Careers Education

Our belief at Woodham Academy is that all pupils are entitled to Careers Education and Guidance which: -

  • is independent and impartial
  • is easily accessible
  • is structured and forms an integral part of pupils’ overall education
  • recognises the contribution of others, particularly parents, to this process

Careers Education is an integral part of the PSHE programme for years 7 - 11.  Subject teachers are also encouraged to talk with pupils about their career aspirations.

PSHE Programme


In addition, regular events are organised for students throughout the school year, including STEM-related projects with local employers, Enterprise projects, Mock Interview Day, subject-related in school talks led by employers and colleges, visits to various careers providers and university visits through NECOP.

All the above aim to provide students with information about the breadth of careers and study options available.

During Year 8 students will be choosing their GCSE subjects.  We will assist in the decision-making process and students will spend time exploring their options both in Key Stage 4 and beyond.  They will be encouraged to research career ideas and widen their knowledge of the world of work. They will also receive advice and guidance on how to choose different GCSE and Vocational options. 

Staff from local colleges and training providers attend parents’ evenings offering parents and pupils the opportunity to discuss progression routes. Year 10 students will participate in “Enrichment Activities” during the summer term, these are based upon the importance of lifelong learning and gaining an understanding of what an employer looks for when recruiting, some students will receive individual careers guidance interviews. In year 10, pupils get the opportunity to meet with local colleges as part of the Enrichment programme

Year 11 is the last year of school for students and they have to decide what they want to do next. Our Careers support can help by providing information, advice and guidance on all the Post 16 Options. All students receive individual careers guidance interviews in Year 11 as they decide on their Post 16 Options. Students are offered the opportunity of one to one guidance with an independent qualified careers practitioner. In year 11, representatives from colleges and training providers deliver presentations to pupils. Our links with Durham Works Programme provides mentoring for students who extra support in making Post 16 decisions.

Careers Programme



Post 16 General Advice

Apprenticeships provide paid work-based training with an employer for those who want to learn new skills and gain qualifications. Training may consist of possible day release to a College or Training Provider as well as on the job training to work towards nationally recognized qualifications. To find out more about apprenticeships log on to

Study Programmes are designed to help 16 – 19-year olds progress into further education and employment. For young people not able to study an academic programme or substantial vocational qualification, Learning Providers can offer a flexible programme, which may include a mix of qualifications and work experience. Please see for further information on the Study Programme.

Traineeships prepare young people for their future careers by helping them to become “work ready”. They provide essential work preparation training, Maths & English and work experience needed to compete successfully for jobs, apprenticeships, or further education. For more information about Traineeships, please visit

Vocational courses may be taken at a college and link to a career path. They are aimed at the world of work and run from entry level where no GCSE’s are required to advanced level where GCSE passes at grade 4 and above are needed. Courses may be assessed by coursework, assignments, projects, exams and tests. There may be an opportunity to do some work experience. With some colleges, you may be able to mix and match a BTEC with an A level.

T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020 and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed with employers & businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work. T Levels will offer a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours. They will provide the knowledge and experience needed for employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship. For more information, check:

A Levels are academic courses where single subjects are studied. To study A levels, 4/5 GCSEs at grade 4 and above are needed. For Maths & some science subjects, grade 6 passes are likely to be required. Please note that GCSE grade 4 is the minimum entry requirement. Some colleges may ask for a higher grade than GCSE grade 4. Please check with individual colleges and subject areas for entry requirements. See for more information.

For all college courses, it is recommended to check out the pass rates for subjects you are considering, the type of tuition you will receive and how many students are successful in gaining university places or employment etc. You can apply to more than one college course and/or apprenticeships and do not need to make your mind up until August when you get your results.


16 to 19-year old’s who may struggle with the costs for full-time education or training may receive a bursary. This group includes people in care, care leavers, people claiming income support and disabled young people who receive Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. Other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider. Please see for more information

The Learner Support Service (Care to Learn) is a scheme for young parents under 20 years that can help with the cost towards childcare while studying. More information is set out in the website under “Care to Learn”. You can contact Care to Learn for more help on 0800 121 8989 or email

To help gain employment, you can write a CV explaining your contact details, education and employment/work experience history, along with the strengths and qualities you feel you have for the position you are applying for. You should also indicate your hobbies, interests and social activities within your CV. You may have to write a letter of application or a speculative letter to accompany your CV You can see your adviser to get help with your CV.



Help your child make the right career choices. As a parent or carer, there is plenty you can do to support your child and help them to make successful career choices. It is important to be aware of your influence and to make that influence as positive as possible.

Your child will have decisions to make at different stages, so it's worth raising the subject of careers from time to time over a period of years. Get them to chat about the jobs they see other people doing. You could also discuss types of jobs that might be relevant to their interests, skills or aspirations. Listen to your child and help them to explore their options.

The most valuable things parents can do to help their child with career planning are:

  • be open to ideas and encourage them to explore all their options.
  • keep in mind that your child’s choices and decisions should be based on their aspirations and abilities.
  • remember that not everyone has a clear idea what they want to do so your child's career ideas may change as they get older.
  • listen, do not judge.

Helping your child plan a career

Once your child has some ideas about what they would like to do, encourage them to look into what they need to do to get there. As well as helping them decide on their next steps, you will also be helping them to develop the decision-making skills important in adult life. They will need to weigh up the pros and cons of various options, make a decision based on the information available - then put their plan into action.

Encourage your child to:

  • talk about their career’s ideas and future and research a wide range of careers.
  • be aware of all the options available, including those in education, employment and training.
  • discuss ideas and options with teachers or careers advisers at school or college.
  • find out about training, college, and university entrance requirements as well as what is needed for jobs they are interested in.
  • develop their skills by taking part in clubs and activities, both within and outside of school - this will help them when they are applying for courses or jobs.
  • find out about the world of work through work experience and extra-curricular activities related to it or by talking to relatives and family friends about the kinds of work they do.
  • attend any careers events their school organizes.


Provider Access Statement

Woodham Academy: Provider Access Policy

This policy statement sets out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school for the purpose of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997.

Pupil entitlement

All pupils in years 8-13 are entitled:

  • to find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available at each transition point.
  • to hear from a range of local providers about the opportunities they offer, including technical education and apprenticeships – through options events, assemblies and group discussions and taster events.
  • to understand how to make applications for the full range of academic and technical courses.

Management of provider access requests

A provider wishing to request access should contact Rebecca Woolley, Careers Lead, on 01325 300328 or via e-mail at

Opportunities for access

A number of events, integrated into the school careers programme, will offer providers an opportunity to come into school to speak to pupils/their parents/carers. If you are interested, please speak to our Careers Leader to identify the most suitable opportunity for you.

Premises and facilities

The school will make the main hall, classrooms or private meeting rooms available for discussions between the provider and students, as appropriate to the activity. The school will also make available AV and other specialist equipment to support provider presentations. This will all be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit with the Careers Leader or a member of their team.

Measuring the success and impact of the Careers Programme Statement

The Gatsby Benchmarks are the key aspects of Careers Education at Woodham Academy.  Throughout our Career's curriculum we are able to focus on the Gatsby Benchmarks.


Gatsby Benchmarks



Woodham Academy uses the Compass Evaluation tool to measure the impact of the Careers Programme and Education.  Current performance against the Gatsby Benchmarks, informs planning for subsequent years.

This information will be reviewed annually.


Woodham Academy is an exempt charity. It is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 8167333.
01325 300328
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