Good career guidance

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The Benchmarks

What are the eight benchmarks?

The eight benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance developed to support schools in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice, and guidance.

They were established as part of Sir John Holman's research into what pragmatic actions could improve career guidance in England, and lay out what a world-class career guidance system looks like. The Benchmarks form part of the careers strategy, launched December 2017. 

Download the benchmark report

Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities sector

The Gatsby Foundation, in collaboration with The Careers & Enterprise Company and Disability Rights UK, have created a new publication which aims to inspire Careers Leaders, teachers and all those working with young people with special educational needs and disabilities to use the Gatsby Benchmarks to create a strong career guidance programme for each and every young person.


The benchmarks are based on best practice from across the world and are challenging but achievable. This site will help you on your journey to achieving them. Below you will find:

  • A

    Compass - a tool that can help you self-evaluate what you do already

  • B

    Inspiration and tips from schools currently on their benchmark journey

  • C

    Signposting to organisations that might be able to help you along the way


Kenton School, Newcastle

A How close are you to reaching the benchmarks?

Try out Compass, a free self-evaluation tool for schools and sixth form colleges in England that gives you an immediate read-out of how your school's career guidance performs against the eight benchmarks. The tool is there to help you celebrate successes and focus resources on the areas of your careers programme that need the most development.

Try Evaluation Tool


Shotton Hall Academy, Peterlee

B Need ideas or inspiration?

A number of schools and colleges in the North East of England have taken part in a pilot programme, testing the good career guidance benchmarks. Be inspired and find out what worked for them, what was more difficult and what they have learnt along the way.

Be Inspired


The Northumberland Church of England Academy, Ashington

C Support

There is a host of support out there for you and your school, though sometimes it can be difficult to find. That’s why we have put together a list of various organisations that might be able to help you on your good career guidance journey.

Find Support

The good career guidance report


St Joseph's Catholic Academy, Hebburn