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What Does It Do? Why Does It Work?


Sam: I had no idea that Higher Futures 4U was so cool when I started it. I was still in Primary school but by the end of it I was:

  • Motivated
  • I knew all my different talents and skills (I had even more than I thought I had!)
  • I was clued up about the different choices I had about my future and I realised they are my choices to make.
  • Most of all, I realised that if I put the effort in now I would have more opportunities in the future.

Now I am in High School I can tell you it was one of the best things I did. I am now sure that I can do what I want to do! I am going to open my own restaurant after I go to college. However, my backup plan is to work as a chef.

I asked the boss why this all started. She gave me this list of stuff that has been published. It all backs up why Higher Futures 4U does what I just told you it does!


  • Research shows that children form attitudes towards what they can and can‘t do while at Primary school. (Croll, Reading University, 2005)
  • “It is no longer enough for young people to rely on qualifications …the shift to a service economy has made the acquisition of personal and social skills more important than ever before.” (Institute for Public Policy Research “Freedom’s Orphans: Raising youth in a changing world”, Nov 2006)
  • The National Council for Educational Excellence are convinced that business engagement with schools and colleges can deliver real and tangible benefits for all. Together we need to raise dramatically the impact and scale of education–business links in Primary schools. …Where there are quality partnerships, young people find increased motivation. (National Council for Educational Excellence: Recommendations)
  • Parents’ attitudes, aspirations and values are crucial influences on children’s early development, school performance and wider well being. …it is parental engagement with their child’s educational development that has the greatest effect on their child’s progress. (National Council for Educational Excellence: Recommendations)

Boss: Higher Futures 4U started in 2003 when the Centre for Urban Education developed a primary project aimed at raising the aspirations of children in Greater Manchester. In its first year Higher Futures 4U worked with 12 schools. Since then the project has grown, and by 2009 Higher Futures 4U had been delivered in over 180 classes!

Sam: Who does Higher Future 4U work with?

Boss: The project is run by the Centre for Urban Education and now has strong education links with: The Collaborative Partnerships team in Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Bolton, University of Manchester and the University of Salford.

We also have links with lots of Manchester businesses who provide ‘World of Work’ visits for the children; Frankie & Benny’s, The Palace Hotel, The BPP Law School, Manchester Airport and fire station, The Lowry Hotel, The BBC and many more.

“Prior to participating, I was a bit uncertain about the value to the children as young as 8 or 9 (Year 4). However the impact on the children’s self–esteem, ideas and aspirations has been clear.”