What are the Gatsby Benchmarks?

Launched from research completed by Sir John Holman in 2013, the Gatsby benchmarks were designed to improve career guidance in England and give a framework that schools can use to develop a good careers programme.

There are eight benchmarks, and each have been developed to support schools in providing their pupils with the best possible careers education, information, advice and guidance.

Below, you can see how Ridgewood Community High School employs each of the Gatsby Benchmarks in our own careers programme.



How we meet these at Ridgewood Community High School
A stable careers programme
  • An embedded programme of career education and guidance that is led by a careers leader to meet the benchmarks and target key transition periods (e.g. post 16, KS3 to KS4).
  • Age appropriate and timely
  • Shared information via the website with links for students, families, teachers and
  • Letters, meetings and information is shared with students and parents at key
  • Regular evaluations via students, parents, teachers, external providers and
  • HLTA Careers Advisor/Development Coordinator in school
  • Careers guidance in each subject
Learning from career and labour market information
  • Shared information via the website with links for students, families, teachers, external providers and
  • Directing all to find advice via the links on the websites, e.g. national careers service, start, career pilot which updates using current Labour Market Information (LMI) statistics.
  • Embedded careers sessions delivered in classes that include information regarding local area
  • Information delivered via SMSC
  • Learn Live Expo access for families
  • Annual Parents' Evening with representation from local providers
Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • RCHS strategic vision links directly to the ethos of ‘Inspire Today, Achieve Tomorrow’. We encourage kindness, resilience and success, whilst preparing our students for their It is aimed at meeting the needs of all students.
  • Regularly updated student records on Compass+ track and update the regular contact that is delivered via careers meetings, visits, work experience, external speakers, ROA folders This allows for a bespoke programme where needed.
  • Post 16 applications and destinations are tracked in Y11, continuously followed up and evaluated to prevent NEET and ensure appropriate and ambitious pathways.
  • Access to 1:1 Independent Advice and Guidance appointments for relevant students with a Registered Careers Advisor.
  • Presentations from external providers that promote careers and opportunities for all students in all sectors to address gender
Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Careers Guidance in each subject area
  • Technology link learning programmes to industry and organised industry visits linked to lessons and/or classroom
  • Clear links to STEAM subjects
  • BAE Roadshow for all KS3
  • Coaching programme with Burnley football
  • Sessions delivered to Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 by external providers with a focus on stereotyping
Encounters with employers and employees
  • BAE Systems Roadshows for all KS3
  • Parents’ Evening – careers advice from providers from local businesses, FE providers, colleges, training providers for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students.
  • Mock Interviews for Year 11 students, supported by professionals from local businesses, FE providers, colleges & training
  • Y11 taster sessions at local colleges to support post 16 choice and opportunities
  • KS4 & FE careers lessons that include; college information, interview techniques and employability skills, personal skills and  qualities
  • Visits from local businesses and entrepreneurs to discuss careers, LMI and progression
Experiences of workplaces
  • Work-related learning programme for FE & KS4 students take place throughout the year. Appropriate students take part in one-week off-site Work-Related Learning with local employers. All other students take part in internal work experience opportunities.
  • We are supported by local employers from the following companies:



Burnley College

Pendle Leisure

Burnley Council





Burnley Football Club

British Heart Foundation

Salvation Army


Local primary and nursery provisions

Encounters with further and higher education
  • FE Taster days are attended by Year 11 & FE students to Burnley College & Nelson & Colne College, with additional bespoke days for certain
  • Mock Interviews for Y11 students with providers from various
  • Visiting speakers from
  • Bespoke visits to Colleges as needed for students who need extra support to make those important decision post
Personal guidance
  • Impartial careers guidance interview opportunities for all students during Key Stage 4.
  • Mock Interviews for all Y11 students with providers from various
  • Bespoke sessions with FE providers
  • SMSC lessons for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 supported by Careers
  • FE qualified staff support Year 11 application session and provide regular support.
  • Individual sessions are booked for any student without an appropriate application in
  • Full tracking system in place with regards to application, interview and acceptance process.
  • RCHS staff are available to help a guide with applications including interview techniques.
Careers Leader Details:

Mr T Carpenter

Careers and Vocational Education Co-Ordinator

Tel: 01282 682 316


Careers links and further information:

School Policies page (inc Careers Policy)

Provider Access Policy Statement


All information published will be reviewed annually in line with the the Careers Policy and other related documentation