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Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define excellent career guidance, which the Department of Education (DfE) expects schools and colleges to meet by the end of 2020.

Gatsby Benchmarks


Gatsby Benchmark 1: A stable careers programme

Student Entitlement:

All students have access to a planned programme of careers education and guidance which is reviewed and developed each academic year to support the needs of our students. This programme is mapped to the Career Development Institute’s Careers Framework that presents learning outcomes across seventeen important areas of careers, employability and enterprise learning.

The Academy programme of careers education is delivered as follows:

  • Value Days (Wisdom, Curiosity, Generosity, Courage and Passion) which incorporates 'Living in the Wider World'
  • Assemblies
  • Tutor activities
  • Curriculum e.g. entry tasks, discussions
  • Employer encounters
  • Personal guidance interviews with a Level 6 qualified Careers Advisor
  • Group sessions with the Careers Advisor

Gatsby Benchmark 2: Learning from career and labour market information

Through the careers education programme students learn how to find and process information about the local and national labour market. This includes:

  • Careers education delivered via the PSHMRE curriculum
  • Up-to-date careers information area on the Academy intranet, external website and internal displays
  • Encounters with employers via the The Careers Fair, The Jon Egging Trust Program, construction industry taster days and NHS career days as examples

Gatsby Benchmark 3: Addressing the needs of each pupil

The Careers Leader tracks the consistency and impact of the careers and enterprise programme to ensure that it continues to address the needs of each pupil. This is conducted using the Compass Plus software

Opportunities for advice and support are tailored to each key stage, with diversity and equality embedded in the school’s careers and PSHMRE programme.

The Academy collects and maintains accurate data for each student around their education, training and employment destinations for at least three years after they leave. This information is shared with current students to support ongoing review and evaluation of the current careers programme.


Gatsby Benchmark 4, 5, 6 and 7: Linking curriculum learning to careers/Encounters with employers and employees/Experiences of workplaces/Encounters with Further and Higher Education

The Academy has strong links with outside agencies including universities and colleges, local businesses and charitable organisations which contribute to:

  • Raising aspirations and increasing motivation by helping young people to identify educational and occupational goals
  • Demonstrating the relevance of the knowledge and the skills learnt in subjects to future opportunities in learning and working
  • Developing the skills for effective learning – reviewing achievements, setting targets, planning and taking action
  • Improving literacy by developing information and communication skills
  • Reducing NEETs
  • Strategies for developing personal learning and thinking skills by building self-confidence and self-reliance
  • Promoting positive and informed attitudes to learning


Gatsby Benchmark 8: Personal Guidance

The Academy is committed to providing one-to-one guidance to all students at key transition points i.e. Year 9 guided options, Year 11 Post-16 Pathways and Year 12/13 Post-18 Pathways.

All students can request a personal guidance interview with a Level 6 qualified Careers Advisor via their Year Director or Form Tutor.

In addition to planned personal guidance interviews, students can access drop in sessions.

The Careers Leader and Advisor attends Open Evenings, Careers Fairs, Parents Evenings, Destination Evenings and supports students on exam results days.


Statutory Requirements

Section 42A of the Education Act 1997 requires the governing body at Witham Academy to ensure that all registered students are provided with independent careers guidance from Year 8 to Year 13.  This guidance must be presented in an impartial manner, include information on a range of education or training options and promote the best interests of the students to whom it is given.

The Technical and Further Education Act 2017 (42B Education Act 1997) requires the Academy to ensure that there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to access all pupils in Year 8 to Year 13 for the purpose of informing them about approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships (see Provider Access Policy).