Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines about what makes the best careers provision in schools and colleges and the latest Careers Strategy of 2018 has built its foundation around them. Our CEIAG programme is also based around these 8 benchmarks, and every subject will be seeking to embed them within their curriculum or extra-curricular activities.

Research tells us that careers education is the linchpin for school improvement – pupils are motivated when they know what they want to achieve in their lives and how to go about it.

The publication of Careers Guidance and Access for Education & Training Providers in January 2018 clearly states:

“A successful careers guidance programme will also be reflected in higher numbers of pupils progressing to positive destinations such as apprenticeships, technical routes, sixth form colleges, FE colleges, university or employment.” Page 5

The new guidance sets out some clear expectations. The most important of which is that all schools should have a Careers Leader and that all schools should be working towards achieving all 8 of the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers, governors and employers.

Benchmark Description
1. A stable careers programme Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.
2. Learning from career and labour market information Every pupil, and their parents should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

During ECM in form time each year group follows a tailored careers education programme. This includes information on different careers, information on how to seek careers, applications, interviews and the skills needed in the work place. In addition, we use the Career Connect portal which students and parents can access both in school and at home. The Career Connect portal gives advice about careers and qualifications. It also has a link to live apprenticeship vacancies which students can apply for. Students spend time working on Career Connect during form time.


3. Addressing the needs of each pupil Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A schools careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

The ECM programme is tailored to different year groups in order to ensure it is age appropriate. In addition to this all students complete a careers aspirations form annually from year 7. These are analysed in conjunction with Option / Post 16 choices. During aspirations day year 8 pupils were able to select their programme of learning for the day. This allows sessions to be tailored to students needs and ensure they complete experiences linked to their own interests.

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

During aspirations day subjects completed lessons based around careers in their subject. E.g. careers in science. This gave students an insight into the different careers they could go into using each of their qualifications.

5. Encounters with employers and employees Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

During ECM days students work with a range of employers and employees to give them knowledge about the workplace. One example includes completing the Barclays Life skills workshops. During the workshops students learnt about People Skills, Money Skills and Work Skills. They also learn about the different job roles and the range of careers available. This is just one example, however extensive links have been made with a number of employers and employees. The Shaping Futures Outreach Programme also runs a number of bespoke projects linking to employers.

6. Experiences of workplaces Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

Work Experience placements during Year 10 which are highly personalised. Visits take place to Hays Recruitment in Liverpool for those students who require additional support in undertaking a work experience placement. They participate in a ‘Get that Job’ workshop which includes a 1:1 interview.

7. Encounters with further and higher education All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace

Careers fair held for Year 8 students to assist with option choices. A careers Fair is also held for pupils and parents of students in years 9,10 and 11. Year 9 and 10 spend a taster day at Cronton/Riverside College exploring Vocational, Level 3 and A Level qualification. Applications are completed in school and analysed to ensure that the best careers advice is given.

Visits to Oxford / Cambridge along with hosted visits in school take place to encourage students to have high aspirations.

Apprenticeship providers / Post 16 provider’s delivery assemblies during ECM time.

8. Personal guidance Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a career adviser, who could be internal or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

Year 11 student undertake a 1:1 interview with the Principal, Associate Vice Principal, or Head of Year to ensure that they have high aspirations and are applying for the most suitable courses. Careers Connect also provide interviews on a 1:1 basis.