Sir Graham Balfour School

A member of Insight Multi-Academy Trust


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Careers Information and Guidance Events

The information on this page will be reviewed and updated on 04/09/2024.

Careers & Aspirations  Lead – Mrs V Bowyer

tel: 01785 223490

Senior Leader link - Mrs S Marshall

Governor link - Mr M Winkle

Sir Graham Balfour School is committed to raising the aspirations of all its students. We recognise that this can, in part, be achieved by providing high quality careers information, advice and guidance.

Sir Graham Balfour School has developed a careers programme that aims to provide all students with timely and age appropriate careers information, advice and guidance. We believe that all students should have opportunities to explore their strengths and interests so that they can make better informed choices within their educational journeys and beyond. The careers programme at Sir Graham Balfour has been produced with the students at the forefront of our mind and in accordance with the ‘Eight Gatsby Benchmarks for good career guidance’. These are stated below:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning form career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

Please click here to open the careers programme

We measure and assess our careers provision on a regular basis, against the Gatsby benchmarks, using the ‘Career and Enterprise Company’s compass tool. We also monitor GCSE options and both post-16/post-18 pathways.

In order to ensure that our careers provision continues to be effective and impactful for our students, we endeavour to make improvements wherever we can. We therefore try to gather feedback from students, staff and parents on CIAG events so that we can maintain high quality and relevant careers provision for all on an ongoing basis. This is done through written evaluations, online surveys and pupil voice.

Provider access policy for employer engagement

If you are part of a business, organisation or other interested party and you feel that you would like to support the students at our school through CIAG, please see the Provider Access Policy.


Career focused activities are delivered during PSHE lessons and whole school PSHE days

Year 7 focus: The importance of education– ensuring that pupils understand the reasons that they are at school and the benefits of a good education in allowing them to enhance their career prospects.

Year 8 focus: Personal Attributes – developing a self-awareness of skills, and an understanding of their application to future careers.

Year 9 focus: Qualifications and gaining experience – focussing on the importance of choosing the correct options and using the school environment to support qualifications with achievements and experience.

Year 10 focus: Skills for employment - utilising the tools of work experience, CV and letters of application writing and mock interviews to introduce students to the process of embarking on a career.

Year 11 focus: Preparation for post 16 pathways – ensuring that students are fully aware of their post 16 options and what their next stage of education will be.

Years 12 and 13 - Focus: Preparation for Higher Education and the world of work - Sixth Form students are provided with advice and guidance regarding post 18 options including; the UCAS progress; apprenticeship routes and alternative options. We encourage the use of Unifrog as a search tool and as an evidence log of achievements. Students also receive quality support in the writing of CV’s and personal statements. We encourage and facilitate University, apprenticeship and workplace visits. Students are encouraged to complete the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) and at least one MOOC over the course of their time at sixth form to ensure that all applications and CV’s are of the highest calibre.

Impartial Careers support

Sir Graham Balfour invests in the correct career advice for our pupils. Mrs V Bowyer is currently working towards  a Level 6 Careers Adviser qualification.

Our RONI pupils are seen by Entrust Careers advisors

If you wish to seek further impartial advice, the National Careers Service offer a free online web chat service. This service is open from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week and can be found on the following link

Please look at the guidance from the Government on the legality of school-age related employment.

Child employment: Restrictions on child employment - GOV.UK (

Please look at the guidance regarding BTEC and T Levels

Work Experience

Students in Years 10 have a Work Experience week.

This allows students to gain an insight into the world of work and all that goes with it. We encourage students to find quality work experience placements, where they will be able to utilise and develop their skill set. We hope that by being in a real-life work setting, students will learn the importance of team work, communication and hard work, amongst many other things.

Whilst on placement, students will be expected to record their daily activities and the things that they have learnt, in their ‘Work experience diary’.  Students will be visited by a member of staff at some point within the week to check on their progress.

Careers Fair

Sir Graham Balfour holds an annual careers fair, providing students with an opportunity to meet with an array of employers, businesses and Further Education providers. This event is held in the school sports hall during an off-timetable day.

Companies and organisations interesting in exhibiting or supporting this event should contact Mrs V J Bowyer via

Careers Software

The school subscribe to Unifrog to support and manage careers advice, information and guidance.

Currently, years 8 to 13 students make use of Unifrog to research career interests, evidence their skills and to support them with CV writing and personal statements.

If you are a parent/carer and would like more information about Unifrog and it’s use, please contact the school using the information below.




Mrs V J Bowyer, Careers & Aspirations  Lead -

Mrs L. Gannon, Work experience lead –

Useful websites for students, parents and teachers

Platform to explore University courses and apply to University

One-stop-shop where students can explore their career interests, then find and successfully apply for their best next step after school (post 16 and post 18).

Job Profiles: Use the link to access job profiles. Use these profiles to explore your career ideas.

This site allows you to search and apply for apprenticeship vacancies.

Free access to over 1000 personal video stories, detailed job information, plus practical tips, insight and advice and Labour Market Information              

National online careers film and video library. You will be able to watch real people doing real jobs to help give you more of an insight 

A careers site highlighting job profiles, updates on job sectors, career matching tool and featured employer links

A website to look at Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Take a career test, explore your options, plan your future

Career advice for schools and students aged 13-19. Search jobs, advice & find out about employers, work experience, courses, career choices, apprenticeships. 

Initiative for young people aged 15-17, to develop their skills and have new experiences through attending a 4 week scheme (residential involved).

The topics/subjects on the website provide guided activities, questions to think about and suggestions for further reading. Each area is produced by Cambridge post-graduates and academics.

Website with information relating to post 16 and 18 pathway choices that do not involve solely University.

Compares University courses and their career/salary prospects upon graduation.

Central base of information for all things University – league tables, open days, fee information, course searches.

Lots of useful support from personal statement and interview advice to key questions about Higher Education.

Staffordshire Jobs and Careers, a website that supports career advice and opportunities within Staffordshire.

Staffordshire Jobs & Careers (


Local learning providers

Newcastle and Stafford Colleges group:

South Staffordshire College (campuses in Cannock, Lichfield, Penkridge and Tamworth):

Stoke-on-Trent College:



Sir Graham Balfour School
North Avenue
ST16 1NR

For Sat Nav directions:

ST16 1NJ


01785 223490