Statutory Guidance and Gatsby Benchmarks



Good career guidance is critical if young people are to raise their aspirations and capitalise on the opportunities available to them. Every young person needs high-quality career guidance to make informed decisions about their future.


In 2003 Gatsby commissioned Sir John Holman with setting out what career guidance in England should look like.  After six international visits, analysis of good practice in English schools and a comprehensive review of current literature, John wrote The Good Career Guidance Report which identifies a set of eight benchmarks that schools can use as a framework for improving their careers provision.


These benchmarks have been well received by schools, government and a wide range of stakeholders.


The eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance 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


Many organisations have embedded the benchmarks into their work including; the Careers and Enterprise CompanyTeach First and the Sutton Trust.


Directions IAG aims to support schools/colleges in meeting these benchmarks.


Statutory Guidance: Careers Guidance and Access for Education and Training Providers (July 2021)

Careers strategy pdf



Technical and Further Education Act 2017


The Technical and Further Education Act 2017 takes forward the government’s programme of reform of vocational education.  It provides for the expansion of the role of the Institute of Apprenticeships to oversee college based technical education as well as apprenticeships, becoming the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.


The Baker clause


The Baker clause was introduced in January 2018, and aims to raise awareness of technical education. From 2nd January 2018, it requires schools to publish a policy statement explaining how external further education providers can access the school and talk to their students about further education (FE).

The Baker Clause directly relates to Gatsby Benchmark 7


Which FE providers can students talk to?


At age 14, students can talk to:

  • studio schools – a type of secondary school that offers students practical skills in the workplace as well as subjects taught in traditional schools
  • university technical colleges – another type of secondary school that delivers technical education, sponsored by a university
  • further education colleges – these colleges can offer vocational and specialist qualifications that relate to the workplace

Students are entitled to access these routes if the providers have opportunities for 14-year-old enrolment.


At age 16, students can talk to:

  • apprenticeship providers
  • further education colleges
  • sixth form colleges
  • work-based training providers

And at age 18, young people can talk to apprenticeship and higher education (HE) providers.