Schools in England are legally required to provide independent careers guidance for all pupils in Years 8-13 ensuring they are inspired and motivated to fulfil their full potential.

R.E.A.L. Independent School has a critical role to play in preparing our learners for the next stage of their education or training and beyond, ensuring that they are well-informed when making subject and career decisions.

We are committed to providing an inclusive careers programme for all young people and our careers programme is designed to increase the possibility and probability of young people with special educational needs including social and emotional health needs of gaining meaningful employment.

We work hard to ensure that all learners have opportunities to access careers programmes that will develop high aspirations and provide learners with a broad and ambitious range of career opportunities. We work from a presumption that all learners are employable and will facilitate activities to support every young person realise their potential and their contribution to their economic and social mobility.

Find our careers programme 2020-2021 here
Find our Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) Strategy here

At the R.E.A.L. Independent School we are working towards the Gatsby Benchmarks.

The school contributes to the Gatsby Benchmarks which are:
1. A stable careers programme
2. Learning from career and labour market information
3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
5. Encounters with employers and employees
6. Experiences of workplaces
7. Encounters with further and higher education
8. Personal guidance

Meet the Team

Clare Walker – School Lead for Employability
Clare is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and is also our Careers Leader who has the responsibility for ensuring that amongst other things that the school has a good careers programme that meets the expectations set out in the Gatsby Benchmarks.

She works closely with the school governors responsible for careers and ensures that the careers programme continuously improves and equips learners with the skills, attitudes and experiences that employers need.

The school measures and assesses the impact of the careers programme in a range of ways including gathering employer feedback and testimonials, tracking and monitoring a learners progress against targets set out in their Education, Health and Care Plan, monitoring uptake of careers guidance interviews, visiting work placements and tracking learner destinations.

Clare can be contacted on 07904890370 or by e mailing

Michelle Farr and Alison Wellings – R.E.A.L. Independent School Senior Leadership Team with specific oversight of careers curriculum from KS2 – KS5
To ensure learners reach their full potential the school has a broad and balanced curriculum with both academic and vocational subjects and use a variety of assessment methods to suit each students individual needs.

We have robust quality assurance systems and procedures including lesson observations, learning walks, drop in’s and deep dives which take an in-depth look at the different subjects on a learners programme to check that the curriculum is ultimately equipping learners to become employable citizens.

Michelle Farr can be contacted on 07584 705 806

Alison Wellings can be contacted on

Kay Carter – R.E.A.L. Education’s Head of Safeguarding and Standards
Kay is also our school career advisor and has over 12 years experience supporting and guiding young people. Kay has worked for Connexions and Futures in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire and works with the Nottingham Trent University model of careers guidance within both R.E.A.L. Independent School, and R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision School and enjoys every minute of it!

Kay Carter can be contacted on tel: 07584705825 or by e mailing

Martin Heartfield – Marketing and Business Engagement Lead
Martin regularly attends business events and has the responsibility for developing and maintaining lasting relationships with companies to create real life experiences and opportunities for our learners.

We have strong links with a range of employers who have accessed our careers programme including; Mansfield District Council, National Apprenticeships Service, West Notts College, Business Academies in the Community, North Midlands Construction, Mansfield and Ashfield 2020, The Mansfield Federation of Small Businesses, The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, Linney’s, Portland College, Ferrari (Nottingham) as well as other local employers, schools and academies.

All learners in Year 10 and above have access to a work placement or employer engagement opportunity which may vary in different lengths of time at different points throughout the year. Learners are supported through this and secure high quality placements that are risk assessed by Martin to ensure that all legal health and safety requirements are met.

Work experience placements are closely monitored and tracked via the Work Placement tracker and by the Learning Manager once learners are on programme.

Martin can be contacted on tel: 07411223221 or by e mailing

The careers programme will enable learners to:
● develop an understanding of their own skills, values and aspirations
● navigate pupils through the diverse career opportunities available to them
● develop their communication, team working, commercial awareness and other employability/work related learning skills

The outcome of the careers programme will be that learners are:
● Driven and self-directed
● Self- assured and informed
● Self- aware and resilient
● Enterprising and entrepreneurial
● Proud of themselves

Learners in Years 7-13 have access to the following:
● A range of external providers who talk through the opportunities they offer including information on technical opportunities, Apprenticeships, opportunities in Further and Higher Education by accessing educational visits, taster events, options day and group discussions.
● To meet with and engage with employers from the local area through our links with the business community including mock interviews, career workshops on CV writing, guess my role workshops,
● The Job Explorer Database which enables learners to access information on a range of jobs, including access video case studies, pictures, quizzes, career facts and different career pathways. Information is presented in a clear and lively way that learners from all abilities can understand and get on with exploring careers and thinking about what will and won’t suit them.
● The support to make applications to apply for employment opportunities when they arise and also access to a full range of academic and technical programmes.
● Work experience and mock interview days in Year 10 upwards.
● The opportunity to participate in a range of enterprise projects such as Mansfield Junior Enterprise Award, Five Pounds Grow Project.
● Comprehensive curriculum including a choice of vocational options at Key Stage 4, a comprehensive PSHE programme and employability pathway delivered through Asdan, Aim Awards or the BTEC Workskills programme.
● STEM opportunities.
● Options Choice meeting in Year 9.
● Careers Guidance Interviews in Year 10 and upwards (earlier if appropriate)
● Programme of activities planned through Careers Week every year in March
● Taster Days.
● Work Experience in Year 10 and upwards.
● An Individual Curriculum Intent Form which is personalised to each learner and tracks their overall progress each term, including the development of employability skills.

Personal Guidance
All learners have the opportunity to access regular and impartial personal guidance interviews with our Careers Adviser, Kay Carter and appointments are made via the Learning Manager responsible for the young person’s programme.

Careers guidance activities include:
● Support and guidance to help them make appropriate choices for their future help to decide what to do when they leave their course, including further learning, training or employment.
● One to one interviews if appropriate and referring learners to other agencies that support them.
● Listening to learner’s ideas and aspirations, skills, experience, challenging pre-existing assumptions and removing barriers so they can make realistic life choices.
● Access through a learners programme to information and guidance about the options that are open to them and the progression routes.
● Clear unbiased advice and information about all the options available, so that they understand what they involve.
● A programme of careers education which helps them to develop skills and knowledge to make choices and the transition to work and learning.
● Develop the behaviours and attitudes required for transition, including developing and building on a students’ confidence, resilience, persistence and motivation.
● The opportunity to be involved in making decisions about things that affect their learning and developing practical strategies on how to achieve their goal.

Please find below some useful websites that could help you and your child when making their Post 16 decisions, just click on a logo and it will open up the page in a new tab:

R.E.A.L. Independent School