Introducing the Gatsby Good Career Benchmarks

Introducing the Gatsby Good Career Benchmarks

“Super quick turnaround of high-quality material – what more could you ask for?” – The Gatsby Charitable Foundation

We were commissioned by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation to create a bespoke film that would set out their initiative for career guidance in schools: the Gatsby Benchmarks for Good Career Guidance as created by Professor Sir John Holman. We filmed this project in London and the North East of England where the scheme was first piloted, including Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and County Durham.

Every young person needs high-quality career guidance to make informed decisions about their future. Good career guidance is a necessity for delivering technical education reforms and is a vehicle for social justice; those young people without social capital or home support suffer most from poor career guidance. Yet despite its importance career guidance in English schools has often been criticised for being inadequate and patchy. Against this background, in 2013 Gatsby commissioned Sir John (Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of York, senior education adviser and former headteacher) with setting out what career guidance in England would be like were it considered good by international standards.

After six international visits, analysis of good practice in English schools and a comprehensive review of current literature, Sir John wrote the Good Career Guidance Report which identifies a set of eight benchmarks that schools can use as a framework for improving their careers provision. These benchmarks have been well received by schools, government and a wide range of stakeholders. The eight benchmarks are: 

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 

Once the report had been created, Gatsby wanted to get the word out using video. We conducted a full comprehensive interview with Sir John before setting out for the North East to interview staff at the various schools which had taken part in the pilot scheme. Through a series of unscripted, naturalistic testimonials from those who had seen the results and beautiful supporting footage of the colleges and area, we created a very successful film which was used to promote the scheme across the country.

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