Meet the Careers Team

Sophie Gascoyne – School Lead for Careers and Employability

Sophie is a member of the Senior Leadership Team 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, COMPASS, monitoring uptake of careers guidance interviews, visiting work placements and tracking learner destinations.

To ensure learners reach their full potential, Sophie ensures the school has a broad and balanced curriculum with both academic and vocational subjects and use a variety of assessment methods to suit each learner’s 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.

Sophie can be contacted on 07904890370 or by emailing

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 emailing

Karan Lyons – Senior Teaching Assistant with Careers Specialism

Karan is our STA with a responsibility for careers. Karen will be conducting impartial careers and guidance interviews, running small groups on CV writing, job searching skills, interview techniques and exploring different progression routes into further education or employment.

Karan can be contacted on tel: 07876834658 or by emailing

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 emailing

R.E.A.L. Independent School