Promoting all Pathways

Promoting all pathways enables Careers Leaders and key staff to ensure that young people and parents & carers are supported to develop knowledge and understanding of all available routes at key transition points allowing young people to make informed and equitable choices about their next step.

Watch this film to find out about why and how you should be promoting all pathways. Hear how other schools, special schools and colleges are implementing a progressive carers programme, where students are supported to understand and consider all routes with equity. 

Provider Access Legislation

The provider access legislation was enacted in January 2023. It is a key mechanism to further help learners understand and take-up, not just apprenticeships, but wider technical education options such as T-Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications.


The updated provider access legislation (PAL) specifies schools must provide at least six encounters for all their students: 

  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘first key phase’ (year 8 or 9) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend
  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘second key phase’ (year 10 or 11) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend
  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘third key phase’ (year 12 or 13) that are mandatory for the school to put on but optional for pupils to attend.


In the context of the provider access legislation, a provider is an organisation that offers approved technical education qualifications or their representative, for example an FE college or training provider.


A provider, to whom access is given, must deliver an encounter that includes the following:​

  • Information about the provider and the approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships that the provider offers​
  • Information about the careers to which those technical education qualifications or apprenticeships might lead​
  • A description of what learning or training with the provider is like​
  • Responses to questions from the pupils about the provider or approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships.​


Support with the full statutory guidance from DfE can be found here.


Whilst the provider access legislation only applies to schools and schools that have sixth forms, DfE strongly encourage colleges to follow the guidance as good practice.

Resources to support you​

The following resources will help you to support your whole school, special school or college to embed promoting all pathways across your careers education programme and the wider curriculum. The Making it meaningful: Benchmark 7 guide takes you through planning a provider encounter, whilst My Learning, My Future and My Skills, My Future (for young people with SEND) support staff to promote all pathways through the curriculum. ​

Our Careers Excellence Seminar on apprenticeships and technical education provides inspiring insights from panellists including an apprentice, an employer and a range of Education Leaders, which can be used as CPD to help engage colleagues with importance of promoting all pathways.​

Other resources you may find useful are these case studies and My Journey My Future which has a focus on transition.

Guide for Providers

If you are a provider working with schools and colleges to offer encounters, you may find this provider guide to planning meaningful encounters a useful resource Making encounters meaningful: support for providers​.