Student Careers

Strategic Vision

Harbour School Dorset is committed to providing a planned programme of careers education, information, and guidance for students in all years. The school works with an external, independent Careers Company to ensure all students have access to impartial careers advice and guidance from Level 6/7 qualified Careers Advisers.

We hope that all students will leave Harbour School with the skills and knowledge required to support their entry to employment, training or Further Education. Harbour School actively promotes parent/carer involvement through events, forums and ensuring access to information throughout the year.

Careers Co-Ordinator – Victoria Huntley-Shaw (from Sep 2022)

SLT Careers Lead – Helen Bradley [email protected]

Advice For Students 

Building skills

Having a career is not just about “getting a job”. It is about how we help you to build all of those skills you are going to need for the future. Things like teamwork, communication, decision making, self-esteem and confidence. These are all really important skills to have as you move into your adult life.

Study Programme

School life revolves around these areas. We try to meet your needs as an individual whatever your ideas are about getting a job. We make sure you access the most appropriate learning programme and work on all the skills you will need. You will meet people who might give you job in the future, or let you try out that job. We will arrange visits to places where people work within the local community, and you will take part in work experience

We’re here to help you

We have a team of people who will help you with all of these things. They will help you to think about different types of jobs, how you will get to work, who will support you, and lots of other things too.

Useful websites to help you to start to think about careers and what you might like to do into the future.

Buzz Quiz

National Careers 

Start Profile 

Career Pilot 

Bitesize Careers 

Advice For Parents / Carers

Life after School

Harbour School Dorset has the ethos of education to employment. To help you and your young person to start to think about life after school.  What will this look like? Do I want a job? Do I want some social activity in my week? Where do I want to live? ……. We have gathered some information to help you.

The following website has useful information about introducing your young person into the world of work and how to start those conversations.


Preparation for working life

At Harbour School we will help each student to think about all of those things during their time with us. We offer external careers advice each year from Cosmic Cactus our partner who have Level 6 and 7 careers advisers to talk to each student.

We also have internal staff who work with students across the school to advise and develop meaningful transition packages ready for when they leave.

Each student will experience external workplace activities with the opportunity to visit or meet various employers and work placement providers to give them a real insight into working life.

Harbour School can also offer help with independent travel training if appropriate to ensure young people can get to and from work safely.

Each Local Authority has compiled a list of providers who can offer help and support for our students and families during their school life. This is called the ‘Local Offer’.

The following links will take you to local authorities Local Offers.  There is more information about what the Local Offer is detailed below. 

BCP Local Offer

Dorset Local Offer

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer is a Local Authority’s publication of all the provision “they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.” (Section 4.1 SEND Code of Practice, January 2015)


  1. To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible, and up to date information about the available provision and how to access it.
  2. To ensure that available provision meets local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers, in its development and review to develop in a more responsive way.

Section 30 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which came into force on 1 September 2014, sets out clearly what the content of a Local Offer should be.


  1. The education, health, and care provision & other training provision it expects to be available in its area at the time of publication for children and young people who have special educational needs or a disability.
  2. The provision it expects to be available outside its area at that time for:
    1. Children and young people for whom it is responsible.
    2. Children and young people in its area who have a disability.
  3. Arrangements for travel to and from schools and post-16 institutions.
  4. Provision to assist in preparing children and young people for adulthood and independent living relating to
    1. Finding employment
    2. Obtaining accommodation
    3. Participation in society

The Local Offer should also set out how to access specialist services, how to complain or appeal and how it can help to plan for transition to adulthood.

Information for Employers

Employers are really important to us at Harbour School. Getting a job can be life changing for a young person and their families.

The information below has examples of how employers’ benefit from engaging with education providers as well as the students who attend.



Offer a work placement

We are committed to offering students placements in their local community to develop their skills.

Our team will support you every step of the way, to ensure that you, your employees and our students, feel confident and comfortable. Contact xxxx who can provide you with all the info you need.

What we’re looking for

  • Entry level employment roles
  • Training opportunities
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Work experience placements

Benefits to your business:

  • Introduce new perspectives and talents
  • Improve diversity in your workforce
  • Provide development opportunities for your staff eg mentoring
  • Support your local community

Information for Staff

Careers Programme

Harbour School believes that every young person needs high-quality career guidance to make informed decisions about their future.

In 2013, The Gatsby Foundation commissioned Sir John Holman to set out what career guidance in England would be like if it were good by international standards, resulting in the Good Career Guidance report. The eight benchmarks set out in the report serve as a framework for improvement in careers provision and have been adopted as part of the Government’s Careers Strategy and statutory guidance for schools and schools. In addition, The Careers & Enterprise Company now supports the implementation of the benchmarks in schools and schools with a national network of support and resources.

Harbour School works with The Careers and Enterprise Company Careers Hub in Dorset to ensure we are meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks and providing all our students with high quality careers advice and guidance to inform their next transition steps and where possible meet the career aspirations of each student.

One of the main focuses at Harbour School is to ensure that throughout their time at school each student becomes equipped with the knowledge, skills and attributes to progress onto further education, training or into their chosen professions.

The emphasis is on practical tasks and a curriculum that is adapted to suit the needs of all our learners.  We have a whole school approach, with careers embedded within the curriculum.

If you are an employer who feels they may be able to support any aspect of our Careers Programme, then please contact us using the details above.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

As an education provider Harbour School has an obligation to meet the 8 Gatsby benchmarks.

Personal 1:1 Guidance is provided by Cosmic Cactus our partner who have Level 6 and 7 careers advisers to talk to each student.