Church School Is Top of The League For Careers. Peter Snowden lead on Careers (Picture: Keith Blundy)

A Secondary Schools in the Diocese of Durham has achieved top marks in a national benchmark aimed at helping schools and colleges improve their careers provision for young people. 

Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy in Stockton has obtained 100% compliance in each part of the Gatsby National Benchmark making it one of only a handful of schools and colleges in the region to achieve this level. Ian Ramsey, which is part of the Dayspring Trust along with sister academy The Venerable Bede CofE Academy in Sunderland, achieved the rating during the lockdown period after several years of hard work.

The Gatsby National Benchmark’s measurement tool ‘Compass’ is designed plot progress of schools and colleges in achieving excellence in their careers and enterprise provision. 

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation state: ‘Where young people build the skills and knowledge that they need to manage their careers and where they are able to access the support that they need, they have the best chance to go on to build successful lives and make a contribution to society’; something that echoes the core principles of the Dayspring Trust’s schools.

Mr Peter Snowden, Deputy Head Teacher and Lead on Careers at Ian Ramsey, said: “We are delighted to have achieved 100% in all of the 8 benchmark measures:- A stable careers programme; Learning from career and labour market information; Addressing the needs of each student; Linking curriculum learning to careers; Encounters with employers and employees; Experience of workplaces; Encounters with further education higher education and Personal guidance.

“We are one of a small handful of schools who have achieved 100%. Last year, the regional average was 52% in the Tees Valley (4.2 out of 8) and 40% (3.2 out of 8) for the North East Region, with the National average being 37.5% (3 out of 8); in the Tees Valley, 84% of schools and colleges take part in the benchmark with only 60% for the wider North East.

“Last year, we were achieving 7 out of the 8 benchmarks in that same period but, despite lockdown, this year we have achieved all 8 at 100% – something we are very proud of indeed.

“We always set out to give our children the best start in life with their education and now we can show that we do the same for their prospects after school as well. Improving the life chances of our young people so that they can go on to bigger and better things, is something that is really important here in the North East.”

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