The Gatsby Benchmarks are a set of eight guidelines developed by the Gatsby Foundation to improve career guidance in UK schools and colleges. They are designed to help students make well-informed decisions about their future careers by providing a structured approach to career guidance.


An Overview of the Gatsby Benchmarks

Here’s a simple explanation of each of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks and how Startingpoint helps education providers meet them. 


1. A Stable Careers Programme: This means having a consistent career guidance programme that adapts to changes in education and the needs of students. 


  • Startingpoint helps to aid a stable careers platform by providing dedicated support on mobile and web platforms from work experience all the way through to application stage for college and apprenticeships
  • We aim to provide the opportunity for all schools and colleges to use Startingpoint with limited additional cost, providing a fair and transparent system that leads to positive outcomes. 


2. Learning from Career and Labour Market Information: Students should have access to current and relevant information about careers and the job market. 


  • Startingpoint allows students to access resources and knowledge to help them find the path they may need to take, the skills they need to have, and what life is really like in the workplace.
  • StartingPoint also provides live Labour Market information which  can be utilised by careers advisors to inform pupils of their options and future pathways. 
  • Schools and colleges could use this information to develop their curriculum/accreditation offer to match the needs of the labour market locally.


3. Addressing the Needs of Each Pupil: Career guidance should be tailored to meet the individual needs of each student. 

  • Startingpoint is built for the individual rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, allowing students to view suitable opportunities and businesses to view their best assets. 
  •  Profiles are dynamic and allow every pupil to showcase their unique skillsets and personality holding accurate data for each pupil on their education, training, or employment destinations for at least three years after they leave school


4. Linking Curriculum Learning to Careers: Show students how what they learn in the classroom can be applied to various careers. 


  • The Startingpoint platform allows students to upload media and evidence to show examples of not only what they can do but also what they have learned in the classroom to complement their chosen careers, and tagging skills as they go before approaching employers.
  • We also provide the opportunity to learn about how STEM learning links to employment opportunities while providing access to practical skills and knowledge development.


5. Encounters with Employers and Employees: Giving students opportunities to meet and learn from people who are currently working.  


  • Startingpoint allows students to connect and engage with a range of industry experts offering real advice on how to get into the career that inspires you.
  • We offer virtual guest speakers through our resource library and use information collated from encounters to identify future employment demands within vocational areas.


6. Experiences of Workplaces: Providing students with chances to experience real workplace environments. 


  • Startingpoint connects students with opportunities to gain work experience that is both valuable to them and the employer. 
  • We provide direct links with employers providing work experience, supported internships, apprenticeships, and paid employment opportunities.


7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education: Helping students understand their options for further education and university. 


  • Startingpoint paves the way for students to take their next steps into the world with advice from further and higher education professionals. Allowing students to make informed choices about their future.


8. Personal Guidance: Offering students personalised advice from knowledgeable career advisors. 

  • With Startingpoint, students can gain valuable insights and advice that is tailored to them throughout each step of their individual journey. With information provided by employers allowing pupils to make informed decisions about their future.
  • Our platform provides access to virtual or face to face interviews to support pupils development and interview skills. 


Impact and Adaptation


Research has shown that schools and colleges that follow the Gatsby benchmarks see improvements in students’ readiness for work and academic achievements, including better GCSE results. These benchmarks are adapted to fit different educational settings, with support from various resources and funding to help schools implement them effectively.


Looking Ahead

The Gatsby Foundation continues to refine and update these benchmarks, engaging with stakeholders and conducting research to ensure they remain relevant and effective in helping students navigate their future career paths. 


This approach prepares students for immediate job opportunities. It gives them the tools for lifelong career management skills, enabling them to adapt to future changes in the workforce, values which we pride ourselves on equipping students with through Startingpoint.