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Careers Overview:

Atherton High School is committed to providing outstanding and unbiased Careers and Enterprise Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) for all pupils. The world of work and employment is changing rapidly and we aim to prepare pupils for their adult lives, to develop skills and qualities they need to flourish in future employment.

Our school values, Respect, Responsibility and Ambition underpin our Personal Development Education and careers programme: we encourage pupils to consider a broad and ambitious range of careers, to enable individuals to make informed choices to succeed in the careers to which they aspire.

The careers programme is designed to meet the needs of all pupils. It is inclusive and personalised to ensure progression through activities that are appropriate to the pupils stage of career learning, planning and development.

Learning Goals:  To enable all pupils to:

  • Secure the skills, knowledge, and attitude to make well-informed, realistic decisions.
  • Plan their future choices and understand how to access CEIAG.
  • Understand how educational achievements are linked to maximising their potential future choices.
  • Access external sources of information on the full range of education and training options.
  • Access information from training and education providers, to inform pupils of technical education and apprenticeships; to ensure every pupil is well informed about their future options.
  • Make an informed choice about an academic option for those aspiring to go to university; and a technical route, including T levels or an apprenticeship, for those seeking to progress to the highest levels of skilled employment or technical education and training at Levels 4, 5 and 6.

As a pupil at Atherton High School you will benefit rom Careers Advice, Information and Guidance from when you join us in Y7 all the way through to the end of Y11 when you will move on into further education or training.

 You will be supported in a variety of ways including:

  • Ambitions week
  • “Who works here?” school wide workplace initiative
  • Bespoke assemblies
  • Apprenticeship talks
  • One to One support from our career advice team
  • Visits to College
  • External speakers
  • Employer Engagement
  • Curriculum links to careers
  • In-house work experience days
  • Visits to higher education providers
  • College drop-in sessions
  • Visits from professionals during lesson time
  • Displays around the school and in department areas

Our Careers Team:

  • Ms Doyle: Careers Leader- or 01942 88 55 00
  • Mr McNamara: Assistant Headteacher for SEND and Personal Development
  • Mrs Kindley: Enterprise Coordinator for Wigan
  • Mr Doohan: Link Governor
Year PSHE AHS Personal Development Awards Calendared Events
7 •Linking skills to possible careers

The importance of teamwork and communication

  • New Horizons Award (transition)
  • Global Citizens Award – developing research skills and communicating.


•Ambitions Week

•Introduction to Xello

•National Careers Week Activities

Industry Week – Global Citizen Award

8 •Employment and equality in the workplace

•Setting goals and working towards them

  • Community Leader Award – making a difference in your own community using teamwork and communication.
•Ambitions Week

• Exploring Xello

•National Careers Week Activities

•Industry Day – Exploring Xello

9 •GCSE options and post-16 pathways

•Making informed choices

•Building employability skills

  • Future Planning Award – Understanding the link between skills and career choices and independently researching a career.
•Ambitions Week

•Matchmaker Xello

•National Careers Week Activities

•Industry Day – Business Planning

10 •Strengths and weaknesses

•Developing your weaknesses into strengths

•Challenges in the workplace – preparing yourself for difficulty

  • Next Steps Award
•Ambitions Week

•Xello – Next steps

•National Careers Week Activities

•Industry Day – Post-16 provider experience and apprenticeship workshop

11 •Setting targets

•Writing a CV, personal statements and interview techniques

  • Ambitions Award
•Ambitions Week

•Xello – Post-16 applications

•National Careers Week Activities

•College application guidance

•One to one careers meeting

 Summary of our Careers Programme

Useful Links:

 The Gatsby Benchmarks

We use the Gatsby Benchmarks to assess the impact of our careers programme and to review the CEIAG provision. The Gatsby Benchmarks are:

  1. A Stable Careers Programme
  2. Learning from Career and Labour Market Information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of work places
  7. Encounters with Further and Higher Education
  8. Personal Guidance

Our Gatsby Scores are listed below.

Assessment BM1 BM2 BM3 BM4 BM5 BM6 BM7 BM8
March 2020 88% 100% 81% 62% 25% 25% 95% 0%
July 2022 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 95% 100%
July 2023 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 75% 100%

Measuring Impact

The school will assess the impact of the careers programme by completing an annual student survey and analysing destinations data for 3 years after leaving as per Gatsby recommendations. In addition, the views of students and parents will be surveyed after key events such as GCSE Workshops, Form Time Careers Support, and Industry Days.


Year Remaining in full time Work, Education & Training
2020 Leavers 95.8 % (LEA)
2021 Leavers 96.6 % (LEA)
2022 Leavers 96.4% (LEA)

Provider Access Statement Link:

Atherton High School believes in giving FE, HE and training providers the opportunity to talk to the pupils at the school. Please use the following link to our provider access policy.

Careers Policy Link

To read the full Careers policy please use the following link

 Useful Links for Students:

College and University Courses:


Local Labour Market Information

CV writing:

Interview Techniques:

Job Case Studies:

Greater Manchester Careers and Advice Service

 Local Providers:

Useful links for Parents:

 Information for Employers

We are continually looking for local and national partners to help us deliver outstanding careers advice and guidance to our pupils. If you are willing to contribute to our careers programme in school, please get in touch with our careers leader: Jennifer Doyle – 01942 88 55 00 or email

  • Mock Interviews
  • Work experience through visits to the work place or work shadowing.
  • Attendance at Options Evenings, Parental Conference or Career Speed Dating Evenings
  • Volunteering Opportunities
  • Careers talks
  • Employment or apprenticeship opportunities
  • Employability and skills workshops
  • Raising Aspirations Talks

 Information for Teachers

One of our school values is Ambition.

  • Our teaching staff and support staff are committed to embedding CIEAG in each subject area.
  • All of our teaching staff have participated in Gatsby Benchmark Training and have made a Gatsby Pledge to support student career aspirations throughout their practice.
  • Teaching staff can contact the Careers Leader, Mrs. J Doyle jdoyle@athertonhigh.comfor support in embedding careers in the curriculum.

Useful Links for Teachers:

Where are we now?

Abbie, Leaver 2022 

After leaving Atherton High School with 8 GCSEs Grade 9-7 I went on to study A Levels in Law, English Combine and Media at Winstanley College. I would like to be a journalist or a teacher in the future so when I have completed my A Levels I am going to study Journalism at university or complete a degree level apprenticeship in Media and Communication. I am enjoying the challenge at Winstanley, I actively participate in Winstanley TV, I run my own podcast for the college and I am producing a film in September. I also work part time a Bents Home and Garden.  

Ellie, Leaver 2021

I left AHS with 9 GCSE’s grade 9-7 and went onto study Core Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Geography at St John Rigby College alongside extra classes that I enrolled onto for Medics and Dentist Elective and Mental Health and First Aid. I left college after passing all my A levels and took the path of a Degree Apprenticeship at United Utilities where I am currently a Data Analyst Apprentice. To relax I enjoy going to the gym most mornings before I start work, I’m an avid Formula One fan and enjoy spending time with my friends.

Tom, Leaver 2020

I left AHS with 9 GCSE, studied A-Levels in Maths, Physics and PE at Winstanley College and then went on to study Nutrition and Exercise at the University of Salford. I now work as a remote health advisor for BUPA. My role covers various different areas from remote health assessments, lifestyle coaching calls, nutrition coaching calls and SmartDNA coaching calls. Fitness and Health have always been my passion and now I get to help others with their own fitness journeys.

Josh, Leaver 2019

“I left AHS with good GCSE results and am now studying A Levels in Maths Biology and Chemistry at Winstanley College and doing a MDV course for Medics, Vets and Dentists. My predicted A level grades are A/A and I am applying to Medical School to become a doctor. I also have a place at Bolton Hospice to do some voluntary work and have also worked with people with mental health difficulties.  I have a part-time job in a fast food company which has given me experience of working as part of team, time management and leadership skills; all of which will help me with my career in the future. When I have time, I chill out at the gym. I’m also entering a baking competition and would love to go on Bake Off!”

Gaby, Leaver 2018

“After having completed my GCSE’s at AHS, I continued to St John Rigby College to begin A-Level Psychology, English Language and Literature and BTEC Biology; I left with two B grades and a Distinction* in BTEC. I was extremely nervous to start college, however it turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had; I thoroughly enjoyed studying my courses and college also gave me the chance to grow massively as a person. I am now continuing my studies in Psychology at Edge Hill University in hope to fulfil my career aspiration of being a clinical psychologist. You can conduct your own psychological research and there is even an opportunity to study abroad!”

Alan, Leaver 2018

“I left AHS with 9 GCSEs and aspirations to eventually become an interpreter – hopefully for a football club!  I chose to go to Winstanley College where I studied A-Levels in French, PE and Psychology. I achieved a B in French and 2 Cs, and thanks to an unconditional offer I was able to go to UCLAN to study a degree in French and Mandarin. In my final year I have the choice to travel to France, China or both to study! I also now live at university in student halls and we plan to move into a house with some of our other friends next year. When I’m not studying, I usually either talk to or meet up with my friends watch football.”

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

(Eleanor Roosevelt- Former First Lady of the United States, diplomat and humanitarian)