Delivering Outstanding Careers Education Guidance: Huntcliff School

Careers education is a vital contributor to pupils' success, in the short term and long term, so delivering quality advice and guidance in every school, particularly for those in years 8-13, is key. Here, award-winning Careers Leader Philippa Hartley, of Huntcliff School, delves into the journey her school took to raise their careers provision to outstanding, and how they've adapted their approach throughout the COVID-19 period.


Careers Education for Staff

The introduction of statutory guidance for Careers provided us with the impetus to review and reflect heavily on the careers provision at Huntcliff. In 2015 we held the Career Mark and were delivering careers education from Y7-11 and were confident our programme offered our students high quality experiences.

However, with the opportunity to undertake formal training (L6 diploma in Careers Guidance and Development) to fully understand the theoretical principles which underpin careers work, and some space to consider the ever-evolving world of work, we took the opportunity to remap the entire programme using the CDI framework, the contextualised requirements of our students, and the Gatsby benchmarks.

We achieved the QiCS in July 2018 in recognition of the developments made in our careers provision and the process was a valuable catalyst to move forward in planning transformational changes to our strategy.


Collaborating Effectively 

The greatest challenge in a school is getting buy-in from all parties, notably the senior leadership, trustees and staff. The commitment of leadership is key and with significant demands on the school curriculum, Career Leaders must clear on the intent, implementation and expected impact of any activity, without which, time is less likely to be allocated and even more so following the covid pandemic as we endeavour to catch up.

Staff are provided CPD from our impartial careers adviser in order to support their significant input across the curriculum and this ensures they have up to date LMI on which to base their understanding.


Seeing Improvements and New Opportunities 

Our re-mapping has seen our programme transform from good to outstanding. Activities include Step Up Career days, inspirational guest speakers, trips, visits to Colleges and Universities, challenge activities, enterprise opportunities, employability development, work experience and an innovative enrichment programme, all developed to equip our students with the skills required to make informed choices, be successful, confident and excited about the world of work.

At Huntcliff we are supported by an array of external guests who share our passion for high quality careers provision: our Enterprise Advisor from EDF Energy, our local colleges: North Lindsey College; John Leggott College, Lincoln College. Additionally Linc Higher and many businesses and organisations give their time and commitment to work with our children.

This is supported by a long-standing and brilliant impartial Careers Advisor who complements our work so well. These relationships are fundamental to our success.


The Impact of COVID-19

During lockdown we have remained in touch with our partners mentioned above and worked together to provide virtual opportunities for a variety of activities from personal guidance, virtual tours, virtual work experience and a series of activities for students to keep up to date.

However the reliance of students engaging and the logistics of this have proved challenging and not all students have taken up these opportunities so mapping a catch up programme for careers will be a priority on return.

Our greatest achievement this year was fortunately just prior to lockdown – a full whole-school careers day with over 100 interactive workshops from a variety of sectors and each student selected up to five different workshops. Below is the range of opportunities offered - all as interactive workshops in small groups of mixed ages providing ample opportunity for hands on experience and high-quality interactions.

We are so grateful to all our partners in giving their time so freely to work with us.

Titan II STEM Truck (Y8)

Singleton Birch Chemistry

Catering (7-9)

Future Automation (2hrs)

The Panjango Game

Catering (10-11)

Finance 4 Kids

Chemical Engineering

N Lincs Council Apprenticeships

Psychologist (2hrs)

Impartial Careers Advice

Home First Team


Animal Behaviour

Glanford Park visit

Zakon (full day)

Veterinary Nursing

Made in Gainsborough

Careers in make up

Dance Workshop


Anjali Wierney (Author)

Assessment Centre

Art & Photography

Big Trak

Medicine (GP & Physician)

English Lang masterclass

DNA Extraction

Maths Masterclass

Automotive Engineer

SAS Talk Paul Hughes

Motor vehicles & racing

Animal Management

First Aid for Dogs

Film making workshop

Engineering with Lego

Behind the Scenes

Robotics & programming


Life as a Lawyer

Heta Engineering

Bishop Burton College

Public Speaking

Rainbow Trout Film Director

acis Group

Overcoming stage fright

Ambulance Service

Creative Arts 3D design

RAF Leadership & Teamwork

Lincolnshire Police

Fashion & Textiles

Give an hour volunteering

Geography masterclass

Religious Studies masterclass

Fashion masterclass

Child Care masterclass

History masterclass

Science masterclass

Design masterclass

IT masterclass

Business masterclass

PE & Sport masterclass

Languages masterclass

Nursing workshops

Music masterclass

Positive Approach Hair Academy

Manufacturing, Engineering and Construction

WiME – Women in Manufacturing and Engineering

Let’s Podcast with Baasit Siddiqui


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