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Chief Medical Officer launches campaign to show children why literacy, maths and science matters.
Scotland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood today visited Sciennes Primary School in Edinburgh to launch the Primary Futures 'Who's in Health?' campaign; to help young children understand how people in the health sector use literacy, maths and science in their jobs.
Who's in Health? is a free initiative for state primary schools run by the Education and Employers charity in partnership with the Medical Schools Council. It encourages volunteers from the healthcare sector to visit primary schools and chat informally to children about their jobs. This is to help the children (aged 7–11) see the relevance of what they are learning - especially in science, mathematics and English - and to broaden and raise their future aspirations. Volunteers may be hospital doctors, GPs, nurses, ambulance drivers, high street pharmacists, healthcare assistants, dieticians, surgeons, midwives, students and researchers to name just a few. Volunteers and schools connect via the free online service Primary Futures.
The schoolchildren were joined by medical student Callum Cruickshank who is in his fourth year at the University of Edinburgh and founded the "You can be a doctor" programme - an online resource to give young people the support and information they need to become a doctor.
Dr Calderwood told the children in the Schools Science Centre about her medical career and her role as Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. She said:
"Whether you are an obstetrician and gynaecologist like me, a GP, radiographer or psychologist, currently studying or a qualified professional, your talent and enthusiasm can be a fantastic motivator for children. I'd encourage as many of my colleagues in healthcare to get involved and connect with schools. I want to ensure we encourage as many young people as possible into hugely rewarding professions, like mine."
Director of Employers and Education, Nick Chambers said:
"Many children see certain areas of health, such as medicine, as not an option for them, either because they don't know anything about it or because they believe that such futures are for other, perhaps more privileged people. Who's in health? inspires children and help them see the relevance of what they are learning – to careers in healthcare. The scheme is aimed at pupils aged 7-11. It is not necessary to have experience of outreach work with young people. Signing up only takes a few minutes and from there you will be put in contact with primary schools."
The Who's In Health initiative supports the Developing Young Workforce strategy, which encourages more employer engagement with education to support reducing youth unemployment by 40% by 2021. In addition, the new Career Education Standard (3-18) aims to better support all children and young people in making informed decisions, not only in terms of subject choice but future pathways and learning opportunities. The revised Work Placements Standard sets out expectations for the young person, employer, school, local authority and parent/carer before, during and after work placements.
Who's in Health? is run jointly by charity Education and Employers, the National Association of Head Teachers, and the Medical Schools Council. The Medical Schools Council represents medical undergraduate and postgraduate education and training.
Primary Futures: 0207 566 email@example.com
Medical Schools Council 0207 418 5427/Edward.firstname.lastname@example.org