Gatsby Benchmarking

A Stable Careers Programme

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.

This benchmark provides a foundation for the other seven benchmarks outlined on the website. The CHS programme to prepares young people for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life and as part of the Catholic Ethos we consider this to be a core responsibility of the school. We aim to offer inspiring careers and enterprise activities in our careers programme to improve motivation, attendance and attainment. Our careers programme enables young people to make well-informed decisions about education, training, apprenticeship and employment opportunities. It also helps them cope with challenging labour market conditions. We know that young people are three times more likely than adults to be unemployed and so we acknowledge our key role in preparing our students for further education, training and employment. We are dedicated to delivering social mobility and justice and opening doors for all young people. The government has endorsed the fact that “great careers guidance provides the first rung on the ladder of opportunity, helping everyone to achieve their full potential”. (DfE, 2017, p. 3)  and so our careers programme plays an active role in promoting social mobility for the benefit of young people, their families and wider society.

During tutor 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 workplace. These sessions are designed to reflect the stage at which the students are at and are designed to enable them to reflect and to plan for the next step. In addition, we use which students and parents can access both in school and at home. This resources provides advice about careers, qualifications, training and also has information about live apprenticeships which students can apply for. Students also regularly receive information from the Careers Leader, via email, about available apprenticeships.  This is supplemented by vocations day. 

We have adopted the Gatsby Benchmarks on the design of this programme and the structure of the careers section of the website.

Gatsby Benchmarks

Please follow careers on Twitter @CareersCHS1

Personal guidance

Career conversations are an ongoing part of a student’s school experience and personal guidance is an integrated part of the overall careers programme. • The school offers personalised support tailored to students’ needs and abilities. The advice is impartial and always in the best interests of the young person. It has an observable impact on their career and progression. • The personal guidance on careers is closely integrated with the wider pastoral and student support system in the school. Senior staff, including the headteacher, heads of year, personal tutors, form teachers and learning support staff, consider students’ career development as an integral part of their overall personal, social and educational development. Communication between staff is good and underpinned by effective information-sharing and record-keeping. Specialist inputs by career advisers are valued and acted upon. • Career advisers work closely with staff to deliver a range of individual support to students, including: • one-to-one guidance at crucial points of decision making, including year 8 and 9 option choice and choosing pathways for post-16 and post-18 – this guidance offers students in-depth support to interpret information and apply it to their own situation • group work sessions on particular topics, such as apprenticeships, labour market trends or employability skills • advice to parents and students at careers fairs and parents’ evenings • advertised drop-in sessions for students at lunchtimes and other times during the week • support on exam results days.

Encounters with further and higher education

Enterprise Advisers and Enterprise Coordinators work closely with local institutions and agencies on a collaborative and strategic approach. All partners – schools, colleges, universities, local authorities, careers guidance providers, parents/carers, employers and the wider community – have a common understanding of local needs and solutions. Co-operative working makes it easier to organise big events, such as careers, skills and higher education fairs. • Schools have a multi-pronged approach to ensure students are well-supported to choose pathways they value post-18. They start this work long before students reach the point of decision as evidence shows that raising aspirations and building resilience is effective from year 7 or earlier. • The school acts in the best interests of students. It recognises and accepts that students post-14 have the possibility of going to a university technical college or a studio school, rather than simply choosing what subjects to take at GCSE and equivalent. • The school makes maximum use of its flexibility to organise suspended timetable days for different year groups, such as careers and higher education preparation days for year 12s in the summer term. • The school ensures encounters with further and higher education are part of an overall approach that encompasses: • personalised and small-group information, advice and guidance • carefully selected sources of information, including digital and print-based, which are promoted through the school’s website, newsletter and social media • a planned programme of on-site and off-site encounters with further and higher education to strengthen accessibility, outreach and transition preparedness for targeted groups, such as Pupil Premium, gifted and talented students and students with special educational needs and disabilities • close co-operation with parents, families and carers in recognition of their key influence on children’s thinking and decision-making, specifically to develop their capacity to talk about careers with their children and encourage family learning.

Encounters with employers and employees

Employers and schools work together in creative ways to ensure students build a rich picture of the world of work and are well prepared to take up workplace opportunities. Schools provide first hand encounters with employers as part of careers and enterprise programmes for years 7 to 13 and celebrate these links in their prospectuses and on their websites. They build sustainable relationships with large and small employers and plan mentoring, careers talks, mock interviews, enterprise competitions and workplace visits. The encounters are well planned and help to increase student enthusiasm and confidence. The Gatsby Charitable Foundation has defined a meaningful encounter as ‘one in which a student has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace.’ • Students should participate in at least one meaningful encounter with an employer every year between years 7-13. In years 7 and 8, the focus may be on exploring the student’s interests and motivations and developing a broad understanding of the world of work. In year 9, the focus may be on building aspirations and exploring career opportunities in more detail, including challenging stereotypes. Year 10 may be a time to address self-presentation and what employers want, while, in year 11, there is a practical focus on making plans and applications for post-16 learning. The post16 study programme should include structured work experience, volunteering and personal development. • Schools have strong and lasting links with local businesses, supported by the Enterprise Adviser. In some cases, links are sustained through the school’s governing body or fostered through programmes, such as Business Class from Business in the Community. Schools in rural areas or in regions where the local economy is under pressure rise to the challenge of developing a wide range of employer encounters. The contribution of Enterprise Advisers to the network is invaluable, building on the foundation of over 1,700 senior business leaders who have already volunteered to foster employer connections and offer strategic support to headteachers. • Schools and employers draw on evidence of what works including The Careers & Enterprise Company’s ongoing study of the evidence base for each activity. They focus on: • the different effects for different kinds of activities • the sequencing of these activities to ensure they are age appropriate and progressive • the importance of effective implementation including proper briefing and debriefing.

Linking curriculum learning to careers

The school adopts a strategic approach to linking curriculum learning to careers and develops a coherent rationale for embedding careers in subject learning. This is not about making a subject more popular. It is about making subjects more relatable and relevant to every day and working life. Real-life contexts and examples from the world of work make subjects easier to understand and help students feel more engaged in their learning. Above all, linking curriculum learning to careers boostS achievement and help students to progress. Students are less likely to drop out if they know about opportunities for further study and how the subject can be combined with others to give access to different pathways. Each department or faculty produce schemes of work and lesson plans which show how career-relevant learning will be embedded in their teaching. They use a variety of approaches, with some schemes of work setting up dedicated careers-related units or modules at the beginning or end of courses. They devise lessons that include career-related learning, inserts, activities and a plenary. Their planning also makes clear how career-related subject learning will be assessed and, where appropriate, accredited. Teachers are confident at talking about careers related to their subject matter and understand the routes, pathways and the skills in demand from employers, this might include CPD for subject teachers and the opportunity to visit relevant industries. Subject teachers will understand the school process to access potential employers or alumni and regularly look to increase contact and develop relationships with key local and national employers. Creating industry-focused workstreams for students is another way of emulating industry within the curriculum. Solving or addressing a real-life problem or project can develop a whole range of employability skills such as communication and team working. Students involved in previous years can become mentors to new cohorts of students and develop their skills even further. These projects can bring numerous subjects, including maths, English and science, to life. They illustrate how each subject helps prepare the students for working life. The school recognises that the reach of subject teaching is far greater than what can be achieved through a limited amount of careers education sessions. These distinct careers education sessions can be used to pull together and complement everything learned in subjects, encounters with employers and experiences of workplaces to help students understand the skills and knowledge they are developing and the impact this has on their futures.

Careers Curriculum Resources

 Art & Design Biology  Business  Chemistry  Computer Science  Design Technology Economics English  Geography  History  Languages Maths Physics Psychology Sociology

Careers in the curriculum

Our curriculum leaders are also very familiar with the importance of CEIAG and ensuring it is embedded within their subject area, therefore if you wish to work with any particular subject area, they would most certainly welcome employer involvement to enhance the provision from an expert in that field. Our curriculum leaders may also be able to inform you of students who express an interest in going down your career path. Further details on our curriculum links to employment and careers can be found below.


Learning from career and labour market information


We enable our students to access to up-to-date career and labour market information which is vitally important for social mobility. Information about pay, numbers of vacancies and alumni’s successful transitions all assist in connecting students to a range of future careers. Students with high aspirations are provided with resources to gain the knowledge to put their plans into action. Providing detailed information about progression routes, relevant courses and employers and useful networks increase their capacity to make effective choices and transitions. Students, parents and teachers are frequently updated about new and developing routes and pathways, such as technical levels in occupational areas and the continued expansion of apprenticeships. Students are encouraged to develop strong digital and research skills to make good use of online information about career exploration, making applications, self-presentation and professional networking.

We will publish details of various opportunities linked into careers and the labour market on this page, for details of developments in local and national labour markets please open the document listed below.

Current Apprenticeship Vacancies (Local)

For further apprenticeship opportunities visit