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August 2021: Celebrating schools and colleges transforming essential skills this year

Hello! We hope that you are enjoying the summer, and are able to take some well-deserved rest.

This month, we welcome the government's new Statutory Careers Guidance. It's good to see recognition of the importance of building essential skills for all students:

"In schools, each subject should support students to identify the essential skills they develop and to identify the pathways to future careers...The Skills Builder Universal Framework shows how to build essential skills into the school or college curriculum."

For the full report, please click here.

We were also interested to see that the CBI have produced their Education and Skills Survey, which highlights the importance of essential skills to businesses - to see the highlights, click here.


  • Skills Builder Awards - Over 290 schools and colleges have received a Skills Builder Award - check out recent examples
  • New impact partners - Welcoming a range of new impact organisations
  • Thank you to growth funders - Their financial support has enabled us to reach over 180,000 students this year
  • Skills Builder Accelerator - We'll be working with over 600 schools and colleges from September
  • Skills Builder Benchmark - Keep track of your essential skills progress this summer

Scroll down to see all the latest. See you next month!

Tom Ravenscroft
Founder & CEO, Skills Builder Partnership


We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate more than 290 schools and colleges who have achieved a Skills Builder Award this year, at a Bronze, Silver or Gold standard.

The Skills Builder Awards recognise the commitment made by schools and colleges to deliver high quality essential skills education. This involves:

  • Fully embedding the Skills Builder Principles into school or college life
  • All teachers becoming confident educators of essential skills
  • Every student having the chance to build and track their essential skills

Recent examples of best practice in our schools and colleges

Kingsbury Green Academy has recently achieved a Skills Builder Silver Award for building on their commitment to high-quality essential skills education.

The Academy has featured in an article published by the Gazette and Herald earlier this month, highlighting the Year 9 students who have been developing their essential skills as part of the school's Career Preparation Programme.

Click here to read the full article.

Newcastle College has recently achieved a Skills Builder Gold Award for modelling best practice in high-quality essential skills education this year.

As part of a new ten year strategy, the college has set out its vision to develop the essential skills of its students to succeed in modern enterprise and wider life.

Click here to read the full article, published by Business Live earlier this month.
Learn more about our work with educators

New impact partners

This month, we're excited to have partnered with a number of new impact organisations, ranging from those specialising in horseracing to social-emotional skills development.
Our new and existing partnerships all have a vision in mind to integrate the Skills Builder approach into their everyday work.

A few of our new partnerships this month include: The British Horseracing Authority: Careers in Racing, Speakers Trust, Pentabilities, Learning to Work, North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Sported and Youth Employment UK. We're really looking forward to supporting these organisations increase their impact through the lens of essential skills.

Discover all the organisations we work with

A huge thank you to all of our Growth Funders

As this academic year comes to a close, we wanted to share a huge thank you to all of our Collective Impact Partners. Their financial support has enabled over 300 schools and colleges across the country to complete our flagship capacity-building programme, the Skills Builder Accelerator in 2020-21. Thanks to our partners' contributions, over 10,000 teachers have been able to build their confidence in teaching essential skills and better support over 180,000 students to develop skills including teamwork, staying positive and creativity. As one student put it:

"The more you practise your skills, the better you get and the more steps you get to reach" - Year 1 Child

On behalf of our partner schools, we would like to thank all partners who have supported this collective endeavour:  Accenture, Adecco, Allen & Overy, Argent, Baker McKenzie, Bank of America, BP, Clifford Chance, Four Acre Trust, Higgins Partnerships, HEON, Higher Horizons+, HS2, JLL Foundation, KPMG, L&Q Group, LGT Vestra, London Stock Exchange, Northampton University, Places for People, Quintain, Sir James Knott Trust, Suffolk County Council, The Happold Foundation, Tideway, UBS, Urban Splash, and Wates.

Learn more about our work with employers

600+ Schools and Colleges on the Accelerator from September

Since closing the applications for the 2021-22 Skills Builder Accelerator programme earlier this year, we are so pleased to announce that we will be working with a cohort of over 600 schools and colleges from September.

We look forward to collaborating together to develop and implement a complete strategy for teaching essential skills. We'll be working with a national cohort of Skills Leaders to develop expertise and to design a programme with real impact.

The Skills Builder approach allows schools and colleges to invest in students’ wider personal development, see tangible progress, tailor training sessions to support staff, and embed sustainable strategies to achieve long-lasting change.

If you're interested in building essential skills in your school or college, click the button below to check out Digital Membership, where you can access teaching resources, online teacher training and exclusive webinars.
Discover Digital Membership

Let Benchmark help you keep track of your essential skills progress this summer!

Whether you are on summer holidays after the end of a school year, or taking a restful break from work, a great way to keep improving your essential skills is by using our very own Skills Builder Benchmark.

Why use Benchmark?

  • Benchmark is a tool designed to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses within each of the eight essential skills.
  • You can track your progress and identify next steps for development using personalised Skill Reports.
  • It's there to help you get to where you want to be. You may choose to use Benchmark for your own personal development, or within a professional capacity, such as maximising your potential when applying for a new job or promotion.
  • It's free for individuals to use

Already using Skills Builder Benchmark? Revisit and update your reflections against the Skills Builder Framework now!

Here's how it works for individuals:

Step 1
Choose an essential skill and answer some simple questions.

Step 2
Discover your strengths, your areas for development and practical ideas to improve.

Step 3
Download your personalised Skills Report for yourself, or to share with a tutor or manager.
Get started at

We're deeply grateful for all your support so far.
Working together is by far the best way to effect real change -
so please do continue to spread the word about the Skills Builder Partnership.