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Careers and Personal Learning Curriculum

Pupils visiting the Next Gen careers fair at Elland road.
Springwell Leeds Academy views the Personal Learning and careers curriculum as a means to break down barriers and make careers education relevant and accessible for all learners. The SEND Code of Practice states that ‘with high aspirations, and the right support, the vast majority of children and young people can go on to achieve successful long-term outcomes in adult life’. Furthermore, it adds that education providers and their partners should work together to help children and young people to realise their ambitions in relation to:

  • Higher education and/or employment – including exploring different employment options
  • Independent living – enabling people to have choice and control over their lives and the support they receive, their accommodation and living arrangements, including supported living
  • Participating in society – including having friends and supportive relationships, and participating in, and contributing to, the local community
  • Being as healthy as possible in adult life

Our Careers Education is based upon the SEND PSHE Association Scheme of Learning which includes economic well being, careers & enterprise education, and personal safety (including assessing and managing risk).

Prepared and ready for interview at Leeds City College.
The careers programme of study is embedded throughout the PSHE spiral curriculum.   In KS2  students explore careers within the PSHE topics of Self-Awareness, Self- Care support and Safety, and The World I Live In. Within this students explore their strengths and skills and begin to align these with jobs people do and roles in the community. 

As students move into KS3 the focus of Self- Awareness is designed to support students to identify their skills for learning and employability as well as their personal strengths. As this develops into The World I Live In topic, students explore preparing for adulthood. Financial education supports this as students are prepared for adulthood and empowered with knowledge to make informed choices around their future education and training. 

This curriculum is supplemented in KS4 where pupils also study a BTEC in Personal Growth and Wellbeing which engages learners through practical activities, encourages learning ownership, provides opportunities for personal reflection and promotes progression to further study and future employment. 

Issues related to equality and diversity are embedded throughout. In addition, all our teachers ensure curriculum coherence by making links with other areas including Duke of Edinburgh, Asdan and Experiential learning amongst other subject areas.

Independent Careers Advice

Careers guidance and support at Springwell Leeds is provided by Lance Depass.

Lance has a wealth of experience in Career Advice and Guidance and a passion for helping students explore and achieve their professional aspirations. He completed his Level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance & Development in 2014 and started working for U Explore as a Careers Adviser in schools in both North and West Yorkshire. He currently works in 11 schools across West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and North West of England with many students with Education, Health and Care Plans.

Lance is an independent and impartial advisor, providing guidance on career exploration, college choices, vocational options, and the skills needed for success within the workforce. Whether it’s assisting with college applications, job applications, CV building, conducting mock interviews, or offering advice on educational pathways, he will use his expertise and local knowledge to allow young people to find the best outcome for themselves, whatever that may be.

Gatsby Benchmarks and Baker Clause 

Springwell Leeds Academy measures progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks via the termly completion of the Compass+ evaluation and this information is shared with the Local Authority. The Gatsby Benchmarks were a recommendation from the  Good Career Guidance report by John Holman and have been widely adopted nationally following the DfE’s Careers Strategy in 2017 which recommended all schools work towards the benchmarks. The benchmarks are: 

  • A stable careers programme
  • Learning from career and labour market information 
  • Addressing the needs of each pupil 
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers 
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experience of workplaces 
  • Encounters with further and higher education 
  • Personal guidance 

Springwell Leeds is fully compliant with the Baker Clause and are strengthening our links to be able to offer all secondary students employer/workplace encounters. Springwell continues to work with local employers to ensure that work experience and encounters are appropriate and meaningful. 

Springwell Leeds has worked in partnership with BAM Nuttall who work to support young people with special educational needs and disabilities to feel ready for employment.  




PwC company are providing employer encounters for our Key Stage 3 students as part of our drive to extend careers input for KS3.  Sessions take place in school and students visit their offices for work experience.

“‘Working with the students and staff at Springwell was a truly remarkable experience. The young people were engaged, inquisitive and extremely responsive to the sessions that we delivered. They showed the key qualities that PwC instill in their teams, and it was clear that they had taken this on board. Students really enjoyed asking questions, taking part in the activities and were incredibly respectful both whilst we were visiting Springwell and during their visit to our office in Leeds. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the students during this time, and it became my highlight of the week for the 3 weeks we attended. I really hope to see a few familiar faces applying for our school and college level opportunities in the coming years”

We are always looking for local businesses that want to inspire and educate our students about the world of work and expand our careers programme. If you think you could help us to deliver talks/presentations, activities, workplace visits or work experience, please contact our Careers Leads at the appropriate site.

Springwell North – Jaime Warr (Senior Leader Link Careers) and Rachel Nicholas

Springwell East – Bethany Millington

Springwell South – Michelle MacFarlane (Senior Leader Link PSHE Curriculum) and Nicola Casey

Our Careers Policy can be viewed here.