Piloting the Good Career Guidance benchmarks

To test the eight benchmarks identified in the Good Career Guidance Report and collect evidence on the impact of the framework, Gatsby funded the North East Local Enterprise Partnership to run a Good Career Guidance Benchmarks Pilot across 13 state-funded secondary schools and 3 colleges in the UK. The pilot ran from the autumn term of 2015 to the autumn term of 2019.


The schools and colleges in the Gatsby Good Career Guidance Benchmarks pilot were:
1. Berwick Academy, Berwick
2. Bishop Auckland College, Bishop Auckland
3. Castle View Enterprise Academy, Sunderland 
4. Churchill Community College, Wallsend 
5. East Durham College, Peterlee
6. Excelsior Academy, Newcastle
7. Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe
8. Harton Academy, South Shields
9. Kenton School, Newcastle
10. Northumberland CoE Academy, Ashington 
11. Park View School, Chester le Street
12. Shotton Hall Academy, Peterlee
13. St Joseph's Catholic Academy, Hebburn
14. Sunderland College, Sunderland
15. The King Edward VI School, Morpeth
16. The Link School, Sunderland

Circle = Secondary School
Square = Further Education College 

After the publication of Sir John Holman's Good Career Guidance Report, which identified eight benchmarks of good practice, we began working with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) to pilot the framework in 16 schools and colleges (including an outstanding school and a pupil referral unit). The pilot challenged the 16 institutions to work towards all eight benchmarks over two years, with an evaluation tracking impact for two further years until autumn 2019. The pilot identified the enablers and barriers in each school and college, and modelled a sustainable and replicable approach to delivering good career guidance in a region. This good practice has been used to help us, and other organisations, support schools and colleges across the country to improve their career guidance.

Since the beginning, the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks Pilot resulted in transformational changes to schools’ career programmes across the North East. The rapid improvements seen in the pilot were due to; prompt reprioritisation by senior leaders, improved school and college career leadership and strong regional coordination from the LEP. We have seen that both institutional leadership and regional leadership are needed for there to be a significant improvement in career guidance.

Examples of good practice developed in the North East can be found on the following website we have developed for schools and colleges: