuing. However you may have noticed that The Times Education Commission’s interim report published in the Times on 26 January 2022 highlights some of the research’s key findings.
These are tough times for anyone entering the labour market, starting a business or
trying to progress in their chosen career. Young people, in particular, have been
badly affected by political, economic and technological turmoil, with already high levels
of youth unemployment expected to rise still further. In these challenging conditions it
is clear that workplace success will go to those who can demonstrate not only technical
know-how and transferrable “soft” skills, but also a basic understanding of how
business works. How, then, can all these very different qualities be nurtured? The stories
of the business owners and social entrepreneurs featured on these pages point to some
By reviewing academic analysis of national longitudinal datasets, it is possible to identify indicators of comparative adult success. How teenagers (i) think about their futures in work and what they do to (ii) explore and (iii) experience workplaces within and outside of schools is consistently associated with better than expected employment outcomes in adulthood. Analysis of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 illustrates substantial variation in the extent of such career readiness between and within countries. Variation in career readiness is particularly associated with disadvantage. More effective education systems will ensure schools systematically address inequalities in teenage access to information and support in preparing for working life.
Mann, A., V. Denis and C. Percy (2020), “Career ready?: How schools can better prepare young people for working life in the era of COVID-19”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 241, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/e1503534-en.
Lessons from Employer Led Learning’ highlights findings from a CET-funded evaluation of Career Colleges which explores employer engagement in education. The research shows that employers can influence students’ thinking, challenge their assumptions and increase their motivation to learn. The evaluation undertaken by UCL’s Institute of Education and co-funded by The Edge Foundation. See our grants section also,
Employer involvement in careers education yields a big return on investment, with a new study by the Education and Employers charity, supported by CET, suggesting that even short interventions can make a real difference.
This study used a randomised control trial to investigate whether attending just three career talks by employee volunteers had an impact on students’ GCSE results, the hours they planned to spend revising for these exams, their attitudes towards learning, and confidence in their career prospects. Around 650 Year 11 students from five schools took part in the trial and were split into an intervention group that attended three 20 to 30-minute careers talks and a control group that did not attend any.
The results indicate small but consistent improvements in the attitudes of the intervention group, and a ‘positive and statistically significant’ relationship between revision hours and career talks. The results also reveal an indicative, direct link between career talks and the intervention group outperforming their predicted GCSE results relative to the control group.
Using Digital Technology to Improve Learning - Guidance Report
This report looks at how technology can be most effectively integrated in the classroom and provides guidance to senior leaders and teachers so that they can make better informed decisions about its use. It concludes is that technology must be used in a way that is informed by effective pedagogy and that good implementation is crucial to success.
As technology transforms how we do things, so too are the opportunities for the use of technology in education becoming more apparent. This report looks at how technology can be most effectively integrated in the classroom and provides guidance to senior leaders and teachers so that they can make better informed decisions about its use. It concludes is that technology must be used in a way that is informed by effective pedagogy and that good implementation is crucial to success.
In addition to an overarching framework for considering how technology is best used, the report is structured around some of the key elements of effective teaching: explanations and modelling; pupil practice; assessment and feedback.
Today's school leavers and graduates face a future certain to bring uncertainty. Many will be doing jobs that do not yet exist, using technologies and skills yet to be invented. CET recently commissioned a study of what types of learning experiences are currently available to help young people both understand the world of commerce, and to develop the skills and attitudes needed for a successful working life.
A research team led by Professor (Emeritus) Prue Huddleston of the University of Warwick’s Centre for Education Studies carried out the study, which included a literature review, followed by observations and interviews at five case study organisations and focus group work.
The study concludes that while it is vital to prepare students to move into the world beyond education, how this is done is just as important as to whether it is done at all; that to be effective, such education needs to be integral to the curriculum, not a ‘nice to have’ add-on; that financial constraints are holding back educators from doing more to develop the know-how, attitudes which young people need to succeed in work and other parts of their lives; that even with limited resources, schools would be more likely to prioritise commercial education if it became part of a statutory personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum; and that methods used to assess traditional learning are not always appropriate for programmes designed to develop enterprise and employability.
Lost in Transition explores the challenges of preparing young people for work. It concludes that developing skills in young people is one thing but being able to apply and utilise these skills is another. It argues that we have known for some time what skills are.....
needed for the workplace but that delivery is patchy and a co-ordinated approach is now needed to help young adults make a successful transition from education to work.
Based on case studies which show how design, content, context and teaching methods can be part of a shift from ‘more’ to ‘better’. With recommendations for employers, educators and policy-makers. Lost in Transition is a summary of research conducted in 2017 by Trisha Fettes entitled ‘Putting Skills to Work’.
CET funding supported an evaluation of Career Colleges by UCL/The Institute of Education which was completed in February 2020. Career Colleges, supported by the Career Colleges Trust, offer a choice in vocational education opportunities for 14-19-year-old young people. The research investigated their genesis, curriculum, stakeholder perception, employer engagement as well as a monitoring tool to drive improvement.
The research also enabled the identification of wider policy implications in relation to 14-19 education, early specialisation in a vocational field and other issues relating to further education, employer engagement, commercial education, skills development and social mobility. The research was co-funded with the Edge Foundation.
CET summarised key findings in its publication ‘Lessons From Employer Led Learning’. The full evaluation was published by The Edge Foundation (February 2020).
Internship has attracted considerable attention for a number of years and yet until 2011 had rarely been the subject of serious research. In this guide, Prof. David Guile and Ann Lahiff look at the differences between internship, structured work-place learning, and unpaid work experience. They explore how employers offer access to internship and what models of learning are associated with best practice internships. They also offer recommendations for policymakers, companies, stakeholders and for interns/prospective interns.
Drawing the Future is a survey which asked primary school children aged seven to eleven to draw a picture of the job they want to do when they grew up: over 20,000 entries were received from the UK and internationally. To determine the factors influencing career choices, the survey asked participants whether they personally knew anyone who did the job, and if not, how they knew about the job, as well as their favourite subject.
The survey findings highlight that children from an early age often have some sophisticated and thought through ideas about who they want to become when they grow up. They also show that from a young age children often stereotype jobs according to gender and their career choices are based on these assumptions with the majority of boys wanting to be sportsmen and girls wanting to be teachers. Additionally, children’s career aspirations are most influenced by who they know – their parents and friends of parents and the TV and media. Worryingly, less than 1% of children have heard about the jobs through people from the world of work coming to their school. And the survey shows clearly for the first time that this is a global issue.
Putting Knowledge to Work challenges conventional notions of academic knowledge as context-free and it demonstrates that there are complex processes of ‘re-contextualising’ knowledge through the design and implementation of work-based learning at higher education levels.
This two-year project by Karen Evans, David Guile and Judy Harris and its accompanying Book of Exemplars have been produced to encourage curriculum development teams to draw upon the research and think through, carefully and in depth, the purposes and processes involved in work-based learning.
'Breaking Barriers' highlights findings from a CET Commercial Education Gathering of education experts, practitioners and researchers, which took place on 20 June 2019 in London. Re-thinking time, contextualising skills, listening to learners, building capacity, exploiting policy churn and sharing learning were the key themes of the day.
The Edge Foundation is an independent research organisation which chairs a range of different research networks across its areas of interest. Each brings together relevant researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to make links, share practice and develop joint work.
These are: the Research Review Group (RRG); Early Career Researchers Network; Skills Shortages Analysis Group; Vocational Philosophy Research Network; Project Based Learning International Champions Network; Innovative Higher Education Network; Island Education Network and the UK Policy Learning Network