Welcome to August in the UK!!

Welcome to August in The UK!!

It’s drizzly, grey and wet … welcome to August in the UK (!!). Having just come back from holiday (where it was gorgeously sunny), it’s taking a bit of time to get used to the weather! White linen trousers on my first day back at work? Probably not the best idea when it rains! Anyway, it’s great to be back and I’m getting back into the swing of things by writing the latest blog.

As (hopefully) lots of you will know, the majority of the work OR in Schools (ORiS) does involves visiting schools, colleges and universities. We run interactive maths workshops, attend career fairs and of course provide detailed career talks with specific projects that use maths and data in real life.  All for free (great news right?!).

However, what happens when we’re not on visits? How do we manage to sort everything out? What goes on behind the scenes?

Of course, there’s lots of responding to request for visits and providing information etc. We're busy planning for our annual careers fair on the 15th November and other events happening. However, for the most part for us, August is a great time to re-coup, plan and prepare. June and July were SUPER busy (we were out of the office almost every day) and some days ORiS had up to 5 visits on the same day. That’s a lot of people visiting a lot of places! So in August, we take a step back, breathe and start thinking about the next academic year.

For us, we work in academic years (because of the interaction with schools etc), so August is a great chance to reflect on the last year because it’s the end of a cycle. As part of that reflecting, each year we produce a rather long document called the OR in Schools Annual Report. It details everything we’ve done for the year, providing both quantitative data on the number of visits (of course sorted by month etc) and qualitative data detailing our partnerships that have worked well and recommendations for the next year.

Each year an OR in Schools Annual Report is produced, and it’s the ability to compare previous figures to this years which I enjoy! Knowing we’re up on visits by 10% from the following year, or that we’ve increased the quality of resources available is fantastic. It’s crucial that we not only recognise what went well and continue it, but also learn from what didn’t go so well. Interactive sessions? Great from the beginning! Trying to give a careers talk in the middle summer in a room with no A/C?  It’s never going to go well!

So we’ve spent ages writing this report…. What actually happens with it? Great question – and the good news is that lots of people have the opportunity to see it and understand what we do. The report initially goes to ERC (Education Research Committee) who are a committee made up of individuals working in Operational Research who have an interest in Education. They read it, hopefully agree with it and approve it. After that, it goes to the board (which is made up of important people working in Operational Research). This gives them a better understanding of how we're getting on and they ask any questions they might have. 

So, whilst it would be lovely to think that August is quiet for us with very few visits and we do nothing but sit around, sadly that’s not quite the case!! Although what’s stopping me from relocating and producing the report from another country?!

Interested? Bored? Hopefully not the latter ….

Tweet us @ORinSchools or @TheORSociety or drop us an email: schools@theorsociety.com

Booking now open for the careers fair:


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