Careers & Higher Education Support & Guidance

Careers Programme

Careers information for Students

Careers information for Parents

Careers information for Employers


Careers Policy

The School is proud to announce that we have been re-awarded Career Mark status. This is an accolade that recognises that we have reached the high quality standards required by the Government in careers education (July 2019).

Careers Programme

Throughout the school, we encourage students to develop an understanding of themselves, their strengths and their skills in order to assist them in their future choices on leaving school.  In line with the Government’s statutory careers strategy, information and guidance is developed across all departments of the school and across all age groups.  By the time the students leave SWGS, they will have participated in a full programme of careers activities and had personal 1 to 1 guidance to enable them to make informed career choices.  The vast majority of girls go into Higher Education – usually Oxbridge or Russell Group Universities, but increasingly some are opting to do Degree Level Apprenticeships for major companies and recently, students have achieved excellent placements at companies such as JP Morgan, Dstl, and KPMG.

Careers Staff

The Careers Leader at SWGS is Assistant Head Teacher, Mr Dan Bishop and the Careers Advisor is Mrs Catherine Short ( She holds a Level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development and is a Registered Member of the Career Development Institute which means she agrees to a Code of Ethics and continuing professional development. She offers independent and impartial specialist careers and higher education support and guidance within school and she is available for interviews with students from all years on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Careers Education

Careers education is carried out across all year groups and in a variety of activities.  All academic departments have excellent relationships with employers and their professional bodies to assist students with their investigations and offering inspiration for the future.  In addition, we regularly welcome independent external sources of careers guidance through a range of speakers, specialist conferences eg. Business for All, Creative Industries Conference and activities such as Industry Days, and Take your Daughter to Work days.  There are visits from Universities, alumni, business mentors, and employers.  In addition, there are informal opportunities to attend a lunchtime drop-in session to hear SWGS parents talk about their jobs as part of ‘What’s it like to be a ….?’.  These enrich the Careers programme and present students with ideas to investigate their own futures.  Our ethos is to enable students to make the right decisions for themselves at key points of their education based on investigation, information and inspiration.

Careers Information for Students

Years 7 to 11

From the time you start your secondary school career at SWGS, you will be doing activities to introduce you to the world of work.  Year 7 students take part in the Real Game to consider all aspects of employment and our Year 8 students take part in Take your daughter to work day.  We consider this is an excellent way of helping students to find out more about employment, and employability skills, share those experiences and use them to consider different organisations, structures, breaking down potential stereotyping.    Our Year 9 pupils enjoy taking part in an Industry Day project where they are given the opportunity to solve a problem for a local company on a ‘consultancy’ basis. Several companies have used some of the ideas that students have developed. In February, students investigate their GSCE and post 14 options through a range of PSD lessons and have meetings with Mrs Short or other members of pastoral staff as required.

In Year 10, students do a day-long workshop to explore employability skills where they learn how to write a CV, apply for jobs, and develop interview skills.

Whilst the majority of our Year 11 students move into the 6th Form, we ensure that we help them explore all the different Post 16 opportunities through PSHE, Open Days, meetings with tutors and at least one interview with Mrs Short. Year 11 students build on their employability skills when they have a mock interview with a representative from a company so that each has an opportunity to write a CV and receive feedback on their CV and interview skills. This is an important part of Year 11, giving them insight into what might happen when they apply for employment.

Sixth Form

Year 12 and 13 students follow a two-year tailor made programme specialising in their needs for post 18 choices.  Whether a student chooses to go onto Higher Education, Apprenticeship or employment each is supported throughout that decision.  We cover employability skills with all students so that they leave South Wilts with a deep understanding of employability competencies and how they can illustrate and develop them.  Alongside this programme, we offer a personal development programme to include study skills, well-being and healthy living, employment opportunities and visits from a variety of speakers from Gap Year opportunities, universities, local employers and ex- students. Specialist programmes include those for Oxbridge students and Medics, Vets and Dentists. Additional help is available for those needing to take admissions tests for the most competitive courses eg. Law, History.  Our students excel at a wide range of Post 18 careers and to that end we work with students whatever their needs from completing their university application process (through UCAS), completing an application for employment or training, having a gap year or something completely different. In recent years our students who have chosen not to attend university have gained excellent apprenticeship positions whereas our students who opt for university have taken a huge range of courses at a wide range of universities. Of the 173 leavers in 2019:

We aim to ensure that whatever they choose to do, they have firm plans for their future and the skills to excel at whatever they take on.

6th Form students are advised to have at least one interview with Mrs Short per year to help them explore their options and choose the right course of action, alongside their regular discussions with their tutors. Many students happily opt for more. Students can either email Mrs Short with a question or sign up outside the office (S4). Students are also encouraged to ‘drop in' whenever the door is open. All students of any year, are also welcome to see Mrs Short regarding any aspect of career choice, subject choice, work related questions or Higher Education.

Careers Information for Teachers

Pastoral Heads at each Key Stage arrange and deliver careers provision which involves talks (from both internal and external speakers) on post-14 GCSE options, post-16 choices and post-18 career pathways. Also, employers are brought in (eg. an assembly on Eco-design and the range of design and scientific jobs in this fast-growing field); there is support with CV writing, help with researching university courses and applying for different jobs as well as mock interviews. The Pastoral Heads give students a taste of essential employment skills when they learn about the importance of organisation, communication and teamwork skills.

The Careers Advisor provides careers advice and guidance to all students and has 1:1 meetings with all Year 11s and all Year 12s. In addition, she has day-to-day responsibility for implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks. She builds links with employers, universities and further education providers and arranges for visiting speakers from many different careers backgrounds to come into the school, and for students to visit employers or attend careers events whenever possible. She identifies possible links between curriculum learning and careers across all year groups and initiates activities as appropriate.

All elements of careers activities at SWGS are designed to provide good quality, meaningful opportunities for the students to encounter the world of work.

Careers Information for Parents

Parents are also welcome to contact Mrs Short or discuss their daughter’s career plans during a Parents’ Evening.  In addition to the opportunity for one to one discussions, the Careers programme includes a range of careers and HE elements, briefings for parents, internal and external speakers, and a very comprehensive set of related resources be they written, verbal or particular websites. 

Specific career programmes for your daughter's year can be found at:

Click here for lower and middle school careers framework

Click here for 6th form careers framework

Click here for 6th form destinations

Click here for Careers Policy

Click here for information on the Gatsby Benchmarks

We find that parents can play a pivotal role in the careers education of their daughters. In order to help, we have listed below a number of websites that parents may find useful.  Here you will find many useful links to all career matters. It is available to students via the VLE and to parents via Parent Portal.

Careers Information for Employers

Our students are given lots of information and guidance on careers.  From the age of eleven to thirteen, we introduce them to the world of work through specialist careers games, initiatives with local employer groups eg. Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, Industry Challenges and through contact with parents who voluntarily give up their time to talk to the students about their careers.  In the crucial years in the run-up to GCSEs and A levels, we build on that foundation and teach the students about employability skills, how to write CVs, prepare them for interviews, selection tests and provide them with lots of opportunities to experience employment first-hand through work experience and volunteering. The careers programme also includes information and guidance on apprenticeships, higher and further education. 

To support our students, there is a dedicated careers section in the Library, all students are offered 1:1 guidance, and have access to websites dedicated to supporting students at post-16 and post-18 (see below for some of these websites).

We are always keen to hear from employers if you can support the students in any of the following ways: mock interviews, talking to small groups about your work, Sixth Form volunteering, Sixth Form work experience (over one week in June), hosting 14 year-old students at your workplace and finally posing a real-life industry challenge to the students for them to troubleshoot and deliver a solution.

Such initiatives are proven to enhance the students’ knowledge and experience of careers and employment.  In addition, links made in the past, have developed into professional careers for the ex-SWGS student - benefitting both them and the employer.

Please contact Mrs Short, Careers Advisor if you would like to talk through how to develop careers links with SWGS at or you can phone her on 01722 343769.

Sixth Form Booklets

Applying for Higher Education

A Guide to getting a job/apprenticeship

A Guide to Oxbridge

Planning your Future

Post 18 choices and Higher Education Conference

Getting the best from University Open Days

General careers websites / Information
Government portal to apprenticeships packed with apprenticeship opportunities and information, advice and guidance.
Labour Market Information and job opportunities available in Wiltshire
Excellent information covering alternatives to university
National Careers Service – 0800 100 900

University choices
The official information on undergraduate courses. The UCAS website also has a section for parents and guardians where you can get a variety of information and can sign up for a newsletter. It is worth registering.
An online questionnaire linking students interest to degree subject areas.
Impartial information and guidance on choosing a university course.
Independent guide to university
Compare different universities using university league tables.
The Which guide to university with the ability to filter by expected grades, location, subject interests etc.

Specialist topics
Information on all careers in the NHS
Information on applying for medicine
Information on studying in the USA
Gives information on spending a year in Europe as part of a UK degree
Websites for universities worldwide
Information on course taught in English but taken in Europe

Taster courses/ Summer Schools
Subject taster days at London universities
Careers conferences
Taster courses in science and engineering
Summer Schools at Oxford University
Summer Schools at Cambridge University


Detailed careers information can be found on the Careers Department on the school VLE which students can access from home or school.

If you have any questions please either email Mrs Short on or call her. Please be prepared to leave a message as she is often with a student.