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February 2021 - we are pleased to announce that Lipson are working towards the reassessment process for Investors In Careers; a standard we have held since 1997. Our assessment will take place before the end of the academic year.

Careers At Lipson

Lipson Co-operative Academy places Careers Education and Guidance at the very heart of both our curriculum and pastoral care.   This is exemplified by the Investor in Careers Award (licenced by the National Quality in Careers Standard) which we retained in 2017, making us one of a few schools to have held it seven times with the assessor describing the Academy’s determination to never give up on student as a real strength. “Lipson Cooperative Academy has developed a set of core values associated with supporting students to achieve their ambitions that is exemplary. Where other organizations may tell students, they have failed to ‘make the grade’ for their intended progression, Academy staff work with students to develop learning plans that provide alternative pathways to the same (or very similar) ends and so provide that extra effort to support students” – click here for the full report.

The real strength of our Careers Education and Guidance model is its developmental nature, taking into consideration an individual student’s ever-changing needs and career aspirations as they progress through Key Stage 3 and 4 and on into post 16 education; we endeavour to make these transitions as seamless as possible and students are continually asked to reflect on their learning and progression, thereby preparing them for success in life outside school.  Parents are also invited to be a part of the guidance process, establishing an on-going and effective dialogue between the academy and parents/carers so as to meet the best interest of all students.  Please see our Careers Education and Guidance Policy and our Core Careers Education and Guidance Programme for more information.

Our 2019 OFSTED inspection also highlighted careers education saying that work placements and careers advice are well organised so that students are well prepared for the next steps that they take.' In addition, OFSTED's remote monitoring visit in February 2021 identified that we "have rightly prioritised careers guidance to support pupils in their transition to the next phase of education, training or employment."

Careers Education and Guidance Policy (Including Baker clause and how careers programme is measured and assessed)

Core Careers Education and Guidance Programme

PSHE Careers Programme

Careers Pathway Programme

Careers Pathway Programme (PDF)

Careers Education and Guidance Staff

Careers Leader – Rebecca Marshall

SLT Link - Tracy Ashton (Deputy Headteacher)

Work Experience Coordinator – Mark Bevin

Link Governor - Tim Cook

Careers Advisor – Mike Shail (CSW Group)

Enterprise Advisor – Lindsey Edmonds (Delt Shared Services)

For further information, please contact Rebecca Marshall on 01752 671318 or email rmarshall@lipson.plymouth.sch.uk


Gatsby Benchmarks

The Academy measures its careers education and guidance against the Gatsby benchmarks. These are a set of measures outlined by John Holman in his 2014 report ‘Good Career Guidance’ and adopted as best practice by the government in 2017 and OFSTED in 2019.

These are:

  1. A Stable Careers Programme
  2. Learning from Career and Labour Market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum to careers
  5. Encounters with Employers and Employees
  6. Experience of Workplaces
  7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education
  8. Personal Guidance

A full overview of each benchmark can be found here https://www.goodcareerguidance.org.uk/the-benchmarks


Impartial Careers Guidance

Lipson Cooperative Academy fulfils its statutory requirement to offer all students impartial and independent careers advice and guidance by commissioning the CSW Group (formerly Careers South West).  All students have an interview in Year 11 and Year 13 as part of their transition to post 16 and post 18 destinations.

Advisor support is available at Lipson each week and all students in Years 8 – 13 may request an interview by emailing Rebecca Marshall rmarshall@lipson.plymouth.sch.uk  or by speaking to tutors or the relevant Head of Year. Parents/Carers are very welcome to attend an interview with their child. CSW Advisors also attend key Parents Evenings such as the Year 9 Options Evening and the Sixth Form Open Evening.

Further specific information for the following groups is available below


Parents & Carers



The information published here will be reviewed in May 2022