With Amanda Gill, Careers Adviser in Schools, Adviza, and Susannah Wood, Careers Lead and SENDCo, Langtree School.

Careers Advisers in schools are independent professionals whose role is to act as an impartial guide and broaden students’ awareness of their options.

As a Careers Adviser in four very different schools with differing needs, Amanda Gill speaks to students from the neutral perspective of a careers expert, and the support she provides is tailored to the needs of each school depending on its pupil profile.

But there are some common denominators across the schools. “Students feel one of the biggest benefits they get from us is dedicated time for career planning,” Amanda says. “The schools are busy but the students are too. They go from one class to the next and have all their assignments to do. Students in years eleven and twelve are especially busy, so having a dedicated time when they can sit down and talk to someone about careers is really valuable for them.”

We need to provide a wide range of options, tools and points of contact for pupils at different stages of their development and different levels of need.

Careers advice in schools is an essential component of social mobility, so schools have a statutory responsibility to provide unbiased, professional guidance for years seven to thirteen. They (and their service providers) are assisted in doing so by the Gatsby benchmarks, a framework for world-class careers provision which provides a roadmap of criteria which any careers guidance service must meet.

Adviza’s service is aligned to the eight Gatsby benchmarks and as such is broad and deep, including activities and tools as diverse as interviews, options evenings, individual action plans, a comprehensive careers portal (featuring webinars, podcasts and labour market information), talks from employers, student destination tracking, CV and interview skills and much more. It also includes intensive support services for SEND individuals, and NEET-prevention measures.

According to Amanda, “We need to provide a wide range of options, tools and points of contact for pupils at different stages of their development and different levels of need. Typically when I work with pupils in year ten, at that early stage the conversations we have are more about self-development and next steps: what work experience can they do, why they’re studying their chosen subjects and which jobs and careers relate to them. Those conversations will change in older years.”

Careers Guidance Is About Networks Too.
If I don’t know the answer, someone else at Adviza does, and that’s a benefit to our schools.

As well as being what Amanda describes as, “dedicated and passionate careers wizards,” Careers Advisers are connectors. According to Amanda, this is critically important. “As well as our knowledge of different careers, entry routes and qualifications, we often have deep knowledge of our local network—the agencies, authorities, funded programmes and local provision that can support our students. Many advisers stem from backgrounds in related fields so our knowledge has been built up over years or decades,” she says.

Amanda is supported by a knowledgeable team. “If I don’t know the answer, someone else at Adviza does,” she says, “and that’s a benefit to our schools. We have built up a huge fund of case studies and shared knowledge so that when we talk to someone we can relate their experience to similar situations we’ve seen before, which can be comforting for them and useful for us.”

Careers Guidance Raises Students’ Confidence.

Many students lack confidence when they go into work, with plenty doubting their ability to enter the world of work at all. Careers guidance can help students to build confidence by encouraging them to assess and understand their value and strengths.

“Sometimes I meet students whose confidence and self-esteem has been knocked by education itself; some come to me from pupil referral units for students who have been excluded from mainstream education,” says Amanda.

One-to-one sessions are the best tool for building confidence in excluded students, who may not have had the opportunity to consider what their strengths are, or where they can take them. Often these students are not academic; they may come from socially-disadvantaged backgrounds or have special educational needs or disabilities.

Careers guidance can improve students’ destinations in life, reducing the likelihood of them ending up as NEET (not in education, employment or training). For students at risk of NEET, it’s the initial confidence boost they get from careers guidance sessions—and often their relationship with their careers counsellor—that makes the big difference.

Parents and Teachers: The Important Secondary Audience.
It’s a right of our young people to have professional careers advice and it’s critically important that they, and their parents, get that from a dedicated professional.

For Susannah Wood, Assistant Headteacher & SENDCo at Langtree School, Careers Guidance is important for parents, carers and teachers too:

"By accessing the extensive range of Adviza resources, parents, carers and teachers can better support the career development of young people. It is important that the adults feel informed and confident about the support and advice they provide about career choices, in order to help facilitate and/or expand opportunities for young people and to challenge stereotypes.

At Langtree School, our Careers Adviser, Amanda, runs career workshops and one-to-one careers advice which gives parents/carers and students up-to-date Labour Market Information, as well as post-sixteen options and beyond. It’s a right of our young people to have professional careers advice and it’s critically important that they, and their parents, get that from a dedicated professional.”

In February 23, Ofsted rated personal development at Langtree as Outstanding - ‘‘Pupils benefit from excellent careers advice. They value the experience they gain from work placements and university visits’’.


Susannah Wood is Assistant Headteacher and SENDCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) at Langtree School, a highly-respected coeducational secondary school in Woodcote, South Oxfordshire. Langtree is a multiple award-winning and sought-after (heavily over-subscribed) school with a community ethos in which students are known and valued as individuals, and in which they can thrive with the close support of a dedicated team of subject specialist teachers.

Amanda Gill is a Schools Careers Adviser and careers expert at Adviza. She provides Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance for four schools, including Langtree School.


A big thank you to Susannah and Amanda for speaking to us.


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28th June 2023