Careers Programme

Careers Advice is given to students  through Super Learning Day activities and one to ones with the school’s Careers Advisor. Pupils are given the opportunity to develop their Employability Skills and are able to gain better knowledge of the wider world of Careers.

Pupils also complete a career plan and are then given assistance on how to complete their application forms for college or Training Providers. Pupils are taught how to plan and prepare for an interview and the Careers Advisor is available to accompany anyone  and support them at their interview.

Assistance is also given in the drawing up of a professional quality CV.

Pupils are given access to employers through the local Business Hive network where local employer visits take place. Outside agencies such as Colleges, Training Providers, the Army carry out regular career presentations at The School, during assemblies throughout the school year.

The School works closely with the ‘Careers and Enterprise Company’, to ensure the school is meeting the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks.

Once pupils leave The Heights at the end of year 11 they can make appointments to see the Careers Advisor for further assistance with their CV’s or college applications. Students are able to contact the school Careers Advisor via email if they need any further assistance. (Details for this are available under the ‘Careers Leader’ tab).

The Heights’s CEIAG programme will help pupils to:

  • Understand themselves, their interests, likes and dislikes, what they are good at and how this affects the choices they make
  • Find out about different courses, what qualifications they might need and what opportunities there might be
  • Develop the skills they may need for working life
  • Make realistic, but ambitious, choices about courses and jobs
  • Develop a plan of action for the future
  • Understand the different routes after Year 11 including training, further and higher education and jobs
  • Be able to make effective applications for jobs, training and further and higher education
  • Develop interview skills
  • Improve confidence

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For more information on our Careers Programme at The Heights, please click the links below:






The Pupils at The Heights have access to impartial Information, Advice and Guidance, from a dedicated staff member who works closely with pupils on a day to day basis and who has the support of the Senior Leadership Team whose role is to help guide your child to their chosen destination.

The School’s Career Leader can be contacted either via phone or email. See below for contact details.

Ross Doohan
Careers Leader / Pastoral Support

The Heights Free School, Heys Lane, Blackburn, BB2 4NW

School Number: 01254 261655
Careers Team Email:

Senior Leadership Team Link for Careers is Helen Morris (Assistant Headteacher for Pastoral).

Level 6 Personal Guidance is delivered by New Directions Advisor Janet Hope.

If you wish to contact the Careers Team. Please email or contact the school reception.


Pupils will receive:

● Weekly careers lessons at Key Stage 3.
● Additional careers information within PSHE Drop down days and Lessons.
● Access to careers information is available in books, videos, leaflets and on computer. Any additional information, students can see the Careers Leader.
● Support through the school’s Careers Leader.
● Interviews with the New Directions personal adviser (Level 6 Qualified Adviser)
● Other subject lessons linked to careers including STEM.

What Pupils will expect:

● Treated equally by other pupils, staff and visitors.
● Given careers information and advice that is up to date and impartial.
● Given extra help if required.
● Pupils will be able to enjoy the sessions and activities they participate in.
● Additional support is available where appropriate through extra help by the SENDCO, Senior Leaders and the Pastoral Team.

Information for Parents and Carers

Parents and Carers have the opportunity to attend careers interviews if they wish and will be invited as part of SEND reviews (EHCP, Statements and IPRAs) and looked after children reviews.

The School’s SENDCO and the Careers Leader meet on a regular basis to discuss and action appropriate interventions for pupils with additional needs.

Parents and Carers will receive updates via email and text from the Careers Leader, with up to date information about upcoming events and activities.

Links with parents / carers are maintained using a variety of methods including the school website, leaflets, letters and consultation days.

The school also works closely with BwD Careers Service “New Directions”. New Directions is a careers, information and advice service for young people within Blackburn and Darwen. They can provide pupils and their parents and carers with the support they need to enter into employment, education or training.

They offer advice on:

● Employment
● Training courses
● Apprenticeships
● College courses
● Volunteering opportunities
● Advice and Guidance

This service is available to all students throughout the year and is available at Careers Events and Parent’s Consultation days on request.

Equality and Diversity

CEIAG is provided to all students and provision is made to allow all students to access the curriculum. Students are encouraged to follow career paths that suit their interests, skills and strengths with the absence of stereotypes. All students are provided with the opportunities that reflect their needs.

Other links with local 14-19 Providers are made when required.

Staff Development

Staff training needs are identified as part of the appraisal process and during regular planning meetings between the Careers Leader and the CEIAG SLT Link/Line Manager. Regular updates regarding Careers Development will be shared weekly with staff.


The school is keen to work with local employers and build on the fantastic links we already have to secure positive Post 16 and 18 destinations. Employers can contact our Careers Leader directly to organise a visit to the school and to participate in our Careers assemblies and events. For more information please contact the school’s Careers Leader. Information available in the Careers Leader tab.

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We Measure and Assess the Impact of our Careers Programme through:
• Destination measures
• Student, parent and staff voice
• Employer feedback
• Visiting partners
• Work experience evaluation
• Website analytical review
• Gatsby Benchmarks

Gatsby Benchmarks

The eight benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance developed to support schools in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice, and guidance:

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

We use a self-evaluation tool that gives us an immediate confidential read-out of how our own career guidance performs against the Gatsby eight benchmarks.

For direct links to Post 16 education establishments, use the links below:


For any further information and advice on local college and post 16 education. Please contact the school’s careers advisor (Information in the above tab ‘Careers Leader’).

We advise students to start applying for Post 16 education/training from the start of Year 11, this gives them the opportunity to explore a wider range of options.

For current local labour market information for Lancashire. Please follow the links below:

A Traineeship is an introduction-level programme that combines a work placement with training, it helps to prepare young people for the world of work and supports with English and Mathematics if required.

Apprenticeships are available at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher/Degree levels, and are available in a wide range of employment sectors. The length of time that it takes to complete is dependent on the level and occupation. All Apprenticeships are real jobs so young people on the programme can earn a salary.

All Apprenticeship opportunities must be advertised on the National Apprenticeships Website

Your son/daughter must be registered on this site to apply for apprenticeships not advertised through an agency or training provider.

Apprenticeship advice can also be sought through local Colleges.