Careers Guidance Information


Careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is an essential part of the support we offer to students at Washwood Heath Academy.  Effective careers support can help to prepare our young people for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life; it can help them to make decisions and manage transitions as learners and workers. The correct careers advice and support can motivate pupils to achieve their academic goals and develop resilience. As options for young people become more varied and complex, it is vital that they are supported to develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed choices for their future. As a result, the careers program has a whole-school remit designed to complement the rest of the school curriculum, as per the Gatsby Benchmarks. 

The 8 Gatsby Benchmarks are:

  1. A stable careers programme ​
  2. Learning from careers and labour market information  ​
  3. Addressing the needs of each student
  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

The school has an appointed Careers Leader (Ms. N. Sadiq) who is the main point of contact in school for all matters relating to Careers Education who can be contacted on 0121 675 7272 or nsadiq@washwood.academy

Washwood Heath Academy works closely with the Careers and Enterprise company. This is an external organisation that supports schools to ensure they are following the DFEs newly devised Careers Strategy. The following information is an extract taken from this guidance.

“The careers strategy sets out that every school and academy providing secondary education should use the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers provision. This statutory guidance has been restructured around the Benchmarks with information on what schools need to do to meet each one. The Gatsby Benchmarks are not a statutory framework but by adopting them, schools can be confident that they are fulfilling their legal duties: the existing duties to secure independent careers guidance and provide opportunities to a range of providers to inform pupils about technical education qualifications or apprenticeships and the new duty to publish information about the careers programme on the school website.”

As an education establishment we ensure we use the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks as a foundation when planning our Careers Strategy. The effectiveness of our provision is inspected and audited by the Careers and Enterprise Company using the Compass Careers Benchmark Tool. This tool is used by schools and colleges in England to support the analysis and evaluation of careers activity against the eight benchmarks of best practice (known as the Gatsby Benchmarks). The Careers and Enterprise Company coordinate the Audit deadlines. This ensures the development of our careers strategy is ongoing to ensure best practice. Washwood Heath Academy is a member of the Birmingham Careers Hub. The benefits of being a Hub Member include additional funding and support.

Compass Plus audits to assess the Careers Programme are conducted at least once a term. In line with the recommendations set out in Gatsby Benchmark 1, we as a school plan to review the published information on an annual basis, inviting feedback from key audiences.

We aim to help our students understand where different education and training decisions could take them and our provision is guided by the eight benchmarks identified in the Gatsby ‘Good Career Guidance’ report . All of our students have access to:

  • A stable careers programme delivered through PSHE and embedded in the curriculum from Years 7 to 13 that equips them to make effective use of careers information, advice and guidance and to develop career management and employability skills. The school will assess the impact of its careers programmes on students by completing parent, student and employer surveys and analysing the destinations of the students.
  • Students have access to current career and labour market information. This is available from online resources. Activities using Labour Market information are being developed for inclusion within PSHE lessons.
  • Advice and support is provided to all students. This is tailored to their needs and demonstrates a commitment to equality and diversity.
  • Teaching staff who are able to link curriculum learning to careers.
  • A structured work experience scheme in Year 10 that consists of a ‘World of Work Week’.
  • Regular encounters with further and higher education.
  • Personal guidance – impartial one to one advice and guidance interviews take place for students in Key Stage 4; so that all KS4 students have had an interview before choosing their post-16 options and for students in Year 12. A professionally qualified Careers Adviser carries out these interviews. Students with special educational needs and disabilities also have access to additional support from our Careers Adviser.

The school regularly reviews its provision against the Gatsby Benchmarks, and seeks to improve our outcomes against them. These reviews are conducted using the Compass+ evaluation tool.

Information for parents and students

Intent & Rationale

Our vision for careers is to ensure that our students are provided with access to a range of opportunities to make informed choices about the next steps in their education.

Our aim is to support our students to develop the skills, understanding and attitude that will make them successful both in their studies and in the ever-changing world of work.

Implementing our Curriculum

All staff have a role to play in supporting our students with their career planning. Students have the opportunity to hear about a range of careers in assemblies, from visiting speakers and in their PSHE lessons. Opportunities, both face-to-face and virtual are regularly shared with students.

In the Curriculum

We provide a structured programme of activities to inform, inspire and motivate our students towards their future careers. Our careers programme takes place through the curriculum, PSHE lessons, assemblies and in a range of events throughout the school. There is a link to our planned Careers Programme for the year at the bottom of the page. Where it is not possible to run events due to Covid-19, we will endeavour to replace a face-to-face event with a virtual experience.

The curriculum evolves to ensure students have the best possible foundation for their future. Students learn about career opportunities within every curriculum subject area and recognise the transferable skills that each provides. Initially, careers advice is broad so that each student is encouraged to explore different interests and discover new strengths. Every subject taught is specialised but includes wider benefits that will develop overall employability skills.

Personal Development (PSHE)

Careers lessons are delivered as part of the PSHE programme. These prepare our students for their lives beyond school and cover a wide range of different topics, including career planning. Our advice becomes more tailored to each student the further they progress through school. Insight is given into career choices, routes to specific jobs of interest, aspects of employment, succeeding at interview, CV writing and more.

This document was written by the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) and contains useful information regarding options after both GCSEs and Sixth Form:

Guide to Post 16 Options Parents and Carers

This document was written for National Careers Week, it contains useful information regarding options after both GCSEs and Sixth Form:

The Parents' Guide to Careers This website provides information about the wide range of options open to students after their GCSE courses, including A levels, Apprenticeships and T-levels. 

Aim Higher: Next Steps This website provides a range of information which will be of use to students who are investigating university courses:

University Guidance Information The following websites are also very useful for students when choosing subjects and/or universities:


Careermap Magazine

Careermap Magazine

Work Experience

The following websites are particularly useful for students seeking Virtual Work Experience Opportunities.

Springpod s4snextgen

Allied Healthcare MentorMedicmentor

Brighton and Sussex Medical School Virtual Work Experience

This page will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

Other Useful Websites

Words for Work

For help on knowing how to look and apply for jobs, including how to write a curriculum vitae (CV), an elevator speech or dealing with tricky interview questions the following website might be helpful:

Words for work

Careers Information

There are many websites available which provide information about careers. Some are directly related to particular industries and others are less specific, however some of the following may be of use.

To find out more about what career areas may suit - complete this test and then research the options that are shared.

Careers TestFutureLearn Careers

The following websites include all areas and can often be searched by subject and/or interest area. Some also include information about pay and promotion prospects.

National Careers Service

Kent University Careers and Employability Information

The Complete University Guide

Total JobsProspects

iCould Guest Start Profile

There are also many subject based or profession based websites that have careers sections, for example:

The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Law Society

Looking for a Career in the Creative Industry? Then this could be the website for you:

Discover Creative Careers! Many students are interested in medical careers, but it is worth remembering that the Health Service requires a wide range of other professional staff as well as doctors. These websites give you information about some of these other roles:

Step into the NHS​Health Careers​Allied Health Professionals There are many websites which promote independent activities to support career choices. It is also worth looking out for the many competitions that run in school. Participation in these will develop skills that employers will be looking for.

The following organisation runs activities to support STEM careers:

Engineering Development TrustThe University of Birmingham has a scheme called Routes to the Professions which provides support for students considering courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Accounting & Finance and Engineering. In addition they also run the A2B Scheme which provides additional support to students who meet their criteria.

Labour Market Information

Nationally it is known that there is a significant mismatch between the careers that young people wish to pursue and the opportunities available. Labour Market Information (LMI) can be used to help students and parents understand the salaries and promotion opportunities for different jobs, as well as the volume and location of vacancies in different sectors of the job market. You may find it helpful to use the Labour Market Information which can be investigated using 'Careerometer interactive'.

What is Labour Market Information (LMI)? 

Discover Your Future LMI video

Information classed as LMI includes:
• Skills, career pathways and progression routes in the local labour market
• Qualifications, training and entry requirements
• Employment sectors, employers, jobs, salaries and employment trends
• Job demands and working life
• Financial planning

How to find LMI:

Some useful websites include the National Careers Service where you can find out extensive LMI on thousands of jobs. The iCould website also provides job profiles in a more teen friendly, video format and includes the Buzz quiz, a matching quiz which we use in school to help students match their skills and interests to job sectors.

Information for employers

We are always looking for volunteers from the world of work to get involved in our careers education and work related curriculum. Here are just a few examples that would be of interest to our students.

  • Do you work in any creative industry? – our Art, Music and Drama departments would love to hear from you.
  • Could you visit our STEM lessons and showcase your role in any STEM related career? Any help would be welcome, but we are always seeking women who have roles in this area.
  • Our learners enter the “Step into the NHS” competition, which highlights the diversity of careers in Health Care, from Audiologist to Specialist Paramedic. With over 1.7 million employees and more than 350 different careers, the NHS needs new innovators. Can you help us showcase your career to inspire our students to be the next generation?
  • Do you run your own business? We would love to hear about your journey.
  • In the wake of Cop26, we would like to be able to highlight the range of new professional positions arising to combat climate change. Could you help?
  • Would you be able to support our Year 10 activities, where our students guess your profession by asking you pertinent questions about your everyday professional activities? Could you help inspire our students to pursue a career they have never come across before?
  • We run a Higher Education and Careers Day in the Spring term where we need a whole range of people to highlight careers by giving short talks. Could you help?
  • In Year 13 we help our students perfect their employability skills for their university and apprentice applications by giving them mock interviews, would you be able to help with this?

If you would like to discuss the ways in which you or your organisation could be involved then please contact Mr. Luke Carter, Assistant Head of Academy via the main school email address (enquiry@washwood.academy) for more information.

For more information about the impact of collaboration with employers, please see this website:  Education and Employers 

Careers Programme

Our careers programme is reviewed regularly and takes place through the curriculum, PSHE lessons, assemblies and in a range of events throughout the school. There is a link to our planned Careers Programme for the year at the bottom of the page. Where it is not possible to run events due to Covid-19, we will endeavour to replace a face-to-face event with a virtual experience.

Further information can be obtained by contacting the Careers Leader Ms. N. Sadiq or Assistant Head of Academy, Mr. L. Carter


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Black Country LMI 31st Mar 2023 Download
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Careers Newsletter Edition 2 16th Oct 2023 Download