Stevenage Education Support Centre is committed to providing students with high quality Information, Advice and Guidance( IAG) regarding education pathways, apprenticeships and careers.


Promoting a career development ethos is an essential part of the vision of the Centre. We aim to support the aspirations of all our students to ensure they gain the understanding, skills and experience required to make progress and succeed in learning and work. Effective careers education and guidance contributes to the wellbeing of individuals but also to the wellbeing of their families and the communities to which they belong.  To achieve this aim the Centre uses the Gatsby Benchmarks to develop and improve the careers provision offered.


National and Local Expectation

We are committed to meeting national and local expectations in relation to careers by:

  • Securing independent and impartial careers guidance for year 8-11 as required by the 2011 Education Act. In implementing this we will pay particular regard to the DfE ‘s principles of good practice and Ofsted’s inspection criteria for evaluating careers provision in schools, academies and PRU’s. (September 2015)
  • Fulfilling our duties under the Equalities Act 2010 to promote equality of opportunity, foster good relations across all people, eliminate harassment and discriminatory practices and support children with protected characteristics.
  • Meeting the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks that support the Centre to deliver high quality careers and enterprise provision. This will help the Centre identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Raise the aspirations all students through mentoring, group sessions and assemblies, visits to University of Hertfordshire, Enterprise events, Careers Fairs and the Apprenticeship Show.

The careers programme includes careers education lessons, careers guidance activities through individual work and one to one interviews with the YC Herts Personal Advisor.  Work-related learning and work experience is available for all KS4 students. They participate and attend extended work experience at local businesses in the community, gaining work related learning and preparing them for work.  Visits to local businesses to understand the labour market and recognise STEM opportunities for all students in the local community are undertaken every academic term.


Work Experience (KS4)

Work Experience is always important, especially now in our current economic climate.  Therefore, gaining more work related experience is likely to give them  an advantage in the labour market by the time they leave full-time education.

We offer a placement with an employer for a one day a week, where students learn about a particular job. While students are working there they are able to find out about the types of skills employers look for when they are contracting someone for a vacant job.  This opportunity also gives students the chance to develop communication skills and self confidence.

Some examples of our work experience placements are:  The Finance Department at Stevenage Borough Council, Bob's Tyres, Wickes, various construction companies and dog training.

It is always rewarding to hear of success stories from employers.  In particular some of our employers have had such good experiences with students they offer them part-time jobs which may lead to full-time employment or apprenticeships post 16.


Getting Ready for Work (KS3 and KS4)

Year 7, 8 and 9 students participate in ‘Getting Ready for Work’ half termly sessions. During these sessions, students will meet with an employer, career plan and investigate curriculum areas they enjoy with potential career opportunities.

Year 10 and 11 students participate in termly sessions of meeting with local employers and businesses to prepare them for the world of work.  Visits to local employers and workplaces ensure students are aware of labour market information, STEM opportunities and apprenticeship opportunities.  This supports Gatsby Benchmarks 2, 4, 5 and 6.

The Centre is currently achieving four of the Gatsby Benchmarks which is above the National average for Secondary Schools most schools nationally (51%) are achieving two Benchmarks.


Shelley Hughes, Assistant Headteacher, is the Careers Lead for the Centre.

She can be contacted by email on: or by telephoning the Centre on 01438 369119.


The SESC Centre Policy for Careers, Education and Vocational Guidance can be found on our Centre Policies page or by clicking here



KS3 and KS4 Careers Programme

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Year 8
  • Ready for work/career planning
  • Meet an employer morning – Wilmott Dixon
  • Career planning ELSA
Year 9
  • ELSA
  • YC Herts workshop
  • KS4 option meetings
  • YC Herts workshop
  • Career planning
  • Get Work Ready (ELSA)
  • YC Herts Workshop
  • Get Work Ready (ELSA)
Year 10
  • College
  • YC Herts careers interviews
  • Extended work experience placements
  • Amazing Apprenticeship workshop
  • Amazing Apprenticeships Awareness Workshop
  • Mock Assessment sessions
  • Apprenticeship show in Milton Keynes
  • North Herts College Visits (Hitchin and Stevenage)
Year 11
  • YC Herts careers interviews
  • Extended work experience placements
  • YC Herts Careers presentation - group session
  • College visits (options)
  • Careers Fair
  • University of Herts visit
  • Extended work experience placements
  • YC Herts interview careers
  • Parents presentation r.e. apprenticeships and college
  • Rewards Ceremony

Opportunities for Access:

A number of events, integrated into the schools careers programme, will offer providers an opportunity to come in to school to speak to students and/or carers/parents.


A provider wishing to request access should contact our Careers Leader - Shelley Hughes, Assistant Headteacher on 01438 369119 or by email:


Information on careers and destinations will be renewed and updated regularly.

Useful Websites

The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. The service offers confidential and impartial advice. This is supported by qualified careers advisers.  The National Careers Service website aims to:

  • help you with careers decisions and planning
  • support you in reviewing your skills and abilities and develop new goals
  • motivate you to implement your plan of action
  • enable you to make the best use of high quality career related tools.
Careersbox is a free online library of careers related film, news and information. As the preferred digital new media partner to the Institute of Career Guidance, the largest careers body in the UK, Careersbox aim is to deliver a new way for students to explore their skills and career options.
Plotr is a website created to help 11-24 year olds discover and explore careers they’ll love. It’s built around the Game which uncovers careers matched to their skills, interests and personality.
LifeSkills, created with Barclays, is a free, curriculum-linked programme, developed with teachers to help improve the skills and employability of young people in the UK.
icould has a range of video clips showing real people talking about their jobs and careers.
Plan your study & work  Your choices at 14, 16 and 18, explore different job sectors and how you can study and work at the same time - even to university level.
Success at School  is the place for young people to explore careers, get the lowdown on top employers, and search for the latest jobs, courses and advice.
Hertfordshire County Council - Jobs and careers within HCC.
Central Government's dedicated apprenticeship website has a whole range of information to help young people decide if Apprenticeships are the right route for them. You can also search for apprenticeship vacancies.


The new April Parents Pack is here! This packed edition includes a step-by-step guide to making the most of Vacancy Snapshot, tips for applying to legal apprenticeships, online support with applying for an apprenticeship, essentials for starting your new apprenticeship, meaningful apprenticeship roles and much more!