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At Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School, careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is an essential part of the support we offer to our pupils and students.  Effective careers support can help to prepare young people for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life; it can help them to make decisions and manage transitions as learners and workers. 

As options for young people become more varied and complex, it is vital that we support them to develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed choices for their future. As a result, the careers programme has a whole-school remit designed to complement the rest of the school curriculum.

This policy sets out how career activities are delivered at school and explains what we can expect from the careers programme.

Our Intent:

The Archbishop Ilsley careers programme aims to:

  • Encourage pupils and students to be ambitious, broaden their horizons and explore their own career aspirations throughout their life at school.
  • Ensure pupils’ and students’ readiness to take their next step in their learning or career.


Archbishop Ilsley School and Sixth Form follows the principles of the Gatsby Benchmarks. The eight Gatsby Benchmarks are as follows:

  • A stable careers programme.
  • Learning from career and labour market information.
  • Addressing the needs of each pupil.
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers.
  • Encounters with employers and employees.
  • Experiences of workplaces.
  • Encounters with further and higher education.
  • Personal guidance.

The following objectives and information summarises some of the ways our careers programme meets the Gatsby Benchmarks:


  • Helping pupils students to understand the changing world of work.
  • Facilitating meaningful encounters with employers for all pupils and students.
  • Supporting positive transitions into KS4, post-16 and post-18.
  • Enabling pupils and students to develop the research skills to find out about opportunities.
  • Helping pupils and students to develop the skills, attitudes and qualities to make a successful transition into the world of work.
  • Encouraging participation in continued learning, including further and higher education and apprenticeships.
  • Supporting inclusion, challenging stereotyping and promoting equality of opportunity.
  • Contributing to strategies for raising achievement, particularly by increasing motivation.

All pupils and students are entitled to be fully involved in an effective CEIAG programme. They are encouraged to take an active role in their own career development, so the careers programme emphasises pupil participation with a focus on self-development; learning about careers and the world of work and developing career management and employability skills.

During their time at Archbishop Ilsley, all pupils can expect:

  • The support they need to make the right choices in Year 9, Year 11 and in Sixth Form.
  • Access up-to-date and unbiased information on future learning and training, careers and labour market information.
  • Support to develop the self-awareness and career management skills needed for their future.
  • Career lessons during tutor time from Year 7 to Year 13 covering options after school, the world of work, the job market and the skills needed for the future.
  • At least four meaningful encounters with representatives from the world of work; this could be through work experience, workplace visits, assemblies, careers talks (in or outside lessons), projects, specific lessons, workshops and the annual careers fair.
  • To hear from a range of education and training providers, including colleges, universities and apprenticeship organisations; this could include visits and taster days, as well as assemblies, talks and our annual careers fair.
  • The opportunity to relate what they learn in lessons to their life and career beyond school.
  • The opportunity to talk through their career and educational choices with staff including form tutors, subject teachers and the careers team.
  • Access to one-to-one guidance with an impartial careers advisor, by appointment in Year 10 or Year 11 and in Years 12 and 13; this is available to pupils of any year group.
  • The school to keep parents/carers informed of their progress and provide parents/carers with information to support pupils’ and students’ career planning and decision-making.

Young people do not make career decisions in isolation and parents/carers can have a substantial impact, as well as a clear interest in the right outcomes for their young person. The school is keen to foster parental involvement in the careers programme, wherever possible.

Parents/carers are invited into school to discuss their son/daughter’s progress in Parents’ Consultation Meetings (part of review day and progress evenings). In readiness for these events, pupils’ career aspirations are collected by tutors to allow discussions around progress relating to next steps, career ideas and (in KS4 and KS5) career planning, as well as academic progress. In addition, specialist events for parents include Year 9 Options Evening and Sixth Form Open Evening (Year 11 parents).

Parents/carers are kept up to date with career-related events and activities affecting their son/daughter via communication home, the school website and social media. With the pupil’s agreement, a copy of the action plan from one-to-one careers meetings will also be sent home. Parents and carers are also welcome to make contact with the Careers Team at school, should they have any questions or concerns.

The Careers Programme at a Glance

Year 7

  • Careers Lessons – Careers Quiz/Research and My Dream Job, Interview Skills, during tutor time.
  • Year 7 Inspiration Day – getting a taste of the world of work.

Year 8

  • Careers Lessons – Introduction to Higher Education, Careers Stereotyping and Picking Subjects/Career Planning, during tutor time.
  • Year 8 Inspiration Day –understand what it takes to succeed in education and the choices they make.

Year 9

  • Careers Lessons – How to use Labour Market Information, Jobs of the Future, Skills for Work, Job Families and Picking GCSE’s.
  • Enterprise Day – Hands on experience in school of careers.
  • Option evening for GSCE information and careers details.

Year 10

  • Group guidance meeting with Careers Lead.
  • Careers Lessons – Self Awareness, Making Career Decisions and Writing a CV.
  • Attendance at Annual Careers/University Fair.

Year 11

  • 1-1 in depth guidance meeting with  the Careers Adviser.
  • Careers Lessons – Post 16 Options, Planning and Applying, Looking Ahead – Personal Statements, Exam Stress and Higher Education.
  • College and Sixth From Research and Investigation.
  • Writing a CV, Applications, Interview Techniques and Next Steps.
  • Sixth Form Options Evening.
  • Attendance at Annual Careers/University Fair.

Year 12 and 13

  • Introduction to UCAS and Skills Identification.
  • Comprehensive support with Applications to University, Apprenticeships and Jobs.
  • Mock Interviews and Employability Workshops.
  • Post 18 Options, Looking for Work and Apprenticeships Group Sessions.
  • Completion of Work Experience in a Career Area of Interest (not to include part time work).
  • 1-1 Careers Guidance Interviews.
  • CV and Cover Letter/E-mail Guidance.
  • Work Experience.
  • 1-1 appointments with Work Placement Coordinator.
  • Attendance at Annual Careers/ University Fair/University Taster Days.

In addition, all year groups will take part in curriculum-based careers activities within subject lessons. 

A programme of small group and individual meetings will be arranged for all pupils and students from the end of Year 10 onwards. All pupils and students at school can request an appointment with the Careers Advisor and Careers Lead, this will mainly be aimed at Year 10, Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13 pupils and students as these are most likely to benefit from the programme.  Pupils and students are identified for careers meetings based on need and through self-referrals and tutors.

Pupils and students may refer themselves for a careers meeting at any point, directly via the Careers Advisor, via a Form Tutor or Google Classroom. An appointment with an advisor will then be arranged. Pupils and students are made aware of the Careers Advisor through assemblies and via form tutors.

Pupils and students will record action plans in the Careers Organiser and the advisor will record on Google Drive. Parents and staff have the option to see this information so they can support the process.

Careers information is available through the careers library based on Google Classroom and subject areas have displays informing pupils about specific information in line with the available careers in their subject area.  Online resources include the National Careers Service website and a range of reliable websites collated by the Careers lead.

A range of external providers are invited into school to support the careers programme. These might include local colleges, universities, training providers, apprenticeship organisations, employers, school alumni, or staff from various projects.

The Careers Lead will oversee the delivery of the careers programme, supports and administers all career-related activities and events and liaises with local and national businesses, organisations, colleges and universities to ensure pupils and staff have opportunities to interact and provide worthwhile experiences of work, including the organisation of the annual careers fair.

Due to the whole-school remit of careers work, the range of staff involved in supporting careers activities is large and includes all form tutors and subject teachers.

Form tutors are introduced to the concepts, aims and programme for CEIAG at Archbishop Ilsley during INSET days and Twilight Training. This staff development is further enhanced at careers meetings.

When monitoring the success of the careers programme, the school considers formal and informal measures, qualitative and quantitative data and hard and soft outcomes for pupils students. The careers programme is evaluated in a number of ways, including:

  • Pupil/student feedback regarding their experience of the careers programme.
  • Staff feedback on careers lessons, careers activities, careers fair etc.
  • Gathering informal feedback from external partners and from parents and carers.
  • Quality assurance of careers lessons as part of the tutor time programme.
  • The use of Google Drive to track date and work completed.
  • Student destination figures post-16 and post-18.

There are many websites available which provide information about careers. Some are directly related to particular industries and others are less specific. However you may wish to use some of the following to explore some of the options which are available to you.

If you would like to find out more about what career areas you would be suited to you can try answering the questions in this test and then researching the options that are shared with you.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

Government CEIAG

UCAS Guidance

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