SCHOOLS in Andover and nearby areas came together for a careers fair that drew in more than 800 eager students.

The event, organised by John Hanson School, took place at The Lights and Andover College on Wednesday, October 4.

It provided a valuable platform for Year 11 students from the area to explore their future prospects in colleges, universities, apprenticeships, and businesses.

Besides John Hanson, the participating schools included Winton Community Academy, Test Valley, Rookwood, Harrow Way, Mark Way, Icknield, and Grateley House.

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Anna Hall, the deputy headteacher at John Hanson School, expressed her enthusiasm for the event's success.

She said: "We've been running a similar successful event for several years now at John Hanson, but with the addition of two inspirational motivational speakers this year, the space at both The Lights and Andover College seemed more appropriate."

The careers fair ran from 9.30am to 2.50pm, allowing students ample time to interact with representatives from various institutions and organisations.

Ms Hall said the fair's main aim was to get the students to think about their future.

"They are all 15 and 16-year-old students. We are giving them different options about studies and apprenticeships, just getting them to think about the future. They feel more prepared after the fair."

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The collaboration among multiple schools in the area was a key highlight of the event.

Ms Hall added: "If we do it for just one school, we might only get three to four colleges and a few businesses attending the fair. So a joint effort from all the schools in the area is more meaningful.

"Schools generally don't tend to work together because there's competition between each other, but I think it's important for our students to get the best opportunity to be able to meet as many colleges, universities, apprenticeship providers, and businesses.

"We had one year off for the fair during Covid. It was definitely the right move to bring it back. It's for the community."

She also praised the Andover College for hosting the fair.