Gatsby Benchmarks

Gatsby Benchmark 1

A stable careers programme
Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Publish the Careers Leader, careers programme and evaluation methods on school/college website
  • Complete and share Compass with your Enterprise Coordinator
  • Meet with your Enterprise Coordinator to discuss Benchmark progress
  • Appoint a link Careers Governor/Trustee – the Governing Body needs to sign off the Careers strategy document
  • Deliver staff CPD on the careers strategy and embedding this into the curriculum
  • Undertake a Quality in Careers award

Gatsby Benchmark 2

Learning from career and labour market information
Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Deliver Labour Market Information linked assemblies – content could include employer videos or progression options including alternative pathways such as apprenticeships
  • Incorporate research in the curriculum based on careers in the subject areas
  • Provide progression information to parents, eg website or option evenings
  • Produce Labour Market Information and/or key sector related displays, eg construction and health
  • Enable tutors to share their own experience, eg pathways, previous roles

Gatsby 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/college’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Maintain electronic careers log and action plans for every student
  • Develop mentoring programmes
  • Challenge stereotypes within lessons, tutor time or assemblies
  • Build and utilise an alumni network

Gatsby Benchmark 4

Linking curriculum learning to careers
All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Deliver assemblies highlighting different career paths
  • Engage in employer-led projects or resource based lessons
  • Link option subject areas to different employers/roles
  • Host or attend STEM related events


Carry out an audit in each subject

This is an example audit tool to capture how different subject areas are linking careers into the curriculum.

Example Subject Areas Audit

Success at School – Subject Guides for linking Careers into the Curriculum:

More subject guides and other materials can be accessed on the Success at School website

Gatsby Benchmark 5

Encounters with employers and employees
Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Use employer videos in tutor time
  • Host networking or mock interview events with employers, alumni and pupils
  • Engage with Young Enterprise type competitions

Gatsby Benchmark 6

Experiences of workplaces
Every pupil should have first-hand experiences* of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Participate in business-related competitions which could include a site visit
  • Offer work experience or volunteering opportunities
  • Develop an Open Doors event/programme
  • Canvass parents and their employers about their willingness to work with the school
  • Establish a ‘Take my Son/Daughter’ to work day

Gatsby Benchmark 7

Encounters with further and higher education
All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Offer pathway visits, eg FE, HE, apprenticeship
  • Ensure pupils and parents can access information (electronic and hard-copy)
  • Hold a progression/pathways event for pupils and parents
  • Research pathways in tutor or PSHE lessons
  • Facilitate alumni presentation on their progression route

Gatsby Benchmark 8

Personal guidance
Every pupil 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 whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

Quick wins and ideas

  • Ensure pupils have impartial Careers Advice interviews
  • Deliver CPD training for school staff
  • Senior leadership team and/or senior pastoral team to interview pupils
  • Deliver a guidance session linked with follow up in tutorial or via subject leaders