St Mary’s Catholic College measures and assesses its careers programme against the Gatsby Benchmarks. The impact is evaluated and documented through the Unifrog Careers Programme and assessed via The Careers & Enterprise Company’s Compass+ Report each term. We also gain 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.

Our strategic career objectives outline our intentions: 


Objective 1:  Prepare our students to be able to ‘thrive’ in an ever changing world, by providing them not only with the qualifications, but also the knowledge, skills, experience and dispositions they need to flourish in the future

Objective 2 : Through impartial and equitable delivery of a comprehensive careers programme, improve the social mobility of all students, especially those who lack social capital.


A STABLE CAREERS PROGRAMMEAn embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by students, parents, teachers, governors and employers.
LEARNING FROM CAREER AND LABOUR MARKET INFORMATIONYou (and your parents/carers) will have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. You will have the support of an informed advisor to make the best use of the information.
ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF EACH STUDENTStudents will all have different career guidance needs at different stages of their life at SMCC. Opportunities for advice and support will be tailored to your needs, taking into consideration equality and diversity throughout. Our Personal Development curriculum is designed to help you to thrive.
LINKING CURRICULUM LEARNING TO CAREERSTeachers will link curriculum learning to careers to bring their subjects ‘to life’ and to demonstrate to you how their subjects are relevant within the world of work.
ENCOUNTERS WITH EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEESYou will have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. Enrichment activities will include visiting speakers and school trips to places of work.
EXPERIENCES OF WORKPLACESYou will gain experiences of the workplace through work visits and/or work experience in order to help your exploration of career opportunities and to help you to expand your networks.
ENCOUNTERS WITH FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATIONYou will be informed of and supported in understanding the full range of learning opportunities available to you at each of your key transition stages; this will include academic and vocational routes in schools, colleges, universities and the workplace.
PERSONAL GUIDANCEYou will have the opportunity to meet a careers advisor who will conduct a career guidance interview with you (one by the end of Year 11 and a second by the end of Year 13, if applicable). These interviews will be timed to meet your individual needs. Your Form Tutor and P&A Coach are also available to guide you.


Careers are complex. It is not just a case of choosing a job early in life. it is about a journey that includes on-going learning, starting at school but continuing throughout life.
Our careers programme is designed around the learning spiral (figure 1), moving from awareness to information gathering, encounters and experiences along the way, through to developing skills and strengths. When our students have done all this, they will be ready to put all they have learnt into practice.

Our careers programme is set up to prepare our students for the rest of their lives. Our aim is to ensure that they have acquired the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to get ‘out there’ and love life.
We focus on six key skills (see figure 2) that have been identified as being crucial in working towards a positive, enjoyable and meaningful career.