Careers Guidance

Ormiston Denes Academy values the importance of careers education and guidance that prepares students for challenges in the future. An effective Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) programme helps prepare young people for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. It can contribute to achievement and inclusion by raising aspirations, increasing motivation, challenging stereotypes and enabling young people to make realistic and informed choices about their futures.

Careers Education helps young people develop the knowledge, confidence and skills that they need to make well informed choices and plans that enable them to progress smoothly into further learning and work.

Mixing traditional, friendly and robust guidance with employer engagement expertise across education and employment spaces, Mrs Richings brings Ormiston Denes Academy and employers together to create an enriched matrix of careers education both in and outside of school.

Ormiston Denes Academy supports the development and facilitation of CEIAG across all year groups, including information on traineeships and apprenticeships for young people.

National Careers Week (NCW) is a one-week celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK. The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people develop awareness and excitement about their future pathways.  Although as an academy we aim to provide students with careers guidance and information all year, and not only for this one week.

The attached parents guide provide lots of really useful information in activities to enable families to also support students in moving forward onto their future pathways. A useful ‘Who are We’ worksheet also supports parents to have careers discussions with children of any age.

During the course of the week more information and activities will be provided on social media, and in the school environment.

16 to 19 Bursary Fund

If you think you might struggle with the costs for education or training you may be able to get help from the bursary fund.

There are two types of bursary, a vulnerable student bursary and a discretionary bursary.

The sixth form, college or other educational institution you are attending is responsible for managing both types of bursary.

Vulnerable Student Bursary

To claim a vulnerable student bursary you must be:

  • Under 19 at the start of the academic year you want a bursary for.
  • Studying at school or college, or on an unpaid training course.

You could get up to £1,200 if at least one of the following applies:

  • You’re in care or a care leaver.
  • You get Income Support or Universal Credit in your name.
  • You’re getting Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in your name.

Discretionary Bursary

You could get a discretionary bursary if you need financial help but don’t qualify for a vulnerable student bursary.  Your education or training provider decides how much you get and what it’s used for.

Norfolk’s school sixth forms, colleges and training providers will decide who should receive a bursary, how much and when it will be paid.  They are for students who need most help with the costs of transport, food and equipment.

To find out more about the 16-19 Bursary Fund

  • Speak to the college, sixth form or training provider you want to apply to.
  • Go to The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guidance pages on GOV.UK.

Please note: if you’re on an apprenticeship programme, or any training where you receive a wage, you’re classed as being employed rather than in education and therefore aren’t eligible for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

Students can drop in to speak to Mrs Richings at break or lunchtimes, for general advice, to talk about applications, or to book an appointment with our guidance professional. Parents are also welcome to contact Mrs Richings to make an appointment as required.

For all careers advice, please email Mrs Julie Richings, Careers Coordinator at [email protected], call 01502 574474 or contact us here.

Click here to download a copy of our careers education programme.

Please contact Mrs Julie Richings, at [email protected], for more information.

Although all of the information included in the careers guidance section of the website can be accessed by parents and carers, this section provides some specific information and resources that may be useful.

Raising the Participation Age

All young people are required to remain in education or training until their 18th birthday. This doesn’t mean staying in school or college. Students can choose to study or train in a variety of ways:

  • Stay on full time in a school, college or training provider.
  • Work or volunteer full time, together with part-time accredited education or training (of at least 20 hours).
  • Take up an apprenticeship, traineeship or work based learning.

Why? Employment prospects require an increasing level of skills, training or qualifications. By staying in education for longer young people will be better equipped to pursue successful careers.

More details can be found on the Government website: Raising the participation age – Suffolk County Council

Useful Websites for conversation with students:

Parents Advice for Career Conversations – Talking Futures

Webinars for parents and carers | My World of Work

Useful Websites for Labour Market Information:

Useful Websites for Job Exploration:

Careers advice – job profiles, information and resources | National Careers Service

Useful Websites for Jobs & Apprenticeships:
Employability Skills

Apprenticeship Guide for Parents (

University Support Websites:

University Guide for Parents (

Volunteering and Social Action Websites:

Careers Newsletters:

Summer 2024 will see the start of regular newsletters, which will be full of information to support students, parents, carers and employers.  A link to these will be included in the principal letter,  but they will also be able to be found here.


Use the Careerometer below to compare different jobs, salaries, working hours etc. Click on the dotted area in one of the cards and enter in a career that you’re interested in, then use the next card to add another career, to compare the two.

Students destination figures are another indication of how we can assess the impact of the Careers programme at ODA. According to the new government statutory guidelines:
‘every student must receive impartial guidance in the form of a 1:1 interview before they leave school at 16.’

Our level 6 Careers Adviser, Marion Gibbons, works in school one day each week. Parents and students from any year group can request a careers appointment. However, all students will be offered an appointment during year 11, to support them into making an informed choice and most suitable careers path for post 16 education.  This may be in the form of a further education establishment, an apprenticeship or other training provider alongside employment.

Parents and carers are welcome to attend careers appointments with their sons/daughters and after school appointments are available. If you wish to arrange an appointment, please contact Marion Gibbons through the school contact details.

The hard work carried out by our Careers team and the intervention put into place as part of the careers and raising achievement programme ensured that 99% of our Year 11 students had provisional destinations prior to them leaving in July 2023. 99% of students have enrolled onto a course at college, started an apprenticeship or employment with training.

Comparison of Destination Data from 2017 to 2022 (excluding 2019-2020 as this was not provided by the Government data).

What is Labour Market Information (LMI)?

What is Labour Market Information (LMI)?

Labour Market Information (sometimes also known as Labour Market Intelligence/LMI) tells us facts and data about the workplace or labour market – often in the form of data, graphs and statistics.

However, labour market information along is rarely enough, it also requires labour market intelligence – and interpretation of the information to help them make sense of it. The idea is that people can make informed choices about their future pathways using LMI. This information has the potential to change lives by:-

  • Developing new perspectives
  • Giving new intelligence or information
  • Knowing whether a particular employment sector is thriving or are businesses in that sector closing due to the economic climate?
  • Correcting misinformation or stereotypes
  • Is it a growth sector that may provide new jobs in the future?
  • Are jobs in a particular sector mainly located in a certain geographical area?

To research these and various other careers and sectors there are many website and resources that can be used. Below are just some examples that offer impartial information to help you understand the labour market better and the career paths that you may considering. Consider whether you want to pursue a career that has very few jobs in our local area, however you can always move areas to gain the jobs that you want. 

The attached guide has specific information on labour market information for Suffolk:next-steps-using-lmi-with-young-people-a-guide-for-practitioners.pdf

Suffolk County Council Careers advice and guidance – Suffolk County Council

Career Pilot –

LMI for all – What is LMI and why is it important? – LMI For All

I could –

Prospects –

World Skills UK –

Office for National Statistics Labour market overview, UK Statistical bulletins – Office for National Statistics (

Prospects Labour market information: a user guide | Luminate (

Stonewall – Careers support for finding a LGBTQ inclusive employer.

Stonewall – offering information from LGBTQ employees in the workplace.

Proud Employers– A search engine with LGBTQ employers.

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework of 8 guidelines that define the best careers provision in secondary schools.

1: A Stable Careers Programme

We are looking to set up a programme of careers education and guidance through assemblies and bespoke form time sessions for all years and careers education will also be part of PSHE lessons for all pupils.

Information about future study options and the labour market is available to students at Open Evenings, through Yojo, the National Careers Services and other certified websites, and through the Independent Careers Adviser, Marion Gibbons from Beacon East, who is in school on Wednesdays each week to give impartial advice on careers and future opportunities.

To identify students’ guidance needs, we ask them to complete information sheets at the beginning of the Academic Year, with their interests and future career path ideas. This information is then collated onto a spreadsheet – this means that we can target particular students for specific events that may be of interest to them and their future career paths.

We provide students with opportunities within the Academy to have direct contact with employers by hosting careers drop in talks. We have invited in parents and local companies and training providers to speak with students about their experiences or their careers.

Students will also have the opportunity to attend an annual careers fair, whether this is off site or at school. These events allow our students to meet employers as well as people from colleges and universities.

In addition, we have a partnership agreement with the University of East Anglia outreach team in which we will seek to plan a programme of events which are linked with the University.

2. Learning from career and labour market information

To identify the needs of our students regarding careers guidance, all students are entitled to an appointment with our external careers’ adviser, Marion Gibbons.

If individual students speak with staff regarding their future aspirations, staff members can use these conversations to identify any further guidance and support the Academy can give to the student.

To remain impartial, we ensure that our External Careers Adviser can arrange appointments with all the Year 7– 11 students who are unsure of their future path. All year 11 students are seen, and this service is also available to students in all years, through referral or self-referral.

Local labour market information is detailed on notice boards and posters and included in assemblies and PSHE lessons.

3. Addressing the needs of each student

To address the needs of our students, we are arranging for students to complete a careers tracker. This will be in the form of an online tracker and, from the information on the tracker, we aim to organise trips and working lunches based on the data that has been returned. The information that we receive includes their intended job role, the top three industry sectors they are interested in, the subjects that they are interested in, the skills that they believe they hold or would like to develop, whether they would like to go to university and if they have been seen by the Independent Careers Adviser. These events will be organised and then advertised to those who may be interested in the event.

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

To ensure that careers are incorporated into the curriculum learning of students, we will follow the career development plan once curriculum information has been input by Curriculum Leaders. The information displays the links of the students’ learning to any careers possibilities or opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to attend workshops and trips linked to various curriculum subjects.

5. Encounters with employers and employees

Our students can potentially have a huge number of encounters with employers and employees. We will record all the encounters that the students have, so that we can target students who may not have engaged in any activities and events. This can happen through working lunches that students can attend, trips we run and careers fairs that we attend or organise in school. The student careers tracker helps identify areas of interest to be able to invite appropriately interested students.

We plan on hosting a careers fair in the new year with a number of representatives from a range of industries. All students will have the opportunity to attend the careers fair and to have a number of employer encounters.

All Year 10 students will participate in a week’s work experience towards the end of the year – this will provide them with a variety of encounters with employers, employees, and other members of society.

6. Experiences of workplaces

To ensure that our students experience the workplace whilst they are still school age, all Year 10 students will participate in work experience at the end of the Academic year. This provides them with experiences of the workplace and insights into the career path that they may have an interest in, as well as highlighting and enhancing employability skills.

7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education

The Academy invites apprenticeship providers into the Academy to talk to students about apprenticeships, including how to find and apply for apprenticeships, through assemblies and specific talks.

Our partnership links with the University of East Anglia provides assemblies and workshops for each year group, and a number of trips and visits to the University.  A wider selection of universities are also invited to our careers fair.

Local colleges and Universities are invited to KS4 parents’ evenings and raising achievement evenings, as well as assembly provision as part of the Provider Access Legislation.

8. Personal Guidance

Our level 6 Careers Adviser, Marion Gibbons, works in school one day each week. Parents and students from any year group can request a careers appointment and all students will be offered at least one appointment during year 11. If a follow up appointment is required that can also be organised. Parents and carers are welcome to attend careers appointments with their sons/daughters and after school appointments are available. If you wish to arrange an appointment, please contact Marion Gibbons through the school contact details.

OAT Futures is a brand new website and has been designed to create further careers-related opportunities, educate students about their options and choices, and support the development of their employability skills. Sitting at the heart of the OAT vision is this innovative and inspiring careers portal, which aims to broaden horizons and raise awareness of the career opportunities available throughout England, removing geographical knowledge barriers.

The first phase in the development of the OAT Futures careers portal focuses on maritime careers, as many of OAT’s academies are in areas of significant disadvantage, including deprived coastal regions.

They plan to add hundreds of films, featuring many different careers sectors, to inspire our young people, so this is an informative website to be aware of as part of careers education. Visit the website here.

We are really proud that one of our ex-students Ray appears on one of their promotional posters, and also in a video promoting careers.

We take pride in our extensive network of partners, from the education, business, voluntary, community and culture areas, and on a local, regional and national level. Our aim is for each of our partnerships to advance, support and enrich both our curriculum and enrichment offers for students.

Employer Information

Ormiston Denes Academy would welcome contact from prospective employers, community groups, volunteering groups etc, who would be willing to support our students in any way. This could be through the offer of work experience, work place visits or work shadowing, talks in school, mock interviews, industry insights, workshops or other activities to give students a better insight into the world or work, and how work connects to what they are learning in school.

Even if you are not sure what you may be able to offer, there are many ways in which you can share your experience and help build our students’ knowledge of employability skills, labour market information, career sectors, workplace etiquette, what an employer looks for, to name just a few.  We have many activities that you would be able to join in with, and we are always open to new ideas and opportunities.

If you feel you could spare any time to support the academy and our students, please contact Mrs Richings on [email protected] or call the academy on 01502 574474

Such offers and partnership working provides students with various different opportunities and enhance their learning. Whether this is through trips and visits, in-school workshops, motivational speakers, assemblies or mentoring, these opportunities and activities help broaden the horizons of our students, taking their learning outside the classroom and provide an insight into skills, opportunities and the world of work.

Some of our partnership working is also shown below: 


The Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (NEACO) aims to help young people in East Anglia with little or no experience of university to explore the world of higher education. Take your place is a programme aimed at young people aged 13 to 19 considering their study options after school or college, with partners working with schools, colleges and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Further information can be found on their website, here including a number of resources, two of which are below:

Academy Partnership with the University of East Anglia

We are a University of East Anglia partnership school. This means that we are offered a number of opportunities for young people, staff, parents and carers and the wider school community. We also have an Outreach Officer, who is our dedicated point of contact to help the select young people who will benefit most from taking part in our activities.

The activities offered are designed to enable young people to recognise that going to university is an option for them. Everything is provided totally free of charge by the university, apart from some transport costs. Activities are linked to careers and widening participation, and fully support us to achieve both Ofsted and Gatsby Benchmark reporting requirements.

The UEA believes in championing young people from all backgrounds to succeed in whatever way is best for them. However they are clear that, if young people are clued up on all things university and decide it’s not for them, that’s fine.

Details of their outreach programme can be found here.

They assess the impact of their work using data requested from all partnership schools. Students, parents and carers, have been informed that data will be provided by the school, and given the option to opt out if they wish. Details about the data collection can be found here.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Careers Hub.

The Careers hub supports local schools, and their  priorities include:

  • Supporting the improvement of careers provision in schools and colleges against the Gatsby Benchmarks through support, training for the education workforce and quality assurance.
  • Supporting the provision more high-quality experiences with employers for students and teachers.
  • Supporting the amplification of apprenticeships, technical and vocational routes.
  • Targeted interventions for economically disadvantaged young people and those who face barriers.
  • The connection of careers provision in schools and colleges to the needs of local economies.

Ultimately their mission, like our own, is to help every young person find their best next step.

We have also developed other partnerships with our local Colleges, the University of Suffolk, NCS, Aim Apprenticeships, Suffolk Apprenticeships, along with many members of the local community, our parents and alumni. Many of these attend our careers fair, and offer other activities within the school day.

Year 11 is a massively important time – not only are students working towards their GCSEs, they have some decisions to make about their post 16 education, and it’s important that they are able to make an informed choice. 

Students could choose to study a full-time programme at a Further Education College, or find employment as an apprentice and continue their training on a part-time basis. Or many students attend college and transfer to an apprenticeship at some point during their studies.

Over the next few weeks many of our local colleges and training establishments will hold open events.  Here are just some of the reasons why attending the open events will make the decision-making process easier.

1.  Find out stuff you don’t know 

It’s simple: you’ve got lots of questions open days will give you the opportunity to ask them – in person! Tutors from all subject areas and support staff from all departments are generally available for you to chat to.

2. Get an idea of what life is like at college

You can certainly find out lots of information on college websites and social media channels but attending an open day will give you much more insight into life at college.

By going along and meeting staff and current students, you’ll be able to get a feel for how college works, and whether it’s likely to suit you.

3. Understand what qualifications are available, what they lead to, and what prospective students need to achieve to be accepted at college

One of the biggest worries prospective students have is around entry requirements – what will they need to achieve in their GCSEs to get a place at college – and what level should they start at?! College staff will be able to alleviate these concerns at their open events where staff can talk you through the different levels and types of qualification on offer – including apprenticeships. You’ll be able to find out how practical the programmes are, whether they are suitable for progression to university and what career paths they lead to.

4. Tour the campus facilities

Seeing is believing! You’ve got the opportunity to come and see college classrooms, workshops, kitchens and salons for yourself. You can also see them in action, with demonstrations, tastings and Q&A sessions planned. Once again, you’ll also be able to get that all-important “feel” for the place!

5. Find out how to apply

Found the perfect programme, but not sure what the next step is? Admissions staff will be able to help you, talk through the application process and even help get the application submitted at the event. However staff within our academy are also on hand to be able to support students with this.

6. Avoid issues further down the line

Year 11 is a very busy and often stressful time. With revision and exams ahead, you don’t want to be worrying about whether there will be any places left at college. An early application will give you peace of mind and some leeway if you change their mind later on.

7. Get help with the practicalities

Sometimes it’s the logistics of moving from school to college that worries prospective students and their parents/carers. How will they travel to college? How long will it take? How much will it cost? Can we afford the extras such as uniform and equipment? Attending an open event will give you the opportunity to talk to staff who can provide further information on the college bursary as well as details about bus/train passes if applicable.

So, try and make sure that you go along to as many of the open events as possible, even those where you feel you may not be interested, they might just surprise you!

Thinking about your post 16 options? You will need to complete your required applications in good time to ensure you have a place on your chosen educational post – 16 pathway.

Need help, information or guidance? Then come along and see Mrs Richings in her office, or email [email protected].

Qualifications/ Post 16 Options
T Levels

T Levels are new courses which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses, which launched September 2020, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study. Currently available locally at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Gorleston, from September 2021, EN6FC TECC from September 2022.

Department for Education: Find out about T Levels from students, teachers, careers leaders, employers and a university representative. This 6-minute film explains what makes T Levels different from existing post-GCSE choices and who they will suit. 

Introduction of T Levels

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a skilled job with training. Every apprentice is guaranteed a minimum wage linked to their age. They’re available at all academic levels – whether you’re leaving school without GCSEs or completing your A-levels. There are apprenticeships in industries like engineering, health and accountancy – plus a host of careers you’d never think of. And 9 in 10 apprentices stay in work after completing their course.

Higher apprenticeships

A higher apprenticeships is your ticket to a high-skilled job. You’ll usually need at least 2 A-levels to start one, and you’ll come out with qualifications equivalent to a foundation degree or higher – with any tuition fees paid by your employer! Higher apprentices can earn between £300-500 per week (although you may start lower). You could train to be a solicitor or a lab scientist, and even learn how to design sweets with a confectionery apprenticeship!

Degree apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships guarantee you a university degree, as well as on-the-job training for a high-skilled job. You’ll spend 30 hours a week learning from experienced colleagues at work, and the equivalent of one day studying towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree at uni or college. It gives you the kudos and academic grounding of a degree along with sought-after employability skills employers say graduates don’t have. And 8 out of 10 parents think it’s better than an Oxbridge degree!

Should I apply for an apprenticeship or university?

Today, apprenticeships offer a route into high-skilled jobs that you had to go to uni to train for in the past. If you know what career path you want to follow, an apprenticeship could get you there without the fees – while enabling you to develop employability skills too. University is essential for certain careers and great for those with passionate academic interests. Carefully consider the pros and cons of both university and apprenticeships before making your decision.

In September 2019, 99.9% of our students went on to positive destinations in either apprenticeships or further education and in September 2020, 99.45% of our students went on to positive destinations in either apprenticeships or further education, a testament to our students and the careers provision and advice that they receive. Although the positive destination figures have not yet been released, early indications show that, again virtually all students have gone on to positive destinations.

Please note, the following list does not include all available providers.

East Coast College

If you haven’t decided or are thinking of changing your course, contact East Coast College and Lowestoft 6th Form College on either 0800 854 695 or [email protected].

Lowestoft Sixth Form College website and virtual tour.

East Norfolk Sixth Form College website and virtual tour.

Sir John Leman High School 6th Form website and virtual tour.

City College, Norwich website and virtual tour.

Easton College website and virtual tour.

Suffolk New College/Suffolk Rural (Otley) website and virtual tour.

Access Creative

Students are entitled to careers education, information, advice and guidance that is impartial and confidential.  It will be integrated into their experience of the whole curriculum, based on a partnership with students and their parents or carers.  The programme will promote equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion, in the best interests of the students to whom it is given.

CEIAG at Ormiston Denes Academy includes a programme of careers education supported by personalised information, advice and guidance. Together we will equip young people with the knowledge and skills that they need to make well-informed and realistic choices about their own progression through learning and work.

Information, Advice and Guidance covers a range of personalised activities and interventions that help young people to become more self-reliant and better able to manage their progression through learning and work.

Specifically, students at Ormiston Denes Academy are entitled to receive:

  • Clear information, advice and guidance about all options available.
  • Help to decide what to do when they finish their course/education, including further learning, training or employment.
  • A programme of CEIAG which helps them to develop skills and knowledge to make choices and the transition to work and learning.
  • The opportunity to be involved in making decisions about things that affect their learning.
  • An opportunity to learn about the world of work.

From September 2021 our impartial Careers Guidance is being provided by Marion Gibbons from Beacon East. Beacon East is an education business partnership and careers guidance provider working across the eastern region. Their mission is to develop ‘meaningful relationships between education and business and industry,’ and they also provide high quality careers guidance services to meet the latest statutory requirements and most importantly, help guide students correctly to the next stage of their ‘life path.’ Marion Gibbons, who holds the required Level 6 qualification in Careers Guidance and enhanced DBS check, will be working part time in the academy to offer support to students. If you feel that your son/daughter would benefit from a careers guidance appointment, please contact Mrs Richings at [email protected]. Further information on the services provided by Beacon East can be found here.

Exceptional Individuals

Provide neurodiversity consulting, recruitment and employment support to employers and individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism.

Exceptional Individuals | Neurodiverse Recruitment & Employee Support

Whilst the role of the careers leader, advisor and supporting team are critical in shaping and enabling the careers programme in the academy, as a collective all staff work towards getting the very best next steps for all of our students. Staff build relationships with students, their own experiences can help support students, and in a classroom setting teachers can also link their subjects to the world of work, showing students possible future pathways and why their curriculum learning, cross curricular themes, and skills, are important.

All of the information contained within the careers guidance section of our website is also available for teachers support.

In July 2018 we were awarded the Quality in Careers Standard award at gold level, and in July 2021 we were again awarded this certificate for the achievement of the National Quality in Careers Standard award, as well as the Ixion Gold award for its outstanding contribution to its CEIAG provision. These are valid until July 2024.

There are a wide range of useful resources to be able to support students, parents and carers. This includes general information, online quizzes relating to job choices, further information of post 16 options, higher education, job opportunities and CV writing, to name a few. Please click here to view the wide range of information that is available.

Further reading

The website has a host of valuable information for all of the above, including:

All about apprenticeships

How much is the apprenticeship wage?

Seven apprenticeships you never knew you could do

Higher apprenticeships: should I do one instead of university?

Everything you need to know about law apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships: what are they and are they for me?

Is university for me?

Should I apply for an apprenticeship or university?

Information on Year 10 work experience can be found in the enrichment section of the website here.

The date of the next review of this published information is 15th June 2024. Parents, carers, students and key stakeholders are invited to submit feedback at any time of the academic year by emailing [email protected], by telephoning Mrs Richings on 01502 442615 or contacting us here.