Published On: February 23, 2024|635 words|3.2 min read|
Hermitage Academy

Hermitage Academy, a mixed secondary school in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, partnered with Progress Careers in 2022 to enhance their existing Careers Education, Information, Advice, and Guidance (CEIAG) provision..

Initial challenges

Before partnering with us, Hermitage Academy encountered several hurdles in offering effective career advice to their students. The primary challenges included limited time for dedicated careers guidance within their busy school schedule and difficulty maintaining impartiality, a key component of Gatsby Benchmark 8 and a crucial factor in effective careers advice and guidance.

The Progress Careers solution

In our early discussions with the academy, we prioritised truly understanding what they hoped to achieve with us as their careers guidance partner. This enabled us to identify how we could elevate their existing CEIAG provision and seize opportunities to deliver maximum value.

Recognising the academy’s specific needs, we implemented a bespoke solution designed to significantly enhance their existing CEIAG services. As part of our service, we provided a dedicated Careers Adviser, who brought a wealth of information and an engaging approach to careers advice and guidance, fostering a more informative and interactive environment for their students.

Another key element of our careers guidance service was establishing regular meetings. These sessions enabled us to work closely with the academy, integrating our expertise with the school’s internal knowledge and perspectives. This addressed the initial challenges and propelled their careers service to new heights, enhancing engagement and participation among students, parents, and staff.

Feedback from the academy has been overwhelmingly positive, highlighting increased student confidence and interest in exploring further education, training, and apprenticeship opportunities.

Michelle Pearce, their Careers Leader, said:

“The introduction of qualified advisers from Progress Careers has offered a fresh and impartial perspective. Their welcoming manner and commitment to spending quality time with each student have contributed significantly to our improved careers guidance service.

“The feedback from the students themselves has been fantastic. They have actively engaged with the process, completing questionnaires and feedback forms, and attending drop-in sessions to seek further help and guidance.

“Overall, Progress Careers has been a wonderful source of support and advice. Ensuring that all aspects of careers are undertaken and ensuring that students and staff are fully aware of the importance of careers and the impact it can have.”

The result

Partnering with Progress Careers has led to a more engaging and effective careers guidance service for Hermitage Academy. It’s been a privilege to support and witness the transformation in their CEIAG provision, highlighting the impact of dedicated careers advice and guidance on student confidence and exploration of future opportunities.

Mel Craven, Operations Manager at Progress Careers shared her thoughts on the partnership:

“It’s always a pleasure working alongside Hermitage Academy, it’s great to watch their careers programme evolve going from strength to strength each year utilising destinations to help achieve their Gatsby benchmarks.

Michelle the careers lead works tirelessly and puts her heart and soul into CEIAG alongside our impartial careers adviser to make sure all students achieve the right outcomes and that CEIAG filters throughout the academy.

It is really evident across all of the NELT academies the care, passion and respect they have towards all young people, not only in CEIAG but permeating through each department. I truly value our partnership.”

At Progress Careers, we are proud of the difference we’re making in young lives through our partnerships, and Hermitage Academy’s journey is a shining example of this success. As a result of the amazing work done at Hermitage (which is part of the North East Learning Trust), we are now working in another five academies within the Trust: Rye Hills, Ashington, Bedlington, Teesdale and Easington.

If your school is looking to transform its careers education and guidance service, drop our team a line and we can arrange a suitable date and time to discuss your specific school needs.

Does your school need a careers partner?

Are you looking for a friendly Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance partner? Well look no further. Drop our team a line and we can arrange a suitable date and time to discuss your specific school needs.