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Career Programme and Policy

The Commonweal School believes that good careers education goes hand in hand with students achieving academic success and achieving their potential.  The landscape of education, training and employment opportunities that students need to navigate is considered more complex and challenging than previous years which is why Commonweal School is committed to providing an outstanding careers programme that helps every student to make the right choices for their progression.  We strive to make the most of all our students’ motivations, skills and talents and endeavour to help parents support their child in the decision-making stages.

Commonweal supports students from year 7 – 13, helping students identify and build experiences, skills and behaviours essential for a successful working future. We provide students access to differentiated, impartial and independent information and guidance in various forms about the range of training options available post 14 and16 as well as insight into up to date labour market information and pathways to specific careers.  Parents are always welcome to join one to one careers sessions with their child when they take place.  By helping students with decisions at crucial stages, informing them of all their training options and introducing them to the world of work, we aim to prepare them for the world of work whatever pathway they choose.

At Commonweal, we have a whole school approach to careers with all staff supporting the delivery of careers education through the pastoral system and within curriculum areas. In addition, we have a designated ‘Futures team’ who co-ordinate and monitor the delivery of the Careers programme.  The Careers Programme at the school is managed by the Careers Leader Lottie O’Brien who is Head of Global Learning.

Address: The Mall, Old Town, Swindon SN1 4JE
Tel: 01793 612727

The Careers Section of the Commonweal website is split into three separate areas:

  • Students – provides information on the careers programme, with links to a range of resources and information to help students make informed decisions.
  • Parents – gives an overview of the careers programme activities which their child will take part in during their time at Commonweal, and how to help and support their child.
  • Employers and Training Providers – gives details on how employers and training providers can work with the school and support the school with careers activities.

Commonweal Careers Policy

Click here to view the school’s updated draft Careers Policy which is being presented to the governors for ratification in term 3.  The policy provides information on the aims and objectives of Commonweal’s Career Programme, what students can expect from the programme and how the programme is evaluated.

Futures Days

In July 2019 Commonweal launched its newly updated futures’ days. These are three days at the end of the school year that are dedicated to allowing young people to gain an insight into what different jobs are like. Our aim was to help young people to see that the skills and qualifications they gain from school will directly help them on their journey to the career they want.

  • Year 7 had visits from a motivational speaker, a rocket engine company and Bristol zoo.
  • Year 8 experienced the Nationwide Hackathon event in which they had to practice teamworking skills to design facial recognition applications.
  • Year 9 were involved in workshops with six different companies from across the creative design and business / finance industries.
  • Year 10 had two days. The first allowed them to opt into either health and social care or engineering. From there they encountered various employers including BMW Mini, Thames Water and Nationwide.
  • On day two the year 10 students were involved in mock interviews with staff from Nationwide, an experience which most found nerve-wracking but incredibly useful.
  • Key stage 4 and 5 then attended a careers fair in which they had the chance to speak with 33 local employers, colleges and universities about the incredible opportunities available to young people.

Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. The Gatsby Benchmarks have a key role in:

  • raising young people’s aspirations and promoting access to all career pathways.
  • enabling all young people to develop the skills and outlook they need to achieve career wellbeing, including adaptability and resilience.
  • underpinning the Department for Education guidance to schools on meeting their statutory responsibility for careers guidance.

Commonweal School uses these Gatsby Benchmarks to monitor its effectiveness in achieving outstanding careers provision. The eight benchmarks are:

BM1 – A stable careers programme
BM2 – Learning from career & labour market information
BM3 – Addressing the needs of each pupil
BM4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers
BM5 – Encounters with employers and employees
BM6 – Experiences of workplace
BM7 – Encounters with further and higher education
BM8 – Personal guidance

Evaluating and measuring impact

The careers programme will be evaluated through:

  • Surveys to students, parents / carers, teachers at the end of the academic year.
  • Completion of an evaluation form by employers who take part in careers activities, and / or attend the careers fair.
  • Numbers of students booking careers appointments with the Careers Team.
  • Numbers of students attending careers interviews, and any follow up sessions.
  • Collating data on destinations.
  • An annual report / presentation to the Governing Body.
  • In line with statutory requirements, regular reviews of the careers programme by the Commonweal’s nominated Careers Leader.
  • Having a Student Careers Ambassador group, which will support the review of the careers programme, feed in ideas from students and help to ensure that the profile of the careers programme is raised amongst students.


Information on the Commonweal School careers pages will be reviewed annually or earlier if requested by the Headteacher.