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Uplands School

Uplands School
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Careers Programme

Parent Feedback

89% of parents/carers feel that Uplands School does everything they can to prepare their child/young person for adulthood.
83% of parents/carers feel that Uplands School helps them understand options open to their child/young person in relation to study choices, work experience and careers.
89% of parents/carers feel that their child/young person has developed essential life skills in the last year. 
89% of parents/carers understand Uplands School Careers Programme and it's aims.

Please follow the links below to view the:

Uplands School Work and Careers Curriculum Framework


Uplands School
Careers Programme


Uplands School Careers Programme will be reviewed in September 2024

Introduction - Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance

At Uplands School we are committed to providing all our students with a comprehensive programme of careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) and work-related learning. Effective preparation for adulthood and enabling our students to make choices, contribute to their own lives and community and be as independent as possible is at the heart of our work at Uplands School. 

The main statutory guidance related to Careers in schools is currently the Careers Guidance and Access for Education and Training Providers (2023) alongside The Gatsby Benchmarks Gatsby Benchmarks | The Careers and Enterprise Company; neither of which focus on Careers Education for SEND schools therefore we have interpreted this guidance to ensure it is meaningful and relevant and therefore meeting the needs of our students. However, the aims of careers education are the same for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND):

  1. Independent living.
  2. Independent working.
  3. Choice.
  4. Hope and optimism.
  5. Adaptability and resilience.
  6. Access to and engagement in decent work in all its forms (personal, gift and paid work).
  7. Opportunities to learn and make progress.
  8. The pursuit of wellbeing and happiness.

Source: SEND Gatsby Benchmark toolkit (2018)

Please follow the link below, to read about Uplands School's latest  progress report towards the Gatsby Benchmarks (March 2023). Uplands School scores above the national average and only has two benchmarks left to fully achieve (BM6 Experiences of workplaces and BM8 IAG).
Careers Education Progress Report, March 2023

The Careers Development Institute has developed a SEND version of the national framework which we have utilised, along with the PSHE Association’s planning framework for pupils with SEND (2020) and the Autism Education Trust's progression framework (2019) to write a ‘Skills for Adulthood’ curriculum for Uplands School that incorporates our core school values of ‘independence’ and ‘interdependence’.  Skills for Adulthood works on a spiral curriculum model, whereby the following whole school focuses are revisited each year, supporting students to access the right knowledge at the right time for them, and progress through the curriculum in this area; enabling them to maintain, apply and generalise it with greater independence and fluency:

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Personal strengths and goals: things we are good at and skills for learning

Teamwork at school: enterprise education

The world of work and post school options/preparation

Preparation for adulthood: money/ managing finances

Preparation for adulthood: travel training

Through these weekly Skills for Adulthood lessons, careers education takes place from Year 7 and continues throughout Key Stage 3 and 4, and through 'Work Skills' at Key Stage 5.  Please click here to view our 'Skills for Adulthood' curriculum framework. It supports students developing themselves and their independence and learning about the world of work and through careers, employability and enterprise education.  This programme, together with our comprehensive work-related learning and work experience opportunities at Uplands School, support our achievement of the Gatsby Benchmarks as a school. 

Through this curriculum we aim to:

  • Develop students’ knowledge of their own personal strengths and interests and how these could be beneficial to themselves and others now and in the future.
  • Increase students’ knowledge of different jobs and careers and roles within the community.
  • Improve their self-esteem, mental health and quality of life through the development and acquisition of work-related learning skills which could be used in supported employment, supported volunteering and to support them being good citizens and as independent as possible in their lives.
  • Prepare students for adulthood; making them aware of different options available to them after Year 11 and Year 14.
  • Ensure that students and their families have the relevant support and guidance so they feel fully informed about the opportunities and support available for their young person.
  • Support students preparing for adulthood through developing their independence skills.
  • Equip students with the employability skills needed to improve the possibility and probability of paid work which could include permanent paid full-time employment.

As a SEND school we take a needs led, student centred approach to CEIAG where the term ‘Careers’ is viewed holistically.  Career related goals may come in different guises for young people with complex learning difficulties, but they are all equally valid to the individual and their family.  Whilst expectations are exceptionally high at Uplands, the perception, methodology and delivery of ‘Careers’ may differ to that on offer in a mainstream setting, as detailed by Talentino in a research article ‘Same and Different’ (2016).

The Careers and Development Institute states that ‘Careers, employability and enterprise education’ is an umbrella term to denote a range of activities and processes that can support the choices made by young people.  IAG activities may include assessing, informing, advising, guiding, counselling, supporting, enabling, coaching, mentoring, advocating, referring and feeding back to learning and support systems. IAG interactions with young people usually work through a process of assessment, planning, implementation and review.

From Year 9 careers advice and guidance is embedded in the annual review process through a multiagency approach, for example with education and health professionals and the adult transitions team, working with the student and family to discuss and plan for their preparation for adulthood. Often for our students, the advice and guidance may require a different set of knowledge and skills to that of the ‘traditional’ and mainstream model usually provided. The needs of the student population at Uplands are such that, in many cases, advice and guidance would be most beneficial when delivered by a trusted and very familiar adult so the process is adapted to enable this to ensure a multidisciplinary approach with the support of relevant professionals.  However, IAG with an independent Level 6 careers advisor is available from Year 7 where identified as beneficial as part of the annual review process and is offered informally with school staff, as well as to small groups from Year 9, Year 11 and Year 12 with an independent Level 6 careers advisor in a way that is appropriate to the needs of the individual student.

Please click here to view an overview of our Careers Programme

Careers, Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and The SEND Code of Practice

As a SEND school we are governed ultimately by The Department for Education SEND Code of Practice 2015. This key document states that it is important that young people start to think about their aspirations as early as possible and that, from year 9 at the latest, there is help to start planning for a successful transition to adulthood. This includes setting challenging and ambitious outcomes and exploring further education or training that will enable young people to secure paid work and other opportunities for a positive adult life.

For students with more complex needs, a coordinated assessment process or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which can continue up to the age of 25, can help set out goals and support needs in relation to the four areas of Preparing for Adulthood:

  • Moving into paid employment and higher education
  • Independent living
  • Having friends and relationships and being part of the community
  • Being as healthy as possible

All students attending Uplands will have an EHCP and a yearly review of this plan.  All students will have long term outcomes that are relevant for further education/work, independent living, community and relationships and good health. Long term outcomes will be reviewed at the end of each key stage or earlier if achieved or change is required.

A wide range of career related activity takes place leading up to an Annual Review, including gaining the student views about their future, enabling their full contribution to the review itself, reviewing career related outcomes and yearly targets and working with families and a network of professionals to ensure career guidance is relevant, impartial and based student aspirations and long-term outcomes.

The aims of CEIAG are the same for all young people: independent living and working, choice, hope and optimism, adaptability and resilience, access to and engagement in decent work in all its forms (personal, gift and paid work), opportunities to learn and make progress, and the pursuit of wellbeing and happiness.

Where the differences lie for young people with SEND is in how they need to learn, their priorities within that learning, how far they can get, at what rate they can progress and the willingness of the businesses and people around them to accommodate their needs.

Assessing the impact of the careers programme at Uplands School

As part of a culture of continuous improvement, regular reviews are carried out and stakeholder feedback is utilised, for example through the annual review process and student and employer feedback from work related learning and employer visits, as well as utilising destination data, to continually strive to improve the careers programme at Uplands School. 

Progress towards EHCP outcomes are a key indicator of the impact of our careers programme; supporting students to develop their employability and communication skills in preparation for adulthood. 

The careers programme is reviewed through: 

  • Regular communication and meetings within the careers team. 
  • Termly planning meetings. 
  • Feedback from stakeholders as above, e.g. students, parents, employers, governors. 
  • Compass + reviews three times a year. 
  • School improvement planning – through the School Improvement Plan  and our careers action plan, Gatsby Benchmark Evaluation

There are key roles carried out by the following people:

Name School Role Careers Role
Claire Owens Deputy Head Teacher Careers Leader: To oversee and implement the strategic planning of the Careers Programme at Uplands School
Jenny Wilson Work Related Learning
Planning and Delivery of Work Experience and Work Related Learning
Emma Espenell  Level 6 Careers Advisor Providing Independent Advice and Guidance (IAG) 
Name withheld Parent Governor  Strategic oversight and support of the implementation of the careers programme at Uplands School 

The staff named above can be contacted via the school office, on telephone number 01793 493910, in the first instance or via email Claire (Careers) and Jenny  (Work Experience) 

Employers: Uplands School welcomes partnerships with local employers for career and work-related learning opportunities including work experience and employer visits into school or workplace visits for our students.  Obtaining professional work experience in an area of their interest is of vital importance to our young people, in terms of skills development, future employment prospects, community involvement and personal wellbeing. There are also considerable opportunities and benefits for the employer, their staff and organisation.  

To find out more about our school, please click on the following links: Uplands School - About Uplands and Uplands School - Our Shared Vision.  Please feel free to browse our website or contact us directly to discuss further.

If you feel you might be able to support or provide any of these careers related activities, including work experience, please contact our Careers Leader, Claire Owens (contact details below). 


In July 2023, 95% of Year 11 and 100% of Year 14 leavers progressed onto further education. 

Useful Links

The SEND Gatsby Benchmark Evaluation