At Ormiston Victory Academy were are committed to ensuring that our Careers provision meets all the current guidelines for good practice, in order to prepare and equip our students for their future careers.
We measure and evaluate our programme in a number of ways including the Quality in Careers Standard and the GATSBY Benchmarks.
Quality in Careers Standard – ‘Gold’ Award
As of January 2019, we have been awarded the national Quality in Careers Gold Standard, by Prospects. The national Quality in Careers Standard is awarded to schools that can demonstrate the importance they place on careers and how they support students to make decisions about their futures.
There is a statutory duty to ‘secure independent careers guidance’ for all students from Year 8 onwards and the Government also recommends that all schools should be required to work towards the national Quality in Careers Standard. Achieving the national Quality in Careers Standard shows the Principal, Governors and Leadership Team at Ormiston Victory Academy embrace, promote and endorse quality careers education and recognise the part it plays in the overall success of the school and its students.
The school offers a range of activities to introduce students to the work of work and help them make decisions about life after school. The academy works very closely with a number of different providers to ensure every opportunity is given to our students and to make them aware of all that is available to them.
Benchmark 1: A stable careers programme
The careers programme has strong backing from the Principal, senior leaders and Governing Body who all play an active role in contributing to the Careers Programme. The careers programme is coordinated and led by an appropriately trained and supported Careers Leader. Our Careers Leader is Robert Arger, who has completed the CEC-funded course for Careers Leaders accredited to Level 6.
The careers programme is published on the academy website including information for students, parents and employers about how to get involved in the programme. The information is reviewed annually. Our careers programme is promoted through our dedicated ‘[email protected]’ social media accounts. We send regular Careers Newsletters to parents and carers. Messages relating to Careers are regularly featured in staff briefing notes, Heartbeat meetings and we make use of our email groups to update students, staff and parents regularly.
Benchmark 2: Learning from career & labour market information
All subjects display Labour Market Information within classrooms, in addition to embedding it within subjects topics. Our Library has a careers section with leaflets organised into sectors. The Careerometer by LMI for All is embedded on our website and regularly promote this tool to staff and students. The Careers section of the website directs students to a number of different career websites such as the National Career Service. Students are encouraged to access these websites to explore job profiles and complete online quizzes, to get them thinking about different careers they may wish to consider.
Benchmark 3: Addressing the needs of each pupil
We have a robust tracking system on Google Drive to capture the career interests, activities and intended destinations of our students. We use this information to organise visits and working lunches based on student interest. The information that we collect includes the intended job role, their top three industry sectors they are interested in, subjects that they are interested in, skills they have or would like to develop, whether they would like to go to university, hobbies/other interests and whether they require any additional guidance. Destinations of our leavers are measured for up to three years and closely analysed to evaluate our careers programme.
Benchmark 4: Linking curriculum learning to careers
We have completed a cross-curricular audit of our careers coverage across all subjects. This information has been mapped out by Curriculum Leaders in a centralised document which is reviewed in Heartbeat meetings. Action Plans have been written by each curriculum area for how they wish to develop embedding careers into the curriculum area.
Benchmark 5: Encounters with employers & employees
Students have many opportunities throughout the year to encounter a large number of employers. We keep records of the encounters students have, so that we can target students who haven’t engaged in any activities. Most of our encounters take place through working lunches which are targeted towards specific careers.
Benchmark 6: Experiences of workplaces
Outside of COVID-19 times, all Year 10 students participate in work experience for one week in the summer term. This provides them with experiences of the workplace and insights into the career path that they may have an interest going into. All sixth form students carry out an hour of voluntary work per week, which provides them with a level of responsibility and insight into a workplace. During COVID-19 times, we are making use of Virtual Work Experience opportunities for our students.
Benchmark 7: Encounters with further and higher education
Outside of COVID-19 times students have the opportunity to attend Career Fairs to meet local businesses, colleges, apprenticeship and training providers. During COVID-19 times, we are making use of Virtual opportunities as much as possible and promoting them through the Careers Newsletter.
Benchmark 8: Personal guidance
To identify the needs of our students in regards to personal guidance, we have a referral system in place, to ensure the right students have guidance at a time appropriate to them. Students can access a careers appointment by self referral, staff or parent referral. If they complete their careers survey at the start of the year stating that they are unsure about future career options, they are invited for an appointment. We hold a live working document to keep a log of the appointments with detailed notes.
We focus on students who are at risk of NEET as well as the intended destinations of all students to ensure anyone who is unsure of their next steps receives personal guidance. A large number of students are confident with making their Post 16 choices and don’t require an interview. Students in Year 11 also seek guidance from other sources, such as VIP mentors and attend 1:1 meetings with the Head of Sixth Form to discuss their progression into A levels/Level 3.