Career Benchmarks Pilot

Working with the Gatsby Foundation to improve careers guidance

The North East LEP has been selected to run the four-year ‘Career Benchmarks’ pilot programme by Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby Foundation, which is funding the scheme . The pilot will involve two years of intensive careers activity with schools, colleges and local businesses as well as four years of data collection, gathered and analysed by an independent evaluator, who will report on the impact of the national pilot in terms of student outcomes and progression into higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

The national pilot will rigorously test eight benchmarks, which have been generated following a research project conducted by Sir John Holman.  Schools will help to identify any barriers and look at how they can be overcome, as well as generate case studies from the North East to create a new model for supporting schools and colleges than can be rolled out to other LEP areas nationally. The pilot will focus on linking curriculum learning to careers, improving destinations and developing mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships with employers.

Sir John and his team identified the key elements of ‘good career guidance’ after visiting the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Finland, Canada and Ireland, all of which have strong international reputations for careers guidance and educational results. They spoke to teachers, pupils and ministry officials in the six countries, and then compared their experiences with a range of schools in England.

As a result, eight benchmarks for high quality and effective careers guidance were constructed: a stable careers programme; learning from career and labour market information; addressing the needs of each pupil; linking curriculum learning to careers; encounters with employers and employees; experiences of work places; encounters with further and higher education; and personal guidance.

The schools and colleges taking part in the pilot are:

  • Shotton Hall Academy, Peterlee
  • Excelsior Academy, Newcastle
  • Park View Academy, Chester le Street
  • Harton Technology College, South Shields
  • Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe
  • Kenton School, Newcastle
  • Berwick Academy, Berwick
  • Castle View Academy, Sunderland
  • The Link School, Sunderland
  • Sunderland College, Sunderland
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, Hebburn
  • King Edward VI School, Morpeth
  • Bishop Auckland College, Bishop Auckland
  • East Durham College, Peterlee
  • Northumberland Church of England Academy, Ashington
  • Churchill Community College, Wallsend

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