National Career Leaders Conference 2022

30 June 2022

Banner for National Careers Leaders

Join us at the Career Leaders Conference 2022 - LIVE

The National Career Leaders Conference and Exhibition is jointly organised by the CDI, iCeGS at the University of Derby and Optimus Education. 

We are excited to announce that we will be holding the CDI Career Leaders Conference 2022 as a LIVE in-person event for 2022 on Thursday 30 June at the University of Derby, Kedleston Road Campus. 

This is the fifth conference of its type, designed to support the learning, information sharing and professional development of Careers Leaders working in secondary schools, FE and SEND schools and colleges, Enterprise Coordinators and Careers Advisers. 

The theme of the conference will focus on ‘Deepening strategic careers leadership’ and expert practitioners will invite attendees to join thought-provoking discussions during keynote and panel sessions, and workshops throughout the day.

There will also be an exhibition, which will provide an opportunity to engage with organisations supporting the careers sector.

Conference programme

2022 Theme: Deepening strategic careers leadership

  • 8:30-9:30 - Exhibition, Coffee and Network 

  • 9.30- 10:20 - Introduction and Keynote 1   

  • 10:30-11:10 - Workshops Session 1 

  • 11:10-11:40 - Exhibition, Coffee and Network  

  • 11:40-12:30 - Panel Session

  • 12:40-1:20 - Workshops Session 2 

  • 1:20- 2:00 - Exhibition, lunch and network 

  • 2:00- 2:50 - Keynote 2 

  • 3:00- 3:40 - Workshops Session 3 

  • 3:40-4:20 - Exhibition and coffee

  • 4:20-4:50 - Closing session

  • 4:50-5:30 Networking and Exhibition 

Keynote 1

Implementing a careers strategy at scale: Developing careers provision across a large MAT 

Ryan Gibson – National System Leader, Careers (CEIAG) – Academies Enterprise Trust. 

Ryan is the National Leader for CEIAG at Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), one of the largest school groups in England. He is responsible for the quality of careers education for 32000 young people in 57 schools. Before joining AET, Ryan worked as a member of the Skills Team at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, developing the education and skills agenda. In this role, he established ‘North East Ambition’, a careers network of over 200 schools, colleges and businesses. Between 2015-2019 Ryan led the very successful national pilot of the Gatsby Foundation’s 'Good Career Guidance' benchmarks in England and influenced the development new National Careers Strategy (Dec 2017), supporting the CEC with the national roll out of the Gatsby Benchmarks and the development of the national careers hub model. In 2017 Ryan was recognised as ‘UK Career Educator of the Year’ by the Career Development Institute and during the Covid19 pandemic, he helped to create the careers content for England’s Oak National Academy. Ryan is an Associate at the International Centre for Guidance Studies, a School Governor, a member of the national Quality in Careers Standard Board and an Advisory Board member for ‘Maths for Girls’.

Keynote 2

So What? From strategy to quality and back!

Nicola Hall – Director of Education – Careers & Enterprise Company

Nicola will discuss using deeper strategic careers leadership approaches to hardwire careers programmes into school and college improvement planning,  She will explore how Careers Leaders articulate strategic intent, use evaluation for intervention and impact and the development of continuous assurance of programmes.

Nicola’s role as Director of Education with the Careers and Enterprise Company follows 7 years as a secondary headteacher. She started her career in industry as a graduate trainee in retail (the first ever cohort of Excel in Retail management trainees recruited by Tesco Plc), and then retrained as a teacher and worked her way through both further education and secondary provision to the role of Headteacher. Nicola was headteacher of both a 14-19 Studio School and a mainstream secondary school. Nicola can see and understand the challenges and opportunities faced by both education and continually developing industry sectors in preparing young people to make choices about their next best step. She joined CEC to support the development of a world class, inclusive and sustainable careers guidance offer for young people as a relevant and deliberate part of their whole education.

Breaking and Building Cultural Capital 

Michael Rafferty - Motivation Careers and Community Lead

Using a careers-based experience program instead of work experience allows students to try a variety of experience rather than one often dictated by home connections, which lead to students following in family footsteps giving unfair advantages or disadvantages. combined with this we have been building upon this a strong alumni collection of videos talking about their career pathway showing people who started where they did. and all the options available.

Michael Rafferty has been teaching in Oxfordshire for 14 years and has been in charge of motivation for 12 and careers for 2. Coming into the role during Covid there was a need to run calendared events in a new way, This led to the development of certain programs which have proven popular and effective whilst also breaking down unrealised social barriers.

Understanding the range of free and funded resources, support and training for Careers leaders and key stakeholders from the Careers & Enterprise Company 

Cameron Nimmo - Education Development Partnerships Manager, Careers & Enterprise Company 

This session will cover the free and funded training offers available from The Careers & Enterprise Company for Careers Leaders, Education Leaders, Governors and staff. Find out more about the range and impact of free resources, support, and training available to you as a Careers Leader and to key stakeholders with support around signposting and registration.

Cameron is the Careers Leaders Training, Partnerships and Insight Lead for the Careers and Enterprise Company. He is responsible for ensuring Careers Leaders have access to a diverse suite of training opportunities by working with external training providers. He has worked in a variety of education settings and spent 9 years managing a community-based Careers programme for young people at a youth charity, Envision.

Whole School/College culture when supporting young people with SEND around careers education

Kelly Dillon - National Sector Engagement Lead at The Careers & Enterprise Company  

This session will explore how best to establish a whole School/ College culture when supporting young people with SEND around careers education. Examples will be shared of effective partnerships between Careers Leaders and SENCO and their teams to enable all young people to achieve positive career outcomes.  

Kelly leads on national sector engagement encompassing Inclusion and Further Education for The Careers & Enterprise Company.  A former teacher, Careers Leader and Director of Post 16 who is passionate about ensuring all young people have positive career outcomes. Kelly is also a Governor at 3 Alternative Provisions

How to set up and run a successful Mock interview day at a secondary school

April Booker - Associate Assistant Principal responsible for Careers and Opportunity at Oasis Brightstowe

This workshop will demonstrate how to market and set up a Mock interview day in an educational setting. It will provide an explanation of the processes and resources used to track and set up the day. The activity strengthened relationships with employers and also helped the teachers involved in the day to develop relationships with members of the business community. The session links to Gatsby Benchmarks 3,4,5 (mainly 5) and can contribute to Gatsby Benchmark 1 having a stable careers programme.

I am the Associate Assistant Principal at Oasis Brightstowe in Bristol. I am also Head of DT, Personal Development and Head of Careers and opportunity. During the pandemic, I completed the Level 6 Careers Leaders. 

Building on Gatsby - the journey to outstanding

Leighton Collins - Careers Leader, Firth Park Academy 

The Gatsby Benchmarks provide a brilliant framework for good Careers Education. Where do we go when we meet all eight benchmarks? How do we develop outstanding practice, building on these strong foundations? How do we involve the wider school team – teaching staff, year teams and SLT? How do we meet the needs of parents and carers? Come and find out what is happening at Firth Park Academy – as we build upon the foundation of consistently meeting all eight benchmarks, where we are going next and think about what you could do in your own setting.

Leighton is the Careers Leader at Firth Park Academy in Sheffield and a qualified Careers Adviser.  He also works closely with the MAT team at Academies Enterprise Trust and leads their regional careers hub for the North & Midlands

Leveraging Technology to improve the outcomes of your strategic careers plan

Sophie Boettcher - UK Sales Manager, Cascaid

Careers professionals need the right mix of ingredients and a clear method to achieve the intended result. In our workshop, we’ll be exploring one of the critical ingredients that contribute to a successful careers strategy: leveraging technology. Join us for this interactive workshop as we answer your top questions and offer practical takeaways to help you to integrate technology into your strategic thinking and planning. 

Sophie is a seasoned education sales leader, having worked within the industry for over 5 years. Sophie is passionate about our mission of creating successful futures and uses that passion to advise and guide our Xello community. You'll often see Sophie deftly speaking on behalf of Xello at virtual and in-person events. Her enthusiasm for helping deliver CEIAG provision in schools, colleges, and trusts is contagious.

Practical approaches to embedding careers in the curriculum

Marie Jobson - National Careers Leader Development ​Workstream Lead, Careers & Enterprise Company 

This session will build knowledge and practical ideas around three approaches to BM4. This will support teachers to move from highlighting the relevance of their subject to career pathways and future opportunities to fully embedding careers in the curriculum. 

Marie leads national Careers Leader development within The Careers & Enterprise Company. Marie works within development & standards in the Education Development team with a key focus on the development of resources, support and training for Careers Leaders. Previously Marie worked as a Careers Leader within senior leadership in the North East. 

Every teacher really is a teacher of careers!

Jo Saward - Enterprise Coordinator, MK College/SEMLEP

Shortly after being appointed as Careers Leader, I was invited to present my vision for the whole school career strategy to the middle leadership forum. It was like teaching a class of disaffected teenagers! In this workshop, I will share how l brought my colleagues along with me in embedding careers in the curriculum. I will draw on my experiences in a number of schools to share tried and tested methods for building careers into the culture of a school. Participants will have the opportunity to identify quick wins and reflect on which might work best in their role/institution.

Jo worked for 5 years as Careers Leader in a large secondary school, combing that role with a 0.8 teaching timetable. More recently, inspired by completing the MA in Careers Education and Coaching at Derby University, she has begun a new role as Enterprise Coordinator sharing her love of all things careers with 15 secondary schools.

The added value of the national Quality in Careers Standard – benefitting your students

Jenny Longstaffe - Senior Careers Practitioner, Complete Careers

The national Quality in Careers Standard: as the appointed representative of the Quality in Careers Consortium and its 12 Awarding Bodies, I will be describing how schools and colleges can develop their provision to meet the national Standard with its proven added value benefits for students, including explaining the process of gaining the award. Since the Covid pandemic, this has required a new approach, including providing virtual support for schools and colleges, remote assessments and building partnerships with schools and colleges across the UK and abroad.

My journey in careers work began in Higher Education before I qualified as a Level 7 adviser and became a careers leader in the independent sector. I now work for Complete Careers as an assessor for their Quality in Careers Standard award (using the Career Mark approach), supporting schools that are working towards the standard and continuing to provide guidance to learners within schools. 

How to maximise the impact of your work experience programme

Charley Fowler - Area Manager and UK Education Lead 

This workshop will focus on the importance of employer interaction in your careers programme, and outline best practices for schools and colleges. As part of this session, we will be providing attendees with free resources to support them in the delivery of their work experience programmes.

Charley started in the classroom as a teacher before moving on to work in a Careers department, developing relationships with employers. Now, Charley manages partnerships with 250+ Unifrog partner schools and colleges alongside completing an MA in Sociology of Education at UCL and has recently been appointed Unifrog’s UK Education Lead.  

Education Development Trust: Developing Our Workforce 

Jonathan Chambers and Beth Hughes - Trainer and Assessor at Education Development Trust 

Our workshop will explore how Education Development Trust uses a range of approaches to enhance workforce development and retention involving all areas of the organisation and wider stakeholders.  This includes the identification of training needs utilising traditional development strategies, but also the incorporation of more person-centred innovative approaches to ensure all staff are offered a tailored and nurturing environment for their development.  Most notably we will introduce you to Phenomenon Based Learning as an approach to achieving effective workforce development for the 21st century. 

Jonathan Chambers is a careers adviser, trainer, and assessor who has over 10 years of experience working within careers, employability, and education. He has worked in a range of settings including community-based, custodial, mainstream, and alternative education supporting the development of individuals and workforces.   Beth Hughes - Beth Hughes has experience in career and organisational development spanning 24 years.  Originally working across the careers sector and now as a coach and trainer developing careers staff at Education Development Trust. She is also a free-lance group facilitator and workplace coach specialising in neurodiversity. 

Engaging employers virtual: Learnings from the Inspiring the Future community

Charlotte Thurston and Katy Hampshire - Head of School Programmes, Education and Employers 

In this workshop, Education and Employers will share lessons learnt and best practice developed from our extensive experience of enabling hundreds of schools to connect virtually to volunteers across the country via our Inspiring the Future programme. As schools increasingly return to in-person activities with employers, we will look at what key lessons have been learned from working virtually with employers, what should we keep from virtual interactions and what it adds to young people.  With input and best practice shared from schools around the country, the workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the future of virtual encounters between schools and the world of work

Katy Hampshire Director of Operations and Programmes/Director of Education and Employers: Katy is a Director of the charity with strategic leadership across our Inspiring the Future programme as well as partnerships with key employers. Katy previously worked for VSO as Head of Programme Delivery for a youth volunteering programme and spent over a decade as a chartered accountant in corporate restructuring with organisations such as EY and HSBC.    Charlotte Thurston: Head of School Programmes - Charlotte is responsible for managing the charity’s engagement and support for both primary and secondary schools, bringing over 10 years of experience of working with schools to support effective employer engagement. Prior to joining the charity, Charlotte worked as a Campaigns Organiser for a Member of Parliament and has served as a trustee at an international health charity. 

Talking Futures: engaging parents/carers to deliver a more impactful careers programme

Rachel Green and Isabel Hutton - Education Engagement and Development Manager / Education Manager - Strategic Development, The Careers & Enterprise Company 

Parents and carers are widely recognised as major influencers on children’s career decision-making. This session will explore how Talking Futures resources can help Careers Leaders involve parents/carers beyond information sharing. Hear examples of best practice, demonstrating effective partnership working, particularly with parents facing the greatest barriers to engaging. 

Rachel has 30 years in the education sector, including work as a headteacher and Careers Leader in a Multi-Academy Trust, Rachel leads on Education Leader and Governor development for The Careers & Enterprise Company. Rachel also volunteers as a Careers Link Governor and Enterprise Adviser for local secondary school 

Isabel is a Teach First Ambassador who joined The Careers & Enterprise Company three years ago to lead a national fund to test what careers strategies work best at primary level. Isabel is now responsible for the leadership and development of cross-company strategic projects, including Talking Futures parental engagement work. 

How to build a bridge with your feeder schools without wanting to jump off - How to respond to primary careers policy developments

Janet Colledge and John Ambrose - Careers Education Consultant Outstanding Careers /Strategic Director Complete Careers

This session is designed to enable careers leaders to consider the skills & attitudes needed to maximise the primary to secondary transition programme and provide learners with the skills and attitudes to thrive.  With careers soon to be statutory from year 7 and a new careers programme for primary schools in areas of disadvantage on the horizon, the session helps Careers Leaders to recognise how the transition programme affects them and the importance of prioritising and engaging with feeder schools.  It will be practical with guidance for developing the infrastructure as well as sources of best practice, support and resources.

Janet Colledge is the real-life name of @CareersDefender who is a qualified teacher with over 15 years of experience, providing award-winning careers education. She is currently the chief Careers Education Consultant with Outstanding Careers. She also blogs, presents and writes for various organisations specialising in the management and provision of careers education in the 11–19 sector and is a member of the Quality in Careers Standard Board/John Ambrose MA is an experienced Careers Practitioner. John is committed to supporting learning providers from Foundation to key stage 5 to improve their career provision and to empower individuals to reach their potential.  He is the Strategic Director for Complete-Careers LLP/Career Mark and is a board member for the CDI.

"Teaching employability is not my job!" How to link curriculum to careers to engage even the most reluctant teacher.

 Dr Kate Daubney - Director of The Careers Group, University of London; and freelance careers education consultant 

Many teachers find Gatsby 4 difficult to relate to and may resist the idea of becoming ‘teachers of careers’ too. But they are already teachers and developers of learner employability, through existing academic curriculum. Pre-18 qualifications are generally seen as knowledge assets, but all academic subjects are also rich with innate transferable skills and attributes that we don’t normally articulate to learners. This workshop shares my practice and research into how all teachers and careers professionals can talk with confidence about the innate employability value of the pre-18 curriculum, surfacing the same transferable skills and attributes to learners that employers seek. 

Kate Daubney has been a careers professional for 20 years in pre-18 and higher education. Her book, Careers Education to Demystify Employability, showed how the practices of HE careers education can be reframed to enhance the impact of any existing pre-18 careers programme. Kate is the Director of The Careers Group. 

Unleashing the power of alumni: how to build, activate and engage a thriving alumni network to support your careers delivery

Emily Barnes and Zarida Zaman - Regional Programme Manager at Future First

This session will introduce the benefits of alumni interaction in supporting the careers curriculum, including how and why this should be embedded into their school's community. It will then focus on the basic model for creating a sustainable alumni network within their school (build, activate, engage) This will include how they can involve their alumni with the wider careers and employability strategy within the school, different approaches for integrating alumni as volunteers within the classroom and how to champion and celebrate their networks. 

Emily Barnes has designed, developed and led workshops in schools across the country, for a range of charities and organisations, championing students’ curiosity about exploring the world around them. She is an experienced facilitator and volunteer manager. Zarida Zaman trained to be a fashion designer and worked in the industry before finding a natural home in teaching. She enjoys the challenges of developing creative skills in young people. After completing an MDes in Social Innovation she joined Future First as their Regional Programme Manager South. Future First is a UK education charity helping young people in state schools and colleges broaden their horizons by connecting them with former pupils. 

Developing the Workforce: What skills and knowledge are already in your school community?

Frances Thapen - Educational Consultant, School Development Ltd. 

This is a fully interactive workshop with group work, discussion and the creation of tools for attendees to take home with them. We will look at the full range of skill sets available in schools and how they can be utilised to support the centralised work of careers guidance. We will look at building an audit, placing careers within the curriculum and some ideas to help teachers think beyond the world of academia.  

Having been fired twice before the age of 16 Frances Thapen has a unique perspective on careers. Teaching came as a vocation in a genuine 'light-bulb moment' in the second year of university and a love of education has kept her in schools ever since. 

Pandemic Innovation: Eco-conscious and wellbeing friendly remote Quality Assurance of career programmes  

Janet Hutchinson/Tracey Taylor - Career Mark Manager, Complete Careers

The workshop shows how using technology we learnt to use during the pandemic has allowed an eco-friendlier approach to supporting schools to achieve the Quality in Career Standard. It has saved costs for learning organisations and provides a better work-life balance for career professionals particularly supporting health, well-being and flexible ways of working. The workshop will cover: remote consultancy, workshops and webinars, working remotely with staff and learners to quality assure career programmes, benefiting the environment, supporting work-life balance and wellbeing for career professionals, and providing savings for organisations who accredit their career programme.

Janet Hutchinson originally an English teacher joined Connexions in 2001 as a curriculum adviser. In 2021 she achieved a masters in Career Education Development and Guidance. She has quality assured and trained travelling across England. After a heart attack in 2021, she assesses career work from her office. Tracey Taylor a Career leader of many years in an Academy Trust and a level 6 guidance professional most recently completed Career Leader training at the University. Now also a Career Mark Champion and Assessor for Complete Careers she has experience in remote assessment from a provider and external perspective.