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The Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define best careers provision in secondary schools. 

We are also very pleased to announce that despite Covid-19 and the disruptions it has brought we have successfully  met all  8 benchmarks for the second year running!

For a more in depth look at how we achieve this please see the table below:

Gatsby Benchmark Overview What we do

1. A stable careers programme

Schools and colleges should have an established programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.

  • Careers Programme written by Careers Leader and includes strategic and operational elements
  • Careers Programme approved by the board of governors
  • Funding allocated in Careers Subject Development Plan
  • Regularly monitored by Careers Leader & Careers Team
  • Careers Programme is available on the website for students, parents/carers, staff, employers and governors
  • Careers Programme evaluated March 2020
  • Nola Bennet is the named Careers Leader with strategic responsibility overseeing the careers programme

2. Learning from careers and labour market information

Every pupil, and their parents/carers, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support to make best use of available information.

  • Students from KS3, KS4 and KS5, as well as parents/carers, governors and staff all attend the WM Careers and Transitions Fair
  • A set of ‘The Careers Handbook’ books for Work Skills groups were purchased in February 2020 to allow students to research careers and career pathways
  • Work Skills groups cover employability skills
  • PRACTICE Skills for Life and Learning programme launched September 2020
  • Labour market information and other careers related information is sent out to students, staff and parents via the regular Careers Bulletins

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.

  • KS3, KS4 and KS5 all participate in National Careers Week
  • KS3, KS4 and KS5 attend the WM Careers and Transitions Fair
  • KS4 and KS5 access a programme of inspirational speakers including those with SEND
  • KS5 attend WM Business Brunch to see inspirational speeches from WM Alumni, training providers and employers
  • KS3, KS4 and KS5 all participate in PRACTICE Skills for life and learning
  • Students actively participate in transition and future planning at their Annual Review
  • The careers team use Compass + to track and record student experiences
  • Students and their parents/carers can request the records of their work related activities
  • Students will be given copies of their work related activity records when they leave WM
  • Transitions TA collects and maintains data for each student on their destinations for 5 years after they leave and runs a termly cycle of contact to maintain presence
  • Transitions TA manages WM Alumni Facebook group to engage with and maintain relationships with ex-students for the purposes of tracking and encouraging them to return to WM as guest speakers at careers events
  • Transitions TA organises and hosts WM Alumni Summer BBQ event and invites WM leavers to introduce them to the Alumni
  • Destinations data is shared with WSCC on an annual basis in the spring term by the Transitions TA
  • WM works with the LA around careers guidance and progression of students within the Annual Review process

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

  • All students participate in PRACTICE Skills for life and learning
  • All teachers are given a careers related target to link careers learning to their teaching especially in STEM subjects
  • Careers team research and provide teachers with links to STEM related events/activities
  • All teachers were provided with training by Nola Bennett in the autumn term of 2019/20 and shared relevant resources.  
  • Teachers include how they link careers learning to their subject (especially STEM subjects) in their Medium Term Plans
  • Raises awareness of careers learning through utilising resources from the world of work, employability skills and the careers that can be achieved through all subject areas
  • Embeds careers education in curriculum learning so that every student has the opportunity to benefit from careers related learning and preparation in subject based activities
  • WM Offers units of careers learning in KS3 and KS4 PSHE curriculum
  • Challenges gender stereotypes in the world of work at every opportunity

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. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

  • The careers team organise and support a range of employer/employee encounters
  • The careers team organise and support a range of visiting speakers including those with SEND
  • WM runs a number of enterprise schemes for the students to be involved with
  • The careers team engage with a variety of employers to involve them in WM Careers activities; WM Careers and Transitions Fair, WM Business Brunch, work place visits, guest speakers
  • Students evaluate all careers and transitions related activities and copies are held by the careers team

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.

  • Careers & Enterprise HLTA with responsibility for Work Experience works with teachers to organise appropriate, relevant and accessible work experience placements or community settings
  • Careers team and wider WM community organise and host experiences of the workplace in the form of visits and tours

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.

  • Students are informed of all vocational routes available to them through assemblies, class careers folder, transitions events, through careers guidance interviews, during careers related learning and on the website
  • Transitions TA organises relevant, appropriate and accessible visits to further education colleges, training providers or progression providers
  • Students in KS4 & 5 for whom it is deemed appropriate access relevant link courses at FE colleges

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.

  • WM buy in careers guidance from a Matrix accredited, independent careers company called My Future Starts Here (MFSH) who provide level 6 qualified Careers Advisers. The CA’s offer students 30 minute 1:1 careers interviews in years 11, 13 and 14 and/or at key decision points
  • Interviews are carried out prior to the annual review to allow for relevant information and the students wishes to inform the progression/transition planning at the AR
  • MFSH provide WM reports on topics discussed and guidance given at the interview
  • Every student that has an interview evaluates it and feedback is provided to MFSH
  • The careers team hold copies of the evaluations