Welcome to the Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance (CEIAG) at Alde Valley Academy. Within these pages you will find information across CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) providing a useful resource for both students of Alde Valley Academy and their parents. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact our Careers Lead: Jamie Smith - - 01728 830570

Choosing GCSE Options

Making curriculum choices in Year 9 is a very important part of your time in school. It is an opportunity for you to take control of your education and shape the way you want your future to be. The options you choose for Years 10 and 11 will affect how you spend your time at school for the next two years. The choices you make may also influence what course or job you decide to do after Year 11.

You now have fantastic opportunities available to you that will help you get the future that you want. It is important to choose subjects that will interest you and motivate you. Spend some time thinking about what you enjoy doing, what keeps you interested in something and what makes you work hard. Avoid the trap of thinking that some subjects are only for boys and some are only for girls – this is not true. Remember that you are not alone in making these decisions, everyone in Year 9 is going through the same process. Teachers, friends, parents/carers, family and the schools Careers Leader and Careers Adviser will be able to guide advise and support you in this important decision-making process.

If you have a firm career idea, choose the subjects you need to meet the entry requirements for future opportunities that interest you, including higher education. If you don’t have a firm career idea, choose a broad spread of subjects that will give you plenty of choice post 16.

Teachers, friends, parents/carers, family and the schools Careers Leader and Careers Adviser will be able to guide advise and support you in this important decision-making process - you need good information and advice to help you choose well.

Good reasons for choosing an option:

  • You are good at the subject

  • You think you will enjoy the course

  • It fits your career ideas and plans

  • It goes well with your other choices

  • It helps to give you plenty of choice post 16

  • You think you might want to continue studying it post 16

  • Your research shows that it will interest you and motivate you to learn.

It’s not good to choose a course because:

  • Your friends have chosen it

  • You think it will be easy

  • You think it’s a good option for a boy/girl

  • Someone else thinks it is a good idea

  • You like the teacher you have now

  • You did not have time to research your options properly

Careers at Alde Valley Academy

Our Career Curriculum provides a career programme where all students are provided with the opportunity to prepare for their transition into the world of work. We aim to raise aspirations, improve social mobility, develop employability skills and enhance knowledge of the labour market whilst providing students with the access to all career pathways.

The academy assists students to make decisions at key transition points and supports their successful transition from school to further education and, subsequently, work. It also aims to develop the career management competencies that will equip students to manage their career pathways and opportunities throughout their lives.

Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) aims to help students develop their self-awareness and career management skills, in order to make informed decisions about their future career pathways.

The benefits of good career guidance include better motivation of students once they have clear goals for the future, leading to higher self-esteem and attainment.

In all years, students are given a wide range of opportunities to gain an insight into the world of work, meet employers and explore how inspiration, aspiration, exploration and action are the key phases required for effective career decisions. The Government’s current careers strategy is for every school and academy providing secondary education to use the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers provision. Alde Valley Careers programme is working towards all these benchmarks with the support of the Enterprise Adviser network.

The opportunities for students include workplace visits and employer talks, including those with our employment partners (The Hotel Folk, EDF) who also have an input in the school curriculum, events relating to specific employment sectors, work experience placements, and access to Further and Higher education providers, in addition to a well-structured PSHE programme.

The school works with the Enterprise Advisor Network, a national network that connects schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers to work together to create meaningful encounters with the world of work for young people. The network is based on evidence that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training, and can earn up to 18% more during their career.

Careers Lead: Jamie Smith - - 01728 830570

Mrs L Andrews - Careers Adviser

Personal Guidance

Students are entitled to have a careers guidance interview with Laura Andrews, our impartial Careers Guidance Adviser. Appointments can be arranged through Laura Andrews, Jamie Smith or tutors. Mentoring may also be available.

Careers Library

The Careers Library in the Learning Resource Centre has a range of resources available including prospectuses for colleges and universities and reference books about employment, further and higher education and gap years. We also have several software programmes to help students find out more about further education, higher education, employment, and training opportunities which include Unifrog. Students also have access to the online career platforms which can be used to develop skills and help prepare them for future study and career choices.

Raising Participation Age

The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training, requiring them to continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. This does not necessarily mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through:

  • full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider

  • full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training

  • an apprenticeship.


Destination measures provide clear and comparable information on the success of our school in helping all of our pupils take qualifications that offer them the best opportunity to continue in education or training. Key Stage 4 and 5 destination data is published on

The structure of the careers programme is informed by the Career Development Institute framework for careers, employability and enterprise education. We regularly assess the quality of our provision against the eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance through completion of the Compass+ tool to benchmark, manage, track and report on our school’s careers programme.

  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

The school regularly asks for feedback from students, parents, teachers and employers in the form of evaluation forms and questionnaires etc and through both verbal and written communication to help us measure the impact of our careers programme.


The school reviews our careers programme on an annual basis, and following feedback from key stakeholders, at the start of each academic year, with the next review of the information published due in September 2022.

Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines about what makes the best careers provision in schools and colleges. The Careers Programme is built around them. Our CEIAG programme is based around these 8 benchmarks.

1. A stable careers programme

Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.

2. Learning from labour market information

Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

3. Addressing the needs of each pupil

Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

5. Encounters with employers and employees

Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

6. Experiences of workplaces

Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

7. Encounters with further and higher education

All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

8. Personal guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

Student Entitlement

Careers Provision

In all years, students are given a wide range of opportunities to gain an insight into the world of work and investigate career pathways, following the key themes of our comprehensive and progressive Careers and Skills programme.

The careers programme provides students with information, education, advice and guidance and opportunities for them to have experiences to learn about themselves and develop knowledge, attitudes, and skills to prepare them for future learning and the world of work.

The school collaborates with the Enterprise Advisor Network, a national network that connects schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers to work together to create meaningful encounters with the world of work for young people. The network is based on evidence that a young person who has four or more meaningful encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training and can earn up to 22% more during their career.

There are dedicated sections on the Careers section of the school website for students, parents, teachers, and employers, providing information about the Careers & Skills programme.

There are opportunities for a range of education and training providers to access all students in Year 8 to 13 for the purpose of informing them about approved further and higher education qualifications and apprenticeships. Details of these access arrangements are set out in the Provider Access Policy.

Year 7: Knowing Yourself and Being Inspired

By beginning careers education early, students can make better informed decisions at transition stages and are more motivated to follow a particular pathway.

Students take part in tutor time activities for personal development and PSHE lessons, using Unifrog. Students are introduced to careers resources and informed how to use them and are encouraged to explore careers matched to their interests, strengths, and skills. Students have opportunities to explore the local labour market and to be inspired by engaging with a range of businesses, FE and HE. Students take part in Skills days which help prepare students for employability and support their development through self-awareness, self-determination, and improvement as a learner. Students have optional access of a personal guidance interview via a referral system.

Year 8: Aspiration and Ambition to Achieve

Students are encouraged to be ambitious, broaden their horizons explore their own aspirations. Students self-assess and build on personal strengths and skills through completion of Unifrog activities and are encouraged to think about what they might like to achieve after school. They are introduced to the world of work and how it is changing and consider how they can access and use Labour Market Information. Students use careers software and websites to investigate careers and pathways and have opportunities to engage with local businesses, FE and HE. Students have optional access of a personal guidance interview via a referral system.

Year 9: Exploration of Life, Work and Learning Options

We encourage students to re-assess their personal strengths, weaknesses and interests when considering a future career. A programme called Unifrog is used by all Year 9 pupils to assist with their career planning for KS4. The programme can be accessed at home by parents to see the suggestions or comments made that are specific to their child.

During the year, students will have opportunities to take part in many work-related activities and explore and research different careers to find out about subjects, qualifications, skills, and training needed and how their curriculum learning links to different careers. They are encouraged to use a wide range of careers resources to investigate different jobs and careers and LMI and what they mean in terms of lifestyle, budgeting and a good work/life balance and are encouraged to challenge stereotypes within the world of work. Students have opportunities to engage with a range of local business, FE and HE.

One of the key decisions in Year 9 is when the students are asked to choose their GCSE options. Students receive help and guidance so that they can make well informed and realistic decisions about which GCSEs to take and how their choices can enable their long-term career plans and goals. Students have optional access of a persona guidance interview via a referral system.

Year 10: Action by Preparing for the World of Work

Students prepare a CV and covering letter and take part in a variety of work-related learning and enterprise activities which develop skills relevant to the world of work. Students will take part in the work experience programme in which spend a week with an employer, learning about a particular job or area of work. Before the placement, students learn about workplace behaviour, expectations and responsibilities, health & safety in the workplace and the impact of their online appearance. During the placement, students will be able to find out what skills, qualities and attitudes employers look for when they are recruiting staff. Work experience is a valuable learning tool as it develops the skills and qualities needed for future employment and helps students make progress towards achieving their goals for the future. Students assess the learning from their work experience through a reflective, debrief session with their tutors.

Students are provided with a wide range of opportunities to engage with local businesses, FE and HE and explore possible career choices and can attend local careers fairs and take part in events held throughout the academic year which provide inspiration and broaden their awareness of opportunities available to them. There may also be the opportunity to take part in a mentoring programme.

Students will take part in tutor time activities which raise their awareness of the world of work and supports skills development and character building. This helps them build up a portfolio of evidence to support their CV and use in Sixth Form/college/job interviews. Students have access to a personal guidance interview via a referral system.

Year 11: Action for Future Pathways

Students are supported with post 16 choices and encouraged to consider all their options including further study and apprenticeships, so they have the confidence to take their next step in their learning and career.

During the autumn term, students attend information sessions, which are supported by a wide range of local employers, colleges, training providers and universities, to help them make informed decisions about how best they continue in education or training up to the age of 18 and are encouraged to attend open days. They are encouraged to use careers resources, including Unifrog, to find out more about specific courses and careers and consider how current trends in the labour market are relevant to their post 16 options and long-term plans.

Students have a personal guidance interview with Laura Andrews to set personal objectives and goals and help give them skills to manage their future education and career pathways, including agreeing an action plan and encouraging them to make contingency plans should GCSE results be better/worse than expected.

Additional programmes are available to students who require further support in making the transition to Post 16 choices. There may also be the opportunity to take part in a mentoring programme.

Students will take part in tutor time activities which raise their awareness of the world of work and supports skills development and character building. This helps them build up a portfolio of evidence to support their CV and use in Sixth Form/college/job interviews.

Parents & Carers

As a parent /carer you play a vital role in supporting our careers program, together we can support your son or daughter on their future career path. We are keen to work with you to develop the employability skills and qualities to set our young people up for life , we need to give your child the tools that they need to succeed in whichever walk of life that they wish to follow.

If you would like to contribute to the careers programme we would love to hear from you, please contact Jamie Smith - - 01728 830570

The following websites can be useful

Employers and Training Providers

If you are an employer or training provider and would like to share information with our students on courses and job opportunities please refer to our Access policy on the schools website.

If you are an employer and would be interested in working with the school to support our careers programme, please get in touch with Jamie Smith - - 01728 830570

Employability Sessions

Meet the Employer Workshop

Work Experience


Work Place Visits

Employer talks



An apprenticeship is a job. You work for an employer and learn skills and knowledge whilst also being trained in the skills employers want. You will learn at a pace that suits you and are supported by a mentor.

Across the country there are many types of apprenticeship, covering a wide variety of occupations from surveying to accountancy to veterinary nursing. In Norfolk alone there are 250 types of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships can take between one and six years, depending on the level of apprenticeship, your ability and the industry sector you are working in.

The minimum salary for an apprentice is £4.30 per hour as at April 2021. This applies to all apprentices aged under 19 or to those in the first year of their apprenticeship. However, research has shown that many apprentices are earning significantly more than this.

Apprentices are expected to be employed and paid for at least 30 hours per week for a minimum of one year.


Most of your training will take place on the job, with the remainder usually taking place at a local college or work-based training provider. You may be attending your off-the-job training on day release or possibly over a number of days in a block which could be at a local or national training centre.

Some apprenticeships also require you to complete an assessment at the end of the programme to assess your ability and competence in your job role.

Apprenticeship Destinations

Student leavers from Alde Valley Academy have, in recent years, secured apprenticeships in the following industries:

Accountancy, Construction Trades, Equine, Food Production, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Rail, Sport, Automotive, Construction Management, Estate Agency, Graphic Design, Hospitality, Nuclear Energy, Retail, Business Administration, Engineering, Finance, Hair & Beauty, Human Resources, Optical, Social Care

Careers & Labour Market Information

Understanding Labour Market Information (LMI) is becoming more and more important as the world changes, so students need to be aware of where different job roles are needed around the country and what types of jobs may need more people in the future. Below is information on what labour market information actually means.

LMI means finding out the following things about different job roles or career pathways:

  • What do people actually do in this job / industry?

  • How many people work in this job / industry?

  • How much do people get paid in this job / industry?

  • What qualifications do I need to do this job?

  • What skills or qualities do I need to do this job?

  • What are the typical working hours for this job?

  • What percentage of men / women work in this job / industry?

  • Where can this job / industry take me in the future?

  • Where are these jobs located around the country?

  • How many of these jobs will there be in the future?

Information for Teachers & Tutors

KS3 & KS4 Careers & Skills programme at Alde Valley Academy – information for teachers and tutors Careers Leader – Jamie Smith - - 01728 830570

Young people face lots of choice about their future careers. Many will become employed in jobs which do not yet exist, and others will adjust to portfolio careers, changing jobs and career direction throughout their working lives.

Making the decision on what to do when they leave education is a daunting one and for which they will require a great deal of support, which is delivered through the school’s careers programme.

Our schools planned careers programmes will help students understand and develop the key skills they need to go forward and into work by providing them with opportunities to learn about themselves, different careers and the routes into these and begin the process of choosing a career path.

The Government’s Careers Strategy (Dec 2017) and the latest statutory guidance (July 2021) sets out a long-term plan to build a world class careers system that will help young people choose the career that is right for them. The structure of the school’s careers programme is informed by the Career Development Institute framework, which sets out the skills people need to have positive careers; grow throughout life, explore possibilities, manage career, create opportunities, balance life and work, and see the big picture.

We regularly assess the quality of our provision against the 8 Gatsby benchmarks:

  1. A stable careers programme

  2. Learning from career and labour market information

  3. Addressing the needs of each student

  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

Young people today need a positive and resilient mind-set, the ability to network, seize opportunities, step outside their comfort zone and the courage to change their mind if an intended work role is no longer available or suitable. Faced with complex choices, students have access to a personal guidance interview so they can discuss their choices on an individual basis and are supported to develop the skills and knowledge to manage their future careers

The school’s careers programme will promote equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion, in the best interests of the students to whom it is given.

Students are entitled to receive:

Clear information, advice and guidance about all options available

  • Help to decide what to do when they finish their course/education, including further learning, training or employment

  • A programme of careers guidance which helps them to develop skills and knowledge to make choices and the transition to work and learning

  • The opportunity to be involved in making decisions about things that affect their learning

  • An opportunity to learn about the world of work


As part of the school’s tutor programme, some careers activities are delivered during regular tutor-led sessions.


Careers guidance needs to happen in the classroom, not just in distinct careers activities. To help achieve this, there is a nominated Careers Champion in each faculty area. Some of the methods that can be used include:

  • Be a role model – talk to your students about your career journey, your other jobs, voluntary work, how you learned from your successes and mistakes

  • Inviting external organisations into school to support lessons

  • Discuss how the knowledge and skills students are developing are used in the workplace

  • Promoting transferable skills such as team working and communications skills

  • Discussing career aspirations in class and what careers using a particular subject might be like

  • Setting work in real life scenarios to expand students’ familiarity with different jobs and careers

  • Creating subject specific careers displays in curriculum areas

This will help the school meet Gatsby benchmark 4, ‘linking curriculum learning to careers’. There are numerous benefits for our students:

  • Time: Employer-led curriculum learning forms part of the planned timetable and doesn’t take pupils away from lessons.

  • New ideas: Opportunity to discuss topics with external professionals who use subjects practically on a daily basis, exchanging ideas and expertise.

  • New angles: Use real life examples to get across concepts students find difficult to grasp.

  • Build long term resources: Develop the relationship into a regular experience.

  • Enrichment: Add an extra element to deepen curriculum learning.

  • New inspiration: You could be providing inspiration that changes the direction of a student’s life.

  • Motivation: Students see that subjects are relevant to the real world – and, therefore, why it’s important to study them.

Teachers are able to use their own acquaintances or ask Jamie Smith, Careers Leader, for support finding relevant contacts.

Higher Education

What is Higher Education

Higher education (HE) describes the range of courses you can take - such as degrees, Foundation Degrees, Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and Diplomas of Higher Education (Diploma HE) - after you have completed your Level 3 course such as A Levels, BTEC National qualification or other Level 3 course.

Higher education is not just offered at universities. There are many opportunities to study at this level at local colleges too, as well as distance learning from the Open University and other providers. You may also like to consider taking a higher education course abroad. There are also new opportunities to study for a degree whilst working through Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.

Higher Education Information

University Guidance - On Demand Videos for Students

These videos aim to support students who are considering university to make informed future decisions. They feature guest speakers from a range of different universities, who are always experts in the subject they are speaking about.

They are always independent, impartial, and under one hour to suit timetabling requirements. They include the general content students will find useful – like how to write personal statements, student finance, UCAS applications and more.

Further Education

What is Further Education?

Further Education (FE) refers to educational choices made after your 16th birthday. It covers all qualifications lower than a degree. Everyone has to study FE until they are 18.

You can choose to:-

  • Study full-time at sixth form or college or with another provider (further education)

  • Start an apprenticeship or traineeship

  • Study a T-Level

  • Work or volunteer full-time with part-time study or training

Part-Time Employment

Part-time employment is a great way to experience the world of work, however school work should come first and there are several rules about children in paid and voluntary employment. Both National Legislation and Suffolk County Council Byelaws state that:


During term time there is a maximum of 12 hours a week that any child may work (this includes weekends.)

It is the employer’s responsibility to register the child with the Local Authority where the child is intending to work. An application form will require the parents/carers signature and declaration of their child’s fitness to work. The declaration also confirms that the parents have been consulted regarding the risk assessment.

Forms can be downloaded from Suffolk County Council website



Careerometer is the tool that lets you compare the average wages and working hours of up to two jobs in England.

How to use the careerometer

Simply type in the first career that you think you might be interested in and select from the drop down list, then add your second and third choices to see the comparison. When you’ve finished comparing wages and job opportunities – visit Prospects, National Careers Service or iCould for further information.

This publication provides facts, context and explanations from careers experts to help answer the important questions that we have about graduate prospects after university. It also provides an excellent insight into employability and labour market trends.

iCould provides career inspiration and information for young people. Shows what is possible in work and offer different ways to think about careers through free access to over 1000 personal video stories, detailed job information, plus practical tips, insight and advice.

SACU offers a great independent & impartial source of careers information and a range of tools that will allow you to explore courses, careers, labour market information and much much more.

Web Resources

Further Education / Training Providers

Higher Education


Careers Information

A range of websites to explore skills development, employability and careers.

Sector Organisations

Volunteering and Social Action