PATHWAYS…The McAuley Way pathways

The McAuley Catholic High School is committed to providing all our students and their families with individual careers advice and guidance. We believe that all students should aspire to be the best that they can be…this is The McAuley Way.

At McAuley we believe that receiving accurate and impartial advice and guidance is key to supporting all our students and their parents/carers in making an informed choice in order for them to achieve the best that they can be. This includes access to other training and education providers.

According to Ofsted (February 2020) “Careers guidance is a real strength across the whole school. It does a good job of helping to inform pupils and students of their next steps in education, employment or training.”

As part of the independent support offered to our students, McAuley has successfully delivered trips to the National Apprenticeship Show, education fairs, as well as holding Pathways fairs in school. Impartial advice and guidance is also available at key dates such as GCSE and A Level results days, along with parents evenings and option evening at Post 16.

We are actively working with a wide range of external providers and advisers to enable us to meet the Statutory Guidance identified in the Baker Clause, relating to all students having encounters with employers, as well as further and higher education providers. This has been updated (January 2023) with the inclusion of the need for Provider Access Legislation to be incorporated.

Provider Access Legislation

Provider access legislation (PAL) ensures that all our students, Year 7 to Y13/14, have access to external providers as part of the Careers Education Information, Advice and Guidance in every year.

A copy of the full McAuley Provider Access Legislation policy can be found here.

The updated provider access legislation (PAL) has now been enacted. 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 the ‘first key phase’ (year 8 or 9) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend 
  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘second key phase’ (year 10 or 11) that are mandatory for all pupils to attend 
  • Two encounters for pupils during the ‘third key phase’ (year 12 or 13) that are mandatory for the school to put on but optional for pupils to attend 

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

Baker Clause

The following sets out the schools’ arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school for the purpose of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997.

All pupils in years 7-13 are entitled to:

  • Find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available at each transition point.
  • Hear from a range of local providers about the opportunities they offer, including technical education and apprenticeships – through options events, assemblies and group discussions and taster events.
  • Understand how to make applications for the full range of academic and technical courses.

A provider wishing to request access should contact Mrs Mandy Hepworth, Pathways Lead.

Telephone:   01302 537396


The school offers a comprehensive Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance programme and an overview of this programme can be seen on the school website.

Please speak to our Pathways Lead to identify the most suitable opportunity for you.

The school will make a suitable space available for discussions between the provider and students, as appropriate to the activity. The school will also make available ICT and other specialist equipment to support provider presentations. This will all be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit with the Careers Lead.

Providers are welcome to leave a copy of their prospectus or other relevant course/open event literature with the Pathways Lead so that they can be displayed in the Pathways Section of the school library and in the Pathways Office.

Gatsby Benchmarks

We are also well on the way to achieving the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks.

The eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance 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 workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

For further information go to THE GATSBY BENCHMARKS OF GOOD CAREER GUIDANCE website

McAuley prides itself on ensuring all our students have ‘High Aspirations’ and as a result all students from Year 7 through to Year 13 can access advice and guidance. There are a range of resources, as well as FE and HE prospectuses and apprenticeship information available to view in the Pathways Office and Cantley site library.

Individual Pathways appointments can be made with Mrs Hepworth, Pathways Lead, via email . Parents/carers are welcome to attend these meetings in order to offer further support.

In addition to being entitled to a Pathways meeting, all Year 9 students will have a one-to-one meeting to discuss their option choices, and Year 11 students will also benefit from a one-to-one interview with a member of SLT as part of enabling them to make their Post 16 choice.

Follow #pathwaysmcauley @PathwaysMcAuley for information about events students can get involved in and useful advice.

Pathways…The McAuley Way is fully committed to ensure that ALL our students are given access to a wide range of providers to ensure that they are given the opportunity to explore the wide range of Pathways open to them.

Last updated: September 2022

Next update: June 2023

u explore prospects success at school
national careers service gov uk apprenticeships


Sign in to your account