So what are the Gatsby Benchmarks?
They are a set of guidelines for schools to help them plan and deliver excellent careers education programmes in their institutions.
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A stable careers programme is one that is planned, well organised, suitable for the needs of all pupils and has the backing of the senior management team including the Head teacher. It means the opposite of an ad-hoc or disorganised approach.
Labour market information (LMI) is more than just information about jobs. It's also about understanding the various roles in a wide range of industries, the study pathways available and making sense of this information according to one's own situation.
Meeting the needs of individual students includes raising aspirations of each person, challenging stereotypes and traditional patterns,. Schools must also keep records on where the students go after they leave the establishment as well as the career management skills they learn during study.
Students need to understand how their subjects are linked to real jobs. This benchmark includes learning about STEM careers by the age of 14, the importance of English and Maths is emphasised and careers learning is embedded into each subject.
The guidelines say that students should have at least one meaningful encounter with employers and or employees of companies per year during their years of study. They are learning about the roles available, the skills required for these roles and the skills in general required for the world of work.
This benchmark refers to work experience as well as visits to work places where they can gain insight. Students need to have at least one such experience by age 16 and another by 18. This should be in addition to any paid part-time work they are undertaking.
Encounters with Further and Higher Education is important for students to understand their options, what places look and feel like, what it might be like to study there, and what is on offer. By age 16 they need to have had an encounter like this, and at least 2 visits for those considering HE options by age 18.
Personal Guidance needs to be conducted by a qualified Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) professional. Students need access to an interview by 16 and another offered by age 18. Group work sessions can be included where appropriate however students should have access to one-to-one support.