Flo's mum - Katie

Flo Factfile

For today’s school leavers making a decision about what to do next can be a difficult process – especially if the decision means not going to university. If you are a parent helping your son or daughter to make this decision then we thought you might find it useful to read about the experiences of the parents of some of our current trainees. Katie's daughter Flo joined the School Leaver programme in Assurance in September 2013.

  • Did you go to university?

I completed my university education at the age of 43, having done it on a part-time basis alongside full-time work.

I have a degree in Post Compulsory Education and Training & full teaching status in Further Education.

  • Straight to work?

I was encouraged to take the traditional A-level and then to college route.

  • What do you do currently?

I am a qualified lecturer in Early Years.

  • When you first heard about the programme were you aware of EY and what they do?

I had heard of EY and knew they were an accountancy firm, however I did not know that they supported school leavers until Flo told us about it.

  • How did you first hear about the programme?

Through Flo and the school she attended at the time, St Marys.

  • What did you think of the programme?

The programme itself I felt was a good career route, however, I had expected Flo to take the traditional university route as that was what originally informed her A-level choices.

I think it is also fair to say that if she had continued at her previous school this route would not have been open to her as she would have been seen as an obvious university candidate.

Having worked a lot on apprenticeships myself in further education I can see the benefits of this particular type of career path however, but during Flo’s time at school I would not have considered this a route she would take.

I also would consider that the majority of young people who come from independent/ private education will take the university route as parents may have certain expectations when they have invested financially in their child’s education. When we were choosing schools for Flo something we considered was which school would be the best for her to achieve her goal of being an accountant, which included getting into the best university.

  • How would you compare it to going to university?

Personally I feel a university education would have given Flo a broader base of skills and experiences, and the opportunity for her to change her mind about her subject if she desired.

However, as a work-based school leaver she is developing a set of skills relevant to employment which will increase her employability prospects later on.

  • Did you have any concerns about Flo applying? What were they? And why?

I would say that my main concern would be that Flo was sacrificing a university education for work-based qualifications. This in itself is fine if she wishes to stay an accountant, but if she decides to use her skills towards another route would she have the necessary education to do this?

  • How have you found the programme now that Flo has started?

Even as Flo’s mother I can no longer make decisions on her behalf and therefore if she feels she has made the right decision then I am happy that she has done so. It certainly has given her unique opportunities such as featuring in the new EY schools campaign and her hard work seems to be recognised with her recent promotion.  

  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents? Why?

If this was a route that a young person wanted to take then I would definitely recommend it as an alternative to university, especially for those who may not cope with the demands of university life and who want a more practical option.

To find out more about Flo's experience on the School Leaver Programme, you can watch her profile video.