Aims of the School

At Tanfield School we have many minds but one mission: to get students to attend the best university, or real alternative, succeed in their dream job and thrive in all aspects of their life.

Our core values of hard work, trust and fairness permeate all that we do including ensuring the careers advice and guidance is of high quality, up to date, impartial and is personalised to support each and every one of our students enabling them to make the correct choice for them at a “Further Education ” and beyond level. We will do this through the curriculum and organised activities.


We are committed to providing a planned program of careers education, advice and guidance (CEIAG) for all students in years 7 to 11 using the Gatsby Benchmarks criteria to fulfil our obligation to our students ensuring we help enable them to have high aspirations and consider a broad range of career options.

Working with Students

Our aim is to inspire and motivate students by working closely with our local Further Education centres, Higher Education centres, apprenticeship services and local employers to ensure students have access to all opportunities available to them.

The CEIAG program is delivered to students via the careers co-ordinator, year group advisors or external agencies.

Working with Parents and Carers

Parents are kept up to date in the following ways:

  • News and information is shared on the school Facebook and Twitter pages
  • Letters are sent out in mailshots
  • Reminder text messages sent home before events and visits
  • School newsletter
  • FE presence at year 9, 10 and 11 parents/options evenings and GCSE results day

Key Stage 3 Provision

One careers focussed activity per half term delivered by careers co-ordinator/external agency on top of whole school/PSHE sessions.

Contact with impartial third party organisations to discuss future career pathways.

Introduction to “Higher Education” covering:

  • Courses
  • Timescales of courses
  • Finances
  • Opportunities
  • Campus visits
  • Taster sessions
  • Aspirations
  • Use of careers software (JED) to self-evaluate preferences
  • Skills/knowledge
  • Future career paths
  • Further education routes

By the end of Key Stage 3, students will have an understanding of:

  • An understanding of what Further and Higher Education is
  • The differences between academic and vocational courses
  • A better understanding of the strengths, achievements and weaknesses to support future choices
  • An understanding of employability qualities
  • Attended a visit to at least one college or university
  • A better understanding of career options available
  • An understanding of apprenticeships and how they work

Key Stage 4 Provision

One careers focussed activity per half term delivered by careers co-ordinator / external agency on top of whole school / PSHE sessions in year 10.

Further investigation to “Further Education” and “Higher Education” covering:

  • Specialist assemblies from FE centres to discuss courses and facilities at each FE centre
  • Courses (Foundation / Level 1/2/3 courses)
  • Timescales of courses
  • Finances for travel / living costs / bursaries
  • Opportunities from specific FE courses
  • University Campus visits for specific taster sessions (e.g Computer Science / Law)
  • Personalised “taster sessions” at several local colleges and sixth forms
  • Master Classes at college
  • Apprenticeship talks
  • Aspirational talks
  • Future career paths
  • Further Education routes
  • Attendance to in-house “Careers fair” attended by local FE and HE centres, apprenticeship services, specialist FE academies such as the aviation and rail academy, the north east raising aspirations team, and a range of services such as the Ambulance service, Army and Navy etc

By the end of Key Stage 4, students will have:

  • A deeper understanding of what Further and Higher Education is
  • An embedded understanding of the differences between academic and vocational courses
  • Had experiences of lessons at a college or sixth form
  • Written a CV (and understand what makes a good / bad CV and why)
  • Knowledge of how to search for entry requirements / course content for FE and HE courses
  • A better understanding of the strengths, achievements and weaknesses to support future choices
  • A deeper understanding of employability qualities
  • A better understanding of career options available to them beyond “FE” level
  • Had access to intervention / mop up sessions hosted by local colleges
  • Applied for a post 16 course or apprenticeship

Equal Opportunities

We are committed to promoting equal opportunities and seek to challenge all stereotypes and ensure all of our students achieve their full potential, whether that is to attend the best university or real alternative.

Evaluation, Monitoring and Review

This information was last reviewed in February 2021 and will be reviewed again in February 2023. It will also be reviewed frequently as described below:

  • Careers focus review meetings are held each term and are attended by the Chair of Governors (Christine McGough), Careers Lead Governor (Jill Lake) and the Headteacher (Steven Clough)
  • Events/activities undertaken from students are reviewed via pupil voice questionnaires and any appropriate changes will be made in line with any findings
  • The focus of the meetings is to discuss and evaluate the data of; destinations, trips, educational visits participation and will enable measurement of the impact of the CEIAG provision
  • The Careers Co-coordinator attends various CEIAG network and regional meetings and working groups
  • Regular meetings with external agencies (such as FE and HE establishments) take place where our School Agreed Plan is discussed in detail and any amendments are implemented

If you require any further information about our careers programme please contact our Head of Careers Guidance, Dr C Quigley, by telephone on 01207 232 881 or by email at