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Pupils & learning

Providing an effective careers programme

This guide explains the responsibilities that schools and governing boards have to help pupils make informed choices about their future.

Pupils-learning group of pupils in uniform

Supporting young people to make informed choices about their future is an important responsibility for schools and their governing boards.

This guide for governing boards in the secondary phase explains how your board can meet its statutory duties relating to careers guidance, by supporting and challenging your school or trust to meet the Gatsby Benchmarks – the recognised blueprint for high-quality careers guidance. It has been produced in collaboration with The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), which exists to facilitate a world-class careers education and help every young person find their best next step.

The guide covers:

  • statutory careers responsibilities
  • the role of governing boards
  • appointing a careers governor or trustee
  • using the Gatsby Benchmarks
  • monitoring the impact of your careers programme

Advice for primary school governing boards

Governing boards in the primary phase can also have a significant influence in equipping their pupils for the world of work. If you govern in the primary phase, then you are in a position to support and challenge your school leaders to inspire pupils and challenge preconceptions about certain careers or pathways. Ask your headteacher or CEO:

  • How do pupils at our school(s) learn about the world of work?
  • Do we invite volunteers into school to talk to pupils about different careers?
  • Do we talk to our pupils about their perception of certain careers or pathways such as women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) or men in teaching or caring professions?

The CEC provide a quick self-assessment quiz to help start these conversations.

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