This report from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation looks at what constitutes best practice for careers advice in schools, and the costs and benefits of implementing it.

Good careers guidance is an essential part of inspiring and facilitating pupils from diverse backgrounds to enter STEM careers, but in the UK is frequently criticized as being inadequate and patchy. This report, led by Sir John Holman, provides a set of benchmarks as to what good careers guidance should like in schools, based on identification of best practice from visits to six countries and visits to schools in England. In addition, it gives data on the estimated costs and benefits from a commissioned assessment by PricewaterhouseCoopers.


  • The 8 benchmarks developed are:
    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
  • 69% of schools were meeting at least one benchmark for all students, 39% at least two, and only 2% of schools at least five.
  • 88% of schools achieved at least one benchmark when thresholds were relaxed to 50% of all students, 50% three and 13% five, demonstrating existing good practice, but a need to adapt and extend to ensure comprehensive provision within many schools.
  • The estimated cost of implementing all the benchmarks across England is £207 million in the first year and £173 million per year thereafter.

To read more from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, visit their website