How to best engage with schools and colleges

In recent months, there has been a marked increase in the number of requests we have been receiving from Local Institutes across the regions.

Council members are starting to make school connections with local schools which has resulted in invites to attend careers fairs and to deliver career overview presentations including the delivery of the CIIs discover board games. Local institutes still require some support; especially for those who do not have existing school contacts.

We understand that making those school connections can often be time consuming and requires a certain degree of patience as schools do not tend to be as responsive as we initially expect.

Our Local Institute has no school contacts, where do we start?

Schools are always really keen to hear from local professionals; often the ongoing careers strategy delivered across schools is very high on the agenda, especially with school having to action Gatsby benchmarks.

Quick wins:

  1. Check for any existing school contacts members of your local institute council might have
  2. Make a list of schools that you would like to target (up to 20).
  3. Spend some time on the school website and try to identify the careers lead at the school. This person often does not have a full timetable and oversees engaging with local employers.
  4. In the absence of a careers lead, try and find the contact of the Head of Sixth Form, Head of Year 10/11 or Assistant Head. Avoid contacting the Headteacher as they are often too busy and do not deal with such requests.
  5. Call or send an email about what your local institute can offer the school
  6. Wait for the response – you might need to send a follow up.

As well as the above, please consider some of our top tips to engage with schools:

  1. Start by attending a school careers events – they are always looking for local professional support!
  2. If you choose to email, always make sure you put FAO Careers lead/Head of… in the email headline if you cannot find the direct contact of person.
  3. Consider sending your email either on Tuesday or Thursday morning. The biggest engagement rates with schools happen between 8:00am and 8:30am
  4. Do contact the CIIs educational outreach team to see if they have any local contacts for you (contact details below)
  5. When you are the stage to attend any type of events, workshop or fair, please let the educational outreach team know (as many of you already do) so that they can send you any additional collateral to support you.

If you have any additional questions or queries then please contact George Tsounias (Relationship Manager, Educational Engagement) ( or Rhian Morris (Relationship Executive, Educational Engagement) (