Lighthouse School, inspiring bright futures

Skills and Experience

As a destination-led school, we are focused on setting our students up for their next step in life after their time in school. This may be semi-assisted living, employment, or further education. We teach Employability as a discrete subject to all students, as well as incorporating the teaching of business soft skills into other curriculum subjects. All students receive careers advice and a bespoke timetable that helps them achieve their goals. We utilise our exceptional links with industry to give students access to appropriate work experience with support from highly trained staff.

The teaching of daily living skills such as washing, ironing, cooking, personal hygiene, shopping, travelling, and using phones, plays a vital part in our school day. Parents are also provided with guidance so that they can support their children with the development of these important life skills.

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

Throughout school students will have the opportunity to take advantage of numerous careers activities, multiple employer encounters and work-related learning as appropriate to their needs and career aspirations. Every student in years 9-14 will have an annual meeting with our Careers Advisor who will give them bespoke guidance and information and help students make choices about their future education and work. 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 pathways.

Measuring Impact

In September 2019, we introduced the uExplore Start system which also enables us to monitor our careers programme, its impact on our students, planning for further activities and progress towards Gatsby. This is reported to the Student Family and Staff Committee termly.

Our students have also been supported to set up their own ‘Start’ profiles, which provides them with a personalised experience and career planning tools to help them make informed decisions about their futures. They are able to access their Start profiles at school or at home and can personalise their profiles with details about their skills, interests, work preferences and more.

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

Careers Table

We are delighted that 100% of the 2020 school leavers are progressing into further education and training with the following providers:

  • Henshaws College
  • Lighthouse Futures Trust
  • Leeds City College
  • Nisai Virtual Academy
  • Swarthmore Education Centre

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, including:

  • Local and national employers
  • The Department for Work & Pensions
  • Local FE and specialist providers including Lighthouse Futures Trust; universities; and SEND charities

We are very proud to have delivered a highly successful Careers & Enterprise Company (‘CEC’) 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.

Additionally, Lighthouse School is 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.


Lighthouse School’s Careers Programme will be reviewed annually.