Welcome to NCW Champions

We’ve decided to support your school in developing a student ambassador programme to help embed careers into the fabric of your school or college. You are already…

So why not get more of your students involved and give them an award too?

The NCW Careers Champions award allows you to appoint student careers ambassadors and ensure they gain credit for their work.

What's It All About?

A NCW Champion School is a school that is committed to improving its careers program and delivering a program that suits the needs of all its students. It does this by engaging a body of students as NCW Champions and working collaboratively with these student champions to:

  • collect and give feedback on the schools careers program, and
  • to support and publicise information about careers events and careers resources within school. 
  • develop the organisational and leadership skills of the students.

The contribution of these students is recognised through awarding the students with the title of NCW Student Champion. Schools can engage with the NCW champion program at varying levels which result in Bronze, Silver or Gold status for the school.

School Benefits

Careers Leaders have access to a package of resources including suggested activities, template presentations, local LMI, job descriptions and certificates which enable career leaders who are pressed for time to engage in activity that will work towards improving the school’s career program. In addition:

  • Schools can evidence that they are working towards meeting Gatsby Benchmarks.
  • Schools gain recognition for the work that is being done in school to promote careers education
  • There is no cost to the school, and little paperwork involved.
Student Benefits

Young people need to believe that they have agency and by becoming a NCW champion school, you create the opportunity for your students to become shapers and influencers in their world. In addition:

  • Students become more engaged with careers education in school
  • Students input into a careers program more tailored to their interests and concerns
  • Students become ambassadors and influence peer enthusiasm for careers education
  • NCW student champions develop skills which are readily transferable to the world of work

Meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks

Gatsby Benchmark 1 states that all schools should have a stable careers program. 

This careers program should be published and accessible on the school website. By becoming a NCW champion school careers leaders can ensure that their published program is being evaluated and can develop in line with feedback that they are collecting.

Gatsby Benchmark 2 states that there should be learning from career and labour market information. 

NCW Champion schools have access to local labour market information from their LEP. This is disseminated to staff and students which can inform teaching and learning, particularly when choosing GCSE and post 16 options.

Gatsby Benchmark 3 states that the careers program in school should address the needs of each student. 

By careful selection of student champions across ability range and demographics, a NCW school can use the feedback ensure that it’s careers program is meeting the needs of all its students.

Gatsby Benchmark 4 states that curriculum learning should be linked to careers.

Student NCW champions can work with careers leads within departments to help embed career learning into the curriculum. This can be through researching subject specific resources or by finding appropriate employers or professionals that subject leads could invite to speak to students.

Gatsby Benchmark 5 states that students need to have meaningful encounters with employers and employees.

Student NCW champions can work with the careers leader/departmental careers leads to find appropriate employers or professionals that subject leads could invite to speak to students. Students can feedback to employers to ensure that encounters are positive and meaningful.

Gatsby Benchmark 6 states that students should have experience of workplaces.

Student champions could be involved in workplace visits, but if students are being asked to liaise with staff and school governors, and are being given meaningful tasks, then they will all have gained useful work experience through the NCW champion school program.

Gatsby Benchmark 7 states that students should have encounters with Further and Higher Education.

Student champions could be involved in organising visits to FE / HE Colleges or Universities, part of the organising / logistics support for college / Uni visits to school and part of the student leadership team to promote the events and support audience interaction etc with visiting presenters. Careers Champions will also be part of careers fairs and the distribution of promotion and post-event information around the school. Careers Champions would be involved in helping to manage the careers library.

Gatsby Benchmark 8 states that students should have Personal Guidance.

Student champions could be involved in supporting school logistics around personal guidance sessions, would act as advocates for personal guidance sessions for those peers who are sceptical and also part of the team at school who speaks positively about personal guidance sessions in assemblies etc to ensure the experience is valued by all students, even those ‘who already know what they want to do’.

About The Resources

Our aim is to help you spread the message about careers education across the school and to ensure this is made as simple as possible – the tools we have created are meant to be adapted because we know there is no such thing as a typical school and we want you to be able to use the tools that you want in a way that you want to use them.

We know student engagement and recognition is a way to share the excitement and importance of careers education across your school. These resources have been created by Catherine Boland and Farheen Khan, two of our NCW Management Board members, for your use and are based on a year-long programme of support in schools.

We hope you enjoy the journey and continue to develop the skills and enthusiasm of your young people using the NCW Careers Champions programme.

Free access to resources below


There are a number of phases to the NCW Careers Champions programmes and below there are three sections providing information and resources for you as Careers Leaders to use under three distinct headings.

Resources to recruit support from SLT and then to enthuse and recruit your Careers Champions from the Student Body.

Tools and resources to help you recognise and support students within the Careers Champions programme AND recognise and understand local labour market information.

Tools and resources to help you reward your students as they progress and develop their skills within the careers champions programme and to gain recognition as an NCW Careers Champions school.