Welland Park Academy

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Welland Park Academy

Located in Market Harborough, Welland Park Academy is a co-educational secondary school for 11-16 year olds. They gained their accreditation in 2023 and are proudly the first secondary school to be assessed against the latest version of the standard. We were delighted to have spoken with Sam Askham, Citizenship Leader at Welland Park Academy.

Welland Park Academy had previously utilised the Career Mark assessment framework to validate Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance, (CEIAG) provision. Career Mark rated the academy as ‘Gold’ on two previous occasions in 2019 and 2021. Welland Park was also performing well in the termly Compass Plus audit against the Gatsby Benchmarks and had low NEET figures. Destination data for Welland Park is as follows:

College: Academic Study84999611389
Colleges: Vocational Study8792575592

Initial Plans

After reading the DFE and Ofsted Guidance, Welland Park felt that the matrix Standard was more flexible and suited to their needs. One aspect of the Standard was in element 2 “Resources”; this section of the Standard sets out the need for staff to have the knowledge, experience and qualifications which are appropriate for their role without stipulating the level of qualification required.  Welland Park currently employ a careers adviser who is qualified to Level 4, has a wide range of experience and is delivering an excellent service to the students, and they did not feel they needed to replace them with a level 6 qualified adviser. The flexibility of the revised Standard, combined with the new guidance and the mapping of the Standard against the Gatsby Benchmarks, started them on their journey to accreditation which is outlined below.

Applying the matrix Standard

“Using the self-assessment form, we judged ourselves against the matrix Standard framework, which gave a decent idea of our strengths and weaknesses. We then used this to compile evidence of our Careers provision in preparation for the assessment.”

Achievements from the accreditation

As an education provider, the main aim of gaining the matrix Standard accreditation was to validate their CEIAG programme.

“We certainly do a lot for our students, which includes amongst other things, a comprehensive programme of lessons, plus external speakers and wanted an accreditation to confirm this. We advertised the award to assure parents that we are supporting our students and local businesses so that they can see the impact that our partnership with them is having.”

The accreditation helps to demonstrate that the CEIAG provision is of a high standard, which is important to the Academy and Ofsted.

Advice for the Education Sector

“It’s important to present the key goals of the accreditation to the Senior Leadership Team, highlighting the importance of beneficial factors the accreditation will provide for the institution.”

Next Steps

Part of the matrix Standard is the ‘Continuous Improvement Checks’ which will be led by the assessor annually to confirm that they are working on the points identified as needing improvement. Reviewing the destination data will also be an important aspect going forward to see the impact of the IAG aspects of our CEIAG programme.

“We will continue to monitor our Careers provision against the termly Compass audits provided by Leicester Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and make improvements where necessary. We will also look to implement the points identified in the matrix Standard report to improve our CEIAG provision as we move forward to the next assessment.”

matrix Standard is the Department for Education’s (DfE) standard for ensuring the delivery of high-quality information, advice and guidance (IAG)


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matrixStandard@growthco.uk +44 (0) 1423 229665