The government’s Careers Strategy, launched in December 2017, and statutory guidance published in January, set out a range of new requirements for schools and colleges.

Our aim is to support you in understanding what is expected of your school or college. Our tools and resources are here to help you adopt the Gatsby Benchmarks as best practice and our guidance and training will support Careers Leaders in delivering high-quality careers provision.

What are the key requirements of the Careers Strategy?

Timing Action
September 2012 onwards

Every school must ensure that pupils are provided with independent careers guidance from year 8 to year 13.

2 January 2018 onwards

Every school must ensure that there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to access all pupils in year 8 to year 13 for the purpose of informing them about approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships. Every school must publish a policy statement setting out their arrangements for provider access and ensure that it is followed. This is known as the ‘Baker clause’.

From January 2018 to end 2020

Every school and college should begin using the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve careers provision now and meet them by the end of 2020. For the employer encounters benchmark, every school should begin to offer every young person seven encounters with employers – at least one each year from year 7 to year 13 – and meet this in full by the end of 2020. Some of these encounters should be with STEM employers.

From September 2018

Every school and college must appoint a named person to the role of Careers Leader to lead the
careers programme.

From September 2018

Every school and college will be expected to publish details of their careers programme for young people and their parents.

Read the Careers Strategy on

Read the Statutory guidance on

What you should publish online

From September 2018, the government has outlined that schools and colleges should publish the following information about their careers programme:

  • The name, email address and telephone number of the school’s Careers Leader
  • A summary of the careers programme, including details of how pupils, parents, teachers and employers may access information about the careers programme
  • How the school measures and assesses the impact of the careers programme on pupils
  • The date of the school’s next review of the information published

How we can support you

  1. The Gatsby Good Careers Guidance Benchmarks

A framework of 8 guidelines, the Gatsby Benchmarks define best practice careers provision in schools and colleges. They are a great place to start for planning or improving your programme. 

Schools and colleges should use the benchmarks to guide their careers activity provision. The government aims for all schools and colleges to meet all 8 benchmarks by 2020.

Read more about the Gastby Benchmarks 

Explore the Gatsby Good Careers Guidance Website

  1. Our Compass evaluation tool

Compass is a free to use evaluation tool that you can use to evaluate your school or college’s careers activity against the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Find out more

  1. Careers Leader training

From September 2018 schools and colleges will need to have a named Careers Leader in place, responsible for running your careers programme.

We are offering a variety of training courses for Careers Leaders. Schools and colleges can register their interest for the training. Places for the training programmes will be allocated to eligible applicants who meet the criteria and will be subject to the availability of space on each course. 

Register your interest

  1. Access our guide for new Careers Leaders in schools

For newly appointed Careers Leaders in schools; access essential information, helpful resources and practical tools to help you get started in the role

Get started