Over the course of four years, the North East of England pilot of the Gatsby Benchmarks tracked the progress of 16 schools and colleges towards meeting the benchmarks, and the impact this had on students. Last month the evaluation of the four year pilot was released, and out of the 16 schools and colleges included in the pilot, we’re proud to say that 9 of them are Unifrog partners.
The evaluation highlights a broad variety of positive impacts felt across the schools and colleges included in the pilot as a result of the benchmarks being implemented, such as:
- CEIAG becoming a “core and defining characteristic” of schools and colleges, as it became better embedded into provision.
- An increase in the amount and variety of labour market information and careers information students were exposed to, leading to an improved sense of “career readiness” amongst students.
- Growing partnerships and relationship building between schools, colleges, employers, and HE providers which enhanced CEIAG for students.
The increasingly prominent role of digital packages
The evaluation explores some of the key enablers and key barriers for achieving each of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks. The use of digital packages was a recurring theme throughout the findings, with the authors acknowledging that there was a “growing recognition that digital packages were extremely effective ... as such they provided a worthwhile investment”. At Unifrog, we regularly survey our partners for feedback about the platform, and the impact it has in their schools and colleges. Saving teachers time, especially with regards to keeping track of CEIAG provision, is one of the most common pieces of feedback we receive.
How to maximise the potential of digital packages in your CEIAG programme
Digital packages are described as a “key enabler” in the following areas:
- Access to up to date, and relevant LMI - GB2 requires students, staff, and parents to have access to up to date and relevant labour market information. The Careers library on Unifrog contains 1000+ profiles, and each profile contains LMI from a national and local perspective. Students, teachers, and parents can access this LMI at any time, and it’s automatically updated from impartial, reliable sources. Students and parents are better informed, and the evaluation highlighted how staff at schools and colleges within the pilot were able to refer to this more easily in their lessons thanks to the accessibility of digital packages.
- Monitoring engagement - there’s a wealth of activities that make up CEIAG programmes, and monitoring who has accessed what, when, and how many times can be a daunting task. The streamlined, comprehensive Advanced tracking page on Unifrog makes it simple to spot gaps in provision. You can track the CEIAG interactions you log for students as well as their usage of their profiles, which enhances your ability to personalise your CEIAG programme.
- Gathering feedback - the evaluation of the pilot found that gathering feedback was one of the key barriers to schools and colleges fully meeting GB1. Our interactions tool enables you to request feedback from students following any CEIAG event or task you log. Additionally, you can opt to share the interactions that have been logged with parents, so you can gauge their thoughts on provision. Teachers can see the interactions which have been logged for students too, so everyone is kept in the picture about what’s been going on, and what’s coming up.
- Evaluating CEIAG provision - considering the Gatsby Benchmarks to just be a tick-box exercise is not particularly helpful; they provide a great framework for what provision should be offered, and from there you can assess the impact your CEIAG provision has on your students. The Charts section of Unifrog paints a picture of what’s going well within your school or college, and where the gaps are. You can measure anything from the % of students considering university compared to apprenticeships, to the most popular career sectors amongst your students. You can pin Charts to your home page and edit them so they show data for particular groups of students, meaning you can evaluate your progress against your school or college’s CEIAG goals. Better yet, as the Charts update automatically, you can make changes to your provision on an ongoing basis, rather than waiting until a specific review date.
In short, Unifrog are pleased to see the positive feedback we receive from our partners mirrored in the findings of the evaluation of the Gatsby Benchmark pilot. You can read the full evaluation of the pilot here.
If you’re a partner, and would like to explore how you can be maximising the benefit of Unifrog to match your CEIAG goals, please get in touch with your Area or Account Manager. If you’re interested in becoming a partner and exploring how Unifrog could enhance your CEIAG provision, please get in touch with Simran Pooni, firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to get you started.