Students takeover Shropshire school to learn about applying for jobs

Tables were turned on the teachers of a Shropshire school when the students staged a friendly takeover.

Children at The Burton Borough School in Newport are taking over for the day where teachers and Years 7,8 and 9 students switch places. In Picture: Alexander Bevington-Kane 12 acting as Vice Principal, preparing for lesson in 6th period..
Children at The Burton Borough School in Newport are taking over for the day where teachers and Years 7,8 and 9 students switch places. In Picture: Alexander Bevington-Kane 12 acting as Vice Principal, preparing for lesson in 6th period..

It was the second time that Burton Borough School in Newport had run its takeover day following a similar but smaller careers event two years ago.

Lisa Kane, the school's lead practitioner in whole school teaching and learning, ran the event on Tuesday to help Key Stage 3 students learn about about the real life process of applying for jobs, and how to improve if they weren't appointed.

"It was a crazy idea I put to the senior leadership team two years ago," said Lisa. "I was expecting them to turn it down but they agreed."

Two years ago some 50 students applied for the shadow roles and 38 appointments were made.

This year 162 applications came in from the 700 or so KS3 students in years seven, eight and nine and a whopping 93 appointments were made. It was so successful that the takeover day was extended to today (Wednesday) and tomorrow Thursday in support roles such as reception.

Students at the 1,200-strong school went through the process of writing an application letter, being shortlisted, going for interviews and being appointed. Students who weren't appointed were given lots of feedback to help them learn.

The Audley Avenue school's entire senior leadership team had their shadows for the day, including principal Krissi Carter who was shadowed by Ben Fahey, aged 12.

Children at The Burton Borough School in Newport are taking over for the day where teachers and Years 7,8 and 9 students switch places. In Picture: Ben Fahey 12 acting as the Principal walking with the actual Principal Krissi Carter..

Lisa, who leads on careers education for the school added: "They held a senior leadership team (SLT) meeting and reviewed policies, putting forward proposals for the real SLT to consider."

She added that the school does a lot of work on listening to the students' voice and seeking ideas from young people.

"They think of things that we as adults haven't," she said.

Lisa added that they had received a lot of positive comments from the students and would be holding it again next year, giving everyone the chance to keep improving.

In its last Ofsted inspection, late last year the school received a rating of Requires Improvement despite being rated Good for behaviour, personal development and leadership.

Children at The Burton Borough School in Newport are taking over for the day where teachers and Years 7, 8 and 9 students switch places. In Picture: Ollie Wood 13 preparing the school dinners.

But Lisa said the takeover day had nothing to do with Ofsted, and was about the school focusing on the needs of the young people.

The school was opened in 1957 and named after a local man J.S. Burton Borough, who was a High Sheriff and deputy lieutenant for Shropshire and was the first governor of the school.

Among its notable former pupils are: Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actor James Sutton; Ricky Bailey - professional rugby league footballer for St. Helens; Shaun Bailey- Member of Parliament for West Bromwich West, David Johnson - former Jamaica, Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest footballer and Philip Oliver a cricketer for Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

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