Lighthouse School

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Skills and Experience 

As a destination-led school, we are focused on preparing our students for their next steps in life after their time in school. This may be semi-assisted living, supported employment, or further education. We teach enterprise, employability and future skills to all students, as well as incorporating the teaching of business soft skills and work readiness into all curriculum subjects.

All students receive extensive careers advice, information and guidance and a bespoke timetable that helps them achieve their goals. We utilise our exceptional industry and educational partnership links to give students access to appropriate work placements with support from highly trained staff. We have a dedicated Work Experience and Careers Co-ordinator at school, Melissa Bainbridge.

Students who require the teaching of daily living skills (such as washing, ironing, cooking, personal hygiene, shopping, travelling, and using phones), have these skills built into their timetabled day. Parents are also provided with guidance so that they can support their children with the development of these important life skills.

Throughout school, students will have the opportunity to use a number of careers activities, multiple employer encounters and work-related learning to develop their career aspirations, and build skills relevant to their individual chosen pathways. Every student in years 9-14 will have an annual meeting with our independent Careers Advisor who will give them bespoke guidance and information to help students make choices about their future education and work. This is shared within the EHCP review process.

For example, students have worked with an architect and construction company to understand the process of building and redeveloping housing. Another group worked with a local artist to produce an industry standard mosaic to be displayed within a company building. Other concrete experiences included visiting the M & S archive, which enables students to understand what the world of work is like.

As students approach the end of their journey at Lighthouse School, they will have a ‘Next Steps’ careers meeting with the careers team, SENCo and their parents/carers, to support successful transition into adulthood and their chosen pathway.

Measuring Impact

Lighthouse School uses the SEN Compass tool to assess progress against the Gatsby benchmarks, which enables the school to demonstrate that we are meeting the statutory government guidelines on careers education. The eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance:

  • A stable careers programme
  • Learning from careers and labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Experience of workplaces
  • Encounters with further and higher education
  • Personal guidance

How effectively careers are embedded in the curriculum is measured via the School Development Plan, as well team and individual staff targets. The school is highly effective in bringing the world of work into the curriculum in school across all subject areas and enabling students to apply the life and work skills that they develop in school out in the community. .

Lighthouse School Destinations Programme

We are delighted that 100% of the 2022 school leavers are progressing into further education and training with the following providers:

  • Henshaws College
  • Lighthouse Futures Trust
  • Leeds City College
  • PINC College *Wakefield College

The school has a year-on-year 100% success rate of students progressing into sustained Education, Employment or Training (EET) and a strong Alumni Network.

As well as the above providers, students have also in previous years progressed to: *Shipley College

  • Craven College
  • Nisai Virtual Academy
  • Swarthmore Education Centre
  • Voluntary work placements

Working in partnership

Partnership working is a crucial element of the success of Lighthouse School’s innovative and individualised careers education programme. This spans relationships with many organisations, including:

  • Local and national employers
  • West Yorkshire Combined Authority *Leeds City Council
  • The Careers and Enterprise Company
  • Ahead Partnership
  • The Department for Work & Pensions Local FE and specialist providers and universities; SEND charities

We are very proud to have delivered a highly successful Careers & Enterprise Company funded careers project with Ahead Partnership from September 2019 to March 2021. In total we ran 17 highly tailored events across the project: 12 for students across all age ranges in the school; 1 for school staff; and 4 employer training sessions. We engaged 24 employers in the project and 43 individuals from those organisations.

Good practice from the project has been shared at national level and all of the successful elements of work have been embedded into the developing careers provision and practice at the school.

Last academic year, the school was awarded a separate project through West Yorkshire Combined Authority and supported by the Burberry Foundation relating to creative careers. The ‘Bee Creative’ Raising Aspirations project aimed to inspire and increase the confidence of our students through improving their understanding and knowledge of the region’s key sectors, specifically the creative sector. This led to some fantastic lifechanging outcomes for a number of our students.

Additionally, Lighthouse School has been the Lead School for the Leeds City Region SEND Careers Hub. This is an important network for developing our own careers programme as well as reaching out to support other SEND settings to meet their Gatsby benchmarks. Careers Hubs are being rolled out nationally and it is fantastic that Lighthouse School has been involved from the very beginning in this regional forerunner, led by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority / Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and their team of Enterprise Coordinators and Advisers. Via the SEND Careers Hub, the school has also been involved in developing a significant number of SEND school and employer resources for the Future Goals website.


Lighthouse School’s Careers Programme will be reviewed annually. 
Careers and IAG Policy