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Colleges Benchmark Report

19 Feb 2020

State of the Nation 2019 set out the progress that England’s schools and colleges have made towards meeting the eight Gatsby Benchmarks for good career guidance.

Over the past year, progress has been made on every dimension of careers provision and over 3,800 state-funded schools and colleges have now completed Compass.

The detailed Compass results for colleges are reported for the first time this year.


Increasing numbers of colleges are engaged in the programme and using the Compass digital platform

• Compass for Colleges was launched in September 2018.

• In 2017/18, 135 colleges completed Compass. In 2018/19, 262 post-16 providers completed the new version including 154 Further Education colleges, 51 Sixth form colleges and 34 16-19 Academy converters and Free schools.

• The level of engagement suggests that the Gatsby Benchmarks are a useful self-improvement tool for colleges as well as schools.


Careers provision in colleges is improving

• Over half of Further Education (FE) colleges are fully achieving Benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum learning to careers) and Benchmark 6 (Experiences of workplaces).

• Over half of Sixth form colleges and 16-19 Academies and Free schools are fully achieving Benchmark 2 (Learning from career and labour market information).

• 81% of FE colleges are providing an encounter for all or most learners every year (Benchmark 5), compared to 67% in 2017/18.

• 58% of FE colleges are providing all or most learners with experiences of the workplaces (Benchmark 6), compared to 52% in 2017/18.

• Progress across all colleges is stronger in areas covered by the Enterprise Adviser Network and Careers Hubs where networks between colleges and with other education providers and employers are growing.

Read the full findings

Find out more about the progress being made in colleges across England.

Download the report