case studies /
Investor in Careers (IiC) at The Glebe School, Bromley
Careers education and student support is a well established part of the curriculum at The Glebe School in Bromley – a foundation secondary special school for students aged 11 – 19.
School staff decided to seek Investor in Careers (IiC) accreditation and bought support from CfBT the local licence holder for IiC. The Head of PSHE and Careers and the Transition Coordinator led on working towards Investor in Careers (IiC). IiC was one of the first awards to be validated by the Quality in Careers standard in April 2013 and this gave them confidence in the integrity, coverage and approach. They met regularly with the IiC adviser from CfBT, to work through the IiC criteria, identify good practice, discuss suggestions for development and agree on suitable evidence for assessment. The Head of PSHE and Careers together with the Transition Coordinator provide careers and work related learning and used the IiC framework to raise the profile of their work and to increase collaboration both between them and other subject teachers. They feel that the standard has helped staff to focus more on raising the students’ aspirations and the guidance they need to achieve their full potential.
At each of Stage 2 and 3, the IiC adviser went through a practise assessment to check evidence and prepare staff and students to meet the external assessor. The assessor came into school twice to carry out assessment and met staff and students to obtain their views and be given a range of examples of the activities and experiences the school provides to help students with careers and work related learning, develop employability skills and prepare for transition and progression.
The Assistant Head commented on the rigour of IiC’s usefulness in giving real focus beyond developing students’ cognitive and personal skills to the emphasis on planning future steps and future transition.
Working for IiC demonstrated that lead staff are not complacent and this provided motivation to do more. The portfolio process helped them to see what has been effective and to see a job well done with impact on their students. Links between all the curriculum areas involving work related learning and employability are now much stronger as they reflect on the difference made through IiC. The Head of PSHE and Careers said “I believe the IiC portfolio with its collection of evidence will stand the department in good stead for an Ofsted inspection. Overall, I think the whole process has been good for the department because it will lead to improvements in the planning, delivery, management and evaluation of CEIAG at Glebe. Finally, I believe that IiC is a good benchmark standard below which we at Glebe would not wish to fall.” The Transition Coordinator obtained a post-graduate Qualification in Careers Guidance 2 years ago and commented that jointly taking Glebe through IiC used the knowledge and skills learnt through her qualification.
Summing up, Keith Seed the Head Teacher says “for me, the importance of Investor in Careers status is the gentle pulling together of the threads of the web we call student support.
“The standard puts student support and guidance at the heart of the school at a time when progress and attainment can begin to dominate. It empowers teams of staff to work collaboratively and to reflect on why we do certain things and what impact they have. We think that they are good for our students but how do we know they are?
“We Believe We Can is our school motto and I firmly believe that careers education offers aspiration to our students. It can combine those aspirations with a very structured, incremental pathway towards them. Investor in Careers is the framework that enables staff and students to have that work recognised and celebrated.”
The Glebe School achieved IiC accreditation in July 2013.
Durham Sixth Form Centre is the largest post-16 school in the North East of England (and 1 of 6 nationally) with over 1,000 students on roll.
The Centre was opened in 1913 and was a former Girls’ Grammar School which was converted to Sixth Form accommodation in 1983. In addition to the original building, there is now a Science Block; a 210 seated Theatre; the Hunter Resource Centre; Visual Arts Centre and Freemans Quay Leisure Centre, which opened in September 2008. A new leased site was also opened in 2008, Riverdale, which is a short walk from the main building.
Students enrol at Durham Sixth Form Centre from over 40 different secondary schools from across County Durham, Sunderland and Northumberland.
Durham Sixth Form Centre’s percentage pass rates are well above the National Average and students make good progress. In August 2014, the Centre celebrated a 100% pass rate (one or more A-levels or equivalent); 99% pass rate (two or more A-levels or equivalent); 93% pass rate (three or more A-levels or equivalent).
The Centre operates according to values which they feel help to determine the culture, ethos and atmosphere. The values are:
• high quality, inspirational teaching and learning;
• excellent support, care and guidance;
• personal and professional integrity;
• ambition and progress for our students, our communities and ourselves.
Career Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)
The Centre has an excellent Careers team which was evident throughout the Investor in Careers (IiC) CEIAG Quality award recent re-assessment (see Quality below). Durham Sixth Form Centre’s Careers Information, Advice and Guidance team supports the students into higher education, employment preparation or chosen future pathways.
The Centre employs two fully qualified careers advisers (Level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development) who have distinct roles in providing IAG for those students wishing to progress to HE, and IAG to those students who wish to progress to employment or training as post 18 option. CPD for all Careers staff is identified through their appraisal system and they are all members of the CDI (Career Development Institute).
An external professional guidance provider is used from A-level results day through to the end of August to deal with the UCAS clearing and adjustment process. In addition the Centre has access to a trained cohort of sixth form staff, an Improving Progression CEIAG adviser from the local authority, the Youth progression team and advisers from Teesside University.
Prior to entry to Durham Sixth Form Centre, students have an initial assessment based on their individual ideas for the future and once enrolled they follow one of two programmes geared towards Higher Education or employment and training. However there is flexibility for students to change programmes. Both programmes have been audited against the’ Durham County Best Practice Criteria’.
The CEIAG programme is differentiated to meet student needs and increase aspirations. Students who are considering (for example) a career as a Doctor, Dentist, Vet, Social Worker or work within the NHS follow an excellent ‘So you Want to Be … ’ programme which equips them well for their HE application. Students with special educational needs are targeted for additional support, a range of which is on offer including physical support for disabled students attending university visits, and confidence building for students with mental health issues.
Students not considering HE or considering a Gap Year follow a taught programme which identifies their strengths, skills and academic abilities in conjunction with developing their employability skills.
The Centre has completed an audit of careers work within each subject area and there is strong dialogue between the Careers Department and subject staff. Students have access to good resources with software programmes accessible through the website and a good coverage of posters around the centre. They can have as many careers interviews as they require and are issued with an action plan outlining their next steps. Students can self-refer or may be targeted through pastoral leads. This was an action from the Centre’s previous Investor in Careers assessment ‘to increase the 1 to 1 opportunities available to students’ and it has been met to a very high standard.
Evaluation & Students’ Views
Evaluation is a strong point for the Centre, which has carried out numerous evaluations of the careers programme including staff, parent and student surveys plus the Local Authority ‘DASH’ survey. Survey Monkey is used to evaluate events and providers/exhibitors also provide feedback.
The Careers Education programme is audited using the County Durham schools and colleges Best Practice framework and the careers department self-evaluates the programme against the School Development Plan on a regular basis. One recent action taken as a result of evaluation has been the improvement in the tutorial time programme. ‘You Said – We Did’ is also used and information sheets are produced to demonstrate what students are saying. Following student requests more subject specific careers talks are planned for the future.
The Centre’s Careers programme is really appreciated by the students, who were all confident and enthusiastic about their futures. The students believe that they receive an excellent service ‘which has opened our minds and really made us think about the future’. The majority of students continue their studies into university, whilst some take up employment or apprenticeships, and others stay into Year 14 where they offer some Level 4 courses.
Strong links have been developed and maintained with employers, HE establishments, the voluntary sector and training providers. Excellent and innovative practice was demonstrated and particularly re the work with Durham Cathedral, James Cook Hospital and Durham Constabulary. Students were given the opportunity to gain experience with the employers and the students believed it considerably strengthened their UCAS applications.
Durham Sixth Form Centre first achieved the Investor in Careers CEIAG Quality Award in June 2011. The Centre successfully achieved reassessment in April 2015.
The IiC Assessor identified (in the 2015 re-assessment) that the Centre may wish to look at evaluating the impact of employers who deliver sessions/presentation for quality assurance purposes. He commented –
“This was an excellent submission for IiC reassessment. Durham Sixth Form Centre could be used as a template for effective CEIAG in a FE setting. I witnessed many examples of excellent and innovative practice. The infectious enthusiasm and commitment of the staff was very apparent throughout the assessment.”
Quotation re IiC
Why Petchey chose the Investor in Careers Award.
IiC Conference Presentation
Presentation on the benefits and the work Cotham School did to complete the Investor in Careers Award.
The benefits to the college in competing Investor in Careers.
Testimonial - Benefits of Investor in careers
Back in 2010 , when we decided to work towards our Investor in Careers accreditation, the first task was to complete a whole-school audit, to identify the careers activities that we were already doing in the school. The Investor in Careers process provided us with a framework to assess this and identify areas for development.
To achieve the award, you are asked to gather evidence to show that your school is meeting the required criteria. IiC provide examples of what the evidence might be, to help you through the process! The full-day inspection whilst rigorous, feels more like a celebration of careers provision in the school, with all members of the school community participating, including students, staff, parents, governors and local business links.
I would thoroughly recommend becoming accredited. Having achieved our IiC accreditation, I was able to give confident and thorough responses to questions asked by the Lead Inspector during our OFSTED inspection like, 'How does your school ensure quality in its careers guidance provision' and 'How is your school evaluating the impact of its careers guidance'.
[St. Peter's Catholic School in Guildford achieved 'outstanding' status at their 2013 OFSTED inspection, are accredited with the Investor in Careers award and won a CDI career development award in 2013. OFSTED commented 'Students are extremely well prepared for the next stage of their education, or for employment. They also benefit in all year groups from exceptionally strong advice and guidance about future education and career pathways.' Cathy Thomspon is on the CDI Register and has a Level 6 qualification in Careers Education and Guidance.]
Testimonial - Lifetime Achievement Award
Newstead Wood School are delighted to receive the Investor in Careers Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of our long term commitment to the career learning and development of our students.
Despite increasing financial challenges, we continue to value the vital role of the career, education, information and guidance, delivered in-house by a specialist team.
As a selective girls' grammar school there is inevitably a focus on academic achievement, nevertheless we place equal emphasis on the development of our students' life skills, recognising that it is our role to broaden their horizons, support their ambitions and equip them for a successful future career.
Successfully achieved IiC
Liskeard School & Community College have successfully gained re-accreditation of the prestigious Investor in Careers Award. This really is one of the highest accolades that an organisation can receive in this area and is definitely something the school is very proud of achieving.
Benefits of Investor in Careers
As a school we wanted to assess our Careers programme against national standards. The process itself was invaluable in that discussing matters with an external IiC link allowed us to reflect on our provision, identify gaps and plan for development.
Schools are often too introspective nowadays. IiC gave us the opportunity for self-reflection in a more objective manner and with a national perspective.
We found the process very rewarding and beneficial.
Award Winning Best Practice for CEIAG - Testimonial for IiC
I initially joined Bedford Academy as a pastoral leader in 2012 when it first opened and subsequently took on the additional role of Head of Careers. As the Academy grew I was offered the opportunity to focus solely on developing Careers Education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) across the Academy. Jonathan Dawe joined as a full time Careers Adviser in September 2013. This ensured that the Academy had two dedicated members of staff. With focus and backing from SLT we have been encouraged and supported to fully embed CEIAG into all aspects of Academy life.
On taking on responsibility for Careers, I was keen to pursue a quality award but had so many ideas to develop, resources to source and events that I wanted to plan that this was just another item on my 'to do list'.
What I liked immediately about IiC was the logical structure - commitment, organisation, delivery and evaluation. The three stages of the award helped me to organise my ideas, plans and priorities into an achievable plan, whilst adding detail and quality along the way.
It didn't feel that we were doing things just to get a quality award; going through the process acted as a tool to fully embed quality and effective CEIAG across the academy.
The process also allowed me to appreciate the effectiveness of evaluation and to give me the confidence to question the effectiveness of both the 1 to 1 careers guidance we offer and careers resources. I was also able to fine tune careers events and train and enthuse both teaching and support staff across the Academy.
As a result we have been asked to share our practice across other schools in the Borough and to offer support to newly appointed careers staff.
When we had our final assessment and pulled together everything we had done we had an abundance of evidence and good practice to share, along with an array of willing students and staff, not to mention the mountain of information and evidence that Victoria Horlock had ready and waiting when Ofsted met with her to discuss CEIAG!
We are obviously delighted to be nominated for the award, although I can appreciate why as CEIAG has been a real priory at the Academy and been given a high profile and considerable resource. My counterparts at other schools do sometimes look extremely envious when I tell them my role is 100% CEIAG and that we have a full-time Careers Adviser too!
Best Practice in CEIAG Award
Winning the Best Practice in CEIAG award was obviously a lovely surprise, it is nice that the commitment the Governors and SLT have made has been recognised and also that the innovative practices, creative events, resources and the enthusiasm shown by all our staff is evident too.
Why I value IiC
I was a teacher for thirty six glorious years in wonderful state schools up and down the country finishing my fabulous teaching career in the spiritual home of Investor in Careers down here in Cornwall. It all started down here in the last century but has always been reviewed and moved with the times and expectations. As a teacher it was fab to have an award that carried weight, focus, relevance and allowed schools to come together to share the school’s commitment. The award has always been designed as a rewarding journey for schools as partnerships to undertake constant evaluation and improvement. The award straight from the start involves the Headteacher, governing body, staff and a broad cross curricular leadership group. As the award moves through the stages it was and is really rewarding for schools to reflect on just how much CEIAG a school delivered and the depth of quality involved as well as the all-important relationships within and outside the school which are cultivated. Since 2010 I have been an Investor in Careers assessor and it has been immensely rewarding to see centres grow as they enjoy the IIC journey and each school has glowed in reflected glory and pleasure as the IIC award has brought them together to ever improve all they undertake It has been richly rewarding to be some small part in that development and to see whole school communities looking for an award and recognition for their commitment to CEIAG. 15th February 2016
Assessor since 1995
The benefits and value of IiC
IIC Testimonial Jeremy Cloke. The Investor in Careers Quality Award has been a key part of my work for a number of years, initially assessing while an Advanced Skills teacher in Devon schools and more recently as the Careers Education and Guidance Consultant for Devon and Torbay, working as part of Devon’s advisory support team. I currently chair three CEIAG practitioners’ groups in East/Mid Devon, Exeter and South/West Devon as an independent CEIAG consultant. While on secondment one of my key tasks was the rewriting of the IIC Award into three achievable steps for schools and colleges, an adjustment which was warmly received across the CEIAG community. I have assessed for Investor in Careers across the country, more recently in Somerset, Cornwall, Devon, London and Shropshire. I am a firm believer in the value of the IIC Quality Award for two key reasons:- CEIAG practitioners frequently work in isolation without the support of department colleagues; the very nature of this award demands a whole school approach while pinpointing the need for active strategic leadership and quality programme delivery; virtually every school or college I have assessed has stressed the role of the award in raising the profile of CEIAG to all staff and parents. Secondly CEIAG has faced a turbulent time recently, with the dilution of the statutory role and the lack of a structured model for continuous improvement. The Investor in Careers Award provides just that- staff often comment that they they find the clear framework of quality indicators one of the most useful working tools in CEIAG- one to which they continually refer. They use IiC as a benchmark for their current quality of provision and a useful assessor will support schools and colleges in identifying further areas for future development. In conclusion I have absolutely no hesitation in thoroughly recommending the Investor in Careers Quality Award to you as a national improvement model for CEIAG of absolute proven worth and reputation.