Create valuable evidence of careers activities by using Outstanding Directions.

Create valuable evidence of careers activities by using Outstanding Directions.

We often hear the Government refer to the Gatsby report on ‘Good Career Guidance’ and the eight Benchmarks when discussing its intentions towards careers advice and guidance in schools.

But as a busy school, college or organisation how can you ensure that your careers activities are in-line with this report and the Benchmarks?

Outstanding Directions is a free online tool that helps you evaluate and improve on the many factors that make up good careers guidance provision, including training staff, co-ordination of activities and face-to-face guidance.

In this blog, we will identify how Outstanding Directions can help meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks and provide evidence to support those all-important Ofsted inspections.

Gatsby Benchmark 1: A Stable Careers Programme

Outstanding Directions helps create a stable careers programme by highlighting the need to:

  • delegate responsibility to a single governor
  • have careers guidance as a fixed agenda point at governor’s meetings
  • create a ‘ring-fenced’ careers budget
  • employ a careers co-ordinator to co-ordinate careers activities and events and to ensure the robustness of students careers aspiration data
  • ensure relevant staff have regular careers guidance training and are kept up to date on local labour market information
  • involve parents or guardians in career guidance activities and events

Outstanding Directions also includes survey tools to allow you to see how well the programme is understood by students, parents and teachers.

Gatsby Benchmark 2: Learning from Career and Labour Market Information

Outstanding Directions meets this benchmark by directing the user to create links with local employers to facilitate events or talks or workplace visits for the students to gain local labour market information.

Gatsby Benchmark 3: Addressing the Needs of Each Pupil

Outstanding Directions is very clear on how important this benchmark is and helps organisations improve by:

  • employing a careers co-ordinator to check on data quality, collate impact reports for the SLT, and the continuing use of relevant reports aimed at guiding the planning of career activities and events
  • using a software system to collect and distribute data on students career aspirations
  • using students intended destination data to guide interventions, activities and events
  • involving parents and guardians in careers activities and events
  • involving local authorities to best support SEN students and those at risk of becoming NEET
  • using age-appropriate guidance to ensure the message is properly understood
  • using properly informed face-to-face guidance activities that are focused on those students that would benefit the most

Gatsby Benchmark 4: Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers

Outstanding Directions leads the user to produce ‘a systematic and thorough process’ which highlights the need to:

  • train staff in career guidance
  • update staff regularly on local labour market information
  • include all teaching staff
  • regularly update teaching materials

Gatsby Benchmark 5: Encounters with Employers and Employees

Outstanding Directions directs the user to create a program of visits by Employers, using students’ data to ensure attendance by students who will benefit the most.  A follow-up program should also be developed to ensure that learning and motivation are maintained.

Gatsby Benchmark 6: Experiences of Workplaces

Outstanding Directions directs the user to create a program of visits to employers’ workplaces, again using students’ data to ensure attendance by students who will benefit the most and with an emphasis on a follow-up program to ensure that learning and motivation are maintained.

Gatsby Benchmark 7: Encounters with Further and Higher Education

Outstanding Directions advises schools on the need to arrange student visits to and from HE and FE organisations, along with the need to use data to ensure the right students attend these events, share information between the relevant teaching staff to ensure the information is up-to-date and to help with student transitions.

Gatsby Benchmark 8: Personal Guidance

Outstanding Directions helps schools create a career guidance system where guidance is ‘face-to-face’, age-appropriate and impartial.

To find out more about Outstanding Directions and to start using it for free, click here.

To read the Gatsby report on ‘Good Career Guidance’ in full, click here.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the full range of products and services provided by CASCAID, please do not hesitate to call the team on +44 (0) 1509 226868 or email enquiry@cascaid.co.uk.

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