Gatsby Benchmark 1 – A stable careers programme
Do I need to apply Benchmark 1 in its entirety?
Benchmark 1 is applicable in its entirety for Middle Schools and should be implemented in line with the guidance set out in the statutory guidance. All questions and sub questions in Compass under Gatsby Benchmark 1 apply to Middle Schools.
Gatsby Benchmark 2 – Learning from career and labour market information
Should pupils be accessing LMI during their time at Middle School?
Accessing Labour Market Information and ideas about possible future pathways is something that is valuable throughout education, so pupils should be accessing
this information during their time at Middle School.
Receiving this information by Year 8 could impact on a pupil’s choice of Upper School for example, and can be incorporated into PSHE, form time or assemblies, as well as across the curriculum.
Benchmark 2 Compass results are based on the question regarding the lowest relevant age, so if you are fully achieving the benchmark for students by the time they leave your school, you will be achieving 100% at Benchmark 2.
Gatsby Benchmark 3 – Addressing the needs of each student
Are sub questions 3.1 and 3.2 applicable to Middle Schools?
Sub question 3.1 and the majority of 3.2 are applicable to Middle Schools and should be completed in line with Compass guidance. Maintaining accurate data will support Middle Schools in building a network of alumni who could support future careers activity.
Gatsby Benchmark 4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers
Is Benchmark 4 applicable to Middle Schools?
Benchmark 4 is applicable in its entirety for Middle Schools and should be completed in line with Compass guidance.
Gatsby Benchmark 5 – Encounters with employers and employees
Is Benchmark 5 relevant to Middle School pupils?
Ideally, Benchmark 5 is applicable in its entirety for Middle Schools, however only encounters in Years 7 and 8 will impact on the Compass scores. This benchmark should be completed in line with Compass guidance for the relevant year groups.
Gatsby Benchmark 6 – Experiences of workplaces
Should I provide the opportunity for workplace encounters in Middle School?
Benchmark 6 should be completed based on the experiences of workplaces your pupils have while at Middle School, not what they may be involved with in Upper School. This is a requirement by 16, therefore not compulsory for Middle Schools.
However, we recommend that schools should consider providing the opportunity/encounter where possible for Year 7 or 8 pupils.
This workplace experience does not have to be a work experience placement, but could be workplace visits, job shadowing or volunteering for example. Many curriculum trips and visits incorporate a workplace, and with appropriate planning, could help to achieve this benchmark.
Gatsby Benchmark 7 – Encounters with further and higher education
How should I interpret Benchmark 7 at Middle School?
While recognising that it may be difficult to attract FE and HE providers to a Middle School, this benchmark is still applicable in its entirety and should be answered accordingly. This is a requirement by 16, therefore not compulsory for Middle Schools but schools should consider providing the opportunity/encounter where possible.
It is important that, even at this age, pupils are introduced to all possible routes. Sourcing speakers who can share their experience of going through a variety of routes could be a useful way to explain to pupils the potential opportunities open to them.
Gatsby Benchmark 8 – Personal guidance
We don’t have budget to pay a Careers Advisor, can the Careers Leader carry out the guidance interviews?
The statutory duty on schools to secure access to independent careers guidance for pupils in Years 8 to 13 who need it, also applies to Year 8 pupils in Middle Schools. This will be particularly important in areas where the local upper school starts its GCSE courses in Year 9.
Middle School staff will work with the Upper School staff to provide information and advice on option choices. For those pupils who wish to talk to a careers adviser at that point, the Upper School could make their careers adviser available.