Careers Policy

Vision and Values 

This policy is underpinned by our long-term vision and core values. 

Vision Statement 

To provide a careers programme that prepares our students for the world of work, enabling all of them to achieve aspirational career outcomes and have the confidence to flourish in an ever-changing careers landscape.   


Within our careers provision we aim to: 

  • Use the framework provided by the Gatsby Benchmarks to provide students with an excellent careers education from Year 7 to Year 11 
  • Promote social inclusion and improve social mobility, providing equality of opportunity and access to all students 
  • Enable our students to grow through reflection on themselves, their skills and plans for the future 
  • Equip our students with the knowledge and skills to become independent researchers of careers guidance who know how to explore the range of possibilities on offer 
  • Ensure all of our students have a careers-related goal for the future and understand how to get there, whilst also appreciating that their goals can change 
  • Ensure students understand the “bigger picture” of education and employment beyond Wilmslow High School 

Statutory Requirements and Expectations 

This policy is based on the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) statutory Careers guidance and access for education and training providers 

This guidance refers to: 

  • The Education Act 1997 
  • The Education and Skills Act 2008 
  • The School Information (*England) Regulations 2008 

This policy is also in line with the more recent Skills and Post-16 Act 2022, which came into force on 1 January 2023. It explains that our school must provide a minimum of 6 encounters with technical education or training providers to all pupils in years 8 to 13. For more detail on these encounters, see our provider access policy statement, which you can find [insert location of your statement]. 

This policy is also in line with the Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) Act 2022. This came into force on 1 September 2022, and amended the existing duty in The Education Act 1997, so that our school must now secure independent careers guidance from Year 7. 

The eight Gatsby Benchmarks are at the heart of our policy. 

We use Compass+ to log activities from our careers programme in relation to the Gatsby Benchmarks and to assess its impact. 

Learner Entitlement 

Every student is entitled to high quality career education and guidance as part of their overall education.  The careers programme should be age appropriate and support students as they embark on each stage of their educational journey.  We firmly believe in the entitlement of all students to aspire to ambitious career goals and to be aware of the negative impact that stereotyping can have on these goals. 

Management and Delivery 

We recognise the importance of putting in place effective arrangements for the management and delivery of the programme. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

The governing board 

The governor with responsibility for careers is Jim Caulkett. 

The governing board will: 

  • Provide clear advice and guidance on which the school can base a strategic careers plan which meets legal and contractual requirements  
  • Appoint a member of the governing board who will take a strategic interest in careers education and encourage employer engagement 
  • Make sure independent careers guidance is provided to all pupils throughout their secondary education (11 to 18 year-olds) and that the information is presented impartially, includes a range of educational or training options and promotes the best interests of students 
  • Make sure that a range of education and training providers can access pupils in Years 8 to 13 to inform them of approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships 
  • Make sure that details of our school’s careers programme and the name of the careers leader are published on the school’s website 
  • Make sure that arrangements are in place for the school to meet the legal requirements of the ‘Baker Clause’, including that the school has published a provider access policy statement  

Senior leadership team (SLT) 

Our SLT will: 

  • Support the careers programme 
  • Support the careers leader in developing their strategic careers plan 
  • Make sure our school’s careers leader is allocated sufficient time, and has the appropriate training, to perform their duties to a high standard 
  • Allow training providers access to talk to pupils in years 8 to 13 about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships, and set out arrangements for this in our school’s provider access policy statement 
  • Network with employers, education and training providers, and other careers organisations 

Careers lead 

Our careers lead is Mrs Helen Cook, and she can be contacted by phoning 01625 441090 or emailing Our careers leader works closely with the senior leadership team (SLT) and will: 

  • Take responsibility for developing, running and reporting on the school’s career programme 
  • Plan and manage careers activities 
  • Manage the budget for the careers programme 
  • Support teachers to build careers education and guidance into subjects across the curriculum 
  • Establish and develop links with employers, education and training providers, and careers organisations 
  • Work closely with relevant staff, including our special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and careers adviser, to identify the guidance needs of all of our pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and put in place personalised support and transition plans 
  • Work with our school’s designated teacher for looked-after children (LAC) and previously LAC to:  
  • Make sure they know which pupils are in care or are care leavers  
  • Understand their additional support needs 
  • Make sure that, for LAC, their personal education plan can help inform careers advice  
  • Review our school’s provider access policy statement at least annually, in agreement with our governing board  

Careers Adviser from MPLOY Solutions 

Our careers adviser is called Laura Bailey and she works on Mondays and Tuesdays.  She will: 

  • Ensure that the school maintains its high level of careers provision and advice for all pupils at all times through being a main point of contact for advice to staff, parents and students 
  • Provide high quality 1-1 careers guidance for students in Years 7 to 13 and ensure students have access to a record of this through the Unifrog platform 

Careers Support  

Careers support is provided by Mrs Kath Stephens.  She oversees Year 10 work experience and co-ordinates appointments with the careers adviser. 

Our careers support will: 

  • Ensure that work experience for Year 10 is organised in accordance with the KCSIE guidance 
  • Book careers guidance appointments for students from Year 7 to Year 13 to support students at key stages of their educational journeys and ensure equity of provision for all students 

Pastoral and SEND teams 

Our pastoral and SEND teams will: 

  • Oversee the teams they hold responsibility for and ensure appropriate careers guidance is delivered to all students within their managed areas in collaboration with the Careers Lead 

Curriculum Team Leaders (CTLs) 

Our CTLs will: 

  • Oversee the teams they hold responsibility for and ensure appropriate careers guidance is delivered to all students through the embedding of careers within their curriculum journeys in collaboration with the Careers Leader.  This will support Gatsby Benchmark 4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers 

Tutors and Teachers 

Our tutors and teachers will: 

  • Deliver appropriate careers guidance to all students in line with the school’s careers programme 
  • Signpost pupils to the careers advisor where specialist/further information is required 

Staff Development 

All staff are expected to contribute to the career learning and development of students in their different roles.  To meet the training needs that arise from this, we will use in-house training and briefings from the Careers Lead in addition to external agencies (such as Unifrog, colleges and universities) where appropriate. 

Funding and Resourcing 

Funding for careers will be allocated in the school budget.  The school will also explore sources of external funding through the Partners Programme and other revenue streams. 

Teaching, Learning and Assessment 

Our Careers Programme 

Our school has an embedded careers programme that aims to inform and encourage pupils to consider their career options, and take steps to understand their choices and pathways. We provide statutory independent careers guidance to pupils from Year 7 onwards. 

Our programme has been developed to meet the expectations outlined in the Gatsby Benchmarks 

Our programme doesn’t show bias towards any particular career path and promotes a full range of technical and academic options for students. 

It is structured in a way that builds upon previous years, and the overarching aim is divided between the Key Stages so that pupils are encouraged to think appropriately about their future.  

We provide aims, intent and activities for each year group and are clear about the intent of each activity. 

Our careers programme is delivered through a number of methods, including: 

  • Guest speakers (virtual and in-person) 
  • STEPS booklets from Year 7 to Year 13 
  • Wider Curriculum lessons 
  • Assemblies 
  • Tutorial activities 
  • After school events 
  • Displays 

Our Key Stage 3 careers programme will focus on students developing awareness of their own qualities and skills.  They will learn about options available post-16 and post-18 through interaction with employers, FE, HE and training providers and also how to conduct independent research into these options. The programme will support students in their planning and choices of GCSE subjects.  

Our Key Stage 4 careers programme aims to help pupils research and understand their choices and routes into education and training through further meaningful interactions with employers, FE, HE and training providers.  The programme will support students in their planning and choices of their post-16 destination. 

Our Key Stage 5 careers programme supports pupils in planning for their post-18 destination and beyond, including university and alternative pathways, through meaningful interactions with HE and training providers as well as employers.   

This is our outline of Wider Curriculum lessons for the 2023-4 academic year. 

In addition to these sessions, we also use the STEPS careers booklets with Years 7-13 and provide after school events for students from a variety of providers. 

Pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) 

We expect that the majority of pupils with SEND will follow the same careers programme that meets the Gatsby Benchmarks as their classmates, with adjustments and additional support as needed. 

Our careers leader, SENCo and other designated teachers will work with teachers and, where appropriate, professionals from relevant organisations, to identify the needs of our students with SEND and put in place personalised support and transition plans. This may include meetings with students and their families to discuss education, training and employment opportunities, supported internships and transition plans into higher education.  

We are committed to ensuring that no information will be given to pupils without SEND that is not also offered to our pupils with SEND. 

Monitoring, Reviewing, Evaluating and Reporting – assessing impact on students 

Our careers programme is designed so that all stakeholders can give feedback, and students’ progress can measured as they move through the Key Stages. We measure and assess the impact of the programme’s initiatives by using: 

  • Compass+ to track activities in relation to the Gatsby Benchmarks 
  • The Compass+ Future Skills Questionnaire 
  • Our own Aspirations Questionnaire 
  • Google Forms 
  • Destinations data from Year 11 and Year 13 
  • Hard copy feedback forms 
  • Data produced by Mploy regarding careers adviser 
  • Quality Assurance visits recorded on Steplab 
  • Quality Assurance monitoring of Wider Curriculum lessons and STEPS booklets 

 We use the data collected to inform our future planning of the careers programme through our strategic plan. 

Date Approved: September 2023 

Date of Next Review:  June 2024