Good grades are only part of what school is about.

As well as making sure students leave with the best marks they can, schools are also doing more and more to prepare them for their future careers.

Few schools can be doing more than Walney School, which is taking part in a focused series of events involving a huge amount of local businesses.

At the end of last month, the school held a communication workshop which involved all its Year 11 students having mock interviews with staff from BAE Systems - which runs Barrow’s shipyard - or property and construction consultants GLEEDS.

Smartly dressed in business attire, it was a chance for them to brush up on vital skills for getting and retaining a job.

However, this is only part of the work the school is doing with a vast array of local employers including Siemens, the NHS, Cumbria Police, Risedale Carehomes, Dalton Safari Zoo, South Walney Nature Reserve, Gen2, Oxley Group and Tritech.

Deputy head Allison Redshaw said all of the students are following an accredited employability programme that aims to broaden horizons and better equip them for the world of work.

Its work is being done against a backdrop where legislation has put increasing responsibility on secondary schools to deliver their own careers provision and every school must have a Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance Policy.

The school has hosted “learner conferences” where 20 or more business delegates and pupils meet to discuss the local job market and ways of working together.

Teachers are also working in partnership with charity the Brathay Trust, based in Ambleside, to provide resilience training as a school-based programme. The charity has run a leadership course at its home at Brathay Hall and the school has appointed its chief executive, Godfrey Owen, as their voluntary enterprise adviser.

“Research shows that pupils who regularly come into contact with employers have a significantly better chance of identifying and following their chosen career paths,” says Allison.

“Pupils benefit from engaging with employers and the wider local community throughout their school life, which is the thinking behind our bi-annual Futures Friday event.”

To acquire their employability passport students must provide examples of leadership, volunteer work, part-time jobs, National Citizen Service, Duke Of Edinburgh Award and interests outside school.

Year 10 student Katie Tinker said: “You don’t realise at first, but by getting us to keep a record of everything it makes you say yes to more opportunities.”