UK Winners of primary school Drawing the Future competition meet their career heroes

Schools Industry Partnership, Ngaire Gardiner

Winners of the Inspiring the Future UK Drawing the Future competition received their prizes at an awards ceremony at the British Academy and were thrilled to meet career models representing the jobs they drew.

The nine winners were selected by judges – Neal Layton, author and illustrator; Ann Mroz, editor and digital publishing director of TES and Darren Henley OBE, chief executive of Arts Council England.

Watch our short film from the event


Over 13,000 UK primary school children entered the competition with a drawing of the job they want to do when they grow up.

Entries and some additional information from the children were analysed and the findings published in our Drawing the Future report released earlier this year.

Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds MP said:

“Drawing the Future is a brilliant initiative which is helping young children begin to think about what they want to do in the future, and realise they can do anything if they put their mind to it.

 As a dad I want my children to think they can do any job they put their mind to, and as Education Secretary, I want to make sure we widen young people’s horizons so they are aware of the incredible opportunities that are out there.  

I want to say a big well done to all the winners and finalists – whether you want to be a vet in a zoo or pilot for the red arrows, I wish you all the very best in making your dreams a reality.”

Awards were presented by judges, Neal, and Ann in front of guests from the world of business, education, and government. The winners were thrilled to be joined by their career heroes on the stage and given the opportunity to chat and ask questions about their jobs.

Nick Chambers, CEO of Education and Employers says:

“This event is the perfect opportunity to congratulate the competition winners but also a chance to reflect on the findings of the Drawing the Future report and to redouble the commitment to raising the aspirations of children from all backgrounds.

We are asking primary schools to sign up to Primary Futures and start using volunteers to help broaden children’s horizons and see the links between what they learn at school and their futures, and we also ask working people to sign up to Inspiring the Future and give a small amount of their time to chat to children in schools about their jobs – and they could be the  inspiration that changes a child’s future”.

The winners and their career role models are:

Caroline who drew a vet in a zoo met Nic Masters, head of veterinary services at London Zoo

Alex who drew a runner met Stephanie Twell, bronze medallist for 5000m at the 2016 European Championships and competed at the 2016 Olympic Games and Danielle Sanderson.

Teni, who drew an author met Neal Layton, award-winning children’s author and illustrator of over 60 books including The Invincible Tony Spears, who is also one of the competition judges.

Alfie who drew a car designer met Miles Nurnberger, director of design at Aston Martin.

Millie, who drew a pantomime actress met the actor, Danielle Hope, currently starring as Sandy in Grease and former winner of BBC reality TV show Over the Rainbow

Edith-Mae who drew a scientist met Olivia Channon, Clinical Scientist (Radiotherapy physicist), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Freya, who drew an artist, met Eyizera Farrow, Artist and Founder of Sprout Studios

Josh who drew an architect met Jade Huang, Associate Architect, AAB Architects and Lorna Edwards, Senior Associate and Architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Lucia who drew a pilot for the Red Arrows was, unfortunately, unable to be joined by her career hero as they were training in Morocco but was sent a film inviting her to visit a base soon.

Read more about the Drawing the Future report here.