Gatsby Benchmarks

Every young person needs high-quality career guidance to make educated, informed decisions about their future choices. Good career guidance is a vital part of increasing social mobility, and the quality of long-term outcomes.

‘In 2013, Gatsby commissioned Sir John Holman to set out what career guidance in England would be like if it were good by international standards, resulting in the Good Career Guidance report. The eight benchmarks set out in the report serve as a framework for improvement in careers provision and have been adopted as part of the Government’s Careers Strategy and statutory guidance for schools and colleges.’

The eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance are:

A stable careers programme: This means an embedded programme of career education and guidance which pupils, parents/carers, school staff, governors and employers all understand and support.

Learning from career and labour market information: Every pupil, along with their families, should have ready access to quality information relating to future study and employment options. The support of a careers adviser helps individuals make the best use of the information they access.

Addressing the needs of each student: Careers guidance needs to be differentiated when it is delivered to varying age/need ranges, with different levels/types of aspiration. Careers advice, learning and support should be tailored to the individual needs of each pupil – whilst also giving active consideration to equality and diversity.

Linking curriculum learning to careers: Curriculum learning should be linked with careers. This can be done in a wide variety of creative ways, across the various subject areas.

Encounters with employers and employees: All pupils should be provided with opportunities to learn from employers about employment, and the skills that are required for the workplace workplace. This can mean enterprise schemes, visiting speakers, and workplace visits.

Experiences of workplaces: Pupils should have direct experiences of the workplace through work experience opportunities, workplace visits or other community links; this helps their exploration of careers-related opportunities.

Encounters with further and higher education: Pupils should have a knowledge of the full range of learning opportunities, following school, that are available to them. This includes further education, internships/apprenticeships, employment and supported living outcomes.

Personal guidance: All pupils should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available at the stages where significant study or future career choices are being considered.