Benchmark 3

Addressing the needs of each pupil

Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

  • A school’s careers programme should actively seek to challenge stereotypical thinking and raise aspirations.
  • Schools should keep systematic records of the individual advice given to each pupil, and subsequent agreed decisions.
  • All pupils should have access to these records to support their career development.
  • Schools should collect and maintain accurate data for each pupil on their education, training or employment destinations for at least three years after they leave school.

In order to address the needs of each young person pilot schools first look at where former students ended up. By gathering accurate data for each pupil on their education, training and employment destinations for around three years you will gain a better understanding of the needs of current students and what has and hasn’t worked in the past.

Stories from the North East Pilot

The importance of destination data

Berwick Academy brought in a former student as an intern to map where alumni had gone on to. Berwick created an actual map which was hung in a newly created careers area within the school. The map showed the destinations of former students. The school also created ‘alumni boards’ highlighting former students in each department. The development of an alumni database ensures the Academy can keep in touch with former students in the years to come.

Destination data can help shape the careers advice given. At Castle View Enterprise Academy they realised that lots of former students had taken up apprenticeships but they weren’t providing much information about this pathway to current students. In response to this they organised an event specifically looking at apprenticeships and the routes into them. 

It is also important to guarantee that each and every pupil has career guidance that meets their own needs. This means that in some cases students may take part in different activities or receive different volumes and types of support. At Castle View Enterprise Academy, Year 7 students eligible for pupil premium were selected to take part in a 5 week business mentoring programme. Activities that require students to self-refer can sometimes miss those who might benefit most from a programme.  

To ensure that students’ progress was being accurately tracked, Bishop Auckland College undertook an extensive IT project culminating in the creation of an online portal that tracks a student’s academic, welfare and careers progress. It brought together all of the college's careers activities and interventions into one place, ensuring that resource management, tracking and impact were all enhanced. It can be accessed by both teachers and students, with sensitive information being accessible by staff only. The system provides each student with a record of their careers education and a focused career ladder. Although a large task the impact of integrating all of the tracking systems together has been invaluable to the college.

Harton Academy undertook a similar exercise. It equipped each student from year 7 to year 11 with a skills audit book. The book is a record of the skills they’ve learned each year, how these skills could be applied to industry and what further skills they need to develop. As well as providing a record the book also encourages students to critically analyse their development and the labour market. The skills booklet was so useful at Harton Academy that they’re now looking at developing it into an app so that parents and carers can also access it.

St Joseph’s Catholic College, Hebburn

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Our top tips

  • Matt Joyce Career Leader at Harton Academy      "Destinations data is an important measure and will be looked at by Ofsted during inspections. Ensure governors, leaders, staff and students are aware of destination data and are able to talk confidently about how the school appropriately prepares young people for the next stage."

  • Mark Fox, Careers Leaders at Northumberland Church of England Academy
    "Manage time effectively. Use September to complete destinations work in a focused way and do not start on the cycle of current students until October. I work with the Education Welfare Officer and the Local Authority link adviser to identify and support the Y11-13 summer leavers and encourage them to attend local drop ins. This has helped reduce the academy’s NEET figure to between 0-1% every year."

collecting destination data has helped reduce the academy’s NEET figure to between 0-1% every year.

Mark fox, Northumberland church of england academy