Case study

Berkshire Careers Hub Case Study: Maiden Erlegh

Please find downloadable pdf here.

Supporting the Achievement of 100% of Gatsby Benchmarks (BM), 0% Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) and Provider Access Legislation (PAL) compliance

What challenge did the school face and how was this identified?

Post Covid, we noticed that students were lacking in confidence and resilience because of nationwide lockdowns and that they had not been provided with opportunities to engage in meaningful live employer encounters. We used stakeholder feedback to amend our Careers Education provision specifically for learners in Years 8 and 12. The rationale behind this decision was two-fold; to strengthen the Year 8 options and GCSE readiness programme by asking our Enterprise Adviser and her team to deliver an engaging and interactive “Vision My Future” Day to prepare students for Key Stage 4 but also to support the development of the softer transferable employability and enterprise skills, relevant apprenticeship and career routes and how this links to local labour market information and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (STEAM) opportunities in the Thames Valley.
The team also played a pivotal role in the Year 12 “Future Pathways” Day to develop the softer transferable employability skills, relevant apprenticeship and career routes but also delivering work-related learning activities including simulated assessment centres and team building tasks. This worked in tandem with the other sessions including exploring post-18 options and masterclasses on writing the winning university personal statement and apprenticeship application.

What actions did you take to address this challenge?
The priority was to ensure that Careers Education featured (and continues to feature) on the School Improvement Plan and clearly communicating the ‘why.’ This helped to secure stakeholder buy-in and accountability. We worked closely with the students and staff to develop the events based on their feedback and ideas so that they felt part of the journey, taking into consideration Gatsby Benchmark and Provider Access Legislation compliance. The Careers Team worked in collaboration with Covea Insurance to design the resources, taking into consideration school-based and employer feedback. The school also delivered Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training to the employer representatives to ensure everyone was clear about intent, implementation, and desired impact and how the events link to our holistic Careers Education programme.

What were the outcomes of the actions you took?
The obvious measurable outcomes of both events have supported the school’s journey of remaining 100% Gatsby Benchmark compliant across all benchmarks. All learners in both year groups participated in the events and were able to engage directly with employer, apprenticeship, and Higher Education/Further Education (HE/FE) representatives. Such events also contributed to the school having a zero NEET figure and feedback from our student surveys confirm that they have an increased awareness of career routes available to them at the different transition points, the options process and ‘owning’ their next steps. We are noticing an increase in apprenticeship and employment applications, which in part is supported by these live events with employers. In terms of softer outcomes, we are also noticing an improvement in learners understanding of the importance of transferable employability skills and improved confidence and resilience when pursuing relevant destination routes.

What are your next steps?

  1. Switch the Year 8 Day (Vision My Future) with the Year 9 Day (Careers Inspiration Day) so that students can consider potential careers, jobs and industry sectors in Year 8 and in Year 9 the Vision My Future Day can be more linked to workplace skills related to the different subject areas.
  2. Embed the new PAL legislation (specifically technical education qualification information) into events so that learners are regularly fully informed of all possible routes.
  3. Collate more learner, parent, and staff voice to further improve provision.
  4.  Recruit more employer representatives to provide a broader sector representation.


If you have any questions on how you too might drive this sort of change at your school, then please contact the Berkshire team at


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