Helping schools and colleges to deliver the ‘Gatsby Benchmarks’


A report published in January 2018 – Good Career Guidance – Benchmarks for young people in colleges – set out what career guidance in England’s schools and colleges should look like going forward. The ‘Gatsby’ Benchmarks – there are eight in total – have a key role to play in:

  • Raising young people’s aspirations and promoting access to all career pathways.
  • Enabling all young people to develop the skills and outlook they need to achieve career well-being, including adaptability and resilience
  • Underpinning the DfE’s guidance to schools and colleges on how to meet their statutory responsibilities for careers guidance (published in February 2018). By 2020, all colleges will be expected to meet these as part of their careers guidance programme.

The Gatsby Benchmarks already closely reflect what we’re doing through our careers education programme in sixth form colleges. Below we show how we’re delivering on each.

Gatsby Benchmark How Working Options supports the benchmark
1. Schools and colleges should offer a stable, structured careers programme This is for colleges to develop but we can offer advice.
2. Students and parents to learn from careers and labour market information We offer some signposting through our online careers hub for young people
3. Careers programmes should address the needs of each student Our Insights from Industry sessions provide a range of volunteer speakers (different levels of seniority and function) catering for a wide audience and always challenging stereotypical thinking.
4. Curriculum should make links with  careers Our volunteer speakers share their career journeys to help students see how their learning is relevant and how it will help them in the workplace.
5. Multiple ‘valid’ encounters for students with employers and employees Our Insights from Industry sessions provide a two-hour encounter with a range of volunteer speakers where the student learns about what work is like and what it takes to become successful in the workplace. Sessions include networking time. We’ve recently introduced employability skills workshops covering interview skills, team working, problem solving and presentation skills.
6. First hand student experiences of workplaces We’ve been able to offer some workplace visits for students and we hope to do more of this.
7. Encounters with range of further and higher education providers to understand options Outside our area of expertise. We provide some information on education options after sixth form via our online careers information hub.
8. Personal guidance interview opportunities for students Outside our area of expertise.