‘The Government’s careers strategy sets out a long term plan to build a world class careers system that will help young people and adults choose the career that is right for them. To achieve this aim, the careers strategy sets out that every school providing secondary educations should use the Gatsby Charitable Foundation Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers provision…The Gatsby Benchmarks are not a statutory framework but by adopting them, schools can be confident that they are fulfilling their legal duties.’  - DfE January 2018 (Careers guidance and access for education and training providers)

Aston Fields Middle School has been working since the publication of this document, along with ‘Careers Strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents’ (DfE Dec 2017), to put in place a well-structured careers service for our pupils in Key Stage 3. The school has adopted the Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit and is also working with The Careers and Enterprise Company, who provide an adviser to our school to assist in ensuring best practice for our pupils in provision of careers information, advice and guidance.

CIAG Leader at Aston Fields Middle School

Mrs A Hales, Head of School/Acting Headteacher has been appointed as the senior leader for CIAG and is working closely with South Bromsgrove High School to ensure that our pupils are able to access a range of opportunities throughout Key Stage 3 and into Key Stage 4 at high school, as it is clear some of the benchmarks are designed to support older pupils.


As part of the Learning for Life rotation in Year 8, all pupils receive lessons in careers guidance, engineering, first aid and mental health, healthy lifestyles and politics and government.

  • STEM workshops take place throughout the year for Year 7 and Year 8 pupils
  • Links with Worcestershire Apprenticeship Scheme; Medical Mavericks (NHS roles) – assemblies
  • Visits to Science festivals and Careers forums such as the ‘Skills Show’ as well as University visits 

CIAG Strategy

An audit of current provision for Years 7 and 8 was undertaken, closely followed by completion of the Compass Careers Benchmark tool, which helped the school to devise a coherent offer for our pupils. The Benchmarks are as follows:
Benchmark 1  - A Stable Careers Programme
Benchmark 2  - Learning from career and labour market information
Benchmark 3  - Addressing the needs of each pupil
Benchmark 4  - Linking curriculum learning to careers
Benchmark 5  - Encounters with employers and employees
Benchmark 6  - Experiences of workplaces
Benchmark 7  - Encounters with further and higher education
Benchmark 8  - Personal Guidance

The Careers and Enterprise Company provides the school with an adviser, who regularly meets with Mrs Hales to enhance provision already in place, using the Compass audit tool.

Parents and carers may like to access an online careers tool for Worcestershire which is aimed at supporting schools, pupils and parents with information about the Worcestershire labour market and employers in Worcestershire, as well as supporting careers advice and events. The website can be accessed from the following link:

Aston Fields Middle School has also met with the other middle schools in Bromsgrove, to ensure a consistent and coherent offer is available to all our pupils in the Bromsgrove Middle Schools Learning Partnership.