St Mary’s Catholic College measures and assesses its careers programme against the Gatsby Benchmarks. The impact is documented through the Start Careers Programme and assessed via The Careers & Enterprise Company’s Compass Report each term and also via student and parent feedback in our annual surveys. 

The programme is conducted in relation to the school’s equal opportunities policy, work experience policy, external visits policy and other relevant policies.

We will specifically look at our progress towards our strategic objectives: 

Strategic Objectives

Objective 1: Promote and increase careers education in the curriculum across all year groups.


  • Encourage all staff to work in their faculties to lead CEIAG initiatives in their subject areas.
  • All faculties to incorporate careers and Labour Market Information into curriculum plans by September 2022.
  • Each Option subject area to plan trip to employers in Year 10 and Year 12. 

Objective 2 – Increase student and parental involvement and confidence in career planning.


  • Utilise Compass and Start Diagnosis Tools as well as Pupil and Parent Voice are used to identify areas of development and personalise pupils’ careers offer. 
  • Introduce Career Passports for all pupils – in booklet form and GoogleClassroom – to capture portfolio of experiences. 
  • Post 16 and post 18 pathways through termly events and weekly bulletins to pupils and parents – including apprenticeships and other local providers. 
  • Plan school-based programme of events including University visits, Careers Fairs, Enterprise Days, Mock Interviews. 
  • Weekly Career Bulitin

Objective 3 – Develop a programme of encounters to meet the individual needs of all students by creating a network of employers and educational providers to support learning.

GATSBY BENCHMARKS: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 

  • Develop an ALUMNI of support.
  • Continue to develop links with organisations and build on existing relationships.
  • Ensure Year 10 and Year 12 Pupils have a structured week of Work Experience.
  • Provide personalised and targeted visits, speakers and information sessions about Further and Higher Education and all forms of tertiary and technical education. 

Gatsby Benchmarks

In December 2017 the Government published  a new Careers Strategy and, in January 2018 published statutory guidance for school leaders and school staff which provided a blueprint for building a high-quality careers system that will help young people to fulfill their potential. The Gatsby Charitable Foundation identified the elements that define an excellent careers provision, through the use of eight “Gatsby Benchmarks”. The Gatsby Benchmarks now form the heart of the Government’s Careers Strategy, with all schools expected to meeting all of the Benchmarks in full by the end of 2020.

The eight Gatsby Benchmarks are summarised below:

 Gatsby Benchmark 1 – A stable careers programme

  • To provide an effective, fully comprehensive and globally accessible careers programme tailored to the individual needs of the students.
  • To provide full details of the Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)   programme to all stakeholders through the school’s website.
  • To secure feedback from stakeholders, and to undertake a full evaluation of the careers programme annually.

Gatsby Benchmark 2 – Learning from career and labour market information

  • To provide students and parents with access to and guidance about further education and labour market opportunities,
  • To provide students with the opportunity to attend Open days, Conventions, Workshops, Masterclasses and Taster sessions with Universities/Colleges and Employers.

 Gatsby Benchmark 3 – Addressing the needs of each pupil

  • To provide a careers programme that is tailored to the individual needs of the children, with an individual record being kept to track the progress of each student, both during school and for 3 years after completing secondary education.
  • To ensure that students receive up to date, relevant and impartial resources / advice which is made accessible to them regardless of race, gender, disability, social background or sexual orientation.
  • To provide a programme that is designed to promote social mobility, equality and diversity.

Gatsby Benchmark 4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers

  • To provide a programme that links curriculum learning to careers, with all teachers emphasising the importance of Maths and English in achieving success, and emphasis being placed upon the relevance of STEM subjects in a wide variety of careers.
  • To provide a programme of study designed to enhance student’s employability.

Gatsby Benchmark 5 – Encounters with employers and employees

  • To provide annual visits from employers and employees from a variety of industries through Careers Fairs, Visiting Speakers, Mentoring and Mock Interview Events.

Gatsby Benchmark 6 – Experiences of workplaces

  • To provide a well-structured work experience placement scheme for Years 10 and 12.

Gatsby Benchmark 7 – Encounters with further and higher education

  • To provide full information about all forms of tertiary and technical education enabling students access to institutions and education providers.

Gatsby Benchmark 8 – Personal guidance

  • To provide every student with an interview with an impartial careers advisor by the end of Year 11, and a further interview before the end of Year 13.

The Career Development Framework

The Career Development Institute’s Career Development Framework describes the six career development skills that people need to have positive careers.