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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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

Options After Year 11 – a guide for parents/carers

Provider Access Policy Statement

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?

AIM Apprenticeships

AIM Apprenticeships give regular assemblies and drop-in sessions in the academy. They offer support with finding an apprenticeship, including creating a CV with their online CV builder tool and help with interview preparation. Visit the AIM Apprenticeships website.

Fast Tomato (now Morrisby Careers) offers interest based careers advice and education for teenagers. Following some simple but powerful assessments, they offer a wealth of career, course and subject information, coupled with independent adviser support, to inspire students and to help them make informed decisions about their future.

Please see Mrs Richings in the Careers Office for the registration code to enable you to create a personal account.

The YoJo App

The Yojo App is a Careers and Apprenticeships App that has been created by Suffolk County Council’s Children and Young People’s Engagement Hub team. The Yojo App was first launched back in 2018, the first of its kind.

The Engagement Hub team created the app with young people for young people. The app name ‘yojo’ was chosen by young people meaning ‘You + Job = yojo’.

The new Yojo App has been rejuvenated to meet the current needs of young people in Suffolk, aged 14 to 25.

What support does the Yojo App provide to young people?

The Yojo app provides support to young people in Suffolk aged 14 to 25 who are looking for career path information, apprenticeship or traineeship opportunities, and tips and advice for preparing, finding work.

The Yojo app puts the ‘world of work’ in young people’s pockets. It has a huge range of features which allows young people to:

  • Search for live apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies – and apply for them via the app
  • Discover career paths based on their favourite subjects and interests – and it gives them career suggestions with entry level requirements.
  • Develop their skills to find work – with interactive tips and an interview questions quiz to help them prepare.

The Yojo App also includes:

  • A CV builder so young people can create a CV through the app, and email or print it.
  • A range of useful information to guide students in making the right decision about what they want to do if they’re feeling stuck – with links to contacts if they need to speak to someone and signposting to key support services.

Yojo App website.

Details of the app can be found below:

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).

Raising the Participation Age

All young people are required to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday. This doesn’t have to mean staying in school. Students can choose to study or train in any of the following ways:

Stay on full-time in a school, college or with a training provider (many young people also do a part time job alongside this).

Work or volunteer full-time, together with part-time accredited education or training.

Take up an apprenticeship or traineeship.

Further information can be found here: Raising the participation age – Suffolk County Council

There are also a wide variety of information that can be found on the ‘Useful Resources’ section of this careers page. If parents or carers have a question that cannot be answered through the information on our website, please contact Mrs Richings at the academy, who will be happy to support you.

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.