Careers education and guidance is a vital part of the educational experience at Balcarras. The school aims to deliver careers guidance that is impartial, confidential and based on the needs of individual pupils.  Our policy is to support, encourage and enable pupils to make informed choices and transitions related to their personal, educational and career development. The careers programme is comprehensive and underpinned by the GATSBY benchmarks and guidance from the Department of Education.

The Gatsby Benchmarks underpin the Balcarras careers provision.

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

Careers guidance is delivered through a comprehensive PSHE programme, tutor input as well as one to one guidance and speaker sessions. Additional information sources include participation in events and activities, (both in school and outside), partnership with local businesses and professionals, apprenticeship providers, employment agencies, educational institutions and national employer organisations. Students and parents also have access to a wide range of additional resources via the school’s VLE.

In an ever changing working environment we are committed to preparing our students to make informed and appropriate choices to meet their individual needs. We want students to be inspired and raise their aspirations by offering them as much information as possible about the world of work and also their own skills set as they move through the school.

The school programme is mainly focused on developing skills and awareness to pupils in lower years; developing and updating a professional CV in year 9; taking part in work experience as well as attending a practice interview in year 10; making informed choices about post 16 options in year 11.

Our guidance for students in the sixth form is centred around higher education choices and options, apprenticeships and preparation for employment as well as valuable work shadowing. Throughout all of these we hope that students will gain valuable insight into the opportunities available to them and then be confident when making life choices.

We have a well-resourced careers hub which provides space for students to research as well as gain information from the careers leader and a fully trained careers advisor. The careers hub and the sixth form both have a careers board where opportunities are regularly advertised to students. Full support for pupils is offered via a whole school approach to ‘employability’ with pupils, staff and parental involvement. Every year we hold an annual careers week (the first week in October) with an annual Careers Fair and HE event on one evening that week.

The development of CEAIG is a continual priority in the school’s strategic development plan with an aim to constantly improve the careers programme for students. The Careers Team and SMT meet on a regular basis to develop, monitor, and evaluate CEAIG (Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) across the school. Progress towards the Gatsby Benchmarks is evaluated using the online Compass tool (as recommended in Careers guidance and access for education and training providers).  This is done using the Compass + platform tool throughout the year. The Careers Department also measures careers events and impact by using both student, parent and staff evaluation forms. Balcarras measures and assesses the impact of its careers programme for students regularly, in addition to a detailed annual review of progress.

The school enjoys close links with many local businesses and the community. We are always encouraging of these links. If you would like to visit or be involved with our careers programme please contact or tel 01242 515881 ext 146. The careers leader is Mrs V Bull. The careers programme will next be reviewed in Sept 2021.

Sample of Balcarras school careers provision  

Provider Access policy 

Our provider access policy can be viewed by clicking here