Daubeney Challenger Academy | Head teacher’s Blog 14.10.18
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Head teacher’s Blog 14.10.18

Head teacher’s Blog 14.10.18

Early next week, as part of our bespoke Daubeney Academy careers plan, all parents of students at our school will be receiving a letter that invites them to contribute in a positive manner to our students’ careers education. In the letter, I am asking for any parents who feel that their own experiences in the workplace would be of benefit to our students and who would be willing to offer guidance to our young people about the next stages of their education, employment, self-employment or training to get in touch me directly. In particular, I note in the letter, we are looking for members of our school community who may be able to help deliver curriculum lessons, mentor students or lead mock interview sessions, blending careers ideas with academic learning. During a meeting with Mrs May, who is leading our careers education development in the short term, last week, we agreed that it would be a unique and interesting idea to seek the support of our skilled and experienced community members so that they could help shape the next working generation of our local area as they grow into the mature and responsible young adults that we want them to be. If there is anyone out there whose professional experiences could help us, whether they are reading this blog themselves know someone else would fit the bill, I would be hugely grateful for the opportunity to make contact with them. Also next week, our teachers will be upskilled with our whole-school plans for careers education during a development meeting as our intention is for all adults in our school to play a part in offering the specialist advice, information and guidance that our young people need. Subject leaders will know which jobs and professional areas their subjects could potentially lead to over the next few years and it is vital that our young people begin to think now about the many paths that could lay ahead of them as they approach the final chapters of their secondary school story and look forward to what is out there for them at post-16. In order to ensure that all of our teachers understand the requirements on schools to provide effective careers education provision for their students, Mrs May will lead a session on the Daubeney Academy careers plan that we have built around the eight Gatsby benchmarks, which are a ‘gold standard’ framework for good career guidance developed to support schools in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice, and guidance and which were established as part of Sir John Holman’s research into what pragmatic actions could improve careers guidance in England and now form part of the government’s statutory careers guidance published in January 2018. Highlights of our plan are how we will ensure that our students have meaningful careers encounters throughout KS3 & 4 and how all subject areas will lead these wherever possible, and also how we will facilitate work experience placements, careers assemblies, careers fairs, mentoring/mock interview sessions with employers, employer led challenges, trips – and also employer-led curriculum learning opportunities. All schools must be building their careers education plan around the Gatsby benchmarks, which means that, in some cases, many more established secondary schools have had to throw away their old plans and start again from scratch in order to accommodate the new requirements listed below:

  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

So that our Year 10 students can continue the careers encounters that they have already started at Daubeney, they will be accessing a careers fair at KCA next week on Wednesday afternoon. Clearly, our KCA colleagues have led a different kind of careers provision for some years now but, not only with the introduction of the Gatsby benchmarks but also as we are partners within the same MAT, over this year and next year our aim is for the good provision offered up the road to be transformed into an outstanding programme that is in place on both sites.


A student’s educational career up to Year 11 is very much about a personalised programme that opens the doors to whatever is right for them post-16, at which point they can begin to specialise with either A-level choices, apprenticeships or other courses. At Daubeney, our carefully put together curriculum offers not only pathways to excellent academic achievement but also many other opportunities to showcase character development and the acquisition of key personal attributes, such as our nationally renowned Colours system, our wonderfully delivered Life Skills course and our Duke of Edinburgh and Teaching Future Leaders accreditations. Our aim is, along with parents and other family members, to produce young people who are values-driven and who are able to make an effective and positive contribution to our local, national and even global communities. As adults, we must set the tone for what we expect our young people to become both socially and professionally and I would urge anyone who feels that they could help us with our careers education plan to contact me directly at school.