As a member of staff at Queen Elizabeth High School (teacher or support), you are in a privileged position to help influence and support the pupils.  Although you may not be a qualified, independent careers advisor, you are able to provide information and advice based on your own experiences and the knowledge you have of the world of work.  We believe that you should be actively encouraged to help direct pupils in the right direction; this may be during opportune encounters or within planned curriculum time.  It is therefore vital that you have the most up-to-date information that will empower you to impart accurate, reliable and valid information to help pupils pursue possible destinations and make well-informed decisions.

The 8 Gatsby Benchmarks

Queen Elizabeth High School l is using The Gatsby Benchmarks to help inform their careers strategy and programme.

  1. A stable careers programme 
  2. Learning from career and labour market information 
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil 
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers 
  5. Encounters with employers and employees 
  6. Experiences of workplaces 
  7. Encounters with further and higher education 
  8. Personal guidance

Measuring the Impact of our Careers Programme Against the Gatsby Benchmarks

There is a wider programme of evaluation seeking to monitor the impact of QEHS’ careers programme. Evidence of different Gatsby Benchmark coverage is assessed using the Careers and Enterprise Company’s Compass+ platform. This helps the school to monitor and review how effective the careers programme is in achieving these benchmarks. Other evidence to assess the perceived effectiveness of the careers programme is gathered from timely student panels and broader Quality of Education reviews overseen by curriculum leaders and members of the senior leadership team. 

For any new additions to the careers programme we value gather feedback from different stakeholders; this feedback could be from staff, parents/carers, as well as employers and training providers.

At key points across a student’s school career they will complete a Future Skills Questionnaire. These questionnaires take place in year 9, year 11 and year 13.  Information gathered from these questionnaires is used to help evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of careers curriculum (including the relevant skills set and knowledge-based required for life beyond school), wider enrichment and broader personal development opportunities. The questionnaires seek to help the school respond effectively to the data collated, to help monitor progress over time, and tailor careers activities (when necessary) to ensure all students can access an ambitious careers curriculum offer.

Personal Guidance (BM8)

If you feel one of your students needs more support with their next steps you can refer them to Sarah Sunderland, our in-school Careers Guidance Manager. Students are entitled to have access to independent careers guidance from year 7 (see link). Although Sarah Sunderland typically works with year 11 and VI Form students at Queen Elizabeth High School, please feel free to contact Andrew Hedley (Careers Leader for Queen Elizabeth High School) for an initial discussion on justification for a referral. We accept that every learner at Queen Elizabeth High School is unique; some students may require or desire a careers conversation at different times.

Careers Across the Curriculum (BM4)

Our Careers across the Curriculum plan is developing. We acknowledge that each department has the opportunity to expose students to careers in their curriculum intentions and planning. There are many ways that staff can help support careers education, including:

  • the strategic signposting of careers sectors and roles that specifically link with topics, themes or units of study being taught
  • the emphasis of employability skills (essential transferable skills) with long-term, medium term and short-term planning. This includes the schools’ broader engagement with Skills Builder that is delivered as part of the tutorial programme
  • getting involved in National Careers Week or establishing a careers focus when it most suits the curriculum planning.
  • Establish and create engaging careers displays within your department or classroom areas.
  • The organisation of employer engagement talks (face-to-face and virtual), activities and enrichment trips.
  • The use of the CEC My Learning My Future Subject Resources
  • The use of North East Ambition resources in subject planning

Certain subjects including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are a particular focus as set out by the Department for Education’s statutory guidance. Those subject specialists that teach these subjects can access useful resources ensure that students are aware of the opportunities available from studying these subjects.

STEM toolkit

STEM Learning Resources

Encounters with Employers and Employees (BM5)

This Gatsby Benchmarks compels all learners, every year, from the age of 11, to experience a meaningful encounter with an employer. In colleges, there should be at least two meaningful encounters with an employer, and one being through a curriculum area. As a school we seek to record all part-time work undertaken by students in the Sixth Form and the influence this has had on students’ personal development.

As the demand for STEM skills is growing, particularly for sectors such as engineering, construction and manufacturing, mathematical and quantitative skills will be increasingly required in the future, not just for traditional STEM routes, but for a wide range of future careers. Hadrian Learning Trust aims for at least 6 meaningful employer encounters which students experience before year 11, including STEM employers or workplaces.

Experiences of the Workplace (BM6)

At Queen Elizabeth High School we actively encourage our students to value and engage with forms of social action, such as volunteering, to provide them with experience of a workplace. We believe that this also helps to inform and support character education and wider personal development.

Students are given the opportunity to virtually experience the workplace during year 10 and they we actively encourage students to undertake up to 1 week of external work experience in year 12, during term time.

Encounters with Further and Higher Education (BM7)

At Queen Elizabeth High School and VI Form, we aim for our students to have had encounters with providers of a full range educational opportunities, including local FE colleges and universities.

Labour Market Information - LMI (BM2)

Not-with-standing the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, the world of work is dynamic. The changing social, political and economic landscape means that staff should be cognisant and conversant in accurate LMI for different industrial sectors. There are four specific growth areas for the North-east region; advanced manufacturing, digital, energy and health and life sciences.

To find out more about these sectors and the North East LEPs strategic economic plan click on the document images below:

Careerometer - LMI for All

By the time a student leaves Queen Elizabeth High School they should know how to access the ‘Careerometer’, a widget to help find out more information about different careers and professions. This resource helps our learners to compare different careers based on factors such as salary/wage, roles and responsibilities and growth or decline statistics.