From education to employment

Great gatsby they’ve done it!

Matt Harbour, Vice Principal and Deputy CEO, South Devon College, Jessica Tucker, Head of Tutorial and Learner Progress, South Devon College, Nicky Henderson, Senior Enterprise Co-ordinator, Heart of SW Careers Hub, Jamie Cree, Deputy Head, South Devon High School and Matt Burrows, Head of South Devon High School.

Staff and students at South Devon High School are celebrating as its career guidance programme is awarded top marks (@sdcollege).

The school reached the milestone of 100% across all eight Gatsby Benchmarks, which are a framework developed to support schools and colleges in providing their students with the best possible careers education and guidance.

South Devon High School is the first in Torbay to reach this 100% milestone and is only the fifth mainstream school across all of Devon and Somerset to achieve the accolade.

“We are extremely proud as a school to be recognised as having an outstanding careers programme,” said Matt Burrows, Head of South Devon High School.

“Our vision is to ensure all our students are able to make aspirational, realistic and informed choices; develop skills aptitudes and attitudes to archive their personal best, including being prepared for post 16 pathways and the world of work. With the support of the South West Careers Hub, we have continued to work hard to improve our careers programme and it is amazing to see that we have been recognised for the excellent service we provide for our students.”

15 year old South Devon High School student, Miles Whelband, said he’s had an abundance of careers guidance at school and he’s found it extremely useful.

“I have particularly enjoyed the careers talks as the speakers describe the process they went through and from that you can compare it to your education and it gives you an insight into where you’re heading. I enjoyed the career talks from people who work in crime and the justice system. I hadn’t thought about working in those areas but it sounds appealing and I may look into it.”

South Devon High School has worked closely with the South West Careers Hub to ensure all careers guidance is relevant to every pupil and the workplace.

“South Devon High School has fully embraced the Gatsby Benchmarks and worked tirelessly to embed them across all that they do,” explained Nicky Henderson, Senior Co-ordinator Heart of SW Careers Hub. “By reimagining their curriculum, students have clearly benefited greatly from hearing direct from a number of different people who have shared their career journeys and from understanding how what they are learning can be related to real life. Engaging students in this way provides them with the skills and aspirations that will last them well beyond their time at the school.”

Miles, who is waiting on his GCSE results, plans to go on to study A levels before heading to university. He may not know exactly what career he wants to pursue but from doing some work experience at a vets practice he knows what he doesn’t want to do.

“I watched a vet operate on a dog’s leg and I know now that I don’t want to be a vet,” he said. “I want a career in something I enjoy, so geography, history or politics.”


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