In order to help you learn about your school’s current provision, we have suggested some questions you may want to consider asking. The questions could form the basis of an individual discussion with a designated staff member responsible for careers or be part of a collective discussion at a governing board meeting. The questions are designed to help you understand what your school is currently doing, how well it has thought about this provision, and how the school plans to develop its careers provision in the future.

If you are interested in careers education, you could consider becoming a Link Governor for this part of the curriculum. The Link Governor’s role is to help shape the school strategy in this area and monitor the plans put in place to ensure they have the desired impact. The below questions are suitable for all governors but may be particularly useful to those who are Link Governors.

Main questions are suggested in bold, with follow-up suggested underneath.

  • 1. Does the school have a specific policy for careers provision?

Is this available on the website? How does the school measure the effectiveness of this? Does the school make use of the Compass tool to assess its provision?

  • 2. Does the school have a specific budget to spend on careers/employability provision?

If so, how has the budget benefited the careers education at the school?

  • 3. Has the school compared its provision to the 8 benchmarks set out by the Gatsby Foundation which identifies what excellent practice looks like?

If so, how does the school currently perform in relation to this? If not, is this something the school is looking into?

  • 4. Does the school have a designated staff member who is responsible for careers/employability skills provision?

Does this individual feel supported by the Senior Leadership Team?

  • 5. Does the current careers provision address any areas of the School Improvement Plan (SIP)?

Are the school SIP targets addressed in the careers provision on offer? If so, how can this be demonstrated? If not, does the careers provision provide a good opportunity to evidence development in SIP targets?

  • 6. Does the school ensure students have access to unbiased and impartial external advice on careers, relevant Labour Market Information, and opportunities to discuss their future choices?

If so, how? What have you done in the past in this area and is it something that you would do in the future?

  • 7. Does the school work with external organisations to help deliver effective employer engagement and work-related learning sessions?

If so, who do you currently use to support you? Does the school foster relationships with businesses to help support this work? If so, who?

  • What support can the governing board provide to help the school with its Employability provision?


  • How is the school championing careers education in the current climate?

Have any challenges been encountered? If so, what are the school doing to mitigate this/ how has the school responded?


Questions for a follow-up discussion about Careers Education – Secondary

As a governor, monitoring careers education is important. In the current climate, it is understandable that priorities in a school can change very quickly, so following up on initial discussions can be a supportive way to ensure that careers education stays high on the agenda.

Ideally, if your school has a Link Governor, they should meet the designated member of staff once per term. It is good practice to review your initial discussion and establish what, if anything, has happened in the intervening months. Reviewing what actions have been taken and the impact of these actions is imperative to beginning to understand what works and doesn’t work for your school and how you can best support within your role.

Main questions are suggested in bold, with follow-up suggested underneath.

  • 1. Overall, what has progressed since we last met?


  • 2. Has the school developed a policy for incorporating work-related learning into the wider curriculum?


  • 3. Has the school further explored options for partnering with external organisations to help deliver employability provisions?

If so, who? Has the school decided if it wishes to use any of these services? How was this decision reached? Does the school feel knowledgeable on what organisations could support them?

  • 4. Has the school been in contact with any local businesses to develop bespoke relationships to support employer engagement sessions?

If so, how have these discussions gone? Are there any challenges?

  • 5. Have the school held any work-related learning sessions for pupils in recent months?

How were these evaluated? Which year groups were they delivered for?

  • 6. Have the Senior Leadership Team within the school been receptive to developing work-related learning opportunities for students?


  • 7. What more can we do as a Governing Board to support you in further developing this provision?


  • 8. When shall we next meet to check in on careers education progress?