CEIAG & Careers Leaders

The Power of Gatsby Benchmark 4 - Overcoming Barriers

The Power of Gatsby Benchmark 4 - Overcoming Barriers

Tuesday 7th January 2020

The tweet above started my thinking... Do teachers appreciate the influence they have on pupils' future lives? Well, yes most do, how many times have you heard a teacher say "I went into teaching to make a difference." No, my thinking is about how we, as teachers, need to think about the messages we send to students about our subjects. We often have a deeper effect on them than we realise. This in turn led me to think about...

Gatsby Benchmark 4
All schools have to work towards meeting all the Gatsby Benchmarks by Sept 2020, Benchmark 4 requires

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths."

Lack of Confidence

A major barrier to this is that many teachers feel that they are not experienced enough or have the skills to do this. However, there are many ways careers leaders can tackle this lack of confidence. A few ideas are below but the list could well be endless.

  • Delivering INSET in school to support understanding of how much the teachers already know/understand. This has the advantage of identifying supporters of CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) too. HINT - Have a look at my services page, I deliver this as a twilight session for a very reasonable rate.
  • Introduce staff to resources that are based in 'real workplace' situations HINT there are a lot in my supporting subject teachers resources board
  • Introduce subject careers champions - use more confident members of staff to support others in their subject teams
  • Use National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week to highlight and raise the profile of CEIAG for both staff and students.
  • Using staff who have worked in other occupations to share their knowledge and skills with others. The National Careers Week career path door sign helps identify these.
  • Have a staff INSET day where all staff spend a day in a relevant business shadowing somebody WARNING they may be shocked by the fact that staff outside schools have social lives, go to the loo when they need to and have lunch breaks. Sorry I have a dry sense of humour.
  • Matching HODs with relevant employers to look at the syllabus and identify ways in which the employer can support delivery or production of materials

If you wait until all staff feel confident to deliver careers learning, it will never happen, so start looking for simple ways to build staff confidence by linking their secure knowledge to careers.

There are an infinite number of ways we can introduce CEIAG

It is a long slow process for the Careers Leader, even for those that are experienced and have gone through training but it can be achieved. Finally,

Are we thinking :-

  • Diversity - Obviously Black History Month but also prominent BME/Gay/Female proponents in subject areas - Looking at their life and career journey
  • Sustainability - Fits in nicely with Geography, Science, Sociology, Art, D&T, Business Studies etc
  • Stereotyping - One of the few things that the statutory guidance says we must teach. Obviously in a way in which breaks stereotypes rather than enforces them.
  • Lifestyle - The effect of their career choice on lifestyle. Personally I love The Real Game for this but also getting anyone that comes into school to talk to pupils about their career to speak about the effect it has on their lives in both positive and negative ways.

Finally, one thing that I would stress is the importance of teaching the skills needed to filter the information we give our students. Why not get the ICT department and the Learning Resources Centre Manager to work on these.

I'd love to hear what you do to in your school. Do let me know.