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Benchmark 4

Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers

Schools should adopt a strategic approach to linking curriculum learning to careers and develop a coherent rationale for embedding careers in subject learning.

Key points
  • Start with subject areas where enthusiastic staff have already developed links with local employers and are keen to further develop careers learning opportunities for students
  • Identify Career Ambassadors for each subject area, who will lead on developing careers learning in their subject area
  • Suggest subject areas pick areas of their schemes of learning that students do not find as engaging as others
  • Focus on making the learning more applied by using real world examples or challenges, by linking with a local employer or employers
  •  All subject areas having displays around the school that link their subject learning to different careers
  • Whole school ‘Careers Days’ where all teachers start their lesson with a careers focus
Should I only be working with subject leaders in STEM subjects to deliver careers in the curriculum?

Careers should be embedded in ALL subjects. The Compass tool only asks about English, Maths and Science and these should be used as an indicator of how a school is performing against this benchmark.

How can I engage subject leaders as they are solely focused on exam outcomes?

It is important that subject leaders and teaching staff are aware of the benefits of linking their subject area to careers. One benefit for option subjects can be an increase in the number of students choosing their subject at GCSE if they understand the relevance and possible career outcomes, they may even continue to A-level. It is true that subject leaders may have little capacity to lead on this but you could look at your wider staff and identify career champions or ambassadors in each subject area.

There is lots of careers in the curriculum activity being delivered in my school but it is difficult to keep track of what each subject is doing. How can I overcome this?

We are developing an admin function on our Tracker tool which will allow the Careers Leader to give access to other staff members who can enter activities for their own year group or subject area. If used effectively the Careers Leader will have a complete overview of what is being delivered across the school.