Understanding Education

It might have been a while since you spent much time in a classroom…

Even if it was a bit more recent than this, you won’t be surprised to know that the pressures and responsibilities on education change very regularly.

We’ve pulled together some of the important things you need to know if you’re keen to start inspiring the next generation:

GCSE Grades

From 2017, GCSE grades start to change from letters (A-E) to numbers (9-1). In terms of pupil attainment, and recruitment processes, businesses need to understand what is changing and why

Good Careers Guidance

Careers guidance as an increasingly measured and evidenced area of education, and the Gatsby Benchmarks are the most commonly used markers. All secondary schools in England are expected to meet all eight benchmarks by the end of 2020.

The eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance

  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

The Careers and Enterprise Company has published some guidance for employers:


  1. Ask the school for their careers programme and see where your expertise will count most.
  2. Be a critical friend – support and challenge the school to develop a stable careers programme.
  3. Be prepared to build a long-term relationship and to contribute to all aspects of school life.
  4. Make sure your staff are briefed before taking part in activities.
  5. Contribute to the school’s evaluation and act on feedback to do things differently or better next time.
  6. Help schools develop a programme that takes into account the trends in your business, your sector and the wider economy.
  7. Use your networks to encourage others to contribute to the careers programme and to take on key supporting roles.
  8. Review all existing employer engagement and make sure that it has maximum impact and streamline where appropriate.

Read the Gatsby summary report here

Performance Measures

You can view and download:

  • exam and test results
  • Ofsted reports
  • financial information

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own websites for comparing schools.

Compare Schools Performance here

Labour Market Information

Many areas produce their own localised Labour Market Information in order to understand the skills and careers required. Sources of Labour Market Information include Connexions, the National Careers Service and regional Local Enterprise Partnerships.

You can create your own Labour Market Information search here

Ready to get involved and start inspiring the next generation? Help yourselves to some Resources to get you started