Careers Leader

This section provides information for headteachers and senior leaders about our Careers Leader programme.

Browse below to find the information you need. We'll update this page throughout the year.


Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits are there for your school?

The Careers Leader programme will help your school create and implement an improvement strategy, which focuses on raising standards and aspirations for your students.  
When your careers leader has finished the programme, they will have:

  • ideas and practice around raising pupil aspirations
  • a three year improvement plan for developing careers provision across the school, meeting statutory guidance (Gatsby Benchmarks) and feeing into the school improvement plan
  • access to a national network of practice and support.  


Our careers leader already has a Level 6 qualification, will this programme benefit our school?

In the past, we’ve had many Level 6 qualified careers leaders with Quality in Careers Standard who have met all 8 Gatsby benchmarks on the programme in the past - and they have still got a lot out of the programme.

The Careers Leader programme facilitates the practical application career theory, whereas the Level 6 qualification focuses on theory without the prearticular application.  

We’re already meeting the Gatsby benchmarks, how can the programme help us?

What areas of the School Improvement Plan (SIP) are you finding challenging? Are these to do with post-school, parental engagement, building the “life skills” of you children, community engagement, supporting the most vulnerable groups?

If so, this is a project that your careers leader could work through their remit?

We already have a careers programme that runs from Year 7 to 11. How would a three-year strategy help when we already have a programme?

A careers programme is different to a careers strategy. A careers programme is a map of the activities and events that you are planning to do with a year group in each term of each academic year. A careers strategy looks at your exiting provision, identifies areas for improvement, and enables you to take steps to create long-term change.  

How much time will it take to complete?

The Careers Leader programme now takes 34 weeks to complete. To do the Careers Leader programme and produce a quality end-strategy, we recommend that your careers leader spends 2 to 3 hours per week. On top of this, the careers leader will need to be released for four live seminars (some of which occur after the school day), and three national training events, which are during the day. 

We are a middle school, are we eligible?

Yes, middle schools can apply for the programme. 

What is the in-school sponsor and why will the careers leader need one?

If your careers leader is in middle leadership, they’ll need a point of contact in their senior leadership team to be their in-school sponsor throughout the programme. The in-school sponsor will support the careers leader and make sure that they’ll have the authority and capacity to apply their learning and improve careers across the school.

They’ll provide feedback on how your strategy aligns with wider school priorities and support you to influence colleagues. We recommend arranging regular check-ins.

If your careers leader is a part of the senior leadership team, an in-school sponsor shouldn't be necessary. 

How long should the in-school sponsor spend with the careers leader each week?

If your careers leader is in middle leadership, we recommend regular check-ins every 2 – 4 weeks depending on how much support the careers leader need.  

How have other schools found the programme?

Our 2019/20 cohort said of the programme:

  • 100% of programme members found the support was good or very good on our programme.
  • We also found that 99% of programme members agreed or strongly agreed that their confidence in planning their school’s strategy had increased.
  • 91% of programme members agreed or strongly agreed that the programme content was relevant to their own school’s context.

We’ve already completed the Careers Leader programme before but now have a new careers leader – is our school eligible to retake the programme?

If your school has already completed the programme and two years of your careers strategy and then your Careers Leader leaves, you will be eligible to reapply for the programme with your new Careers Leader. If your Careers Leader has just completed the programme, or completed the programme last year, we would consider schools on a case by case basis on whether they are eligible to reapply. 

Can I apply on behalf of our careers leader?

Yes, you can apply on behalf of your careers leader. If you don’t yet know who that may be for the next year, we can reserve your place for your school. Once you have allocated a careers leader, it’s important that they understand the requirements and have the time allocated in their timetable to commit to the programme.  

What are the eligibility requirements?

As an education charity, our programme is aimed at secondary schools where not enough young people progress to further education or employment. 
Our criteria is agreed with the Department for Education (DfE) and used to identify schools that will benefit most from working from us.  We use the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Pupil Premium (PP) information for each school to guide us.  
This focuses on schools that are ranked in the top 70% most deprived areas (based on IDACI) and where the proportion of pupils eligible for pupil premium is in the top 50% of all state-funded schools.  We’ll also look at rates of participation in higher education, prioritising schools with a high proportion of students from areas with low progression to university. 
We understand that there is no set criteria which perfectly catches the many forms deprivation can take. If you’re unsure, please get in touch with 

Ready to work with us?

Apply now

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