The Gatsby Benchmarks

Benchmark 1: A stable careers programme


  • Careers Leaders can ask for careers to be included on the agenda of senior leadership and governor meetings. Present a summary of what is happening in careers, the progress against Statutory, Ofsted and Gatsby Benchmark requirements, the impacts on pupils' destinations, motivation and attainment, future targets and any support or resources required - these slides for governors may help. The CEC have helpful documents on strategy for senior leaders and governors in the resources directory 

  • Further advice on embedding careers across the whole school can be found in the Careers Leader handbook, created by the East Sussex Careers Hub with Jennie Cole of Hailsham Community College and Claire Noble of Saxon Mount School.

  • Include Careers education on the school/college website, ideally in the main menu so it is easy to find.
  • Government requires the careers programme to be published on the website. A timetable setting out the career activities for each year group is ideal, with the programme's aims and objectives and information about  partners involved in delivery.
  • It is a legal requirement to publish the provider access policy on the website (the 'Baker Clause'), stating that the school agrees to apprenticeships and training providers, FE colleges, higher education and other providers visiting the school to talk directly to pupils, and explaining how to organise this and who to contact. An example policy is shown in Annex A of the statutory guidance.
  • Career web pages must by law include the Careers Leader's name and contact details. 
  • The careers pages should also contain clearly labelled sections for:
    • Students
    • Teachers
    • Employers/employees
    • Parents/carers.
  • Students' section. To reflect the talents and interests of all students, ensure that pathways information is comprehensive. Here are some ideas:
    • Include details about Apprenticeships with links to ASK Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships in Sussex 
    • Employment - include links to application and CV help, perhaps also signposting to a large job board such as Indeed.
    • Post-16 courses - direct Years 10 and 11 to the e-prospectus, and to the admissions pages of local colleges not listed on the prospectus (Brighton and Hove FE colleges, for example).
    • University - include links to local universities and to UCAS
    • Training - make sure that students are aware of training options via this database of Sussex  training providers. 
    • Signpost to high quality careers websites such as BBC Bitesize Careers, National Careers Service, iCould and (for years 12 and 13) Prospects.  
  • Teachers’ section would encourage teaching colleagues to bring careers into their curriculum teaching. For example it could link to the Gatsby Benchmark 4 resources.
  • Employers and employees’ section would invite local people to volunteer their time to meet students and talk about their career and sector. If the school has an Enterprise Adviser, they might  include their bio and a photo on this page too.
  • Parents/carers’ section would cover how to support their child’s careers thinking and key dates such as Option choices and application to college/uni dates. Parents could be encouraged to get involved with careers activities as employers and employees.
  • It would also be good to have a section for alumni to invite them to visit the school to talk to students about their careers journey.

Plan a careers programme in three steps:

1. Start with the school’s Careers Strategy and Gatsby Benchmarks:

  • What activity is happening against each benchmark?
  • Where are the gaps?
  • How does the activity fulfil the school’s learning outcomes and strategic objectives for careers? Use the CDI Framework (see below) to guide you in selecting meaningful learning outcomes. 
  • What is missing?

2. Map out the activity by year group.

3. Map out the activity by subject.

Involve subject staff, asking them to identify what they are doing and the gaps.

The CDI Framework, refreshed in 2021, can help you in thinking about the impactful learning you want students to gain from your programme. You might like to use this planning tool that maps the new CDI framework against the Gatsby Benchmarks. Additionally, this document lists the CDI learning areas by key stage

Gatsby Benchmark 1 states that the careers programme should be regularly evaluated with feedback from students, parents, teachers and employers as part of the evaluation process.

Evaluation templates can be found on the CEC resources directory.

Use evaluation to measure whether your programme is delivering the intended learning outcomes and objectives. This can take place annually, after activities or at chosen points across the year. Two powerful questions that can be asked of students, parents, teachers and employers are:

• What works well about the school/college careers programme?

• How could the careers programme be even better?

You could ask these questions at parents' evenings, in tutor time, with employers at events, and during teacher briefings/CPD. The questions can also be added as survey links on the school website.

Ask your Enterprise Coordinator and Enterprise Adviser for further advice and support and consult the Careers and Enterprise Company's resource directory

A delivery plan on the importance of Careers Education in Special Secondary Schools

A powerpoint to support the delivery plan.

Top trumps resource pack to be used within the delivery of the workshop