Careers & Aspirations

We are passionate in inspiring our students to aim high in terms of their aspirational goals, but we always seek to dovetail these ambitions with the realities of achievement and pathways, so that dreams are not just wild flights of fancy, but are rather supported and informed each step of the way.

Consequently, within our curriculum, we run a comprehensive ‘Raising Aspirations Programme’ which includes a wide range of activities which run all the way through the school; whether it be employability workshops or mock interviews with local business leaders, UCAS evenings or visits from local universities; presentations apprenticeship providers to students and parents or research options through Unifrog; or curriculum pathway documents mapping out destinations or careers and apprenticeship Focus Weeks.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a national framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in secondary schools and we use them to ensure on-going evaluation and development of our work.

Consequently, The Friary School Careers Framework links closely to these benchmarks and sets out our provision for Year 7-13 students.

Provider Access Policy

Our Provider Access Policy has 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.

Labour Market Information

Labour Market Information (LMI) is any quantitative or qualitative data about the nature and operation of the labour market.

It infuses our careers provision as it helps young people explore key aspects about a particular area, including:

  • What jobs and skills employers are looking for ?
  • Which industries have vacancies and where they are ?
  • What education and training you need for a specific job ?
  • Which job areas are growing in the future and which are in decline ?

Our Local Market Information can be viewed here and further details on employment opportunity on the West Midlands and Staffordshire can be viewed here.

External Validation

Our careers provision is externally critiqued by The Careers & Enterprise Company in order to assess how we perform against other schools in meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks. The most recent assessment illustrates how our provision is exceptionally strong against national indicators:

No. Gatsby Benchmark The Friary School Scores National Average Scores
1 A stable careers programme 100% 43%
2 Learning from career and labour market information 100% 66%
3 Addressing the need of each pupil 100% 38%
4 Linking curriculum learning to careers 100% 60%
5 Encounters with employers and employees 100% 56%
6 Experiences of workplaces 100% 36%
7 Encounters with Further and Higher Education 100% 33%
8 Personal guidance 100% 65%

We are working to achieve the 100% in ‘Encounters with Further & Higher Education’ after opportunities in this area were hugely limited even last year due to universities’ COVID measures limiting accessibility. We fully expect to see this score increase by the end of this academic year.

Further References

The following sources of information support our careers and aspiration programme:

Further Information

Our certified Careers Leader is Helen Barratt, Assistant Headteacher, and she is supported by Careers & Aspirations Mentor, Faye Banks, and external Careers Advisor, Giselle Douglas.

Our career progamme’s effectiveness is illustrated by the following data in terms of post-16 destinations (the % of student who are in education, employment or training after leaving our Year 11; Ie – 2019 (93%), 2020 (98%), 2021 (99%) and 2022 (98%) against a current national average of 94%. The 2023 figures are yet to be validated by the DfE but all indications are they will maintain the exceptionally high trend.


For more information about the school’s careers and aspirational curriculum, please contact Helen Barratt, Assistant Headteacher, via