Careers Overview

Careers Policy

Provider Access


Evaluating Impact




Next Steps

Vision Statement 

For each student at our school, our governors,  senior leadership team and staff share the same ambition; to deliver a fulfilling and comprehensive careers programme that is inclusive, individualised and meaningful.   We work collaboratively within our community and encompass the expertise of employers, parents/carers and further education and training providers to establish a culture of ambition. Our pupils benefit by providing a platform to talk openly and receive guidance about their future, improve their labour market and career awareness,  improve their decision making, develop their employability skills, provide opportunity for them to learn from experiences of employment and employers, all whilst growing and nurturing their unique aspirations.

School Priorities 23/24:

Our school priorities are based on annual conversations around our careers programme that are informed by pupil, staff and stakeholder voice, our destinations data, intended destinations and an evaluation of our careers programme.

  • Integrate careers-based learning through the medium of employers into subject areas
  • Increase pupil awareness of post 16 pathways, to include apprenticeships and T-levels
  • Celebrate both Careers and Apprenticeship week across the school

Meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks 

At St Cecilia’s RC High School we are committed to providing all of our students in Years 7 to 11 with a comprehensive programme of careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) and work related learning (WRL) that is underpinned by the firm belief that every young person needs high-quality career guidance to make informed decisions about their future.

Find out how we meet Gatsby Benchmark 1 here

"The first rung in building a structured career ladder for all students comes from strong leadership and a committed senior management team.”

(Good Career Guidance-The Gatsby Foundation)

  • The governors, head teacher and senior leadership team (including the careers leader, Mr Hall) are fully committed to providing the very best possible CEIAG possible for every student within the school.
  • We aspire to gain formal accreditation of our careers programme through the Quality in Careers Standard – the national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance by 2024.
  • The comprehensive careers section of our school website is broken into accessible sections that are specifically designed to provide the greatest benefit for our governors, teachers, pupils, parents and employers.
  • An overview of our careers programme is easily accessible from the careers home page and further detail of how we meet each benchmark is provided by clicking on each of the Gatsby Benchmark descriptors.
  • We keep governors and teachers informed of the latest careers literature and developments via the website and host CPD sessions specifically linked to CEIAG.
  • We work alongside INSPIRA and careers leaders across Preston and South Ribble to continuously seek ways to improve our practice.


We conduct a full evaluation of our careers programme yearly.  This evaluation is informed by feedback from pupils, parents, teachers and employers as well as our pupil destination data and compass self-evaluation.  You can access this by clicking on ‘Evaluating Impact’ at the bottom of our careers home page

Find out how we meet Gatsby Benchmark 2 here

“Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities.”

(Good Career Guidance-The Gatsby Foundation)
  • We ensure that career and labour market information sits at the heart of our programme to help our pupils gain a broad overview of the education system and of how the world of work is organised.
  • We believe it is important that as our pupils begin to make choices about their own careers they need access to up-to-date information on the full range of opportunities available to them in education, training and work.
  • Our website provides students and parents with the very latest information about college courses, training opportunities, work vacancies and LMI. We regularly send text messages and emails home to parents/carers to inform them of any career related developments, and use our careers news feed to promote opportunities and developments.
  • Following Year 9 Options Day, our comprehensive online options booklet is emailed home to all Year 9 parents/carers, and includes details of all our KS4 courses as well as links to our careers website, where future career options and the latest LMI can be perused alongside their child.
  • As the deadline approaches for making decisions around options, our students and parents are invited to our KS4 Information Evening where future choices are discussed with staff from the school and local colleges.
  • Having benefitted from the careers information provided by the Futures evening, Careers Cafe and Work Experience, our Year 10 pupils complete a careers-based programme where they begin to think about their future in more detail. This includes careers research, LMI, future study options and academic requirements.
  • Throughout Year 10 and Year 11 the pupils benefit from assemblies, drop-ins and form based sessions led by local colleges and apprenticeship providers. There is always a strong college presence at our Year 10 and Year 11 parents’ evenings.
  • We work closely with The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges programme (ASK), funded by the National Apprenticeship Service and part of the Department for Education.  Year 10 pupils first become involved with ASK during an inspiring apprenticeship awareness assembly.
  • Our Y10 pupils spend a day gaining an insight into continuing their studies post-16 at either Cardinal Newman College or Preston’s College
  • We provide details of advertised apprenticeship posts via our careers feed.  

Find out how we meet Gatsby Benchmark 3 here

  • Our careers programme is driven by the individual needs of each young person rather than by those of the school.  We achieve this by supporting each young person to pursue their unique career aspirations by exploring their unique expectations, plans and behaviours.
  • All of the advice that our pupils receive is independent, impartial, offers multiple perspectives and fosters criticality.
  • We ensure that we know where each young person is in terms of their career learning and plan activities to move them forward from their unique point.
  • In Year 9, pupils begin to think about their future during options day and their understanding continues throughout the options.
  • In Year 10, we begin to map each pupils’ future study intentions, career aspirations and the behaviours/skills required to achieve these, then use this to help guide and educate our pupils during their personalised guidance interviews, as well as assisting us in providing each with the best opportunities in and out of school to achieve these.
  • Although our PSHE careers programme educates pupils about the future opportunities that are available to them and the skills and experiences they must develop in order to be successful, its primary purpose is encourage our pupils about what is possible and to develop strategies that challenge inequality, prejudice and power.
  • We provide a package of support so that our young people with SEND are prepared for transition into further learning or work.
  • Our curriculum support team meet with selected pupils and parents/carers ahead of the Y9 options selection to discuss the range of choices available and offer guidance on the most appropriate combinations.
  • Although all of our pupils attend a ‘College Taster Day’, sometimes it is appropriate for us to arrange separate individual visits to our learning providers where, accompanied by a member of our curriculum support team, particular pupils can transition to post 16 more gradually. Furthermore, travel to and from the taster days are supported when needed.

As there is a three year delay in official government destinations data, we collect and maintain our own accurate data for each of our pupils for at least three years after they leave school.  This involves a tremendous amount of work liaising with colleges, further education providers and apprenticeship programmes.  Lancashire County Council have commended our approach and tenacity with regard to how we relentlessly pursue and track destinations


Find out how we meet Gatsby Benchmark 4 here

“All teachers should link curriculum learning to careers.”

Our comprehensive careers provision is immersed within, but by no means limited to, our taught school curriculum.  We all share the understanding that careers advice and guidance is the responsibility of everyone and not a few.

Subject Areas and Careers

Our subject teachers have a significant influence on our pupils’ career plans and developing their employability skills.  All curriculum areas provide opportunity for our pupils to learn about the career opportunities that can follow on from their subjects, how the learning in their subject can be applied in the world of work and offer expertise in how to achieve this.

Each curriculum area:

  1. Form Time activities to celebrate careers.
  2. National careers week 6th March-13th 2023
  3. Apprenteship’s week Feb 6th-13th 2023

Futures Day

Each Year group spend one day off timetable as part of Futures day.

Futures evening

All pupils are invited into school with parents to meet with employers from different sectors, past pupils to share experiences and information on career pathways.

Social Awareness and Action

Our Romero Impact Action Group led by the school youth worker Terry Mattison focuses on empowering our young people to develop and lead social action projects through a youth work curriculum.  Through this action, social and life skills of those are developed as they interact with each other and society to encourage positive change for others and themselves.

A variety of projects take place either in school or in collaboration with other schools that span all year groups around themes that include climate change, working in residential and care homes, supporting local food banks, supporting refugees and supporting CAFOD.

Example Social Awareness and Action Projects

  • Our pupils run ‘Fair Trade Aware’ and bring into action a whole school week on Fair Trade.
  • As part of the DofE award, our pupils complete either a 3 or 6 month volunteering post (once a week). Last year this accounted for over 1200 hours of volunteer service which included working in charity shops, at the park run, at brownies/rainbows etc, helping run sports clubs and environmental projects at places such around the Ribble Valley.


Find out how we meet Gatsby Benchmark 5 here

“Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace.”

(Good Career Guidance-The Gatsby Foundation)
  • All of our pupils participate in at least one meaningful encounter with an employer each year, where they learn about what work is like and what it takes to be successful in the workplace.

Year 10 and 11 learn from employers during their networking time at our annual careers fair.  

  • Year 10 pupils meet over twenty employers from different sectors across Lancashire during their ‘Speed Networking’ event.  The aim of the session is to provide our pupils with meaningful employer encounters and the opportunity to ask professionals a variety of questions about careers, labour market information, employability skills and pathways. This event assists them in thinking about their post 16 choices and the skills and traits they will require to be successful in their ambitions.
  • Various staff, employers and training providers are invited to talk to our pupils as part of our ‘Careers Cafe’ events. Pupils who are interested in each particular field are invited to attend and gain a greater insight into a particular career path.



Find out how we meet Gatsby Benchmark 6 here

“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.”

(Good Career Guidance-The Gatsby Foundation)
  • Year 8 pupils will have the opportunity to attend Manchester United football club completing a tour of the ground and museum. As part of the trip pupils will be advised on Diets, Nutrition and Sport Analysis.
  • Year 10 and 11 GCSE groups for PE will attend Manchester City Football Club. Pupils will receive a tour of the ground and take part in three workshops. They include a Match Report, Corporate and Business planning plus A day in the Life of a Footballer. 
  • BAE- all of year 7 pupils will be part of the roadshow that takes place in National careers week. They will spend time with BAE Ambassadors working on a project and learning the skills required to fulfil this type of work.
  • BAE- All pupils across KS4 have the opportunity to attend Apprenticeship day at Samlesbury BAE. They will explore the idea of working for a large company and gain valuable knowledge and skill into what it takes to work for a large organisation.
  • National careers week- All pupils across KS3 and 4 will be part of drop down days, PSHE lessons and sessions to gain valuable knowledge and experiences of their careers journeys.  Pupils will take part in Police Investigation activities, Real Life Maths, Work Experience plus, a ‘Where can it Take You’? curriculum day.
  • Work Experience- All Year 10 pupils will complete a placement during National Careers Week. Each pupil will carefully select a company using information they have gained on LMI through assemblies and Parents Evenings. Each pupil will evaluate their own experiences through a daily diary plus employers are asked to complete an evaluation form on their departure.
  • Future U- Future U are a government funded organisation who will support schools and colleges through different events and a range of activities. All year will complete during National Apprenticeship week three Pillars of Growth sessions specifically aimed at Apprenticeships such as Digital, Manufacturing and Energy.
  • Year 11 University trip to Lancaster University provides year 10 and 11 with life as a student and lecture experiences.  Pupils will spend the day in a lecture theatre being taught by a member of the staff along with a tour of the building itself gaining a fantastic productive insight in to Uni Life.

Find out how we meet Gatsby Benchmark 7 here

“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.”

(Good Career Guidance-The Gatsby Foundation)
  • Our extensive links with learning providers enables our students to gain an understanding of the full range of study options available at key transition points in Year 9 and Year 11.
  • We ensure that all of our pupils have encounters with providers of further and higher education, apprenticeships and other forms of work based training.
  • To assist with their options choices, our local colleges and training providers attend parents’ evening and options evening in Year 9. Here, pupils and parents having the opportunity to discuss future post-16 opportunities as well as gain an insight into the vocational qualifications offered in partnership with Preston’s College and Preston Vocational centre in Year 10 and Year 11.
  • In Year 10, our learning providers are present at parents’ evening in addition to the careers fair.
  • Work experience provides an opportunity for our Year 10 pupils to speak with future and employers and staff about the academic or technical routes needed for a particular role.
  • During the summer term our Year 10 pupils experience a ‘taster day’ at Cardinal Newman and Preston’s College. Here, in addition to sampling college life, they are given further opportunity to speak with staff and students.  We also aim to facilitate a similar experience for pupils who express an interest in our other local colleges such as Myerscough and Runshaw.
  • In Year 11, our pupils meet regularly with our local colleges, who host assemblies, drop in events and small group sessions within school in addition to external open day events throughout the year.

“Personal guidance can support young people to develop their personal effectiveness, career readiness and better educational outcomes.”

(Personal Guidance: What Works – The Careers & Enterprise Company)
All Year 10 and 11 pupils will have the opportunity to spend time with Kelley Ansbro our Careers Advisor. Careers advisers help people make decisions about their education, training and work options. Kelley provides pupils within Indepth knowledge and support in finding the right pathway that might be available for them. An essential part of Kelley’s role is to have an extensive knowledge of education and training systems and sources of labour market information and to be able to share this appropriately with pupils.


For further information please contact

Mr G Hall

Careers Leader