Every student at The Birley Academy is entitled to receive high-quality careers education and guidance. Our careers education offer is delivered through the curriculum and for the entire duration of a student’s time with us here at The Birley Academy. 

The main objectives of our careers programme are to: 

  • Provide comprehensive and impartial information, advice and guidance to students as part of their whole school curriculum 
  • Ensure that students are clear about how the subjects they study link to possible career opportunities available to them 
  • Raise student aspirations and develop the core skills that they require to ensure that they are viewed as future employees of choice 
  • Provide all students with a clear understanding of the Post 16 opportunities available to them, including higher education (HE), further education (FE), apprenticeships, traineeships, and employment 
  • Ensure that all students know about the routes and options available to them and understand how to find out more about them 
  • Provide equality of access to careers education and guidance  

Your career journey at The Birley Academy is carefully designed to ensure that you can develop a knowledge and understanding of the opportunities available to you after you finish secondary education.  

Staff at Birley will work with you to help expand your horizons and raise your aspirations. This guarantees that you will leave school at the end of Year 11 with clear goals and the motivation and understanding to achieve them.  

Our Year 11 students are sought after by the best sixth forms, FE colleges and apprenticeship and training providers in the city. To this end, we ensure through our curriculum and careers programme that they are starting the next phase of their lives on the best possible path.  

The sessions for Careers are delivered through tutor time, PSHE lessons and assemblies to help students make decisions about their future, with an emphasis on developing employability skills.

In terms of careers-specific events, there is an ‘Inspiration Week’ for Years 7 to 9 which gives them the opportunity to meet employers from a range of industries and representatives from higher education, in order to gain a better understanding of careers available to them.  

For Years 10 and 11, there are a number of opportunities given to them to interact with employers and post-16 providers through workshops, college taster days, work experience, mock interview days and post-16 open events.  

Students have access to independent careers advice via a careers advisor who will help inform and guide them to make the correct decisions on their futures.  

Further discussions around careers and aspirations take place during PSHE lessons. Support is given to ensure students have the time and resources to produce a quality CV along with guidance to complete their post-16 applications, to equip them with important tools as they move to the world of work. 

Year 7  

This year’s programme constitutes an introduction to Careers. The aim is to raise awareness of a range of a wide range of careers and pathways. Alongside this, students will identify their personal traits, strengths and skills in order to develop confidence and have expectations of themselves and for their futures.  

Year 8 

In Year 8, the focus is on extending the students’ understanding of their career options. As part of this, they start to consider what they may want to choose for GCSEs. Students’ encounters with employers and further education providers are increased to encourage aspiration and consideration of their future.  

Year 9 

This year emphasises preparation for GCSE options in terms of considering how these link to future careers pathways and progression routes. Students also increase their understanding of the importance of STEM subjects and their significance in a range of careers. 

Year 10 

In Year 10, students gain experience of the world of work. By the end of the year, they are also able to describe how the world of work is changing and how this may impact on their own careers. 

Year 11 

In terms of the progression focus of this year group, there is an emphasis on making well informed and realistic choices for Post-16 progression. Students also develop better understanding of how Post-16 pathways link to possible progression routes and future careers. All students are supported in finding, planning for and applying for an appropriate intended destination. 

Please click here to access our Careers and Enterprise Programme

It is never too early (or too late) to start thinking about careers and where yours could take you. We have provided some links below that may help you to begin thinking about how your interests, skills and talents could match up to a successful career. 

Careers Interest

Start with the careers interests quiz from Pearson by following this link:  Careers interests 

Industry Sectors

Pearson also provides a wealth of information on a wide range of industry sectors. Have a look by following this link: Industry sectors 


The icould website is the perfect place to develop your aspirations. They have videos looking at what a huge number of different careers entail, where you hear about what is involved from the people who do the jobs on a day-to-day basis. There are also personality quizzes to help guide you on which careers you would be well suited to, as well as tips on GCSE options and routes into further education and employment. Have a look by following this link: icould

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service provides lifelong information, advice and guidance on careers. There are links to assess your skills, search job profiles and find courses, as well as writing quality CVs and conducting successful interviews. Have a look by following this link: National Careers Service 

Gatsby Benchmarks

The eight Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance developed to support secondary schools and colleges in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice, and guidance.

Good Career Guidance | Education | Gatsby

Implementing the Gatsby benchmarks (

The school will monitor its success in supporting students to take up education or training which offers good long-term prospects. One way of doing this is through use of destination measures data. The school closely monitors the number of students who are recorded as not in education, employment or training (NEET) after they have left school.  

The table below shows the percentage of students who leave The Birley Academy and who move on to and sustain a place in some form of education, employment or training.  

Three year trends for post 16 education, employment, or apprenticeship 
Internal Data
Internal Data
BA students in post 16 destinations sustained for at least two terms90%98%97%
BA students not sustained post 16 destinations 9%2%3%
Cohort size 204209208

Formal monitoring of the impact of CEIAG and provider access will be carried out through: 

  • The Compass careers benchmark tool  
  • Careers guidance interview records  
  • Informal feedback from students, parents, teachers and employers through random sampling  
  • Student questionnaires for individual guidance interviews and group work  
  • Lesson observations  
  • Sustained destinations checking 
  • Regular review meetings with external partners and evaluation of the impact of partnership agreements 

In February 2023, The Birley Academy was awarded Career Mark, the national ‘Quality in Careers Standard’ for its careers education, information, advice and guidance.  

Moving forward, leaders at The Birley Academy intend to explore the use of this standard in order to provide further verification of the quality and impact of the CEIAG provision on offer at the school. 

Careers Team: 

Mrs L Gillham: Assistant Headteacher 

Mrs A Pemberton: Careers Lead / Work Experience Coordinator / Sheffield Progress Coordinator 

T: 0114 2392531 EXT: 2253 (Working days Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday) 

Email: [email protected] 

Date of school’s next review of the published information: July 2024 

As your child approaches the pivotal stage of their educational journey, The Birley Academy is committed to providing comprehensive support and guidance for their transition into Post 16 education. We understand the significance of this phase and recognise the importance of making informed choices. Our school fosters strong connections with all sixth forms and further education colleges, ensuring a wide array of opportunities for your child’s continued academic growth. Through our dedicated efforts, we aim to empower students with the necessary tools and information to explore their passions, excel in their studies, and make confident decisions about their future pathways. At The Birley Academy, we prioritise personalised assistance, enabling students to thrive in their chosen pursuits beyond their secondary education.

Sheffield Progress is an online prospectus and application system for young people to apply to school sixth forms, colleges and training providers. Most applications to sixths forms and colleges in the city must go through Sheffield Progress. Exceptions to these are Mercia Collegiate Sixth Form and Longley Park Sixth Form.

Sheffield Futures is a charity supporting young people to feel well, have a voice and get into the training, education or work that’s right for them.

Further Education Colleges

Chesterfield College

Thomas Rotherham College

Rotherham College

Barnsley College


Find out how to become an apprentice, what apprenticeships are available, which employers offer them and information about starting your apprenticeship.

Amazing Apprenticeships

Amazing Apprenticeships is a leading organisation in the education sector, working with schools, colleges and employers, tackling misconceptions and promoting the benefits of apprenticeships and technical education.

The Sheffield College Apprenticeship Presentation 2024

Apprenticeship Presentation

NHS PROUD Apprenticeships

NHS Flyer

At The Birley Academy, as part of our commitment to providing a well-rounded education we provide a valuable opportunity for our Year 10 students – a two-week work experience placement.  This programme aims to offer our pupils a practical and insightful experience in a professional environment. This initiative serves as a bridge between classroom learning and the world of work, allowing students to explore various career paths, develop essential skills, and gain a deeper understanding of different industries.

We believe that this hands-on experience will not only enhance their academic knowledge but also help them make informed decisions about their future career aspirations. We are confident that this experience will be both rewarding and enriching for our students, empowering them to become confident, motivated, and career-ready individuals. We appreciate your support in encouraging and guiding our students as they embark on this exciting journey.

For more information please see below:

Letter to Parents

Student Self Placement Form

Guide for Parents and Carers