Sir John Holman, a former Principal and founder of the National STEM Learning Centre, was asked by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation to undertake an independent, international review of career guidance. He visited six countries, analysed good practice in English schools and did a comprehensive review of current literature. From all of this, Sir John wrote the Good Career Guidance Report. In the report he identifies what 'good' looks like and outlines a framework of eight benchmarks that schools can use to improve their career guidance system. These now form part of the government's careers strategy, launched December 2017, in which every secondary school needs to meet by 2020.
The Gatsby Benchmarks are as follows;
- Every School and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.
- Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good‐quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.