Emma Finamore, Editor, AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk

The stars seem to be aligning for the Gatsby Benchmarks, or at least getting closer to being aligned, as the adopting of these standards gains popularity and central government throws its weight behind the approach. But it will take more than words to overhaul the UK careers advice and the future of our young people.

The eight benchmarks were developed in 2013, when the Gatsby Foundation commissioned Sir John Holman to research what pragmatic actions could improve career guidance in England and subsequently he developed the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks.

After six international visits, analysis of good practice in English schools and a comprehensive review of current literature, Holman wrote the The Good Career Guidance Report which identifies a set of eight benchmarks that schools can use as a framework for improving their careers provision. 

These were:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3.  Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

Many careers and education organisations have already embedded the benchmarks into their work, including the Careers and Enterprise CompanyTeach First and the Sutton Trust.  But this year the benchmarks were underwritten by central government, when they were included as a central part of the Education Strategy 2018.

“The Gatsby Benchmarks have set world-class standards, and now we want every school and college to use them to develop and improve their careers provision,” the strategy says. “Government will ask schools and colleges to meet these standards, publishing new statutory guidance in January 2018 setting out how to meet all of the benchmarks. By adopting these Benchmarks, schools and colleges will be putting employers at the heart of the careers programme. Support will be tailored to address the needs of every young person, especially disadvantaged students, and data and technology will be used to drive improvements.”

There are now incentives for schools to meet the benchmarks too, the 2018 strategy outlines. Schools and colleges can gain formal accreditation of their careers programme through the Quality in Careers Standard - the national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance.

The strategy says this Standard offers an opportunity for providers to undergo an external evaluation of their careers programme and so is distinct from the Compass self-assessment – the careers self-evaluation benchmark tool for all secondary schools and sixth forms in England.

“We strongly recommend that all schools and colleges work towards the updated Quality in Careers Standard, incorporating Compass, to support the development of a world-class careers programme for all their young people,” the strategy states.

Advertisement

Earlier this month, the Careers and Enterprise Company held its third annual Join The Dots conference, updating people from the education and careers industry on their work implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks so far, and what they plan to do in the future. But one of the most interesting aspects of the conference – and for me, the most hopeful – was that a team of 50 young people from local schools and colleges joined the Careers and Enterprise Company for a day of work experience, getting hands-on events experience. This demonstrates a genuine, real-life commitment to helping young people, and innovative use of real-life situations to meet careers guidance needs.

And it’s on the ground, in real life, that we can see how the theory behind all these strategies, reports and conferences really does work when the moving parts work together.

St Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham, south London, for example, held its annual Aspirations Evening this month, bringing 170 employers into the school to chat with pupils one-to-one. These employers ranged from Twitter, the Metropolitan Police and top City law firms, to those in the medical, legal, finance, engineering, media and public sectors, as well as those offering apprenticeships and small business owners.

The approach was simple: Each employer sat at a desk and every two minutes a bell rang, and a new pupil would sit down opposite them to ask questions about their profession, the industry, what opportunities it offered and which education/career paths could be taken to access those opportunities.

The school’s sixth-formers and some alumni were also in attendance to chat with pupils, offering advice on A-levels, university and general post-school careers.

One Year 10 pupil said that had made useful connections in construction at the event and afterwards secured work experience at a construction company, he is now interested in construction management – and particular job roles on a construction site that he would never have known existed without that invaluable time on the ground.

One alumni of the school (he finished A-levels last year) was there to help out, and said he had made his first connections with the engineering industry at the Aspirations Evening last year.

From that he got inspiration, and he is starting a degree in engineering this September, demonstrating how the event – with real-life conversations between pupils and employers – makes a very real-life difference in pupils’ career paths.

Many UK careers advisers feel under-appreciated, as well as classroom teachers often feeling under extra pressure, but simple (and free) solutions like inviting employers into schools for “speed dating” type events could help alleviate this, as well as improving careers guidance. Research last year showed that of 40 schools, just four were providing adequate careers advice to their students, but if we all work together (careers advisers, teachers, head teachers and employers), we can turn it around.

Emma Finamore, Editor, AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk

Copyright © 2018 FE News

 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

Jo Moriani added a new event 2 hours

How learning providers can support victims and survivors...

Overview The aim of this course is to raise awareness of the impact abusive relationships can have, the challenges in speaking out and the impact...

  • Wednesday, 26 August 2020 10:30 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page