BEDFORD High School has been recognised for the excellence of its careers programme by achieving a major national quality standard.

The news comes as Bedford prepares to welcome parents and guardians of future students for the school’s annual Open Evening on Wednesday, 27 September. 

Bedford earned the highest possible mark in the Quality in Careers Accreditation process, which is the national standard for careers education, information, advice and guidance. Only 14 per cent of schools in England have achieved this standard.

It is the latest success story for Bedford after a successful GCSE results day and the Year 7 rugby team reaching the national rugby league final and playing at Wembley before the Leigh Leopards.

READ > Fight for young rugby star to reach England Lions tour after selection

Leigh Journal: Former pupil Hannah Holden, who achieved five grade 8s, two grade 7s, and a grade 6 on results dayFormer pupil Hannah Holden, who achieved five grade 8s, two grade 7s, and a grade 6 on results day (Image: Bedford High)

The careers programme at Bedford, which is led by Assistant Headteacher Janet Madden, achieved 100 per cent across eight Gatsby benchmarks - which define what world-class career education and support should look like. 

Across Greater Manchester, only 28 per cent of schools achieve 100 per cent Gatsby benchmarks, highlighting the strength of the careers programme at Bedford. 

Bedford High School’s Careers Team is made up of Pauline Birchall Community and Work-related Co-ordinator, Phil Dean Careers Co-ordinator, Theresa O’Leiski Careers Advisor and Janet Madden Careers Leader/Assistant Headteacher.

The careers programme at Bedford follows students throughout their educational journey and allows them to discover what qualifications and experience they will need for their chosen career pathway, as well as offering them the opportunity to hear from employers, colleges, and universities and undertake work experience projects. 

It engages with the children from when they enter the school in Year 7 right through until they leave.

Leigh Journal: Bedford's Year 7 rugby league team reached the national finals in AugustBedford's Year 7 rugby league team reached the national finals in August (Image: Bedford High)

Careers-lead Janet Madden said: “Our students have access to a careers service that offers them impartial practical support to encourage them to make informed choices about their career paths.

The range of activities we offer includes careers fairs, careers days, guest speakers in assemblies and further education visits, all of which help students start to think about their pathways and subject choices.”

She added: “We also offer help with CV writing and hold mock interviews to give our students the real-world skills they will need to succeed.”

Bedford High School Year 10 student Precious Adekanbi Adefioye recently undertook a period of work experience with Wigan Council’s Communications Team.

“Taking part in work experience really helped me develop my communication skills and gave me a taste of what working life is like,” said Precious.  “I was given a range of opportunities and even interviewed someone! I am very grateful for this experience.”

Year 11 student Olivia Kidd also expressed how important the support she has received has been.

Olivia said: “The careers team has helped me decide on my next steps for life after Bedford. It has helped me prepare for college interviews and given me information about all the options I had including apprenticeships, T levels and A levels.”

Parents and guardians of prospective students can find out more about the high-flying quality of Bedford’s careers support at the school’s Open Evening later this month. 

The event will take place on Wednesday, 27 September between 6pm and 8.30pm. 

Headteacher Paul McCaffery said: “We are extremely proud to have achieved the Quality in Careers accreditation.

This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and the exceptional support they provide to our students. Our goal is to equip our students with the skills, knowledge, and guidance they need to thrive in their future careers, and this accreditation reinforces our commitment to that mission.”

He added: “We look forward to welcoming parents and guardians to our open evening where they can hear all about the important work taking place at Bedford High School.”