Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) - "QAC Next Steps"

QAC believes that students with SEND, including those with high levels of needs, can access fulfilling jobs and careers with the right preparation and support. QAC aspires to support every student with a careers programme that follows the Gatsby Benchmarks.  As a specialist College, all of the learning undertaken by QAC for its students is fully inclusive.

A group of QAC students wearing red College hoodies

QAC’s plan complies with the Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) Act 2022 which came into force on 1 September 2022 and states that schools and Colleges must provide opportunities for access all year 8 to 13 schools pupils, including 16-25 with EHCP.  This is a legal duty for maintained schools and Colleges and is expected in non-maintained/other, where the Act states, “should” as opposed to “must”.

Every student at QAC is entitled to and will have access to meaningful advice to support their next steps. QAC aspires to achieve the eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance which are:

  • A stable careers programme
  • Learning from career and labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each student
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experiences of workplaces, and work placements
  • Encounters with further and higher education
  • Personal guidance

More Information on the benchmarks can be found here:

QAC students will have termly access to CIAG in each academic year as listed:

  • Through a taught tutorial curriculum (inclusive of PSHE/British Values/Work)
  • Personal Tutor sessions (group and 1:1)
  • Independent, external Careers Advisor sessions (1:1 and group).
  • ‘Work Skills’ and ‘Talking Employability’ awareness resources
  • Skills Builders (as part of tutorial sessions)
  • Guidance and input from tutors/LSAs and the QAC Work Placement team
  • Careers weeks (termly)
  • Transitions Officer meetings
  • Transitions events
  • Information from the Learning Resource Centre
  • Parent/carer forum information and external talks
  • Shared information drives

QAC also have an Independent Careers Advisor Nicki Hamilton (external company Calm Careers) and we are working closely with Birmingham Careers Service to ensure we are meeting and developing our progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks

The Independent CIAG advisor works across all curriculum areas on:

  • Next steps planning
  • Group and 1:1 meetings
  • Advising and sharing resources with students
  • Raising staff awareness and supporting their CIAG and CPD
  • Supporting at Transitions events

Below is a video of the support and approach Nicki will be taking with our students moving forward.

Visits are planned in advance and are managed by QAC’s Assistant Principal - Personal Development (AP PD), Kanchan Rajput-Goode.

The senior leader at QAC responsible for all aspects of the CIAG and wider curriculum is Jan Gormley

More information about Transitions at QAC can be found in this attached link.

Further details about National Careers Week (NCW) - an annual event held in March each year, can be found in this attached link