Careers Service - Statutory Guidance

All schools providing secondary education, including pupil referral units, have a duty to secure independent careers guidance and provide opportunities for a range of providers of technical education and apprenticeships to inform students of their offer. In January 2018, the Department for Education published new statutory guidance that sets out these duties for governing boards and school leaders.  

This statutory guidance builds upon the Government's careers strategy published in December 2017, which aims to ensure that all young people in secondary education get a programme of advice and guidance that is stable, structured and delivered by individuals with the right skills and experience. 

'Careers guidance and access for education and training providers: Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff' Jan, 2018 is structured around the Gatsby Benchmarks. It is expected that all schools meet all benchmarks by 2020. 

The Gatsby benchmarks

Published in 2014 the Gatsby benchmarks offers an evidence-based standard for careers provision. Only if schools are delivering all of the following eight benchmarks can they be judged to offering "good career guidance":

  1. a stable careers programme
  2. learning from career and labour marker 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 and
  8. personal guidance provided by a professional

The Gatsby benchmarks are not a statutory framework but by adopting them, schools can be confident they met their legal duties.

The State of the Nation report was published in October 2017. It provided a comprehensive picture of schools’ career and enterprise provision in English schools based upon research collected in the 2016/17 academic year.

The Careers strategy explains that both co-ordinated external support and an appropriately skilled and experienced leader in school are important in schools meeting the benchmarks. 

Every school must have a named Careers leader, to support schools with this the Career & Enterprise Company has produced 'Understanding the Careers Leader role: a guide for secondary schools'. It provides information on the careers framework, an outline of the role and responsibilities of the Careers Leader and key steps and resources for implementing careers leadership. 

Assessing quality

Ofsted's common Inspection Framework and School Inspection Handbook outlines the ways the careers guidance will be considered by an Ofsted inspection. 

The numbers of students progressing to apprenticeships, technical routes, sixth form colleges, further education colleges, universities or employment will also be used to assess the success of a schools' careers guidance programme. The performance tables on are part of the accountability system, enabling a school's KS4 and 16-18 (KS5) education destinations to be measured against others.   

Compass is a free self-assessment tool to help schools and colleges against the eight Gatsby benchmarks. It will help schools clarify their strengths and areas for improvement and provide a confidential report and resources to develop their offer. Find out more and to sign up for a Compass account.

WF Traded Services - Career Service

WF Traded Services offer services to support your careers service, including trained Careers Advisors and support to develop your Careers Strategy. 


Post 16 Participate - Re-engagement

An important part of our role is to follow up or track 16 & 17 year olds.  We work with schools and colleges to collate September Guarantee and Activity Survey data.  If we are unable to obtain this information we may telephone, email or write to young people and their parents/carers.

The law requires all young people in England to continue in education, employment or training until at least their 18th birthday.

Post 16 Participation - Data responsibilities

We report every month to the DfE about the participation of young people through the National Client Caseload Management Information System (NCCIS). The publication of Client Caseload Information System (CCIS) data allows comparisons to be made across Councils about the rates of young people who are participating, those who are NEET and young people whose destinations are unknown.

Local authorities have broad duties to encourage, enable and assist young people to participate in education or training. We must:

  • promote the effective participation in education and training of 16 and 17 year olds in their area with a view to ensuring that those persons fulfil the duty to participate in education or training
  • must make arrangements – i.e. maintain a tracking system - to identify 16 and 17 year olds who are not participating in education or training
  • secure sufficient suitable education and training provision for all young people in their area who are over compulsory school age but under 19 or aged 19 to 25 and for whom an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is maintained.
Last update: Tuesday 17th of September 2019 11:23:29 AM