Empower Careers Pathway

Empower Careers Pathways, the award-winning careers programme at Trinity Academy Leeds embodies and exemplifies our mantra: ‘Reach Higher, See Further, Shine Brighter’. At TAL we recognise the importance of high-quality careers education and guidance in school and how critical this is to the futures of all of our young people. It helps to provide them for the workplace by providing a clear understanding of the world of work, including the jobs and careers that they may find engaging and rewarding. Good careers education supports students to choose their pathways, improve their life opportunities and contribute actively to society. Providing high-quality careers education, information and guidance (CEIAG) is a fundamental pillar of the one curriculum at Trinity Academy Leeds.

With this in mind, starting in the first term of Year 7 at TAL, students are supported to develop the knowledge, skills and expertise to refine and work towards their aspirations. Students engage with diverse, exciting and enriching careers opportunities – with an emphasis on the importance of wise and informed choices alongside the importance of maximising their potential. In Phase 1, this is primarily achieved through the five Empower Careers Pathways afternoons, which take place over the course of the year and are detailed below. All students at TAL have equal access to experiences as well as bespoke pathways aimed at developing skills in particular sectors, such as medicine, law, engineering, sporting development and the arts. We challenge stereotypes and encourage students to consider a wide range of careers.

Through Empower Careers Pathways, students also develop their reflective skills to help them to plan for the future, while gaining an understanding of the world of work and what they will need to do to achieve their goals. Strong, long-lasting, and reliable partnerships have been formed with local employers, businesses, and careers providers, which drive Trinity Academy Leeds to provide a robust and comprehensive careers programme through Empower Careers Pathways.

Trinity Academy Leeds Empower Careers Pathway is part of our One Curriculum. Staff at Trinity Academy Leeds are dedicated to equality of opportunity and to ensuring that all students are given the best possible access to information about Further and Higher Education and careers, adhering to our mantra: Reach Higher, See Further, Shine Brighter.

The Gatsby Benchmarks, which provide a clear guide for world-class careers education, apply for Years 7-11. While we remain in the opening stages of our development, we will meet all age-appropriate benchmarks and have a clear plan in place for development as students move up the school.

UK Social Mobility Awards Winners

Trinity Academy Leeds won the UK Social Mobility ‘School/College of the Year’ Award in recognition of our pioneering approach to careers education. The centrepiece of our social mobility work was Empower. We provide all students with insights into a broad range of sectors, including construction, ecology, fine art, literature, history, sustainability, professional services, project management, sustainability, and theatre. Read more in the UK Social Mobility Awards Winners case study report. 

Our TAL careers intentions are to:

  • Raise the profile of careers education, information and guidance and ensure all adults are engaged to be able to fully support our students. This will be achieved through Empower Careers Pathways.
  • Cultivate an environment that enables students to have aspirational and realistic career goals where students know how to seek out information on how to achieve them.
  • Build links with external agencies and providers to ensure students have access to a broad range of learning experiences.
  • Foster our Performing Arts and Voice specialisms and provide our students with a wealth of opportunities and experiences available in the arts while developing the Voice of everyone.
Gatsby Benchmark

Take a look below to see how our Empower Careers Pathway Programme fits into the Gatsby Benchmark.

Gatsby Benchmark

A. An embedded programme of career education & guidance that is known & understood by pupils, parents, teachers & employers.

B. The programme has explicit backing of a senior member of staff & has an identified and appropriately trained member of staff leading in this area.

C. The careers programme should be published on the school’s website.

D. The programme should be regularly evaluated with feedback from pupils, parents, teachers & employers.

Empower Careers Pathways

1A. Empower Careers Pathways provides a stable careers programme in Phase 1; students are provided with a variety of experiences primarily through Empower careers afternoon, and have the opportunity to reflect on these through a bookletised curriculum. This is known by governors as a result of a presentation at a governors’ meeting, pupils through the regular exposition within the academy, parents through the Parental Build, teachers through regular CPD and employers through the partnerships made in order to facilitate the Empower Careers Pathways programme. The website is also regularly updated to reflect this. 

1B. Senior leadership link – Rebecca Goult (Associate Assistant Principal), supported by John Paley (L7 Careers Advisor). 

1C. The careers programme is published on the school website. Next review, September 2024. 

1D. The academy invites feedback from students both verbally and through the annual survey. Parents are also invited to feedback at the Family Build. Teachers are asked for feedback after every Empower experience, as are employers. 


Gatsby Benchmark

A. By the age of 14, all pupils should have accessed and used information about career paths and the labour market to inform their own decisions on study options.

B. Parents should be encouraged to access and use information about labour markets and future study options to inform their support to their children.

Empower Careers Pathways

2A. See the TAL careers policy for full details on the use of the labour market. All students have an annual LMI assembly. Year 9 students have the opportunity to complete online research using LMI information. 

2B. The annual Family Build relating to careers provides this information to parents, as does the ‘useful links’ section of the website. 

Gatsby Benchmark

A. Pupils receive different careers guidance at different stages of their education based on their needs.

B. The school seeks to challenge stereotypical thinking & raise aspirations.

C. The school keeps systematic records of the individual advice given to each pupil, and subsequent agreed decisions.

D. All pupils should have access to these records to support their career development.

E.  Schools collect and maintain accurate data for each pupil on their education, training, or employment destinations for at least three years after they leave the school.

Empower Careers Pathways

3A. See the TAL careers policy for full details on the careers guidance at different stages of their education based on their needs. 

3B. Everything about Empower Careers Pathways challenges stereotypical thinking and raises aspirations – all opportunities are open to all students in Years 7 and 8. Including additional opportunities such as the Girls in STEM group. 

3C/D. Records for Phase 1 are kept through the annual survey and the Empower booklets. This will be developed as students move up through the academy and are making careers- and options-based decisions regarding their futures in Year 9. The academy is currently going through the process of setting up Morrisby, an accessible careers platform for recording meetings and outcomes. 

3E. Not applicable until academic year 2025-26. 

Gatsby Benchmark

A.  Teachers link curriculum learning with careers.

B.  By the age of 14, every pupil should have had the opportunity to learn how the different STEM subjects help people to gain entry to, and be more effective workers within, a wide range of careers.

Empower Careers Pathways

4A. QA of curriculum learning linked to careers, by the Empower coordinator. This is one of the academy drivers and is explicitly referenced in curriculum maps.

4B. See the TAL Careers Policy for full details on the use of the labour market.

Additional opportunities for Trinity Scholars cohort and Girls in STEM. Specific Empower afternoon activities on STEM (e.g. Maths City/Balfour Beatty/Thackray Museum of Medicine/Tropical World).

Gatsby Benchmark

A. All students have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment & skills valued in the workplace.

B. Every year, from the age of 11, pupils should participate in at least one meaningful encounter* with an employer.

Empower Careers Pathways

5A/B.  Empower Careers Pathways afternoons three times per year in Years 7, 8 and 9 provide multiple opportunities to engage with employers about work, employment and skills valued in the workplace. All students visit the locations listed on the website and engage with these experiences. Additional opportunities are also provided through Involve Clubs, trips and visitors to the academy. 

Gatsby Benchmark

A. Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks.

B. By the age of 16, every pupil should have had at least one experience of a workplace, additional to any part-time jobs they may have.

Empower Careers Pathways

6A. All students visit places of work and have hands-on experiences through Empower Careers Pathways afternoons Years 7, 8 and 9. 

 6B. Continuing to build links with external agencies via Careers and Enterprise network. 

Gatsby Benchmark

A.  All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them.

B. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.

C.  By the age of 16, every pupil should have had a meaningful encounter (i.e. one in which the student has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace) with providers of the full range of learning opportunities, including sixth forms, colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers.

D. This should include the opportunity to meet both staff and pupils.

Empower Careers Pathways

7A/B. Encounters with university, local and international employers and apprenticeship providers from Phase 1. Including a visit to Leeds College of Building, trips to all three campuses of Leeds City College, Notre Dame Sixth Form College, Trinity Sixth Form and Leeds University. Trinity Scholars programme enables access to Oxbridge and medical pathways. See the TAL careers policy for full details of this. 

7C. Links with Leeds City College (visits and assemblies), Leeds College of Building (all students visit) and Trinity Sixth Form Academy. All students also go on a minimum of six Empower trips in years 7 and 8. 

7D. All year 9s go on two Empower trips to a local FE/HE provider, and experience the careers fair on-site. 

Gatsby Benchmark

A. Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a Careers Adviser, who could be internal (a member of school staff) or external, provided they are trained to an appropriate level (Level 6).

B. These should be available whenever significant study or career choices are being made.

C. They should be expected for all pupils but should be timed to meet their individual needs.

D. Every pupil should have at least one such interview by the age of 16.

Empower Careers Pathways

8A-D. Links with Careers & Enterprise Company for guidance from level 6 qualified adviser. The academy has an in-house Level 7 Careers Advisor. All students will have met with the Careers Advisor at least once by the end of Year 9, and will be projected to meet as a group and individually twice more before the end of Year 11. 

Year 7 Empower Careers Pathways

Leeds Heritage Theatres: At The Grand Theatre, students engage with a skills-based workshop on a theme in-line with the current production at the Leeds City Varieties, supporting our academy specialism of Performing Arts. Students will then be taken on a tour of the front of house of Leeds City Varieties or The Grand Theatre, learn about the history of the building and the theatre industry and speak with the education team and industry professionals about the teamwork required to bring a performance to life on the stage. Throughout the tour, students will engage with some of the more practical aspects of working in the theatre; the costume wardrobe, lighting, sound and front of house management. Students can test out the seats around the theatre and have the opportunity to ask questions about the varying careers available in this historic setting.

Tropical World: A tour of Leeds’ very own zoo, tying in with our Year 7 Geography enquiries on ecosystems and sustainability. Students experience the best Leeds has to offer in terms of diverse wildlife, followed by a walk through the spectacular Roundhay Park to the Ann Maguire Education Centre, where they will learn about careers in ecology, conservation and sustainability through interactive activities. Students will also have plenty of opportunities to ask questions about the wonderful species of animals they will see and routes into the potential careers within the sector.

Leeds Art Gallery, the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Subscription Library: A local, national and international trip as students become Art Detectives in Leeds Art Gallery, uncovering the history and meanings behind different paintings. Students will delve deeper into local art through a guided workshop at the Henry Moore Institute, then will go to Leeds’ oldest Library, hidden in the heart of the city centre. There, they will learn some of the secrets behind the oldest books held by Leeds libraries, promoting the ideology that ‘readers are leaders’.

Maths City, Balfour Beatty and KPMG:Students will visit one of Leeds’ newest and most exciting educational attractions; Maths City. Here they will have the opportunity to engage with the multiple exciting attractions on offer then work as a team on an engineering challenge to build a giant dome. Students will need to employ teamwork, strategy and maths skills. Students will then experience board life in a spectacular conference room courtesy of KPMG where they will learn about project management and engineering with Balfour Beatty, followed by an engineering challenge. This day allows the real-world applications of Maths to come alive to all students. 

Empower Careers Pathways Year 8

Temple Newsam House and Farm: Students learn about how a busy tourist attraction operates and the careers available with Leeds City Council within the heritage industry. They also test their investigative skills examining contemporary source material in the historic Temple Newsam House as well as putting their chronological knowledge to the test. On Temple Newsam Farm, students get some hands-on experience of animal care, as well as input on the opportunities for study and apprenticeships available on-site through Leeds City College. 

Leeds College of Building: During this visit, students will get a hands-on opportunity to get to grips with the potential post-16 options available in Leeds. Students will learn about apprenticeships and college courses, while getting their hands dirty in workshops on bricklaying and plumbing, and gaining an insight into surveying. This also supports Trinity Academy Leeds to meet the Baker Clause by providing students the opportunity to have conversations about alternative options for Further Education.

Thackray Museum of Medicine: Linking directly with our Year 8 local History study of the Industrial Revolution in Leeds, students will engage with a guided tour of ‘disease street’, a reconstructed street in Leeds, and will identify and evaluate the varying health hazards through the eyes of the people who experienced them. Students will then form their own enquiries as they are guided through the medical exhibits, also reflecting on the jobs available in the medical sector through the gallery ‘who cares’. The ICare Ambassadors will contribute to this trip, with a minimum of two medical professionals providing a talk and question and answer session for students during their visit.

Elland Road Stadium: Students have an unprecedented experience at Elland Road, a bespoke guided tour of the stadium, featuring myriad careers which ensure that such a huge organisation can run effectively. Students also then engage with in-depth talks from retail managers, Premier League Kicks and the Human Resources department. Opening eyes and minds to the people required to run a large organisation.

The Discovery Centre and Citu Sustainable Housing: Within this trip, students look to the past and to the future. The Discovery Centre is a centre housing over 1 million artefacts from Leeds and the surrounding area. Students take a tour and see the incredible variety of items, including Burmantofts pottery, made on the site of the academy. They then engage with a workshop learning what it is like to be a historical researcher and archivist; asking the questions that a historian might ask. At Citu Sustainable Housing, students tour the site and learn about the wide variety of job roles involved in creating a brand new community as well as learning about the importance of recognising the impact that humans have on the environment, and how this can be mitigated through sustainable adaptations. 

Following each of the Empower Careers Pathways experiences, students reflect in their booklets; these booklets provide a record for all students of their careers learning journey. The academy also uses a bespoke survey linked directly to the Gatsby Benchmarks to measure the impact of the engagement with these experiences.

The TAL Careers Policy outlines the plan we follow in order to ensure that we meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks. The Gatsby Benchmarks were developed on behalf of the Gatsby Foundation by Sir John Holman. They define what world class careers provision in education looks like and provide a clear framework for organising the careers provision. The TAL Empower Careers Programme outlines how we will meet the Gatsby Benchmarks.

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