Gatsby Benchmarks

Careers Adviser giving students careers guidance

What are the Gatsby Benchmarks?

The Gatsby Benchmarks outlines a framework of eight benchmarks, used to improve career guidance programmes in secondary schools and colleges. Originally developed for the Gatsby Foundation by Sir John Holman, a former Headteacher and founder of the national STEM Learning Centre, the Gatsby Benchmarks help identify what good career guidance looks like.

The benchmarks form part of the Government’s Careers Strategy and statutory guidance for schools and colleges. So, it’s no surprise they are high on our agenda when supporting schools.

The Gatsby Benchmarks define what good career guidance looks like and help improve career-related education for a young person. By working towards the benchmarks, schools and colleges can create a careers programme that equips young people with the knowledge and understanding they need to make informed decisions about their futures.

In addition, studies have shown that improving career guidance by using the Benchmarks can lead to better student outcomes, while also raising aspirations and increasing engagement with education.

Our provision meets Benchmark 8, but we offer additional support to schools to help them meet the other seven too.

Good career guidance ensures that all young people, regardless of their needs, background, or ambitions, are aware of the options available to them and can make informed decisions about their futures.

Although the Benchmarks are the same for mainstream schools and SEND schools, the implementation methods may differ. The Gatsby Benchmarks recognise that the professionals working with students in those settings are best placed to adapt career guidance activity, to meet individual student needs.

What are the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks?

Gatsby Benchmark 1 – Stable Careers Programme

Every school and college should have an embedded stable careers programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers

Gatsby Benchmark 2 – Learning from career and labour market information

Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information

Gatsby Benchmark 3 – Addressing the needs of each pupil

Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

Gatsby Benchmark 4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

Gatsby Benchmark 5 – Encounters with employers

Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

Gatsby Benchmark 6 – Experiences of workplaces

Every pupil should have first-hand experiences* of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

Gatsby Benchmark 7 – Encounters with further and higher education

All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

Gatsby Benchmark 8 – Personal guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level

Are The Gatsby Benchmarks mandatory?

We are committed to helping young people make informed decisions about their post-16 pathways and we do this through a combination of one-to-one and group careers advice services. Our eclectic team of professionals combine their experiences and unquestionable knowledge of careers guidance to engage and inspire young people across Key Stages 3, 4, and 5.  

We work in partnership with our schools to provide a Careers Education, Information, Advice, and Guidance service that is driven by a commitment to quality and a strong understanding of the local market. So, no matter what direction a young person is thinking of going in, your Progress Careers Adviser can help guide them by informing them of what is available locally to help them pursue their dreams.