The Gatsby Benchmarks

So, you think you know your Gatsby Benchmarks?

Take our quick quiz, and brush up on the guidance below (taken from the Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit)


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A stable careers programme


Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by students, parents, teachers, governors and employers.

  • Every school should have a stable, structured careers programme that has the explicit backing of the senior management team and an appropriately trained person responsible for it.
  • The careers programme should be published on the school’s website so students, parents, teachers and employers can access and understand it.
  • The programme should be regularly evaluated with feedback from students, parents, teachers and employers as part of the evaluation process.


This benchmark provides a foundation for the other seven benchmarks.

  • A stable programme to prepare young people for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life is a core statutory responsibility for schools and colleges
  • Inspiring careers and enterprise activities in a stable careers programme improves motivation, attendance and attainment.
  • A stable careers programme enables young people to make well-informed decisions about education, training, apprenticeship and employment opportunities. It also helps them cope with challenging labour market conditions. We know that young people are three times more likely than adults to be unemployed.
  • Delivering social mobility and justice relies on opening doors for all young people. The government has recently endorsed the fact that “great careers guidance provides the first rung on the ladder of opportunity, helping everyone to achieve their full potential”. (DfE, 2017, p. 3)
  • A stable careers programme can play a part in promoting social mobility for the benefit of young people, their families and wider society.


  1. Ask the school or college 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 or college life.
  4. Make sure your staff are briefed before taking part in activities.
  5. Contribute to the school or college’s evaluation and act on feedback to do things differently or better next time.
  6. Help schools and colleges 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. Employers can review all existing employer engagement and make sure that it has maximum impact and streamline where appropriate.