Statutory Obligations for Careers in School
In line with the Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff, Careers guidance and access for education and training providers.
St Mary’s Catholic High Schools Careers policy ensures that all registered pupils at the school are provided with a careers programme from year 8 to year 11.
Careers inspiration and guidance at St Mary’s is a progressive journey from Year 8-11. The aims of the Careers programme at St Mary’s are:
- To develop positive attitudes in the pupils towards study and work.
- To develop employability and enterprise skills, such as teamwork, resilience and communication.
- To help students to plan and take control of their future making informed choices at key points in their education.
- To provide students with the relevant careers inspiration and guidance that is suitable to their personal needs including age, ability, attitudes and aptitudes.
- To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of opportunities post 16 and post 18 including traineeships, apprenticeships, school leaver programmes, HE, FE, employment and training opportunities.
- To help students to reflect on themselves – their abilities, skills, aptitudes and attitudes – so that they can use this knowledge to consider their development.
- To provide students with impartial advice about options that are available to them.
- To provide equal opportunity of access to careers inspiration and guidance.
Implementation of Careers Education
These aims are achieved through the Careers curriculum which is outlined below. All strategies are in line with the Gatsby Benchmarks. Careers Compass is completed twice per year and action points inform improvements. The compass assessment tool has helped St Mary’s work towards, and in most cases meet, each of the benchmarks.
The AHT responsible for Careers, with the Enterprise Advisor network, an Independent Careers Advisor, Curriculum Leaders, external providers, Lancashire County Council and local employers, strive for continuous improvement and build on each benchmark further.
The school is strong and committed to achieving all 8 Benchmarks:
- 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
- Experience of workplaces
- Encounters with further and higher education
- Personal Guidance
- Careers inspiration and support begins discreetly in Year 7 through year group assemblies, allowing the students to reflect on where they are now and on what they want to do in the future. Students are introduced to the online careers information available to them. They are also introduced to the National Careers Service Website focusing on job profiles and job sectors. Employers, for example Eric Wright, provide an employer encounter within the Maths curriculum and this practice is embedded throughout all departments in school, providing pupils exposure to a range of professionals and careers while raising aspirations and providing a context for education and achieving ones potential.
- Year 8 have a timetabled Careers topic within the PSHCEE programme. This topic has pupils investigating possible career routes and matching skills and qualities to suitable occupations. Students are introduced to possible opportunities and pathways post 16. Stereotyping is addressed to ensure all students are aware and fully embrace the importance of equal opportunities. The AHT responsible for Careers delivers a whole assembly to the year 8 cohort about the different post 16 routes available giving in depth discussion of the different courses available including apprenticeships. Employer encounters also feature within curriculum learning across all departments in school.
- The work in Year 9 is designed to help the students prepare for their options. There is a well-planned options process, including an Options Fair with a talk from the Deputy Head Teacher, to help students make informed choices. Local training providers also attend this event to provide information about progression routes. The AHT for Careers provides an assembly on post 16 opportunities, including- academic, vocational and apprenticeship routes. Year 9 students are invited to attend the school's annual Careers Fair, and they also fully engage with the "My Future’ Super Learning Day in which they meet the professionals and undertake workshops which focus on post 16 choices, employability skills and labour market information. Year 9 also receive an employability skills workshop with the schools Enterprise Link. Finally, identified groups of Year 9 students also visit the Lancashire Apprenticeship and Careers Expo and various Horizons careers events at Runshaw College.
- Year 10, receive employer encounters in a number subjects, to enhance curriculum learning and all pupils experience a day at one of two local training providers as well as the ‘Experience of Workplaces Day’. The aim of this day is to give pupils first-hand experience of the world of work. All placements are found by the school based on pupils specific interests and future aspirations, following the completion of the Mock Interview process. Students are fully prepared for their experience through planned careers activities delivered in form time. All Year 10 students have access to our Careers convention which gives advice and guidance on post 16 & post 18 opportunities in the autumn. . Year10 students are also invited to attend the school's annual Careers Fair, and they also fully engage with their "My Future’ Super Learning Day in which they meet the professionals and undertake workshops which focus on post 16 choices, employability skills and labour market information. Identified groups of Year 10 students also visit the Lancashire Apprenticeship and Careers Expo, various Aim Higher careers events and the Oxbridge Bound event at Runshaw College.
- Year 11 have a well-planned Careers Inspiration and Guidance Management Programme that is completed throughout the year. It involves a variety of impartial experiences and workshops with employers and providers giving inspiration and guidance in a range of industry sectors. The programme begins in September with the "My Future’ Super Learning Day in which they meet the professionals and undertake workshops which focus on post 16 choices, employability skills and labour market information and the application process. Year 11 also take part in the Careers Fair. This gives students the opportunityto seek impartial guidance and advice from over 30 professionals and organisations, in order to help with their post 16 options and decisions. Our in house Year 11 support programme includes workshops to support letters of application, CV's, application forms and interview techniques, all delivered by local employers and training providers. Students are regularly given open day information during assembly and form time and via all means of social media. Students receive a number of careers assemblies throughout the year giving information, including how to utilise the careers opportunities organised within school. An identified group of pupil have access to an Impartial Careers Advisor to support this process.
Entitlement to Careers Education and Guidance
There is a calendar of events on the school website which gives students and parents advanced notices of up and coming events, presentations, initiatives and workshops. A letter is also sent out at the beginning of each academic year as well as information being shared at the Parent Information Evenings held each September. We make use of all social media avenues to advertise our events.
All Year Groups have the opportunity to develop their employability and enterprise skills through taking part in various activities on the Super Learning Days they receive throughout their time at school, and on the various enrichment activities. Examples include teamwork, resilience, leadership, responsibility, presentation, finance, listening skills and creativity.
Wherever possible, Alumni are used to inspire students and act as role models covering a range of subjects and year groups.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Quality Assurance
The school is committed to CPD for Careers; all staff receive update briefings twice a year and a whole staff CPD once a year.
Regular meetings with the School Enterprise Coordinator and the School Enterprise Advisor ensure a robust programme which meets, or is working towards, all the criteria of the Gatsby Benchmarks and Government Statutory Guidance.
This combined with extensive staff, pupil, parent/carer and employer/training provider engagement and feedback, ensures that there is a robust Careers programme which is annually updated to ensure it is catering for all.
All student destinations are collected in house and changes are made to the Careers programme accordingly. Findings are communicated to the governing body.