Every school and college needs strong careers leadership if they are to design and manage an effective careers programme. We saw in the North East pilot that an empowered and effective Careers Leader is the cornerstone of change. This is not necessarily the same person as the careers adviser delivering Benchmark 8: Personal Guidance (who may be employed by an external agency), but a core member of the school or college middle or senior leadership team. Their job is complex and requires the authority to coordinate a range of career guidance activities across the institution. Careers Leaders need to understand the Gatsby Benchmarks, develop a strategy with the support of their leadership team, and act as a contact point for the many external organisations that offer support.
Government statutory guidance for schools, and guidance for colleges, now requires the appointment of a named Careers Leader. Research in secondary schools co-funded by Gatsby in 2019 further underlined the importance of Careers Leaders having support from, and regular access to, the school leadership team. Through working with partners such as The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), the Career Development Institute (CDI) and Teach First, we aim to ensure that all school and college leaders recognise the vital role of careers and empower their Careers Leader to deliver an effective programme.