Guide for new Careers Leaders in schools

We have created this guide to help you make a successful start as a Careers Leader and help your school meet their statutory obligations. It provides you with essential information, helpful resources, practical tools and sign-posts further support.

Since October 2015, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation has been running a pilot in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership area, where schools and colleges, including a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school, successfully improved their performance against the Gatsby Benchmarks over two years.

This guide draws together the main learnings of the North East pilot, it features our extensive research into 'what works' in careers and enterprise education and first-hand experiences of over 2,000 practitioners in schools in our Enterprise Adviser Network.


There are six easy to use sections that address the main questions you might have when starting in this role:

Step One

Step one

What is a Careers Leader?

Understand the role and how to get started as a Careers Leader.

View step one »

Step Two

Step two

What's expected of you?

Explore the key deliverables expected of the Careers Leader, and find out more about the Gatsby Benchmarks.

View step two »

Step Three

Step three

How is my school performing?

Audit your school’s performance using our Compass tool and compare your results.

View step three »

Step Four

Step four

Who can help me in my school?

Establish who can help you in your school and how to start building your network.

View step four »

Step five

Step Five

What should I prioritise?

Review our recommended list of priorities to help you get started.

View step five »

Step Six

Step six

Where can I find support?

Take a look at our list of organisations that you may find useful as you start in your role.

View step six »