The Provider Access Legislation (PAL) specifies that schools must provide at least six encounters with approved providers of apprenticeships and technical education for all their students.
We are keen to support schools and providers to meet and evidence this updated requirement meaningfully as part of a wider progressive careers programme. To ensure PAL compliance is regularly monitored and support needs are managed effectively, we have made some updates within the Compass evaluation section for Gatsby Benchmark 7.
PAL questions within the Compass evaluation.
In the Educational Encounters Benchmark 7 section of the Compass evaluation, we have added specific questions about PAL that allow schools to record and evidence compliance against the new legislation. Please note, the answers to these questions do not contribute towards your benchmark 7 Compass evaluation score.
The specific PAL questions added to this section of the evaluation are:
- What proportion of students in Year 8/9 have had at least two meaningful encounters with providers of apprenticeships and technical education during KS3 phase that meet the requirements of PAL?
- What proportion of students in Year 10/11 have had at least two meaningful encounters with providers of apprenticeships and technical education during KS4 phase that meet the requirements of PAL?
- What proportion of students in Year 12/13 have been offered at least two meaningful encounters with providers of apprenticeships and technical education during KS5 that meet the requirements of PAL?
- What proportion of students in Year 12/13 have attended at least two meaningful encounters with providers of apprenticeships and technical education during KS5 that meet the requirements of PAL?
(Please note that the Year 12/13 questions look similar but one is asking about PAL encounters that have been offered, and the other is asking about PAL encounters that have been attended)
Answer options for these questions are:
A few (1-25%)
Overwhelming majority (76-90%)
All or nearly all (91-100%)
It’s very important to highlight that PAL applies to all students, as such the final option ‘All or nearly all’ is the only option deemed to be compliant with PAL, other responses are not.
For more information about PAL in SEND settings, please refer to our Help Centre article The Provider Access Legislation (PAL) in SEND Settings.
A further unscored question has been added at the end of the Employer Encounter section of the evaluation. The answer box is free text, users should use this box to list the providers of eligible PAL encounters.
The PAL questions you will be asked are tailored to your institution’s details. For example, schools without a sixth-from will only be asked about the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 questions and Colleges will only be asked about Key Stage 5.
Recording PAL activities in Compass +
When creating a new Benchmark 7 activity, we have included a checkbox for you to confirm that the activity is eligible to be recorded as an encounter that meets PAL requirements.
As PAL is only applicable to GB7, the check box will only appear if you allocate GB7 to the main benchmark. You'll need to do this first, and then the PAL check box will appear.
For an activity to be eligible, and recorded as PAL complaint, the provider must deliver an encounter that includes:
- Information about the provider and the approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships that the provider offers
- Information about the careers to which those technical education qualifications or apprenticeships might lead to
- A description of what learning or training with the provider is like
- Responses to questions from the pupils about the provider or approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships.
The encounter must also meet all of the other conditions outlined from page 43 in the Provider Access Legislation statutory guidance.
Read our Provider access legislation Key information to find out more about PAL eligibility.
PAL data and reporting
- We will not share institutional level data, this also includes any employer information entered into the free text box, when users are recording PAL activities.
- Enterprise Co-ordinators and Hub Leads will review data via EANR to identify where additional support may be required
- We will use aggregated data to report on PAL compliance at Hub, Regional and National level.