We deliver a Careers programme, which reflects the recommendations of the Gatsby report and the Good Career Guidance 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.

The 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

Since 2014 young people are expected to stay in some form of education until they are 18 years old.  Guidance is in place to reduce the number of students nationally who leave school at 16 with no firm plans.  There are 3 options available:

  1. Staying on at school/college to complete A levels or other full time study
  2. Apprenticeship
  3. Attending a part-time college course and working part-time

The careers support programme at Upper Wharfedale School focuses on encouraging each student to consider a wide range of career pathways and provides the support to make their goals a reality.

We achieve this by offering students timely independent careers guidance and the opportunity to meet a wide range of professionals.  Guest speakers from further education and industry as well as ex-students regularly provide students with an in-sight into the working world.  An independent careers advisor visits school to provide one to one careers interviews and school governors and local employers conduct mock interviews with every Year 10 student.

Our provision against the Gatsby benchmarks is measured termly using Compass +

Contact Us

Your can contact our Careers Leader, Mr J Mitton using the contact us page.

The school governor responsible for Careers is Mrs Claire Willis.

The Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

As part of the taught curriculum, students in Key Stage 3 follow the PSHCE programme, which includes units of work that focus on Careers Education.

By the end of Stage 3 all students will have:

  • A better understanding of their strengths, achievements and weaknesses and support to evaluate how these might inform future choices in learning and work.
  • A better understanding of the full range of 14-19 opportunities for progression.
  • An understanding of some of the qualities, attitudes and skills needed for employability.
  • Used online careers resources to research information about opportunities and apply their findings to help to make informed choices for Key Stage 4 Options.
  • Received appropriate advice and guidance on Key Stage 4 options, and prepared an individual learning plan that sets broad learning goals for the 14-19 phase.

By the end of stage 4, all students will have:

  • Enhanced their self-knowledge, career management and employability skills.
  • Used ICT software and other sources of advice to investigate and explore future choices and progression routes.
  • Been given direct access to employers, colleges, Sixth Forms and training providers.
  • Been given guidance to help identify a range of post-16 options and careers advice and support networks that they can use to plan and negotiate their career pathways.
  • Been provided with the resources to complete the post-16 application procedures, including CVs, personal statements, and preparation for interview.
  • Produced a challenging but realistic plan for their future learning and work, by relating their abilities, attributes and achievements to the goals they have set themselves.

Start – Online Careers Programme

As part of our commitment to provide an outstanding careers programme which prepares students for a rapidly changing world, we are delighted to announce that we use an innovative resource called Start.

Students will be asked to create their own account for Start at school and will spend time in PSHCE using the resource.

As students customise their profile on Start with details about their skills, qualities, interests and work preferences, Start further personalises this information, helping them to navigate the thousands of jobs, courses, providers and opportunities available.

There are four main sections for students and parents to use:

World of Work

  • getting inspired
  • researching industries, jobs and employers
  • learning about skills that employers value
  • knowing how to stand out from the crowd

What to Study

  • researching pathways and qualification options
  • exploring by subject or qualifications
  • finding subjects or careers that suit their learning style

Where to Study

  • researching destinations by courses and subjects


  • explaining the value of work experience
  • learning how to write a CV or covering letter
  • preparing for job interviews
  • knowing what employers look for
  • effectively evidencing and demonstrating skills

We are encouraging parents to use Start at home as well with students so please find below a link to a video which explains how Start works and information to help parents register as well so you are also able to use the online resource.

Start Profile

To register go to Start Profile website above and click Register.
We hope that students and parents will enjoy using Start this year and that you will find it an interesting and valuable resource to use when discussing future career plans and options.

National Careers Service

Provide information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.


Whatever job or course you’re aiming for, find out about the different post-16 qualifications you can take to get you there.

A guide to apprenticeships

Find out what it’s like to be an apprentice – the opportunities, benefits and just how far an apprenticeship can take you in the future.

Careers Advice for Parents (Creating better futures)

Professional help about advising your teen, helping them with choosing their career path and sources of information.

The Apprenticeship Guide

The definitive guide to apprenticeships.  Help to choose an apprenticeship by industry sector, school subject or interest.


Looking for that perfect career?  Guidance for students to make the right choice.  Match your skills and personality to 400+ job profiles.

Career Pilot

Plan your study & work.  Your choices at 14, 16 and 18, routes to different qualifications and job sectors. Career tools to help you decide.

Success At School

Gives clear and comprehensive information about a range of Career Zones (sectors), in an easy to access format. Students can create a profile to help to collate useful information. ’60 second interviews’ giving a profile of professionals, provide a useful insight into specific careers.

How 2 Become

Offers detailed advice on how to access a range of sectors. Also offers the purchase of resources, compiled in conjunction with professionals working in these fields, designed to enable you to achieve your dream career or course.

Fast Tomato

An interactive careers website to help with ‘careers matching’ programme to help with career choice (log in for a free guest pass).

Careers Box

Video-based job profile information and skills explorer tool.

I Could

Aims to help you to make the most of your potential by showing how others have used theirs, take the ‘Buzz’ personality profile quiz.

Not Going To Uni

Opportunities that exist outside of the university.

The Russell Group

Represents 24 leading universities, source of careers information & advice including ‘informed choices’ a downloadable guide to making post 16 choices.

My Career Springboard

Springboard is for students. It is divided into two main sections: the Career Test and the Career Exploration Tool. In tandem, these two interactive tools allow students to find some career inspiration and gain insight into their different career options.

What is a Traineeship?

Traineeship is an education and training programme which includes quality work experience. Traineeships are for young people who would like a job or apprenticeship but need help to get the knowledge, skills and experience employers are looking for. Traineeships are organised by training providers and can last up to six months.

How to find a Traineeship

In order to search for a Traineeship:

  • Register for Traineeship opportunities which will be advertised on Find a traineeship 
  • This Factsheet outlines the eligibility criteria and whether a Traineeship is the right route for learners

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job with training, where young people earn whilst they work 

towards a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships can take between 1 and 5 years to complete, depending on the level of qualification and the job involved. Apprenticeships are available in over 1500 job roles and over 500 sectors.

What can an Apprenticeship lead to?

Many employers consider apprenticeships to be a long term investment in an employee. Often an apprenticeship can lead to a permanent job with the same employer, or give better opportunities when applying elsewhere for a permanent job. Sometimes apprenticeships can be extended allowing the young person to continue working and studying for a higher level apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships are offered at four levels:

What is an Intermediate Apprenticeship?

Intermediate apprenticeships are the first level of apprenticeships. Intermediate apprenticeships are available at level two in all sorts of areas and industries. From an intermediate apprenticeship, learners might go on to do an advanced apprenticeship or secure a related job.
The entry requirements for intermediate apprenticeships vary depending on the training provider and employer.

What is an Advanced Apprenticeship?

An advanced apprenticeship enables learners to develop work based skills in a particular job or sector at level three. That’s why people with A Levels sometimes choose this route, even though both are level three qualifications! Many advanced apprenticeships are highly competitive and many applicants will have already completed A Levels or other level three qualifications.
For an advanced apprenticeship learners will require at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C with, ideally, English and maths. Some employers will also prefer Level 3 qualifications e.g. A’ Levels, BTEC.
It may be possible gain entry to an apprenticeship with lower grades, as a training provider might assess a candidate’s general ability as being of the right level to get started.

Higher Level including Degree Apprenticeships

What is a Higher Apprenticeship?

Higher apprenticeships, sometimes referred to as school leaver programmes offer the opportunity to combine working while studying for a work based academic or vocational high-level qualification whilst earning a salary.
Higher and degree apprenticeships include a range of qualifications at a range of levels from level four to level seven, that is from the equivalent of a foundation degree to a bachelor’s degree and even master’s degree level in some sectors.
There are over 40 occupations currently covered (with more in development) with sectors ranging from legal services and banking to digital and aerospace.

Entry requirements

To get onto a Higher Apprenticeship candidates will need to have achieved 5 good GCSES (grades A*-C) and good post 16 results at level three such as A Levels, BTEC or OCR Cambridge National, NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Apprenticeship.


  • Apprentices will be paid at least the national minimum wage but most employers offer more than this. Businesses looking for top apprentices know that they need to offer a competitive salary.
  • Higher apprentices at Virgin Media currently start off on £17,500 per year, increasing to £21,000 based on good progress.
  • National Grid pays its higher apprentices a starting salary of £23,500 per year.

See this higher apprenticeship clip for further information.

What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships are the latest addition to the higher apprenticeship programme. Applicants should usually have, or expect to have, level three qualifications such as A levels or have undertaken an advanced apprenticeship.
These programmes are being developed by employers, universities, and professional bodies working in partnership. They offer students the opportunity to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their apprenticeship.

Study options

Degree apprenticeships combine working with university studying part-time. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme, and spend part of their time at university or doing distance learning and the rest with their employer. This can be on a day-to-day basis or in blocks of time, depending on the programme and requirements of the employer.


  • Engineering degree apprentices at Jaguar Landrover currently start off on £18,550 per year. Salaries increase every six months subject to meeting expectations, with apprentices expected to earn over £35,500 per year
  • Fujitsu offer Defence and National Security degree apprenticeships with a minimum starting salary of £17,000 per year alongside a structured annual pay rise according to performance and a bonus upon completion of the degree (higher if a ‘first’ is achieved)
  • All apprentices will be paid at least the national minimum wage*.
  • National Minimum Wage for apprentices is reviewed annually and will rise on 1st October 2016 and thereafter in April to fall in line with the National Living Wage.

Progression Opportunities

Businesses recruit apprentices as higher and degree apprentices because they understand the need to invest in a highly-skilled workforce. An apprentice’s future employment prospects will depend on the employer and the contract. Many higher and degree apprenticeship schemes are designed to develop the leaders and managers of the future. The experiences gained as an apprentice can provide a springboard towards promotions and higher level opportunities.
On completion, 90% of apprentices stay in employment, with 71% staying with the same employer. A quarter received a promotion within 12 months.*
* Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Apprentice survey, 2014

Search for a Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship

For further information about apprenticeships including higher level and degree apprenticeships take a look at the National Careers Service and UCAS websites.

Useful websites:

What is Enterprise?

Young People with enterprise and entrepreneurial skills are viewed favourably when applying for courses and jobs, because they will be able to spot gaps in the market and innovate, and because they are commercially minded. They can showcase their strengths in this area by demonstrating a capacity for independent work and original thinking, as well as sound business sense and an interest in the market that their potential employer operates in. Students can build their enterprise skills but taking part in existing schemes.

Useful links and websites:

What is Further Education?

Further education – or abbreviated to FE – includes any study after secondary education that’s not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree).

FE – further education – colleges offer a much wider range of courses than at sixth form colleges or schools, ranging from basic English and maths to Higher National Diplomas (HNDs). Most do offer A-levels, the same as sixth form colleges and schools, but also have a huge number of other qualifications available in different subjects and at different levels.

Level 1 qualifications are fairly basic, building confidence and providing an introduction to a subject, industry or area of work. They include, for example, NVQ Level 1, BTEC Introductory Certificates and OCR Nationals which are roughly equivalent to GCSEs gained at grades 3 to 1. You would need qualifications at this level before progressing to level 2.

Level 2 qualifications (eg. NVQ level 2 and BTEC First) give a deeper understanding of a subject or area of work and are roughly equivalent to GCSEs at grades 9 to 4. Many employers like young people to have a Level 2 qualification as a minimum.

Level 3 qualifications include A and AS-levels, NVQ Level 3, BTEC Nationals, Advanced and Progression Diplomas. This level is almost always required for entry to university and many employers will be looking for Level 3 in applicants for more technical or supervisory roles.

Levels 4 to 8 may also be available in your local college but are classed as ‘higher’ rather than ‘further’ education. They include Foundation degrees, HND/HNC courses, Honours degrees and postgraduate or professional qualifications at a high level.

Not all colleges, however, will offer the same variety of subjects and courses, so it’s very important to check carefully what is available locally.

FE / further education funding

Many courses in reading, writing and basic maths are free, and you may not have to pay for tuition if you’re under 24 and studying for your first qualification equivalent to GCSE or A-level.

FE / further education students may be able to get help with the costs of:

  • Their course
  • Their day-to-day living costs
  • Childcare for any dependents

Depending on your circumstances and the subject you’re studying, you may qualify for Discretionary Learner Support

Useful links and websites:

What is Higher Education?

UK higher education (HE) offers a diverse range of courses and qualifications, such as first degrees, Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), and foundation degrees. It includes any qualification at Level 4 and above. A BA or BSc (Hons) degree is a Level 6 qualification

Going to university is a great way to expand your knowledge, meet new people, and enjoy new experiences. This page contains the key information you need to decide whether university is right for you

Useful links and websites:

Year groupTopics covered
Year 7
  • What are my strengths and preferences, and how can I continue to improve?
  • What would I like to do in the future? What will I need to do if I want to make this happen? Create a Me Map + Use National Careers Service website – Direct Gov.
  • How is a job different to a career?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to key questions relating to careers? Plan and present a debate
  • How have I changed since primary school? Reflection.
  • What are my attitudes and experiences towards my new school?
Year 8
  • What job would I like to do in the future, and what would this job involve? Use Start website and iCould website.
  • What is a CV? Create own CV.
  • Research your ideal career – present to the class. Peer feedback.
Year 9
  • What would I like to do in the future, and what subjects, skills and qualities will I need to achieve this goal? With a focus on options subjects + use Start website and iCould website.
  • What options do I have after GCSEs?
  • Research and present information about future career pathway. Explain what you would like to do in the future (after leaving UWS). Where you would like to study this, and what job this could lead to. Peer feedback.

Monitoring of Careers Guidance Provision and measuring impact

Provision is monitored through a range of processes including:

  • Careers activity observations (PSHCE lessons)
  • Feedback discussions with focus groups of students
  • Feedback from parents/carers, teachers and employers as part of the evaluation process
  • Evidence in careers booklets (Years 7-9)
  • Examination of progression routes/student destinations over time
  • NEET figures
  • Analysis of student destinations compared against end of KS4 outcomes

Assessment of student progress

Assessment is aligned to our School’s teaching, learning and assessment policy. There are Systems in place to effectively track students’ progress through our Careers Guidance provision.

Assessment in Careers Guidance includes opportunities for:

Assessment for Learning (formative assessment) – regular assessment of students’ progress against the intended learning outcomes for each age group as detailed above. This will ensure students are making expected progress, we will provide feedback for students on how to improve, and will assist students in planning for subsequent careers guidance activities.  Working towards units of work in the careers education programme in PSHCE.