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Careers Programme Information

The Government’s careers strategy sets out a long term plan to build a world class careers system that will help young people and adults choose the career that is right for them. At Fairfax, we aim to support our students throughout their time here in finding the right options for them at Post-16 and Post-18. 

We are proud of the high numbers of our students going on to positive destinations such as universities, apprenticeships, further education colleges, technical employment routes, in order to be the very best they can be in life.  

 The careers programme is overseen by the careers lead, Ms W Gray, Assistant Principal.  Mrs N Hau oversees the PSHE Programme, and our impartial careers advisor is Mrs Pauline Knowles, who may be reached via email on

or by phone on 0121 378 1288


Fairfax students in all year groups have access to a planned and progressive Careers Education programme. Many opportunities are provided for students to consider their own career planning, as students have full access to impartial careers advice and guidance. Fairfax works in partnership with external sources to inspire and raise career aspirations.   Both Post-16 and Post-18 providers work with the school to engage with learners at school, ensuring that they are aware of a full range of post-school opportunities. This programme is reviewed bi-annually.

Click here for the Fairfax Careers Statement

Click here for the Fairfax Strategic Careers Plan 2022-2025

Click here for the current Careers Provision Programme 2023-2024

For Sixth Form Careers Provision, please see Enrichment and Careers Programme – Fairfax Academy 

To continually offer support to our students in transitional years, they receive 1:1 support via the impartial career adviser who is employed 3 days a week at Fairfax. Annually students are tracked, and a destination report sent back to the local authority.

Our NEET figure ( Not in Education Employment or Training) has been consistently below 2% for Year 11s with Year 13 being at 0%. The current national average according to ONS  for Year 11s stands at 11.3%

Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), UK – Office for National Statistics (

For more information of Fairfax Destinations,  click on Destinations – Fairfax Academy

Our Career Provision here at Fairfax is reviewed bi-annually, however, after each of the career activities, feedback is sought from all parties. The visitors, students and teachers express their view on events such as the annual Career Fair, Practice Interviews and Meet the Professional events.  Students thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to speak with local and national employers and education providers. All the key stakeholders receive a thank you email with an assessment of the event which include feedback directly from the students. This is reviewed annually.

To track and evaluate our provision against the Gatsby Benchmarks of good practice for careers,  we have joined with the Careers and Enterprise Company to use their Compass system.

For the careers journey our students undertake, please visit  Careers Entitlement – Fairfax Academy

In addition to the above, we have support from the Birmingham Careers Hub of The Careers and Enterprise Company with specialist support from Enterprise Coordinator, Mrs Jackie Plimmer.  Also working alongside us is our Enterprise Advisor, Mrs Alison Berry. 

Alison is an End Point Assessor working with a number of organisations who deliver Financial Services Apprenticeships. Having worked in Retail Banking for 36 years and latterly specialising as a Learning and Development Professional, Alison recently moved into the apprenticeship role, as a way to use her training and banking skills/knowledge to help students build their careers.

Alison has developed a deep understanding of strategy and transformational change activities across the finance sector, along with creating award-winning training programmes that have focused on excellent customer service and management capabilities. Alison has undertaken a variety of qualifications including becoming a Chartered Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, a Professional Banker with the Chartered Banker Institute, an Agile Practitioner with the Scrum Alliance and has recently undertaken a Climate Change programme with the University of Edinburgh. Alison has worked all over the UK and is currently based in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. 

We look forward to a long standing relationship with our careers support. 

Opportunities available to our students include:-

Careers Advisor: – one-to-one appointments with an impartial Careers Advisor. The advisor is also present on important options evenings for  Year 9 and Year 11, as well as both Year 12 and Year 13 parent evenings, to speak with parents and students.

Guidance Lessons: – Students in Year 7 and Year 8 receive Careers Education through Guidance lessons, covering topics such as: KS4 Choices; Career pathways; Work in the Local Area; Steps to Success; Learning Styles; Self-employment.

Tutor Time: – Students in all years receive guidance in tutor time on topics such as:- CV Writing; Payday Loans; Debit and Credit; Mortgages; CVs; Work Experience

Careers Events: – Our Careers Fayre runs in the autumn term and sees employers such as the Civil Service, ErnstYoung, Jaguar Landrover and Specsavers in attendance. Many local colleges, universities and private training providers are also invited making the event a one stop shop for young people to ask questions and gain valuable information about their future. The spring term sees us ‘Meeting the Professionals’ as guest speakers inform our students of the different pathways, including apprenticeships, into various careers.

Enrichment: External providers such as the Military Preparation College, UCAS, EEF Manufacturers have helped with enrichment days offering different career related workshops.

We hold practice interviews for Year 11s with over 27 local employers staying to put our students through a mock interview.

In addition to this internal sessions on ‘Discovering your ideal career’ and ‘Preparing for the world of work, are also delivered by our Careers team.

For Year 12 and 13, a specialised programme is in place for enrichment that supports all students no matter where they choose to go after the post-16 education. Please see the Sixth Form pages for more information. 

Extra Provision: – A wide range of extra provision is offered to students, where-by students can develop employability skills, as well as trips where students can see how the world of work functions in subjects/areas they are interested in.

E.g. Guest speakers from local businesses for students of Economics and Health and Social Care (Y12); Duke of Edinburgh Award (Y9-13); Arête Outdoor Education week (Y8);Theatre trips for Drama students; Geography trip to Iceland (Y12-13); Oxford University trip (Y11);  City Council trip; Skills Show at NEC (Y10); Battlefields trip to Belgium (Y9); German language trip to Cologne (Y8); French language trip to Paris (Y8); Humanities visit to Ironbridge (Y7); Wolf Mountain Outdoor education trip (Y7); Vue Cinema visit for Business Studies students (Y12, 13)

House and Academy Council:- Members of the councils gain valuable employability skills through their regular meetings, which discuss a wide variety of whole school as well as global issues.

Competitions :

With competitions, such as the Civil Engineer’s Bridge Building Competition, students have the opportunity to work as part of a team and with outside agencies. 

Sutton Coldfield Schools’ Parliamentary Debating Competition

Each year, Fairfax is proud to be a part of a well-established debating competition, founded by Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell, M.P.

Year 12 students have the opportunity to audition to represent the school in the annual debating competition, which Fairfax is proud to have won in 2018.

Links to Careers Pages