Careers and Further Education

At Herne Bay High School, we take Careers Education Information and Guidance very seriously. We understand that a strong and stable careers program is the starting block for each student to be able to aspire to have achievable goals.

Our careers program starts in year 7 and continues through to year 11 and our outstanding sixth form provision. All students have fantastic opportunities and guidance so they can make the right choices to help them achieve their future careers.

To strive for an outstanding career pathway, we our continuously creating new opportunities and adding to our careers program to adapt to the labour markets.

At the end of each academic year our CEIAG team run comprehensive analysis on the impact the careers programme has had on all students. This is done by constant analysis of student pathways taken. Each academic year reports are produced on the destinations and retention of students; these reports are compared to previous years to identify any gaps in groups where further interventions could support for the future. We pride ourselves on making sure no students leave HBHS as a NEET, with all students having a destination that is right to fit their individual needs. Every student is monitored throughout year 11 through various interventions within the school. 

We believe that our successful approach to having a low number of NEETS has been through a strong monitoring and evaluation process with many teams within the school working together to make sure all students have an individual pathway and any students needing extra support can be identified quickly and interventions put in place. As a school we work extremely well with external organisations by attending regular review meetings and working with the local authority to lower NEET rates.

With a new approach from the Government to achieve a strong and stable careers program we grade our excellence on achieving the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Please click below to see how we are currently achieving each of the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Careers leader details: Mr L Hasler Phone: 01227 361221

Benchmark 1 - A Stable Careers Program

‘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’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

Within the school we have dedicated staff that are responsible for the delivery and development of CEIAG. We have a member of staff that is designated to the coordination of CEIAG the careers coordinator is supported and backed on a senior leadership level working as the LIP and reports directly with Mr Boyles. This set up implements and supports CEIAG at each level within the school.

The school’s program is currently explained and clearly set out on the school’s website, this allows access to parents and students.

Each year a school CEIAG plan is written that clearly sets out how CEIAG will be implemented and addressed across the different Gatsby Benchmarks.

There is a clear pathway for students from year 7 to year 13 that have extensive and a wide range of CEIAG activities, this can be clearly seen in appendix 1.

Within HBHS there is now a clear and stable embedded program that has a stable framework to be developed on to be a pioneer for schools in CEIAG.

Every year the progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks is reviewed and assessed by using Compass, a tool provided by the education people.

Benchmark 2 - Learning from Career and Labour Market

‘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’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

Key stage 3 students learn about career aspirations through our PSHEE program. The PSHEE program enables students to start to think about career choices and pathways and conduct research into considered career professions and what they would need to get there.

All students within the school have access to a free program called START, this program is a live database that enables students to complete a profile on themselves. Once they have completed a profile it links them to jobs that would be of interest to them, it then importantly links them to the live labour market and shows them opportunities locally and education pathways to achieve that potential job. This software links to career pathways as well as local apprenticeships.

Within year 10 and 11 all students have access to a 1/1 meeting from the school careers advisor (EBP) who give the students the support and assistance they need.

All students within the school complete STEPS booklets in mentor time, these booklets are tailored to each individual year group. The workbooks allow students to consider their options and look at their skills to have in depth and supportive discussions with their mentors on future pathways available.

The school website also gives information to students and parents regarding CEIAG information and pathway options.

As a school we fully engage with the parents with talks aimed at parents of children in years 9, 10 and 11 that give important information around options, careers guidance and further education support. These talks are normally linked into open days and parents’ evenings.

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.’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

As a school we take the needs of each student very seriously. At each major crossroads within a child’s education we make sure they have the correct advice and guidance to make the correct decisions. We understand the need for this to come from a range of individuals including mentors, college managers, teachers, careers advisors and senior leadership team. All students are taught at Herne Bay High School to be aspirational and to strive for excellence and this is the same for CEIAG.

Within the school records are kept on every student’s interaction with the careers advisor so this can be managed and mapped, students have access to these records if they wish to review them or get information from them. When a student leaves school they are also tracked for 3 years afterwards so we are aware on their educational pathway.

Within CEIAG teaching within the school this benchmark is maintained through well planned and delivered PSHEE lessons where students get an opportunity to be independent and to express their own preferences. This is also met with strong support by mentors who closely work with each of their mentees to support with their education pathway and to highlight any concerns or problems students have in regards to CEIAG, this also supported by mentors working with the STEPS booklets.

In Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to meet with a careers advisor who listens to their individual needs to support them make decisions that are specific to them and give them clear goals.

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’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

This can be potentially one of the most challenging benchmarks as it needs an entire school approach and needs all heads of departments and department teachers to buy into the approach. At HBHS we see that linking CEIAG and the curriculum is more than just the STEM subjects, all subjects should engage with CEIAG and make it relevant within their subject areas.

There has been extensive research to what makes students want to achieve in school and what can be imbedded to drive this aspiration and recent studies have shown that if students at a young age have a clear educational pathway that they can see where it starts and where it will end up they are more willing and ready to achieve. An example of this can be if a student wants to be a doctor and has been shown at Key Stage 3 the importance of science and other core subjects, it will create aspirations and work ethic to achieve in those subjects.

Currently to achieve this benchmark we have started the early foundations in trying to embed CEIAG into the curriculum. Over the past 2 years we have been asking HOD’s to highlight CEIAG links within the curriculum and to highlight this on their schemes of work. We have asked that within lessons when possible teachers use learning objectives that may link to career paths of certain careers. Every department in the school is required to have a dedicated board to careers where information can be showcased around careers possibilities and opportunities in that specific area. To create aspirations, we have asked that in each subject base throughout the year there is opportunities for students to have interactions from external guest speakers linked with jobs available from that subject area. HOD’s and teachers have been given links through our annual careers fair and through the outreach program or their own personal links.

Benchmark 5 - Encounters with Employers and Employees

‘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.’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

This benchmark heavily overlaps with benchmark 4 as to support with linking CEIAG into the curriculum then industry experts have to be invited into lessons and school to give students guidance advice and to give them aspirations.

It is suggested in Gatsby Benchmarks that ‘Every year, from the age of 11, pupils should participate in at least one meaningful encounter* with an employer.’

There are many ways already that our students have encounters with employers and employees. As discussed, and highlighted in Benchmark 4 all departments are recommended to arrange guest speakers and trips for every year group, majority of departments do this and the majority of students have at least 1 meaningful experience with and employer or a workplace.

In years 9, 10 and 11 all students have the opportunity to have access to the school’s annual careers fair, this year we had the biggest careers fair to date with over 55 local and national businesses available to students. Each student had over an hour in the hall to gain valuable advice and support and could even gain opportunities for future jobs and apprenticeships.

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.’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

In 2020 we will be looking to offer work experience to all year 10 students.

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.’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

To achieve this benchmark we offer a range of support and experiences to different year groups. In the lower school at Key Stage 3 level students gain their understanding of the academic and vocational pathways through PSHEE. In these lessons they are explained the different options and pathways available to them and they spend some time on the START software looking at these options.

When student arrive in year 9 and 10 they are given a range of assemblies for LH and SW on the different pathways available and what options and decisions they need to be thinking about. In year 11 all local education providers are invited into the school and speak to all year 11 students about the opportunities at different educational providers. This then gives them an opportunity to make informed decision about what path they will to take for Post 16 education.

For year 9, 10 and 11 we also invite the local education providers to the careers fair so students can speak directly to Post 16 providers to look at what options may be available to them.

To make sure that we are giving our students experiences of higher education we have a direct link with KMPF (Kent and Medway Progression Federation) who make available access to higher education for pupils of all ages in our local area. The higher education partnerships we work with are Canterbury Christchurch University, Kent University, Hadlow College and The University of Creative Arts. KMPF work with these higher educational providers to offer a range of activities at schools and at the universities to support students in their studies and school and to support their knowledge in higher education to create aspirations. Please see appendix 3 which is a KMPF information booklet to see our interaction with the service for the previous academic year.

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. 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.’

How We Achieve This Benchmark

For the past 3 years we have been linked to East Kent Business Partnership (EBP) who deliver all our independent guidance. It is recommended by Gatsby that ‘Every pupil should have at least one such interview by the age of 16, and the opportunity for a further interview by the age of 18’ We stick to this guideline and try to exceed it when possible.

Within the school students can get advice and guidance from all members of staff and can get more personal advice from their mentors. If any student wants a careers appointment it can be made through the school website or can be requested through their mentor. We buy 10 days of career guidance from EBP and on average 120 students are seen per year group as they have requested appointments. Those that do not request appointments gain their CEIAG advice on the careers fair and through PSHEE and members of staff at the school. We also work very closely with the college managers to identify any students who may need a career appointment as they are in danger of becoming NEET.