Benchmark 7: Encounters with further and higher education

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

  • By the age of 16, every student should have had a meaningful encounter2 with providers of the full range of educational opportunities, including sixth forms, colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers. This should include the opportunity to meet both staff and students.
  • By the age of 18, all students who are considering applying for university should have had at least two visits to universities to meet staff and students.
  • By the age of 18, or before the end of their programme of study, every student should have had a meaningful encounter with a range of providers of learning and training that may form the next stage of their career. This should include, as appropriate, further education colleges, higher education and apprenticeship and training providers. This should include the opportunity to meet both staff and students.
What is a meaningful encounter?

Meaningful encounters with learning or training providers could include off-site visits or one-to-one conversations with lecturers, other staff or current students. Careers advisers can help to identify opportunities that should be highlighted to individual students.

If a student is intending to go to University should encounters relating to other options also be provided?

All students, whatever their ability, should understand the full range of options available to help them make informed decisions at age 16 and 18. This should include the full range of qualifications and places to learn available.

What if a student isn’t considering University?

It’s important that students are aware of all options and are encouraged to consider aspiration options if appropriate, including University or alternative options.

How can I offer meaningful encounters with an Independent Training Provider?

An Independent Training Provider could be any institution providing a recognised pathway into work or training and can include apprenticeships, pre-employment basic level training or recognised vocational training.

What is our legal duty on providing access to providers of technical education and apprenticeships?

The government introduced a new legal duty from January 2018 which requires all maintained schools and academies to ensure there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to access all pupils for the purposes of informing them about approved technical education qualifications. Schools are required to publish a Provider Access Policy on their websites setting out when and how providers can access students through the year.

What does a successful apprenticeship encounter look like?

Investors in People recently partnered with the Association of Apprentices in their mission to help hundreds of employers and training providers with their apprenticeship offers, prioritising apprentices’ needs from work skills to wellbeing and providing advice, news, and the opportunity to connect amongst peers.

In the build-up to their event ‘How do we give every apprentice the best chance of success?’, they spoke to Skills Development Co-Ordinator Hannah Payne and Apprentice Developer Christa Bridges about what they think a successful apprenticeship looks like.

In this article they cover topics like business case, wellbeing, objective setting and management. Give the article a read and you can watch the event if you scroll to the bottom of the article.

Resources to help achieve this benchmark:

ResourceDescriptionLinks & Downloads
1CEC Resource DirectoryCEC Gatsby Benchmark 7 overview and links to resourcesCEC Gatsby Benchmark 7 overview and link to resourcesCEC Resource Directory
2Provider Access PolicyAll schools should have an up to date provider access policy/statement on their website. This is a template that can be used.To follow
3Making it Meaningful ChecklistThis checklist is designed to help Career Leaders ensure each encounter or experience is meaningful for all participants and will ensure quality and consistency to the activity. The checklist is specifically for use in careers activities involving an employer or FE/HE provider.Download
4Encounters with further and higher education: Practical ideas from schools and colleges for achieving Gatsby Benchmark 7This report provides practical insights from Careers Leaders about how to deliver encounters with further and higher education for young people in secondary schools, colleges and special schools.Download
5Hello Future video resourcesE-Learning Presentations helping students learn more about higher education.Visit website
6Cumbria Career Hub - National Apprenticeship Week ResourcesA suite of 8 documents to help discussions around ApprenticeshipsDownload
7Cumbria Career Hub - National Apprenticeship Week Resources KS3 - KS5Resources specifically designed to assist with Apprenticeship delivery at KS3, KS4 and KS5Download KS3 Download KS4 Download KS5

Subscribe & be updated

Sign up to our newsletter for information on news, events and more.