Gatsby Benchmark 4


What good looks like 


All subject staff should link curriculum with careers, even on courses that are not specifically occupation-led. For example, STEM subject staff should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of career paths. Study programmes should also reflect the importance of maths and English as a key expectation from employers.

  • By the age of 14, every pupil should have had the opportunity to learn how the different STEM subjects help people to gain entry to, and be more effective workers within, a wide range of careers.
  • Throughout their programme of study (and by the end of their course) every student should have had the opportunity to experience how their subjects help people gain entry to (and be more effective workers within) a wide range of occupations.


Approaches to Benchmark 4


Foundation Approach:

  • Students experience a careers programme where progressive learning outcomes support students to build careers knowledge, understanding and ability towards positive transitions
  • The Foundation Approach also includes supporting staff to simply highlight the relevance of their subjects to careers pathways and future opportunities. This approach sits outside of taught curriculum and is about making abstract links about the relevance of subjects to pathways/roles and related essential skills to future careers and opportunities. This can sit outside of teaching and be done in a variety of ways including homework tasks, starter/plenary tasks, etc.
  • Students are engaged in their subjects as staff highlight the relevance of their subjects to future careers and opportunities
  • Linking Careers to the Curriculum:
  • Students are supported to understand the application of learning through teachers contextualising teaching points within careers, future opportunities and the world of work
  • This can be done through a review of current schemes of work and highlight opportunities within content and themes to focus on essential skills/pathways/roles, etc. The content in the My Learning, My Future resource provides effective signposting and supports teachers in making these links.
  • Linking careers in the curriculum can be extended by helping staff to understand and deliver careers learning outcomes through teaching & learning alongside national curriculum.


Embedding Curriculum in the Context of Careers:

  • Where staff are engaged, students are engaged in learning and supported to make progress as curriculum teaching points are embedded in the context of careers and the world of work
  • Embedding careers in the curriculum can be extended by helping staff to understand and deliver careers learning outcomes through teaching & learning alongside national curriculum.


Why this matters

  • Students feel more engaged in their learning when they perceive the relevance of what they are studying to their own and other people’s lives
  • Students become more aspirational, understanding that perceived barriers can be overcome and that there are numerous pathways to success
  • Subject teachers are highly influential – students are 18 times more likely to be motivated to learn if their teachers know their hopes and dreams
  • Staff highlighting the relevance of their subject to future careers and opportunities creates social capital for young people with more limited networks
  • Improving career guidance in secondary schools and colleges can lead to better student outcomes, while also raising aspirations and increasing engagement with education”, ICEGS
  • Skills Builder – Better Prepared Report Strong essential skills such as speaking, listening and staying positive can positively influence young people's employment prospects.’

Careers Leaders:

Getting started with BM4

  • Linking careers to the curriculum supports the engagement of students and supports progress by highlighting the relevance of subjects and specific teaching points to careers and future opportunities
  • Share your definition of careers with staff to help colleagues recognise the value in a whole school approach to Benchmark 4
  • Consider an audit and celebration of what staff are already doing
  • Share the ‘My Learning, My Future resources with staff to support them in highlighting the relevance of their subjects
  • The My Learning, My Future Inspiration Guides also support staff towards linking curriculum to careers


All Careers Leaders require Outstanding training


For further support with Benchmark 1 register for our fully funded Careers Leader training 


Download our Training Catalogue which includes all the information you need and a helpful comparison guide on the 11 high-quality Training Providers we work with. Here you will be able to choose the right course to suit you and your development, so that you can embed a successful careers programme in your school/college. 


Once you have chosen the right course and Training Provider for you, you are all set to register!


Register today

Careers in Context: Can Do Approaches


  1. Be clear about defining what ‘careers’ is right now in your school or special school and what your expectations of curriculum staff are for this Benchmark:
  • Define key learning outcomes are for key stages or year groups on what your students need to know, understand and be able to do as a priority
  • Refer to the new CDI Framework to support you in setting progressive learning outcomes based on priority needs of your students.
  1. Support staff to engage students in learning by highlighting the relevance of their subjects to future careers to support positive student outcomes and school/college priorities around destinations, engagement and attainment. This is of higher priority due to the pandemic, as the potential for discrete careers events and delivery may become limited.
  1. Consider using this template Proposal’ document to help you to make a case to SLT for time, resource and support for careers guidance.

Education Leaders and Governors:

Education Leaders and Governors: For further information on each Benchmark, to support you in your role, please see the Education Leader, Secondary and College Governor Guides.

Gatsby BM4, 5, 7
Key stages

My Learning My Future: Maths

My Learning, My Future is a suite of resources that has been developed in partnership with The Careers and Enterprise Company and Skills Builder to help you speak confidently about careers related to your subject as well as the various pathways and skills needed by employers.

Gatsby BM2, 4, 5
Key stages

Step into the NHS

These resources allow students to explore a wide range of careers and help them better understand there is an NHS career for them, no matter their interests and skills.

Gatsby BM4
Key stages

Careers Posters

Posters can really brighten up any classroom, department, corridor or student social area and help bring careers information to students in a bright and colourful way leaving them with a lasting impression and a point of reference during their time in school.

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