On 16 October 2018, the DfE updated their statutory careers guidance, setting out new requirements and good practice guidance – this article provides a quick breakdown of the key changes.


Schools must publish information about their careers programme


A new legal requirement has been introduced for schools to publish information about their careers programme on their websites – this applies from 1 September 2018. The information that is published must be related to the delivery of independent careers guidance to pupils in years 8-13.

You must publish the following details:

  • The name, email address and telephone number of your careers leader – the DfE suggests this information is placed in a prominent position on the website.
  • A summary of your careers programme, including details of how pupils, parents, teachers and employers may access information about the programme – the DfE suggests that the summary gives a sense of what your school provides for each year group, in line with the Gatsby Benchmarks.
  • How you measure and assess the impact of your careers programme on pupils – the DfE recommends using destination data and feedback from pupils, parents, teachers and employers to demonstrate impact.
  • The date on which the information will next be reviewed – the DfE advises that information is reviewed on an annual basis and that feedback is obtained from key audiences.

Other recommendations are made about how the information should be published, including the following:

  • Publish the information in a distinct section on your website or alongside other policies
  • Incorporate your provider access statement alongside the information
  • Use language that will be accessible to different audiences, e.g. pupils and employers
  • Publish links to other helpful careers resources, websites and events


Use destination data to improve provision


Benchmark 3 of the Gatsby Benchmarks (‘Addressing the needs of each pupil’) involves schools collecting data for each pupil for at least three years after they leave school or from the end of KS4. The DfE is encouraging schools to begin putting processes in place to better use destination data – good practice guidance has been released on how schools could do this. Part of this advice is for schools to publish destination information on their websites, which will allow parents and others to see where pupils at the school progress to.

Further information about how to use destination data to improve careers provision can be found in our Up-to-speed on: Using Destinations Data to Improve Careers Provision article.


Further explanation on the role of the careers leader


The responsibilities of a careers leader have been summarised under four key headings:

  • Leadership – they should take responsibility for developing, running and reporting on their school’s careers programme
  • Management – they should have the ability to plan careers activities, manage a budget and manage other staff, where appropriate
  • Coordination – they need to coordinate staff within the school and people from external agencies
  • Networking – they should be able to establish and develop links with employers, education and training providers and careers organisations  


Careers leader and SENCO should work closely together


The updated guidance states that the careers leader should work closely with the SENCO and other teachers and professionals to identify the careers guidance needs of pupils with SEND, to ensure personalised support can be implemented.


Providers of alternative provision to help with post-16 transitions


Pupils in alternative provision are likely to require targeted careers support. Providers of alternative provision should help pupils to explore their career options and the full range of post-16 pathways, such as traineeships, apprenticeships and higher education degrees.

The DfE’s guidance says alternative provision providers and PRUs should work closely with post-16 providers on transition to post-16 education and training, ensuring the appropriate support is in place for pupils.


What’s next?


  • Make sure you have published the required information on your website.
  • Consider how the other recommendations from the DfE can be implemented within your careers programme, e.g. the use of destination data.




DfE (2018) ‘Careers guidance and access for education and training providers’