The Brier School

The Brier School

Preparing for life – Building on our strengths

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Gatsby Benchmark

Statutory Requirements 


The careers provision at the Brier school is in line with the statutory guidance by the Department for Education Careers statutory guidance ( and complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997.  This states that that all schools should provide independent careers guidance from Years 7 -13 and that this guidance should:  

  • be impartial  
  • include information on a range of pathways, including apprenticeships  
  • be adapted to the needs of the pupil 


The Gatsby Benchmark


At The Brier School we have a partnership agreement with Connexions Dudley. They attend all EHCP reviews from Year 9 upwards and a personal advisor will provide a completed Careers Action plan to support transition. This policy has been reviewed in line with the published DfE guidance document published in September 2022 ‘Careers guidance and access for education and training providers’. This provides statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff. This policy also accepts the 8 ‘Gatsby Benchmarks’ as set out in the DfE guidance.


Gatsby BenchmarkGatsby StatementEvidence

1) A stable careers programme

Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by students, parents, teachers, governors and employer.
  • The Careers Policy is updated and is published on the school website.
  • Careers at The Brier School is taught as part of the curriculum as per the medium and long term plans, through Jigsaw PSHE as well as through bespoke lessons for year 9, 10 and 11. Mid-Term Plans are written for work related learning lessons.
  • The use of the compass benchmark tool for self-evaluation of careers in school is completed and reviewed regularly. The School uses the online version of  Compass+ to complete this evaluation process.
  • There is regular contact with Connexions (Nathan Hutchinson and Jill Welch) and the Dudley Careers and Enterprise coordinator.
  • The programme and curriculum is supported and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team and has the approval of the board of Governors.  
  • There are growing links with a variety of employers and local colleges. Children in Year 10 and 11 in Opals and Sapphires attend Halesowen College once a week for vocational lessons.

2) Learning from career and labour market information


Every student, 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.
  • EHCP reviews have taken place and a Connexions advisor has been in attendance during these meetings for year 9, 10 and 11.
  • Follow up conversations and advice has also occurred through one-to-one meetings and through whole class sessions.
  • There are Careers boards in the Year 9 / KS4 classrooms.
  • Most KS4 Students also attend college once a week where they are able to gain further information about study and career options.
  • Connexions meetings with parents have also occurred via telephone or Teams.
  • All information received from Colleges / Post 16 provisions regarding courses and open days have been shared with both students and parents.

3) Addressing the needs of each student

Students have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each student. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.
  • This is taught as part of the curriculum from early years onwards (please see programme below) as well as referring to long-term plans.
  • Yr 9 and KS4 (Opals and Sapphires) have continued to learn about careers in their careers lessons on a Wednesday (refer to MTP). This has been further developed for the new academic year with a further focus on Work Skills, Work-Life Balance (including roles within the leisure industry) and Money.
  • Children in Crystals Class now have a Career Pathway Theme of each term which encompasses key skills need for certain employment roles.

4) Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.
  • We always refer to careers that fit in with our long-term plans across all subjects. For example:
  • Science: NHS, pharmaceutical roles, environmental workers,
  • English- Heroes- NHS workers, emergency services, shop workers, teachers, refuge collectors
  • Maths: Money unit in Open Awards and through Carousel Activity- banking and businesses, as well as home finances.
  • ICT- suitable job roles in this area are discussed as the curriculum is taught.
  • Enterprise unit in the Open Awards qualification.
  • Open awards: People who help us.

5) Encounters with employer and employees

Every student 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

  • Students take part in a Virtual work experience (Via the Independent and Work Ready Programme). This has been completed by year 11 and we will continue using this for the next academic year.
  • Visiting speakers have been into school and have also spoken to students via teams.
  • In school we invite in the police, fire service, guide dog staff etc.
  • On teams we have accessed Dan Noon from Network Rail (who also SEND)
  • Children watch Videos of different job roles and this has also been shared via

6) Experiences of work places

Every student 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 year 11s have completed the virtual work experience.
  • Year 9,10 and 11 have also supported with serving drinks and snacks to parents at a variety of school events as well as working with younger children within the school.
  • Students in Key Stage 4 have recently opened their own Lending Library in school and are developing a variety of different roles and responsibilities within this area including marketing the library to their peers.
  • There are videos of different job roles have also been shared via

7) Encounters with further and higher education

All students should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in colleges, universities and in the workplace.
  • KS4 Children in Opals and Sapphires attend Halesowen College once a week and undertake a two-year programme studying either Animal Care, Music Technology or Drama.
  • Parents have been given information regarding the local offer and have been advised to complete post-16 visits from year 10. This has also been supported by Connexions.
  • All information received from Colleges/post 16 provisions regarding courses and open days have been shared with both students and parents.
  • Year 9 pupils visit Halesowen College for a taster day in June.

8) Personal guidance

Every student should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a career adviser, who could be internal (a member of school external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level). These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made.
  • Children are part of group discussions / taught sessions in Year 9,10 and 11 and 1:1 interview’s take place with Connexions for year 10 and 11 students.
  • Connexions have been present in the EHCP annual review meetings
  • All KS4 students have had 1:1 Connexion’s meetings and Career Action Plans written to support when moving to KS5.



For further details of the Gatsby Benchmark please see the link below: