The Department for Education published its Strategy for Careers Guidance in 2017 and this was updated in 2021 to include access for education and training providers. Within the guidance the DfE acknowledged the need for a Careers Leader with sufficient skills and authority to ensure requirements are met. The statutory documents can be found here.

Careers Leaders are positioned in school as Strategic leads with SLT responsibilities developing the strategic plans and policies for careers (whole school), ensuring all school staff are able to contribute to careers conversations and direction of travel for their young people.

Roles of careers staff in school

  • Strategic Careers Lead: Working with the Careers Hub to develop and measure impactful and sustainable plans at a strategic level.
  • Careers Link Governor: responsible for reporting Policy, Plans into governing body.
  • Operational Careers Coordinator: Implementation of activity.
  • Careers Advisor: 1-2-1 careers guidance.

In addition to these key roles, all school staff have a responsibility for careers to be truly embedded whole school, across and within the curriculum and threaded into all school activity.

Sir John Holman introduces the role of Careers Leaders



Introduction to our online Careers Leader training - YouTube


Qualities of a Careers Leader: 

Coordination – of activities 

Management – ensuring things happen in the right way at the right time 

Leadership – will motivate all parties 

Networking – good at making contacts internally and externally 

The role of a Careers Leader: 

“Careers Leaders have responsibility for the delivery of a school’s careers programme. They should be ensuring, among other things, that:

1. The school has a good careers programme that meets the expectations set out in the Gatsby Benchmarks.

2. The school has published on its website details of its careers programme and arrangements for providers of technical education or apprenticeships to talk to pupils.

3. The destinations of young people from the school are tracked and that this information is used to improve the effectiveness of the school’s careers programme.”

Understanding the role of the careers leader, Careers and Enterprise Company 2018


Links to relevant resources are available on the following pages to support you in the delivery of your programme