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Academy Life

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

The future starts at Smith’s Wood Academy

We understand that it is important to develop young people through careers, employability and enterprise education, as well as learning about careers and the world of work and developing their career management and employability skills. 


Careers EducationInformationAdvice and Guidance (CEIAG) forms an integral part of student life at Smith’s Wood Academy. We want to encourage all students to consider a broad range of careers and pathways that are right for them and use contacts from the world of work and further and higher education to help them understand where different choices can lead them in the future. The Careers team at Smith’s Wood is dedicated to the well being and progression of all its students.  Mrs. D Long is the school Careers Advisor and Miss. L Ellis is the Assistant Principal with responsibility for Careers.


Together, they support the students with making decisions about their progression pathways and to investigate different careers they will take part in different activities and events to help you with this from Year 7 through to Year 11, which might include a visit to a university or attend a presentation/workshop with an employer. They will also have access to different online resources to help you with your decision making and to be able to record your skills and experiences – see the Useful Careers section for more information. Resources are shared with students through TEAMS. In the Careers Programme area there are just a few examples of the activities that are in place to support your child with making decisions about your progression.


Where possible they will continue to engage in activities that include face to face experiences with employers such as preparation for the world of work, employability skills and work experience as well as opportunities with universities, colleges, training and apprenticeship providers.  Some provision is also supported with virtual events and opportunities e.g. virtual work experience. We would encourage all our students to continue to take part in these opportunities and to use the resources available to widen their knowledge and experiences of the world of work, progression routes and careers.


Careers provision within the school mapped and gapped against the DfE Careers guidance and access for education and training providers, Statutory Guidance 2023 and mapped against the Gatsby Benchmarks 1-8 and currently being mapped against the new CDI Framework for careers, employability and enterprise education. Every school should be using the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve their careers provision and these benchmarks are:

1. A stable careers programme
2. Learning from career and labour market information
3. Addressing the needs of each student
4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
5. Encounters with employers and employees
6. Experiences of workplaces
7. Encounters with further and higher education
8. Personal Guidance


For more details on the Gatsby Benchmarks, please click here: The Gatsby Benchmarks


We are proud to be a member of the Solihull Careers Hub run operated by The Careers Enterprise Company and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. We have an Enterprise Advisor who works for Balfourbeattyvinci; an integral part of the Construction and Engineering team for HS2. Our Advisor assists the school in identifying ways of getting careers into the classroom and enhancing our Careers Program.

Our Careers Policy

Our Careers Policy can be found on our policies page.

Our Careers Programme 2023/2024

Read about our careers programme here.

Provider Access Legislation & Help for Employers

Provider Access Policy 2024 (Baker Clause)

The updated provider access legislation (PAL) is now in place (January 2023).  It specifies schools must provide at least six encounters with approved providers of apprenticeships and technical education for all their students:

  • Two encounters for pupils during year 8 or year 9 that are mandatory for pupils to attend.
  • Two encounters for pupils during 10 or year 11 that are mandatory for all pupils to attend.

This new legislation from January 2023 will become a key mechanism to further help learners understand undertake, not just apprenticeships, but wider technical education options such as T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications.


Provider Access Legislation (which is a development of the ‘Baker Clause’) stipulates that schools must allow colleges and training providers access students to discuss non-academic routes that are available to them.


We welcome colleges, training providers and employers to speak to students in years 8-11 to discuss apprenticeships and technical educational routes. We also welcome the same opportunities for our year 7 students.


Please contact (Mrs Long) for further information.


In addition to the above, students from year 8 upwards receive presentations from Higher Education Institutions (Universities) and employers. Students in year 10/11 also receive career interviews with Mrs. Long during the Summer and Winter terms.


No matter whether you are a small, medium or large company; the CEO or an apprentice; all of you will have an influence on our learners. You do not need to have had previous experience in working with young people – sharing your own experience and your own career journey will be invaluable in helping young people to shape their thinking about their career path.  
If you are interested in working with us, please email: or call 0121 788 4100 ext. 4736.


Employers who take an active role in the careers process of young people can realise a whole host of benefits, from identifying a diverse range of skills and abilities they need within their own business, to improving their employee engagement and development. (informative detailed guide from CEC & CBI click here).  Before any engagement event we will provide you with a description of the event; intended learner outcome; detailed timetable and the opportunity to complete at the end of the Student Feedback Encounter form. Learners will be well prepared for the event and will also complete the Employer Feedback Encounter form which the summary results can be shared with you the employer.


Careers provision within the school and sixth form is mapped and gapped against the DfE Careers guidance and access for education and training providers, Statutory Guidance 2023 and also mapped against the Gatsby Benchmarks 1-8 and currently being mapped against the new CDI Framework for careers, employability and enterprise education. Every school should be using the Gatsby Benchmarks to improve their careers provision and these benchmarks are: 1. A stable careers programme; 2. Learning from career and labour market information; 3. Addressing the needs of each student; 4. Linking curriculum learning to careers; 5. Encounters with employers and employees; 6. Experiences of workplaces; 7. Encounters with further and higher education; 8. Personal Guidance.


The programme is reviewed annually, and we assess the impact of the careers programme with feedback from students, teachers and employers so that we can continue to provide and improve the quality of our careers provision. Students’ destinations are tracked to ensure that they can successfully move onto the most appropriate pathway for them. 


For further information please contact the school and ask for Mrs Long, Careers Advisor.


We are constantly reviewing the delivery of our careers programme and as we progress through the academic year of 2023/2024, we will expect to see some amendments.

Useful Higher Education Websites for University

Use the UCAS website to search for higher education courses at all universities and colleges nationwide. Lots of information here on how to apply