Gatsby Benchmark 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.

Here you will find advice and resources to help schools to meet Gatsby Benchmark 1

An overview of the Gatsby Benchmarks 

Watch Sir John Holman describing the Benchmarks


Embedding careers across the school

  • 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.  
  • Teacherssection 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. 

How to develop the careers programme

Plan a careers programme in three steps:

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

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. This CDI list of learning areas by key stage will help.


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.

Help with Gatsby Benchmark 1 

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

Resources to promote the importance of careers education to the parents/carers of young people with SEND 

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.