Careers Advice

As part of improving the quality and effectiveness of The Charles Dickens Careers Education and Guidance for our students, Mrs Lawson(Deputy Head Teacher) and Mr Whittaker (Lead teacher for Careers Education, Information and Guidance) and Mr Weller (Lead teacher for Gifted and Talented students) are working with governors, heads of year, teaching staff, students, parents, external agencies, further education institutions and businesses so that The Charles Dickens School continues to ensure that our students receive excellent Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG).

The Charles Dickens School is working to achieve the 8 Gatsby Careers Benchmarks, which reflect international best practice, to improve careers provision. As a school, we will be ensuring that all 8 Gatsby Benchmarks are implemented by September 2020.

The school has used Compass, an online self-evaluation tool, to assess how careers support compares against the Gatsby Benchmarks and the national average. We have baselined ourselves using this tool to improve our careers programme based on these results, and track the school’s progress against the Benchmarks over time. A tracker planning tool will be used to help record activities clearly and easily, and will identify how the school is meeting the Benchmark scores.

The Charles Dickens School is working with The Education Business Partnership (EBP) which will provide external support to the school. The aim will be for every student from Year 7 -11 to have at least one meaningful encounter each year with employers and that these encounters will inspire pupils and allow them to learn about what work is like, or what it takes to be successful in the workforce. In addition to this, the schools aim is for all or the majority of pupils to have encounters with further or higher education establishment. Students will have encounters with these organisations whilst in school (in addition to the access we provide to apprenticeships and universities).

From Year 7 through to Year 11 students are encouraged to actively develop knowledge and skills that contribute to their preparations for the world of employment across a range of subjects, tutor time and dedicated focus days.  Activities, including business and enterprise projects as well as workshops and specialist speakers, support our provision for our students.

In order to ensure all students have 24/7 access to resources that support CEIAG, there are dedicated areas in the Learner Portal for Careers as well as links to the online software packages and other useful sites to support decision making.

We are also able to ensure that all students have access to independent Careers advice through our Careers Advisor Mr Handley. He is available in school and offers confidential guidance and support to students about careers, education, training and job options, as well as other issues such as health, money, relationships, and housing. All students will have a range of opportunities to work with Mr Handley. Any student who would like a Careers interview should speak with their HOY who will arrange this for them.  The Charles Dickens School offers a general programme of group sessions for year 8 students on choosing GCSE options, individual interviews with actions plans for year 11 students, and attendance at parents’ evenings and options evenings to give advice for parents.

A Personal Advisor can work with you to help prepare your son or daughter for the future. There might be particular times when you need our help, for example when your son or daughter:

  • is starting to think about their GCSE subject choices at Key Stage 3
  • is considering their options after Year 11. Personal advisors can give them advice and guidance on staying on in full-time education, starting work, training, work-based learning or apprenticeships
  • may be experiencing difficulties and they need extra support to get back on track
  • needs advice on the benefits available to them to support their progression through education and training
  • has a learning difficulty or disability and needs help with their next steps
  • Moving forward September 2018 to end 2020
  • Continue using the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve careers provision now, and meet them by the end of 2020.
  • For the employer encounters Benchmark to be met, and the school should begin to offer every young person seven encounters with employers – at least one each year from year 7 to year 13 – and meet this in full by the end of 2020. Some of these encounters will be with STEM employers.

Every pupil, and their parents/carers, should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. The National Careers Service offers information and professional advice about education, training and work to adults and young people aged 13 years and over. Pupils and their parents/carers can access support via a website, helpline and web chat. For more information see:


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Careers Programme 2018 - 2019 Download