Careers, Confident Choices and Transition

This provision is delivered by staff across the School including our:

  • Careers Leader, Mr D Willars
  • Careers Officer
  • Careers Advisor from Complete-Careers
  • Transition Co-ordinator
  • Heads of Year
  • Head of Sixth Form
  • Tutors
  • Intervention Support Officers
  • Attendance Officer

Please contact Head of Department (Careers Leader) Mr D Willars or telephone 01673 843415 for further information, or see our Careers Education Policy and Provider Access Policy.

Career Mark   QiCS Logo  Gatsby logo


The purpose of this section is so that you can see what we are trying to achieve (intent and entitlement), how we are going to achieve this (Implementation) and how we judge what we provide works (impact).

Intent Statement

We are committed to providing high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance as a core aspect of every De Aston School learner's education in the formulation of their life planning as part of supporting Lincolnshire's economic future. 

Our intent for learners is to enable them to:

  • Develop their interest and talents in order to identify and embark upon an ambitious career path or journey.
  • Develop their character, in particular their resilience, confidence and independence, alongside their transferable and employability skills with the context of being physically and mentally healthy. This is so that at each key stage of their education they are prepared for the next one, both within and outside of De Aston School.
  • Be prepared for life in modern and post-modern Britain in order to be equipped to be active, positive contributing citizens.
  • Skilfully use a variety of information sources and experiences to find the latest reliable, unbiased information on training, employment, apprenticeships, further education, higher education and university technical colleges. An understanding of the associated entry requirements is also required, to have the capacity to develop the required employability skills and evidence base in which to draw upon in any future application.

Our intent for the leadership and management of careers education at De Aston School is to:

  • Have a clear and ambitious vision for providing high-quality careers education and support to learners that is accomplished via strong values, policies and practices across the school.
  • Continually reflect and develop our practice and knowledge using an evidence-based, pedagogical approach.
  • Extend our commitment to all young people and the whole community in Lincolnshire through the Confident Choices framework as being the school lead for the West Lindsey cluster, supporting members in the district and throughout the county. 
  • Support Lincolnshire to have a skilled employees that meets the county's economic needs in the short- and the long-term.

Entitlement Statement

Years 7, 8 and 9

Students are entitled to:

  • A term per year of dedicated tutorial lessons on careers activities regarding self-awareness, different types of careers and action planning.
  • An introduction to the library and the careers area.
  • Access to recommended careers software.
  • Help when your child chooses their Key Stage 4 options.
  • Support from the careers advisor upon referral by the student, parent/carer or head of year.
  • Help on choosing their work experience work in Year 10.
  • Time after progress updates and careers learning in PSCHE and Citizenship for reviewing current progress and target setting.
  • Attending a careers fair.

Years 10 and 11

Students are entitled to:

  • Time after progress updates and careers learning in PSCHE and Citizenship for reviewing current progress and target setting.
  • Continued support on preparing for work experience.
  • A health & safety presentation.
  • One-week work Experience.
  • A de-brief on work experience.
  • Support from the careers advisor with their post-16 options in the form of regular interviews.
  • A briefing on the choices available post 16.
  • A post 16 parents and students evening.
  • Mentoring from a senior member of staff.
  • Attending a careers fair.
  • Results Day support.

Years 12 and 13

Students are entitled to:

  • Two terms of career lessons on researching post-16 opportunities, completing an application for their chosen route in adulthood and formal support from their tutor, the Head of Sixth Form and the Sixth Form Intervention Support Officer.
  • Time after progress updates and careers learning in PSCHE for reviewing current progress and target setting.
  • University visits/open days.
  • University speakers.
  • Events and presentations on alternatives to university.
  • An evening presentation talk for students and parents on getting to university and how to fund higher education study.
  • Visit the HE fair at Lincoln University.
  • Support with completing UCAS applications and personal statements.
  • Visit to the University and Apprenticeship Fair.
  • Support from the careers advisor.
  • Attending a careers fair.

Results Day support- Staff available to help with clearing etc.


At De Aston School we deliver our careers curriculum in a variety of ways across the school within different subjects although a particular focus is taken within PSCHE.  The implementation is guided by the Gatsby Benchmarks and the Careers Development Institute.

We provide students with a greater understanding of the opportunities that are available at the end of Year 11 and the Sixth Form, as well as the capacity to take advantage of them.  This is achieved by supporting students to become more self-aware and to develop their action planning and transferable employability skills, so they can make confident and informed choices in lifelong career planning. Through career exploration, students learn about the opportunities that exist and plan to realise their ambitions.

Our intent is achieved by:

  • Delivering careers lessons in PSHE and across the curriculum as part of in-class learning as well as educational visits or trips.
  • Arranging work experience and career employability opportunities.
  • Holding a careers fair where students have the opportunity to meet local and national employers and universities.
  • having partners, as advisors or implementers, including, but are not limited to:
    • Complete-Careers who employ and provide our independent careers advisors
    • Careers Mark - Quality in Careers Standard Award
    • The Confident Choices framework
    • The Careers and Enterprise Company
    • The Gatsby Benchmarks
    • The Careers Development Institute
    • The Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership
    • LincHigher
    • Kudos (as part of Cascaid)
    • The Education Business Partnership
    • Young Money (as part of Young Enterprise)
    • Tony Crowe Health and Safety Consultancy Limited
    • Employers and apprenticeship, higher education, further education, university technical college and independent providers
    • De Aston School alumni

Gatsby Benchmarks

Gatsby logo

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework which schools are strongly advised to follow in order to provide an outstanding careers education, information, advice and guidance programme so that young people have the transferable skills, employability skills and evidence, as well as the reliance and adaptability to respond to positive and negative changes.

The eight Gatsby Benchmarks are:



Additional information for schools, employers and parents/carers

1. A stable careers programme

Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by pupils, parents, teachers and employers.

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


Careers Leaders UK Resources

2. Learning from career and labour market information

Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good-quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


Careers Leaders UK Resources

3. Addressing the needs of each pupil

Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


Careers Leaders UK Resources

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. For example, STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


Careers Leaders UK Resources

5. Encounters with employers and employees

Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


Education & Employers Charity Research Report


Education & Employers Charity - Employer Guidance


Education & Employers Charity - The benefits of employer or employee volunteers


Inspiring the Future - YouTube


Careers Leaders UK Resources


6. Experiences of workplaces

Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


Careers Leaders UK Resources

7. Encounters with further and higher education

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

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


Careers Leaders UK Resources

8. Personal guidance

Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a careers adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit


SEND Guide - The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit




Careers Leaders UK Resources




Detailed information and support (advice and signposting) can be found at:

'Good Career Guidance'

Good Career Guidance - Support

Careers Leaders UK Resources

Research by the Education and Employers Charity informs us that excellent careers education, information, advice, guidance and encounters raise the aspirations of all young people and increase their levels of attainment. Furthermore, it will increase student motivation by linking activities in school with preparation for adult life. Careers education will be crucial in enabling good progress, raising student achievement, helping our young people focus on their longer-term career ambitions ensuring an equality of opportunity for all and active social mobility.

De Aston School works within a clear framework which meets statutory requirements and learner needs to evolve our planning to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks, better learner social mobility, encouraging them to be active positive community contributors and preparing them for the challenges and opportunities ahead in their education and working lives to reduce their risk of becoming NEET. De Aston School students are very well supported in making applications to all types of providers such as sixth form, traineeships, apprenticeships, university, colleges and independent providers.

The careers team collaborates with all other members of staff, Complete-Careers (our external development partner) and the Confident Choices framework to enhance students’ prospects, encouraging them to contribute to their communities and preparing them for future challenges and opportunities.  A programme of careers education, information and guidance is delivered to students from Year 7 to Year 13. This is supplemented by one-to-one careers guidance meetings with our independent careers advisor who is Level 6 qualified and externally employed by Complete-Careers.  The multifaceted approach is crucial in helping our students to have career plan that is both ambitious and realistic with the personal, cultural, employability and transferable skills for future success.  Therefore, we aim to ensure that our students are well informed and have the necessary skills and qualities when career decision-making is necessary.

Our delivery is informed by the Department for Education Careers Strategy 2017, ‘Making the most of everyone’s skills & talents’, and is compliant with the careers guidance set out by the Government for delivery in ‘Careers Guidance and Inspiration for young people in schools’.

Impact Statement

We aim to facilitate that all learners:

  • Reach and attend an ambitious destination that provides a long-term sustainable career.
  • Have the employability skills, knowledge, understanding, the cultural capital, resilience and confidence to accept new challenges, whether represent opportunities or adversity, in order to live a comfortable and happy life.
  • Have ambitious goals and aspirations relative to their personal context and they are seeking to realise them.

Our external, summarised destinations measure is published by the government on 'Find and compare schools in England' for sustained destinations. 

We measure this impact by ensuring that all Year 11 learners have the following and have communicated this to the careers leader:

  • By March in Year 11 each learner has an intended ambitious destination.
  • By April in Year 11 each learner has achieved the September guarantee by securing a conditional or an unconditional offer from an education provider, an apprenticeship/traineeship, the military or an employer who will provide accredited training.
  • By the November of the following academic year, each learner is attending the place that was accepted after receiving their Level 1 or 2 results at the end of the year. Where results are different to those expected each learner is able to use the skills learnt in the careers programme to make an appropriate choice to fulfil their adapted path or goal.
  • By the March of the following academic year, each learner is still attending their destination and they are making good progress.

When each learner reaches the end of Year 13, post-18 transition point, we measure the impact in a similar way to Year 11.  The measures are:

  • At the end of Year 12, learners indicate their intended destination for the end of Year 13.
  • If a learner wishes to submit a credible application to Oxbridge or degree courses in medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine/science, they have indicated so to the Head of Sixth Form in September in order to meet UCAS' early entry deadline in October of Year 13.
  • If a learner wishes to apply for other undergraduate courses, they indicate so by the end of Year 12 so that a good application is submitted by UCAS' national deadline in January of Year 13 and all learners that aspire to these destinations have accepted offers within the allocated deadline by UCAS.
  • The number of students that are accepting conditional offers is increasing and likewise the number of accepted unconditional offers are decreasing.
  • If a learner wishes to pursue a non-degree (Intermediate, Advanced and some Higher) apprenticeships or some form employment or they have been unsuccessful in the UCAS application process, their intended destination is established by April with applications being made and offers are received/accepted before May of Year 13.
  • Where a learner wishes to accept an offer they are able to assess the risks, the opportunities and the likelihood of whether achieving the offer is realistic and supports their career path.



Since the government introduction of raising the participation age to 18 years, the careers leader works with Lincolnshire County Council monitor the destinations of our learners from the end of Year 11.  This process is in partnership with learners, parents/carers, schools, colleges, apprenticeships, local providers and the University Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), underpinned by mutual and legal consent to share relevant information.  De Aston School also works with local support services and agencies in relation to those most at risk of becoming or who have become NEET (not in employment, education or training).

De Aston School has a legal duty to support government authorities in the collection of data regarding the intended destinations students in Year 11, 12 and 13.  This legal duty means that consent by the student is not required for data collection while attending De Aston School.  It is also recommended that a learner's destination is tracked for two years after leaving De Aston School whether this is at the end of Year 11, 12 or 13.  In order to do this permission is required from the student by signing the 'Destinations Tracking Data Sharing Agreement'.  This permission can be obtained while the young person at school in Year 11.

Where former De Aston School students would like support from the careers team they can contact

Mr D Willars, Careers Leader, or the Careers Officer for guidance.  The support level is reduced when learners have left but we will endeavour to help where we can.

Further information about this can be found at the Department of Education's publication of 'Destinations data: A Good Practice Guide for Schools'.

Please see our Destinations Tracking Data Sharing Agreement.

Destinations Measure Analysis

Student destinations refers to the placement or provision taken up by students at the end of Year 11, 12 or 13.

For a student to have been successful in achieving the 'September Guarantee' they must be attending their chosen placement on or by 1st November in the following school year.

  • School data shows the percentage of Year 11 achieving the 'September Guarantee' in the following academic year is: 100% in 2016; 98% in 2017; 96% in 2018 - these are in line or above national and local comparators.
  • In respect of our Year 12 students: 97% in 2016; 98% in 2017; 94% in 2018 - well above national and local comparators.

For a student to have a ‘sustained destination’ they must remain in their chosen placement or provision from October until March. Alternatively if a student completes an apprenticeship a 'sustained destination' is measured as remaining on it for least six months.

  • The latest publicly available data on 16-19 study programmes (2016 leavers) indicates that 82% of Year 13 leavers sustained their destinations which is below the national figure. School data indicates in 2014 this was 92% and in 2015 91% - above the national figure.
  • The percentage of those not staying in education or employment was 8% (five students, in line with national figure) and 10% (seven students and above the national figure) were measured as unknown. The students in this position could be international boarding students who have returned home to continue to study or to start in employment and this has not been able to be recorded.  For 2014 this was 0% and 0% (well below the national figure); for 2015, 4% (two students and well below the national figure) and 4% (two students and in line with national figure) respectively.
  • School held data on the percentage of Year 13 disadvantaged students NOT sustaining sestination: 2014 = 0%, 2015 = 0%, 2016 = 0% - all well below the national figures.

Note that the same data is published on the government's 'Find and compare schools in England' website, 2016 leavers are referred to in the publication year of 2018, likewise 2015 leavers in 2017, and 2014 leavers in 2016.


  • For 16 year olds (2016/17 published 2019) figures that pupils staying in education or employment for at least two terms after Key Stage 4 was 96%, with 89% of pupils staying in education, which is above the national figures on these measures (94%/86% respectively) and that of other schools in the local authority (95%/88% respectively).
  • The same measures for Key Stage 4 pupils in 2015/16 (published 2018) was 98% and 91% and well above the national (94%/86% respectively) and also schools in the local authority (95%/87% respectively).
  • In 2014/15 (published 2017) 95% stayed in education or employment for at least two terms - in line with local authority state schools (95%) and above the national figure (94%). For 2013/14 (published 2016) it was 98% - above the figure for local authority state funded schools (95%) and above the national figure (94%).
  • The latest publicly available data also indicates that De Aston School retains students well and this is growing. In 2017 42% and in 2018 45% of our students continued into our Sixth Form. Nearly all other learners went to a further education provision.

Possible Next Steps

If you’re in Year 11, Year 12 Level 2 or Year 13, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do after you leave school.

What you can do after you leave De Aston School can depend on things factors such as where you live, the grades you’re likely to get or achieve, what you’re interested in and what kind of environment you want to learn in. Often, the choice is between sixth form, college, an apprenticeship or a training provider.

So far your education has probably been set out for you – from primary to secondary school. You have most-likely not had to think about ‘what next’ – but now you’re expected to know what you want to do?

First of all – don’t panic! You may feel that this is the most important decision of your life, but it isn’t a final choice.  For example, if you choose to go to college but find an opportunity within an apprenticeship it is ok to change your mind and move onto the apprenticeship in order to progress.  

Of course, you want to get it right if you can, so doing some research into your choices is always going to help with making the right choice for you. Try to ignore what your friends are doing and focus on what you want to achieve for yourself. Of course, asking advice and talking to your friends can help, but ultimately it is a matter of what is best for you. The careers and transition team will help you with exploring your options and interests and submitting applications.

Sixth forms

Sixth forms are often attached to a school. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. If it’s the school you’ve already been at for a few years, you’ll feel comfortable and know your way around. Some people can find attending a completely new school a bit scary because lots of people there will already know each other. Sometimes sixth forms are completely separate from any other schools, and teach students from lots of different places.


With an apprenticeship, you would be working for an employer, earning a wage (at least £3.90 per hour as of  1st April 2019), and studying for a qualification  at the same time. You would be linked with a college or training provider to make sure you get all of your work done for your qualification.

An apprenticeship offers an alternative path into employment. Sure, it hasn’t got the academic edge of going to university, but an apprenticeship should leave you more prepared for the workplace  – which is the final destination anyway! And there are apprenticeships up to Master degree level! An apprenticeship will teach you a skill or trade, while offering on-the-job experience and a pay-packet. There are a surprisingly wide range of apprenticeships available to search now in a variety of job sectors.


Traineeships are designed help young people who want to get an apprenticeship or job but don’t yet have appropriate skills or experience.

Traineeships are an ideal opportunity for young people, aged 16 to 24, who are motivated to get a job but lack the skills and experience that employers are looking for.

Those who have been unsuccessful when applying for an apprenticeship or other job due to a lack of skills and experience are most likely be good candidates for a traineeship.


Colleges are separate from schools, so everyone turns up on their first day as a new student. Colleges tend to offer A levels, NVQs, Diplomas and Foundation Learning. Sometimes colleges specialise; for example you might have an agricultural college that does farming and animal care related courses, or a catering college that specialises in cookery courses.

University Technical Colleges

These are form of school from Year 10 to 13, that specialises in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning.  They work with a local university and employers to deliver learning for the STEM related subjects.  It's very much like school now but with the STEM focus.

What grades do you need?

The grades are dependent on the requirements of the provider you are interested in attending.  It is best to refer to the provider's prospectus or website. 

Generally speaking you have needed to achieve the level below to the one you aspire to do, for example Level 2 is required for Level 3. 

If you wish to complete a technical qualification for becoming, for example a chef, you may need to start at the same or a lower level, i.e. Level 1 or 2, due to the specificity of the skills and the prior learning needed for Level 3 and beyond.

Reed, the recruitment organisation and website, provide a good explanation of the different levels and reasons for progressing.  See:



Use to login into your account.  If you are not able to login use the forgotten details link on the login page or see your tutor.

Kudos will help you discover you’re a career role based upon your likes, dislikes, preferences and personality traits.  In addition you can:

  • Research courses in your local area or based upon your aspirational career choice
  • Create actions plans
  • Write CV's and personal statements
  • Apply for apprenticeships and jobs


Buzz Quiz - What animal are you like and which celebrity are you most similar to?

Take the quiz on

This is similar to the assessments you can take in Kudos, but different approach is taken with linking the quiz to animals and celebrities.

Click on the statements that reflect you as a person to give you advice on your strengths and weakness.  This is useful to judge which careers you would be most suited to.

Labour Market Information on Different Career Roles: What Different Jobs Pay and Are They in Demand?

Use the cards below to find the career for you.


The official website for information about universities and for applying to courses.

The Complete University Guide

An excellent website for considering all aspects for university life including information about the university's location where you may be living.


A complete guide for apprenticeships, including making and submitting applications.

Lincolnshire Services Directory & Local Offer  - Independent providers, SEND and local authority care

This service has lots of information about careers, related support and information regarding all aspects of family life.  For a student it is particularly useful for:

  • Researching independent providers
  • Specific guidance for students with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
  • Specific guidance for students in local authority care or are about to leave this care

Stonewall's Starting Out Guide

This website provides excellent guidance for the LGBT community including employers who Stonewall regard as being inclusive.

More links can be found in the 'Useful Links' section.


Years 9, 11 and 13, particularly, are key transition points in a secondary school setting.  This is a time period when young people should be developing their own independence, making their own decisions, taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.  The decisions the person makes, with your support, are significant as they influence their life path or journey.


Below is a checklist or list of pointers for consideration to assist you in supporting the young person you care for:

  • Encourage your young person to research their options by using the links in the 'Student Area' and in the 'Useful Links' sections.
    • Consider the long-term career aspiration and work backwards to the point you are at now. Some career choices require specific qualifications, for example degrees; some universities require particular qualifications at Level 3 and Level 2.  Therefore it is important to consider the long-term goal both for planning and motivational purposes.
  • Check the dates of open events/days/evenings and put them in your diary. They will normally be published on the provider's website.
  • Encourage the young person to discuss their options with their tutor, head of year/sixth form, the careers leader, the careers officer and the careers advisor. Alternatively contact the National Careers Service.
  • Ensure application forms are completed and submitted on time. Sixth form and college applications typically open in October. The deadline will vary from provider to provider.  By submitting your application on time, it informs the provider of the demand for the courses in the following academic year, how they will resource them and construct the timetable.  Providers will try and avoid popular subject combinations being timetabled at the same time.  However, please be mindful that the courses that have low numbers and are not financially viable could mean they do not run.
  • If the application deadline has passed because the young person has changed their mind or was late in deciding, still contact the provider as they may still accept your application.
  • If the young person is interested in an apprenticeship or traineeship encourage them to register with the National Apprenticeship Service– a number of larger companies advertise their apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers between November and February.
  • For careers, apprenticeships and work experience in the health and care sector within Lincolnshire, register with This organisation acts on behalf of the NHS and wide range of non-NHS health and care organisations.
  • Encourage the young person to see beyond the core role of organisations and to avoid misconceptions, for example:
    • The NHS is not just about health and social care or medicine and nursing. There are a wide range of opportunities in non-health and care roles, for example within the estates department or in background business, administration, accountancy and legal functions.  This example would apply to all organisations but even more so with bigger organisations.
    • The voluntary or charity sector can be seen as an area where people work for free, i.e. volunteer. This is a major misconception because there are a range of good careers in this sector, especially if the young person is particularly passionate about a topic, cause or an area supported by this sector.
  • If you are worried about finances contact sixth forms, colleges and training providers and ask about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.
  • Help the young person to have a career plan! We would recommend having three plans:
    • Best case plan
    • Worst case plan
    • The likely plan (somewhere in between the best and worst case)
  • Support the young person to develop a realistic back-up plan, just in case, in addition to their main/preferred plan. Young people will either plan with optimism or with pessimism which can mean neither are realistic. 
  • If the young person has a special educational need(s) or a disability, speak with their key worker or the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) for specialist guidance. Also visit  Lincolnshire Services Directory & Local Offer
  • If the young person is in or is about to leave local authority care the Lincolnshire Services Directory & Local Offer website may provide useful information.
  • If the young person is LGBT or considering their sexuality Stonewall's Starting Out Guide and their main website,, will provide useful guidance.If, as a parent or carer, you feel it is beneficial to attend the young person's careers guidance interview then this can be arranged by contacting the Careers Leader (Mr D Willars) or Careers Officer on 01673 843415.


Please contact Head of Department (Careers Leader) Mr D Willars or telephone 01673 843415, or see our Provider Access Policy for further information.