The eight Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for solid career guidance developed to support schools in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice, and guidance. They are central to the Government’s Careers Strategy and thus a key deliverable for any careers leader.

Fortunately, Indigo is designed to support you in multiple ways across each of the eight benchmarks, as well as help you demonstrate adherence to the standards to Ofsted. Here is a summary…

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Gatsby Benchmarks

GATSBY BENCHMARK

HOW INDIGO SUPPORTS THE BENCHMARK

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 pupils, parents, teachers, governors and employers.

Lessons give Careers Leaders a comprehensive resource bank of detailed lessons, complete with teaching notes and student activities, to support a stable programme of careers education and guidance. These start from Year 7 with an overview of what careers education is, and carry on through to Sixth Form/College to cover the options at 18. All lessons and handouts can be downloaded and edited for personalised use in schools/colleges. Careers Leaders can add their own lessons to the resource bank too. 

Lessons are split by key stage and come with a suggested curriculum for delivery across different year groups and terms; the curriculum can be edited and published on the school’s website. Written by two expert career advisers, the programme focuses on developing the positive student characteristics of aspiration, resilience and awareness. 

Calendar – this tool enables Careers Leaders to plan and record all careers activities and events which add to their programme of career education and guidance, further to the lessons (e.g. visits from FE and HE providers and employers, and the one to one student guidance interviews). 

Reports allows Careers Leaders to view and report on student activity to help other people, e.g. the senior leadership team and Ofsted, to understand it. They can also monitor the effectiveness of their careers programme through looking at the progress students have made, such as the number of events attended and what their intended destinations are.

2. Learning from career and labour market information

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.

Careers gives detailed overviews of over 600 jobs, split by industry, with up-to-date labour market information including trends, employment prospects and top employer details. Each job covers the range of different routes to qualification, from apprenticeships to degrees, available at different levels. Real-life insights from people doing the jobs help inform students about the realities of different roles.

Students can compare jobs side by side and discover related opportunities and links to external websites. Students can explore options by self-assessed interests, and like and save jobs, to use as a starting point for discussion with advisers. Advisers can also suggest jobs for students to look at and view their saved searches.

Lessons include activities around learning from career and labour market information to help support students’ overall understanding and interpretation in this area. Lessons (with accompanying activities) include: using career information; finding good careers information and advice; who can help me; understanding the changing labour market.

Unis – This module gives prospective university students detailed information about future degree course options available (including degree apprenticeships), across the full range of subject areas and universities, including the required UCAS points and any specific qualifications needed for entry. Labour market information includes: Higher Education Statistics Agency data on graduate destinations, employment and earnings by subject; details of industrial placements available; graduate insights.

Students can compare and save searches, find related courses, and filter by their preferences, and Careers Leaders can suggest courses to students – all of which can be used as a starting point for informed discussions with advisers.

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.

Lessons – addressing the needs of each pupil is at the heart of the programme. It is also inspired by a sense that career lessons can be doing more to prepare young people, in the long term, for increasingly complicated progression routes and less employment predictability.

Lessons provide opportunities for students to reflect throughout, and are dominated by the question ‘what does this mean for me?’ They each feature differentiation activities, to suit the needs of different students. Stereotyping is directly addressed as a topic to help students explore considerations of equality and diversity.

Careers – students can use this Indigo module to tailor their job searches based on the qualifications they’ve saved to their profiles, or by self-assessed interests. They can also like, save and compare careers of interest as part of their personalised experienced. Careers Leaders can suggest careers to students, based on an understanding of individual interests.

Unis -prospective university students can use this Indigo module to tailor their course searches based on their own qualifications, interests and a range of rankings of personal interest. They can also like, save and compare universities, subjects and courses to help personalise their experience. Careers Leaders can make suggestions to students, based on an understanding of individual interests, and view students’ selections as a jumping off point for further support.

Detailed, subject-specific interview advice and sample personal statements, with bespoke advice for students applying to Oxbridge, supports the varying interests of different students. The personal statement building tool, with tips and character counts, helps students to draft tailored statements. A comment function for advisers allows feedback and suggestions to be given on an individual student basis.

WorkEx – Careers Leaders can use this Indigo module’s unique matching system to place students in work experience placements based on individual industry and job preferences.

Calendar – this tool enables Careers Leaders to plan and record all careers activities, events and lessons by pupil groups, which they can create based on different student needs. Careers Leaders can also record notes and action points from guidance interviews, as well as intended destinations, pupil premium and prior attainment levels to ensure support is tailored to individual needs.

Reports allows Careers Leaders to view individual student activity and progress, and flag any students at risk of not continuing in education, employment or training.

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.

Lessons cover the qualification levels, options, progressions and destinations for different subject options, as well as the impact of stereotypes on subject and career choice. Lessons can be accessed and used by curriculum teachers for delivery in the subject timetable.

Careers – students can filter over 600 jobs by qualification level and subject interest, or by the qualifications they’ve saved to their profiles, to help find suitable careers. Each job covers the range of different routes to qualification, and the preferred or required subjects, helping students to identify relevant pathways to careers.

Calendar – teachers can log any curriculum activity through the calendar tool, with notes boxes included to record details of the learning.

Unis – each subject in this Indigo module is linked with possible careers to help prospective university students match relevant courses to their future job interests.

5. Encounters with employers and employees

Every pupil should have opportunities to learn from employers about work, and skills valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers & mentoring.

Lessons include a series of lessons on inviting visiting speakers to talk about their jobs. These are designed to assist Careers Leaders with arranging the employer/employee interactions, and also to effectively prepare students on how to make the most of the opportunities, with activities on preparing questions to ask and practicing appropriate body language.

Calendar – the events planner allows Careers Leaders to organise and record interaction with employers and employees.

Reports – enables Careers Leaders to identify any students or year groups who haven’t had encounters with employers and employees. Also allows Careers Leaders to evidence the encounters their students have had.

Careers –this Indigo module includes real-life insights from people doing the jobs help inform students about the skills valued in the workplace.

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.

WorkEx – this Indigo module gives Careers Leaders a management tool for storing employer details, contacting them and matching students to appropriate placements to ensure students receive high-quality placements at the required safety standards.

Reports allows Careers Leaders to identify any students who haven’t had first-hand experiences of the workplace, and evidence the students who have.

Lessons include a suite of activities and resources to help students prepare for work experience, includingon the benefits of placements, contacting the employer and reflecting during and after the experience.

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.

Calendar allows Careers Leaders to plan and record visits from or to external providers of Further Education and Higher Education, in line with requirements of the Baker Clause.

Unis – This Indigo module gives prospective university students all the information they need to be informed about their different degree subject and course opportunities, based on their interests and likely grades.

Reports allows Careers Leaders to evidence the encounters their pupils have had.

Careers – each job in this Indigo module covers the range of different routes that students can take to qualify for varying future career paths, from apprenticeships and training to professional qualifications and degrees, to help students understand the full range of learning opportunities available to them.

Lessons – includes lessons on options at all of the key stages, including HE options and apprenticeships, to help students understand what’s available to them, with links to further resources to help them explore their options further.

8. Personal guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a career 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.

Calendar allows Careers Leaders or school/college Careers Advisers to set up individual guidance interviews between students and advisers.

The notes and feedback forms allow Careers Leaders to record conversations with students, including follow-up points, and record detail of their intended destinations.

Reports allow Careers Leaders to identify any pupils who have not received interviews, monitor the progress of students who have received interviews, and see at a glance the intended destinations of pupils, or those currently without intended destinations, to ensure that individual student needs are met at relevant key stages of their school career.

Unis – This Indigo module gives prospective university students can self-assess their subject and course interests to inform their guidance interviews with Careers Advisers.

Careers – students can self-assess their job and qualification interests to use a jumping off point for guidance interviews with Careers Advisers.