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What are the Gatsby Benchmarks?

In 2014, Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby Charitable Foundation published a report by Professor Sir John Holman, Adviser in Education, at the Gatsby Charitable Foundation titled “Good Career Guidance.” The report identified eight benchmarks that are the core dimensions of good careers and enterprise provision in schools.

Benchmark 1 – A stable careers programme

As a school, we have to have a careers programme in place for all year groups. Teachers, pupils, parents, governors and employers must have access to our basic programme. Our programme can be found on the school website. Our programme involves Inspire sessions, registration activities, outside speakers, visits and workshops.

Benchmark 2 – Learning from career and labour market information

This benchmark allows students and parents to have access to good information about what jobs are available in their local area, what business are situated near them, what areas need more employees and which jobs might not exist in the future.

Our students have access to up-to-date labour market information via Unifrog.

Subject leaders can help students by talking about local businesses and new job roles that link to their subject.

Benchmark 3 – Addressing the needs of each pupil

All of our students have different career aspirations and will need different guidance at different points in their education. The careers guidance and education needs to be tailored to reach students. During their time at school, our students will have individual interviews to discuss their next stage, opportunities to visit businesses and further education and additional support if they require it

Benchmark 4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link careers to their subject area. Students can't choose the best career path for themselves if they don't know what jobs are out there. By adding in careers information into lessons, students can understand the variety of jobs on offer. Students can often say what subjects they enjoy but can't often say what jobs they could go into with a love for that subject. Lessons can also include employability skills such as problem-solving, team work and leadership. Please see below for further information to support you meeting this benchmark.

Benchmark 5 – Encounters with employers and employees

Students need to have multiple encounters with employers so they can learn what the world of work is like. The RA team work with lots of different businesses but subject staff can also bring in employers as well - this could be to do a talk, run workshops or be a virtual talk. Please see Laura Langley if you need further help or support with this benchmark.

Benchmark 6 – Experiences of workplaces

Every student should have first-hand experience of the work place. As part of the careers programme, Year 10 have one week of in person Work Experience in July and Year 12 have one week of Work Shadowing, also in July. We work with Changing Education to provide this. All subject teachers are encouraged to run trips to businesses – additionally, these count towards careers in the curriculum.

Benchmark 7 – Encounters with further and higher education

All students must have encounters with colleges, sixth forms, learning providers, universities and work-based learning.

Benchmark 8 – Personal guidance

All students must have access to impartial advice about their career choices. We employ Innervate to deliver this guidance alongside other workshops at key transition points and with particular groups of students. Innervate primarily work with Year 10-13 for the personal interviews but we can offer these to students lower down the school particularly if they have an EHCP.

The Gatsby Benchmarks have a key role in:

  • Raising young people’s aspirations and promoting access to all career pathways.
  • Enabling all young people to develop the skills and outlook they need to achieve career wellbeing, including adaptability and resilience.
  • Underpinning the Department for Education guidance to schools on meeting their statutory responsibility for careers guidance.

Please take a moment to watch the video linked below:

Why do teachers need to know this?

As classroom teacher, we need to focus on Benchmark 4. Linking Curriculum Learning to careers. This is for all subjects across the school. Careers in the curriculum has twin purposes:

  • To promote students’ career learning, development and wellbeing and
  • To enhance students’ subject learning and attainment and their overall personal and social development.

Why this matters

  • Subject teachers are highly influential – students are eighteen times more likely to be motivated to learn if their teachers know their hopes and dreams.
  • Students feel more engaged in their learning when they perceive the relevance of what they are studying to their own and other people’s lives.
  • Students are given the opportunity to develop their career thinking and to acquire important career management and employability skills.
  • Students become more aspirational, understanding that perceived barriers can be overcome and that there are numerous pathways to success.
  • Employer engagement during school years reduces the likelihood of a young person becoming NEET and increases the amount young adults earn once in full-time employment.

How can you support the Gatsby Benchmarks in your classroom?

There are a variety of ways to demonstrate Careers in the Curriculum in your classroom. For example:

  1. Careers focused displays and posters.
  2. Make explicit links to employability skill(s) being used in lesson  i.e communication, problem-solving etc and use the logos provided.
  3. Challenge stereotypes surrounding your subject, e.g. gender, age, class, etc.
  4. Teach to your students' aspirations (ask them).
  5. Set careers research as homework.
  6. Refer to careers videos on Unifrog, iCould, Bitesize,
  7. Introduce a case study of a successful person who has studied the subject?
  8. At the start of a topic, link theme to wider world so pupils see the relevance i.e. Maths, Science and, soon to be all subjects, check out
  9. Organise a talk from an outside speaker that links to part of the curriculum.
  10. Talk to each KS about the benefit of your subject in the next KS.
  11. Check you have the subject posters previously supplied up and refer to them.
  12. Build careers into trips and visits. Can a member of staff from the venue explain their role and pathway?
  13. Bring in volunteers and visit workplaces.
  14. Ensure you have a careers display linking your subject to career pathways that is updated on an annual basis.
  15. Organise a trip to a place of work.
  16. Invite back alumni who studied the subject to explain their pathway and role.
  17. Hold a careers week focus week – check the careers calendar for subject-specific national events.
  18. Plan to use Unifrog within a lesson, all students Year 7-13 have access to this.
  19. Use an external employer to set a project and provide feedback.
  20. Ask for our independent Careers Advisor from Innervate to talk with your students about pathways.

Employability Skills 

Within your lessons, you will also be facilitating the development of students’ key employability skills. In Warlingham School & Sixth Form College we have identified the following 7 main skills: Problem-solving, Communication, Negotiation, Leadership, Perseverance, Teamwork and Organisation. Where students are developing these skills in lessons, please can you ensure that these logos are displayed. These logos look like this:

Employability Skills Logo Main School      Employability Skills Logo College

Main School College           

Where can you find relevant resources?

Resources for individual subject areas have been shared with Heads of Department and Careers Champions but are available on request directly from Laura Langley.