“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Teacher Information

Careers in the Curriculum

The careers curriculum can be taught ‘as a subject’ and ‘through other subjects’ to promote the career learning, development and wellbeing of students. Careers in the whole curriculum can be ‘embedded in subject learning’ and delivered ‘through co-curricular activities’ to promote subject learning and the overall personal and social development and wellbeing of students.

Career learning delivered as a subject

In this approach careers content is delivered as a discrete curriculum, e.g. in careers education or as part of PSHE. It is allocated time in the timetable and facilitated through a range of activities by teachers, careers professionals, teaching support staff and other external partners, e.g. employers and further and higher education providers. In some cases, learning is assessed and accredited.

Career learning delivered through other subjects

In this approach careers content is delivered through subjects, e.g. personal financial planning skills taught in maths, self-presentation skills taught in English. Ideally this approach both provides career learning and enhances the subject learning, e.g. by showing how a mathematical technique is used in the real world.

Career learning delivered through co-curricular activities

In this approach careers content is delivered through informal and voluntary learning activities which have a strong connection to the curriculum. Many schools organise after-school clubs, cultural events and residential activities which provide opportunities to complement formal careers in the curriculum provision, e.g. STEM clubs to build on students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. In practice, schools do not maintain rigid distinctions between each of these approaches and often blend them together.

Dates for Teacher Diaries

Please see Careers Programme and Careers Events pages.

What are the Gatsby Benchmarks?

The Gatsby Benchmarks are referred to everywhere in the careers world, but what are they, where have they come from and what do they mean?

The Gatsby Benchmarks originated in a research report (Good Career Guidance) from the Gatsby Foundation in 2013.  The report was commissioned by Lord Sainsbury and Sir John Holman was appointed to lead a research team to focus on international evidence for ‘what works’ in career development.  The research provides a comprehensive study of career development exploring key elements of good career development.

The report found 8 benchmarks of best practice, which are now more commonly known as ‘The Gatsby Benchmarks’.  They are:

1. A stable careers programme

Every school and college should have a stable, structured careers programme that has the explicit backing of the senior management team. There should be an identified and appropriately trained person responsible for it. It should be published on the school’s website and accessible to pupils, parents, teachers and employers. The programme should be regularly evaluated with feedback from pupils, parents, teachers and employers.

2. Learning from labour market information

By the age of 14, all pupils should have accessed and used information about career paths and the labour market to inform their own decisions on study options. Parents should be encouraged to access and use information about labour markets and future study options to inform their support to their children. An informed adviser can help them make the best use of available information.

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 school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout. A school’s careers programme should actively seek to challenge stereotypical thinking and raise aspirations. Schools should keep systematic records of the individual advice given to each pupil, and subsequent agreed decisions. All pupils should have access to these records to support their career development. Schools should collect and retain accurate data for each pupil on their education, training or employment destinations for at least three years after they leave the school.

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

By the age of 14, every pupil should have had the opportunity to learn how the different STEM subjects help people to gain entry to, and be more effective workers within, a wide range of careers.

5. Encounters with employers and employees

Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. Every year, from the age of 11, pupils should participate in at least one meaningful encounter*with an employer. A ‘meaningful encounter’ is one in which the student has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace. This can be achieved through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

6. Experiences of workplaces

By the age of 16, every pupil should have had at least one experience of a workplace, additional to any part-time jobs they may have. By the age of 18, every pupil should have had one further such experience, additional to any part-time jobs they may have.

7. Encounters with further and higher education

By the age of 16, every pupil should have had a meaningful encounter* with providers of the full range of learning opportunities, including sixth forms, colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers. This should include the opportunity to meet both staff and pupils. By the age of 18, all pupils who are considering applying for university should have had at least two visits to universities to meet staff and pupils. A ‘meaningful encounter’ is one in which the student has an opportunity to explore what it is like to learn in that environment.

8. Personal Guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a Careers Adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) 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. Every pupil should have at least one such interview by the age of 16, and the opportunity for a further interview by the age of 18.

Send us your feedback

As teachers and therefore stakeholders in our Careers Education Provision the Careers Department value your feedback and input. If you have any comments or innovative ideas for our future careers programme we would appreciate your participation.