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Our Future

New findings from the ground-breaking regional project

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Latest research from the Our Future project shows a vitally positive impact on children’s motivation and aspirations.

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The Our Future project first launched in 2019 to expand children’s horizons, challenge stereotypes, and enhance social mobility. The Department for Education Opportunity Area Board funded project has been delivered over 3 years by Education & Employers, Learn by Design and dmh Associates.


Since its launch, the project has taken a pioneering approach to career-related learning, linking children across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire primary schools with inspiring role models from the world of work – to significant effect.


“The project has worked in some of the most disadvantaged schools in the region. 9,328 children were engaged in year 3 of the project and, from this, we know what works and what more needs to be done to improve children’s life chances.

There have been a range of key ingredients that have led to the success of the project, including the expertise of the delivery partners, the flexibility of the opportunities offered to each school, the hands-on and interactive activities enjoyed by the pupils and the fabulous volunteers who shared their career journey with our schools.”

- Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, founder of educational policy experts dmh associates

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Dr Hughes is confident that the legacy of Our Future will continue.

Evaluation and Impact Research Report

The latest evaluation and impact research report shows how meeting a diverse range of role models from the world of work has helped to raise children’s aspirations, broaden their horizons, increase their motivation and helped foster a more positive attitude towards learning.

Key Findings

Impact on aspirations and broadening horizons.

  • An increase from 62% to 74% of children agreed with the statement ‘I can do any job I want when I grow up’.

  • An increase from 71% to 83% of those agreeing with the statement ‘There are lots of different jobs for me when I grow up’.

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Improvement in Key Skills

Children’s self-assessment of their skills post-CRL activity shows an increase across all 9 key skills. This was also confirmed through teacher and headteacher feedback.

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Tackling Gender Stereotyping

  • 92% of pupils agree ‘girls and boys can do the same job’.

  • 92% of teachers agreed that the career-related learning activities delivered

  • 82% of parents agree that it is important to tackle gender stereotyping

"I didn’t know that I could do any job I wanted. I thought some jobs were just for men and some were just for women!”


- (KS2 pupil)

Impact on the Teachers

100% of teacher respondents to our survey indicated the programme had a positive effect on the children and 95% stated their expectations had been exceeded or met.

“Our Future has had a significant impact on raising aspirations across our school in every year group. The project helped transform our school curriculum and the way we think about leadership and project-based learning in the classroom.

The main expected outcome was for us to improve our Ofsted rating. We’d had an earlier report stating that our school ‘required improvement’. The senior leadership team made a conscious decision to embed careers-related learning throughout the school to drive forward performance and children’s exposure to inspiring role models. Our Future has exceeded our expectations and helped us to achieve a ‘good’ rating.”


- Ruth McNeil, principal of Landau Forte Academy Moorhead.


The project has left a positive legacy and provides robust evidence of the impact of career-related learning in primary schools.


Read the executive summary and full report.


Following the success of the pioneering Our Future project, Learn by Design offer a range of interactive and engaging career-related learning activities evidenced to have a positive impact on children’s motivation and aspirations. Find out more

Funding and Partners

The Our Future project is commissioned and funded by the Opportunity Area Board and delivered by Education and Employers, Learn by Design and dmh Associates.

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