North East Ambition

The Good Career Guidance Benchmarks

What is the North East Ambition programme?

North East Ambition is a programme of activity that centres on the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks, successfully piloted from 2015 to 2017 by the Gatsby Foundation and now part of Government’s national careers strategy.

As part of the programme, we will ensure that all schools in the region who wish to participate are:

  • achieving the Benchmarks by 2024
  • making use of the full range of information, advice and guidance (IAG) services and activities available.

What resources are available?

We have produced a number of resources to assist educators in working alongside the North East Ambition programme. These include:

What was the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks pilot?

The national pilot tested eight benchmarks that have been generated following a research project conducted by Sir John Holman.

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. The research project showed that there is no ‘magic bullet’, and success in careers education can only be achieved if these eight Benchmarks work together in harmony.

Sixteen North East schools and colleges participated in the pilot, which started with self-assessment against each benchmark, and then delivering interventions to improve this assessment.

We officially launched North East Ambition on 14 July 2017, with over 200 people present representing schools, colleges and businesses.


What schools and colleges are participating in the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks pilot?
  • 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
What are the eight Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance?

Through six international visits, analysis of good practice in English schools and a comprehensive review of current literature, a set of eight benchmarks covering different dimensions of good career guidance was identified.

  1.  A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market 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
  8. Personal guidance

Find out more on the Gatsby Foundation’s website.

Want to find out more information on the pilot?