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Good Career Guidance – The Gatsby Benchmarks

In 2015, the Gatsby Foundation commissioned a pilot involving secondary schools and colleges in the North East local enterprise partnership (NELEP) region, to examine how they could best achieve 8 benchmarks in relation to good career guidance.

The latest DfE Careers Strategy (December 2017) and the new Statuary Guidance for careers (January 2018) states that all colleges must meet the Gatsby Benchmarks before 2020.

The AutismAble board have made a committment to ensure that our provision meets the standards to attain the Gatsby Benchmarks below and work towards achieving The Careers Quality Standard.

Gatsby Benchmarks Guidance How does Autism Able CIC intend to meet this Benchmark?
1. A Stable Careers Programme  Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, teachers, governors and employers AutismAble has a structured careers programme EmployABLE, that has been developed and approved by our governing board.

Andrew Forster (Education Manager) is the named person responsible for the programme.  Andrew has 10 years experience of specialist employment and internship programmes for learners with SEND.


The EmployABLE programme is regularly evaluated with feedback from learners, parents, teachers and employers.


Details of the EmployABLE programme are here.


2. Learning from Career & Labour Market Information Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information. AutismAble have MATRIX accreditation for Information, Advice and Guidance.

Careers advice officers visit the learners twice in an academic year. Information gained from the visits is discussed in transition meetings which take place in April to help the learner prepare effectively for the next stage of their future. Parents are encouraged to attend transition meetings and use information about careers and further study to inform their support to their children.

3. Addressing the Needs of Each Pupil Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout. All learners have an individual support plan with a dedicated section for career aspirations and work placement support requirements.

Autism Able provide visual job scripts to learners, on-site support workers and provide free Autism Awareness training to partnership organisations.


AutismAble keeps records of the individual advice given to each learner, and subsequent agreed decisions. Learners have access to these records to support their career development.


Destination tracking data for is kept for all learners on their education, training or employment destinations for a minimum of three years.

4. Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of career paths. Employability skills are embedded in all aspect of the AutismAble curriculum.  Vocational Qualifications are linked to a work placement in that sector.Additional Career pathways tutorials are taught as part of the full-time Study Programme.
5. Encounters with Employers & Employees Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes. All students have access to meaningful encounters with employers.

Through our work partnership scheme, learners have access to guest speakers, careers events, CV workshops, work place visits,  enterprise days and work place mentoring.


EmployABLE learners are involved in the ETF’s OTLA Digital project which aims to consider ways in which employers and learners can better use digital technology to interact.   Mock Interviews via Skype and live streaming of work place tours. This has the additional benefit of providing much needed information to learners who are anxious about visiting  a new place.


6. Experiences of Workplaces Every pupil should have first-hand experience of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks. AutismAble offer Study Programmes, Supported Internships and Traineeships. All learners on the EmployABLE programme receive a minimum of 50 hours work placement in an academic year. Learners can receive up to 200 hours work placement time, depending on how confident and work-ready they are.  Where possible, learners will try at least two different work placements in an academic year.
7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace AutismAble are part of the South Tyneside Training Provider Network and the course matrix offer is made available to all learners. Learners can request referral to any relevant course that they want to apply for.

All learners who are considering applying for university will receive supported visits to at least two universities with the disability support officer.


AutismAble support and facilitated regular transition and taster events, both in our own provision and at other colleges and learning providers, so that learners can actually experience what it is like to learn in that environment.

8. Personal Guidance Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a career adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided that they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs All learners receive two visits from a Career Advisor in an academic year.

All learners receive a transition and careers interview with our Employment Coordinator and learners with EHCP have an additional yearly transition meeting with SEN officers from the local authority.


All learners have weekly 1:1 sessions allocated for personal guidance.


AutismAble have the Matrix accreditation standard for Information, Advice and Guidance and all staff are trained to these standards.



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