Careers Information advice and guidance (CIAEG)

All of the staff at John Smeaton Academy play a large part in preparing our students for the future but we also have a dedicated Careers team that help to provide students with specialist knowledge, advice and guidance to answer any and all careers-related questions – our Careers team are:

Liz O'Connor

Liz O'Connor

Vice Principal - Careers Lead

Contact: [email protected]

Sarah Humphrey

Sarah Humphrey

Careers Advisor

We recognise the importance of effective Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) for young people, and we expect all our students to develop high aspirations and consider a broad and ambitious range of careers. We aim to inspire every student through more real-life contacts with the world of work to help them understand where different choices can take them in the future, and we wish to ensure that our students are not restricted by circumstances or location from becoming self-confident, well-educated and enterprising individuals. We work hard across the school in all our lessons and form periods to prevent all forms of stereotyping to ensure that boys and girls from all backgrounds and diversity groups consider the widest possible range of careers including those that are often portrayed as primarily for one or other of the sexes.

We set high expectations, including for the most vulnerable and those with special educational needs and disabilities, so that every student is stretched and acquires the attributes that employer’s value. This will help every young person to realise their potential and so increase economic competitiveness and support social mobility. We work closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership Enterprise Adviser network, Ahead Partnership through their Make The Grade Programme, Diana Mentoring Award, Mosaic Mentoring, Into University, local colleges, higher education institutions and private training providers and employers such as the Civil Service, Unilever, and BAM Nuttall, to ensure our students get the most current information on opportunities available to them and the support to make the most of them.

We measure our success by our students’ destinations, and this is reflected in higher numbers progressing to apprenticeships, universities – including selective universities, traineeships, and other positive destinations such as employment or a further education college. This will help to close the gap in destinations between young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and others.

Further details of the careers programme can be found in the John Smeaton Academy Careers Programme 2021-2022 and our CEIAG policy.

John Smeaton Academy careers programme 2021-22

  • Bespoke programme of carers education as part of form time and drop-down days, including hearing from external speakers so that students have an awareness of the full variety of job roles and progression pathways available to them in the future, including work, volunteering, university, sixth form, college and apprenticeships.
  • Bespoke careers assemblies at key points in the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms.
  • National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week, including a full programme of activities targeted specifically at each year group.
  • Access to a careers fair for all KS4 students, with opportunity to speak with a wide range of different employers, universities, sixth forms, colleges, apprenticeship and training providers from the local area and further afield Opportunity to speak with a qualified careers advisor with parents/carers at GCSE options evening and parents’ evening.
  • Access to a qualified careers advisor.
  • Access (both in school and at home) to the Start careers software platform, which allows students to explore where their skills and interests can take them in the future.


Careers Activities
Year 7 • Looking Ahead questionnaire in PD/Form.
• Careers related assemblies and PD activities.
Year 8 • Be Smart Day activities – Fast Tomato to support with option planning.
• Careers related assemblies and PD activities.
Year 9 • Looking Ahead Interviews in preparation for the Options Evening.
• Year 9 students to be invited to the careers fair.
• Options Assemblies including curriculum updates and advice on Apprenticeships/EHC and Post 16 options.
• Options Evening and follow up careers meetings where requested.
• Assemblies also used to outline the main Post 16 options and to familiarise students with the range of options available to them. HE/FE/Apprenticeships.
Year 10 • Looking Ahead Interviews.
• Targeted Careers interviews following Looking Ahead meetings with SLT.
• Follow up 1:1 meetings with Miss Sarah Humprey, Careers Adviser.
• Year 10 students to be invited to the Careers Fair
• Planning personal statements in July in preparation for further education.
Year 11 • Looking Ahead Interviews.
• Application sessions in form/PD with FT’s.
• Be Smart Day sessions to complete further applications.
• Careers Fair with FE and Apprenticeship focus as well as HE providers.
• Targeted 1:1 Careers interviews with Miss Sarah Humprey to follow up to Looking Ahead meetings with SLT.
• Sessions on CV writing and support for Apprenticeship applicants.
• Informal ‘drop in’ sessions at break and lunchtime on specific days.
• Interview preparation sessions for Post 16 colleges and apprenticeship applications.
• The Careers Team are available in school on GCSE results day.

Gatsby Benchmarks 

We follow the 8 steps to success as recommended by Sir John Holman (Gatsby benchmark)

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a government endorsed framework of eight guidelines designed to raise the standard of careers education and guidance across the UK.  Many schools across the UK, including John Smeaton Academy, are following the guideline to ensure that their school’s careers education, advice and guidance programme meets the needs of all their students and provides a well-rounded careers education that will help them to achieve their full potential in the world of work

Our whole careers programme has been planned around achieving the eight benchmarks, for example, increasing our pupils’ access to employers and embedding careers education across the curriculum.  Our careers advisor Sarah Humphrey will help us to continue to achieve benchmark 8 which is about providing independent careers advice.

The 8 Benchmarks are as follows:

    Every school and college should have an embedded programme of career education and guidance that is known and understood by students, parents, teachers, governors and employers.
    Every student, 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.
    Students have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each student. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.
    All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of future career paths.
    Every student 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.
    Every student 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.
    All students 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.
    Every student should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a career 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 students but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

Should you require further guidance please follow the link below to the Gatsby website:

Student destinations 2020-2021

The data below shows the destinations of where Year 11 students went to after completing their education at John Smeaton Academy 2021.

If you have any questions regarding the data we will be using to assess the impact of our careers programme moving forward, please contact the school on 0113 831 3900 or [email protected]

Elliot Hudson College 3
Leeds City College 65
Leeds Building College 17
Notre Dame 22
New College Pontefract 1
Roundhay 6th form 2
York college 4
Apprenticeship 6
Full time working 4
Leeds City 6th form 4
White Rose College 2
Brigshaw 6th form 1
Craven College 1
Garforth 6th form 2
John Jamieson 6th form 1
Other 5


The last section are the 5 students who have not currently taken up a place of employment or education as yet

Alternative way to show data above

FE Colleges 93
6Th form 32
Apprenticeships 6
Training providers 4


Start programme

Start is a free, online careers platform designed to connect 11-18 year olds with their future career potential. It combines the most comprehensive source of information with a personalised experience and career planning tools, helping our students to make more informed decisions about their future study and career options, as well as developing their employability.

Start includes:

A student profile: students build their profile and access personalised study and career information.
Modules: activities to guide students through the information on Start at the right time.
Up to date information: engaging content on what to study, where to learn and the world of work.
Locker: an online record of achievement to evidence skills for future applications and CVs.
Employability action plan: Students can set goals and stay in control of their career planning.

Careers advice and information for specific areas  careers in construction  careers in health   nursing and learning disability nursing  social work and careers in care – teaching careers with animals, plants and the environment   careers within the IT sector – IT careers, more detailed info science, technology, engineering and maths careers engineering careers science careers  creative careers – careers in music – film/tv/games/media – visual arts including fashion business careers careers in the motor industry – career in the theatre – animal careers – law careers – police careers – sports careers – army careers


Volunteering website recommendations:  site aimed at 14-24 year olds, search to find volunteering opportunities Organisation that can help to find opportunities in Leeds   search and apply for volunteering opportunities

Are you an employer, college, university, training or apprenticeship provider?

As a school, we have a statutory commitment to uphold the Education Act 1997 and the recent Technical and Further Education Act 2017, which involves adhering to the Baker Clause that came into force on 2nd January 2018 (

The policy statement from the school (CLICK HERE TO VIEW) explains how providers of technical education, such as alternative 14-16 providers, Further Education colleges and apprenticeship providers can apply for access to speak with our students in Years 8-11 about the various education and training options available to them at 14-16 and post-16, including details of suitable access points within our school calendar and the lead contact at the school who can help to facilitate this.

As a starting point, please contact our Careers Lead, Chris Phillips, on the following details if you have an interest in working with or coming in to speak with our students about any of the opportunities you may be able to provide to them in the future:

[email protected]