Penketh High Schools Careers policy ensures that all pupils at this school are provided with independent careers guidance from year 7 to year 11. The independent careers guidance provided:

  • Is presented in an impartial manner, showing no bias or favouritism towards a particular institution, education or work option.
  • Includes information on the range of education or training options, including apprenticeships.
  • Is guidance that the person giving it considers will promote the best interests of the pupils to whom it is given.

Careers guidance at Penketh is a progressive journey from Year 7-11.
The aims of the Careers programme at Penketh are:


  • To develop positive attitudes in the pupils towards study and work.
  • To develop employability and enterprise skills, such as teamwork and communication.
  • To help students to plan and take control of their future making informed choices at key points in their education.
  • To provide students with the relevant careers inspiration and guidance that is suitable to their personal needs including age, ability, attitudes and aptitudes.
  • To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of opportunities post 16 and post 18 including traineeships, apprenticeships, school leaver programmes, HE, FE, employment and training opportunities.
  • To help students to reflect on themselves – their abilities, skills, aptitudes and attitudes – so that they can use this knowledge to consider their development.
  • To provide students with impartial advice about options that is available to them.
  • To provide equal opportunity of access to careers inspiration and guidance.


Implementation of Careers Education

The intent of every aspect of school life is rooted in the three strands of aspiration we have for our provision and for our young people.  We strive to ensure that pupils are developed academically, are developed holistically with an enhanced and wider skillset and that, in combination, these facilitate positive life chances for our outstanding young people.


The role of our careers provision is to not only inform pupils about their potential next steps but to build aspiration and provide access to a range of experiences and information that will shape these decisions.

At Penketh, pupils are asked to consider and indicate their current thinking around their chosen career path at the outset of each academic year.  Pupils are then assigned a cluster group that is centred around careers from their chosen field.  Across the year pupils in each cluster are exposed to a range of experiences that help to inform pupils about this chosen career pathway these include;

  • Employer talks
  • Work related experience visits
  • Impartial career advice
  • Targeted visits to college and HE provision

The intention is that this range of experiences will help pupils to consider and validate their career choices or consider alternatives.  We consider pupils deciding that careers are not for them based on a range of comprehensive information is as important as validating a choice.


Pupils will have the opportunity to experience a different area, should they wish to, during the following academic year and in Year 10 and 11 pupils will also undertake individual one-to-one career interviews to discuss their choices in even greater detail.

The “career cluster” programme, supported by advice to pupils from Career Connect – a service operating in school two days per week – meet the requirements of the Gatsby 8 benchmarks, so integral to the DfE’s career strategy and central to the statutory guidance for careers. The 8 strands of the Gatsby 8 benchmark are;

  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

Our comprehensive enrichment programme also has clear links to careers in order to support decision making and supporting pupil career choices.


Year group specific provision

  1. Careers inspiration and support starts in Year 7 through introductory lessons allowing the students to reflect on where they are now and on what they want to do in the future. Students are introduced to the online careers information available to them and they get the opportunity to use a career matching software package through Careers Connect. They are also introduced to the National Careers Service Website focusing on job profiles and job sectors.


  1. Students continue with this in Year 8 investigating possible career routes and matching skills and qualities to suitable occupations. Students are introduced to possible opportunities and pathways post 16. Stereotyping is addressed in each year group to ensure all students are aware and fully embrace the importance of equal opportunities. The Careers Leader delivers assemblies to the year 8 cohorts about the different post 16 routes available giving in depth discussion of the different courses available including an apprenticeships talk. Different post-16 providers are invited in to the school across the year to contribute to the assembly so that students have the opportunity to interact with a range of providers to support their decision making.  A local University also provide an introduction to Higher Education assembly followed by a Q/A session. Students can also request an impartial Careers interview with the School Careers Officer from the Career Connect service, this is scheduled during parents evening for Year 8. Dragon’s Den Enterprise workshops are delivered focusing on employability and transferable skills.


  1. Year 9 have a two college taster days with two local post 16 providers. The aim is to engage and motivate pupils so that they start to enhance aspirations. Three local Universities deliver workshops to inspire students and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong learning. Year 9 students are invited to attend the school’s annual Careers Road Show where they can meet with local employers and businesses. Year 9 also receive a whole year group employability, problem solving Dragons Den style Enterprise day, focusing on problem solving and communication skills. Throughout the school year students will have the opportunity to meet with employers from BT and Balfour Beatty. Exploring what employers are looking for and how to sand out from the crowd.


  1. During Year 10 we offer support to pupils wanting to undertake extended work experience during holiday periods, offering them support in sourcing and arranging a placement. The aim is to give pupils first-hand experience of the world of work over a sustained period. Pupils are exposed to a range of work place experiences related to their chosen career cluster within school time as part of their core offer. Students are fully prepared for placements through planned careers lessons during PSHE (delivered as part of their Learning for Life curriculum), which include a full investigation into Health and Safety in the workplace. Students receive at least three careers assemblies throughout the year. All students have access to a Careers Road Show which gives advice and guidance on post 16 & post 18 opportunities in the winter term.


  1. Year 11 have a planned Careers Inspiration and Guidance Management Programme that is completed throughout the year. It involves a variety of impartial experiences and workshops with employers and post 16 providers giving inspiration and guidance in a range of industry sectors. Year 11 also take part in a Careers Road Show. This gives students the opportunity to seek impartial guidance and advice from over 50 professionals and organisations, in order to help with their post 16 options and decisions. A workshop is delivered about Apprenticeship opportunities and information is given as to where additional guidance can be received this is delivered by an outside provider. Careers Connect deliver an application form workshop and organises practice interviews for students in Year 11. This experience, together with a personal debrief session, gives students far more confidence during interviews, as well as providing impartial inspiration.


The in house support programme includes investigating post 16 options, letters of application, CV’s, application forms and interview techniques. Students also attend a labour market and National Careers Service research workshop with the Career Curriculum Leader. Students are regularly given open day information during assembly and form time. An information evening is also held at the start of the school year to introduce Options, timeline and revision techniques. Pupils receive at least three careers assemblies throughout the year giving information on how to utilise the careers opportunities organised within school. Each year 11 student is also interviewed by Careers Connect to engage with college applications and what to expect from a college interview.

All students participate in an enterprise day delivered by an external provider for students to develop transferable skills.  This year, for the first time, this included all students being interviewed by an employer from the local area and pupils were provided with feedback to support developing their interview technique.

The regular enrichment programmes run during lunchtimes to support students with decision making.


Entitlement to Careers Education and Guidance

All Pupils in Years 7-11 currently have access to an Impartial Careers Advisor and all students in these year groups are regularly reminded to visit the Futures Room during break and lunchtime regarding Careers, Work Experience, Post-14, 16 or 18 Options. This time is fully utilised by students. The Futures Room is updated with prospectuses, apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies, help sheets, careers information and has computer access.

Students and parents are also encouraged to use the careers link on the school website which gives updates and useful web links.

The Careers Lead makes use of Social Media and encourages both students and parents to follow the department on Twitter for the latest updates.  This is also used to showcase pupil participation in events.


All Year Groups have the opportunity to develop their employability and enterprise skills through taking part in various activities on the Whole School Activity Days.

Additional events complement our careers programme as pupils are provided with opportunities to develop soft skills so valued by employers, an example being the Humanutopia workshops undertaken by Year 9 and 10 pupils each year.  The wider personal development strands at the school also facilitate the development of these skills helping to develop pupils holistically, ensuring that they are well prepared to be successful beyond their time at Penketh.


Evaluation/Quality Assurance


The school is committed to CPD for Careers and all team members actively seek CPD opportunities.

Regular meeting with Warrington Borough Council ensures a robust programme which meets all the criteria of the Gatsby Benchmarks and Government Statutory Guidance.


The personal development strand, including provision for careers, is routinely subject to quality assurance from leaders within the Challenge Academy Trust to help us judge the quality of our provision and inform future decision making.



All student destinations are monitored internally by the schools’ Careers Lead and the Careers Connect Service and changes are made to the Careers programme accordingly.  Pupils who have failed to complete applications for their next stage are identified throughout the year and support to identify and appropriate pathway and through the application process.  Where pupils are flagged as NEET after leaving Penketh the Careers Lead contacts pupils to establish their plans and support further engagement.

  2017 2018 2019*
% NEET 5% 1% 1.8%


*Provisional data issued by the DfE, which will be validated in January 2020.  The full results for 2019 will be published by the DfE on the school performance website in October and further information can be found at:

The key contact in school is : Mr I Musgrove
Tel: 01925 722298