Published 28 September 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to schools and colleges’ Careers Programmes since March 2020.
This has prompted Careers Leaders to ask The Careers & Enterprise Company to clarify how they should use Compass evaluations in the planning, delivery and evaluation cycle for their Careers Programmes this year.
Our recommendations apply both to Compass evaluations completed in Compass Classic and Compass+.
Evidence-based good careers practices continue to be important in these challenging times and these recommendations supplement existing guidance about delivering effective careers provision published in Gatsby Benchmark toolkits for schools, colleges, SEND and the new Careers in Context 2020: A Can Do Guide
1. Focus on committed activities in your Careers Programme and Compass evaluations
- This year Careers Programmes are likely to be revised and updated more than in most previous years due to the continued impact of the pandemic
- There will be more uncertainty than usual about what will take place by the end of the year
- To overcome this, we recommend you focus on activities that have the support and commitment of your SLT, are firmly scheduled in your school’s calendar, are resourced and have all necessary approvals secured when answering Compass evaluation questions
- Clearly you will still want to keep note of potential ideas, unconfirmed activities and initiatives yet to be signed-off by SLT within your programme. Once any of these become committed activities then you should take them into account when answering the questions in your next Compass evaluation.
- For example – if you have timetable and financial commitment for experiences of work with contingency planning then this would be considered as a ‘committed’ activity
2. Complete a Compass evaluation at the end of each term to inform changes to your programme
- As you progress through this year you will probably adapt and update your Careers Programme. So, we recommend that you complete a Compass evaluation towards the end of each term to reflect this. This will also enable you to see the performance of your programme against the Gatsby Benchmarks through the year by providing you with clear results in confidential reports.
- Your evaluations will be based on the data and information in your programme as each term concludes. This will change across the year, becoming a more accurate measure of the provision you have delivered as time passes. Here is an example of how the mix of data and information may change in different evaluations through the year: -
- End of Autumn term evaluation. Captures the impact of the small number of activities completed to date and is largely based on committed activities for the rest of the year.
- End of Spring term evaluation. Will include more completed activities and just the committed activities scheduled for the summer term ahead
- End of Summer term evaluation. Only includes completed activities that have taken place and will be the most accurate evaluation of the Careers Programme for the year
- This approach is based on the best practice of schools in Careers Hubs and is an effective way to track your performance against the Gatsby Benchmarks during a year that may see further significant disruption caused by the pandemic
- Your local network will be monitoring the evaluations as the year progresses to identify common trends, where support is most needed and where potential funding and resources can have the biggest impact.
3. The way you complete a Compass evaluation remains unchanged
4. The questions in Compass evaluations for each Gatsby Benchmark also remain unchanged
- You can view the questions for each type of institution here: -
- We have now removed the questions about Recording the impact of Coronavirus that were temporarily added to Compass evaluations in summer 2020
5. Further help is also available
- If your school or college is part of our Enterprise Adviser Network, then please speak to your Enterprise Coordinator who can help you apply this approach to your school or college’s Careers Programme
- Information is also available on our Resources for Careers Leadership page on our website
- If you have specific questions about how to use Compass Classic or Compass+ please email customer service: -
CEC also held webinar (21/10/20) on the new guidance for completing evaluations, which you can watch below: