The Dales School

The Dales School is a co-educational special school for pupils and students (aged 2-19) with severe and profound and multiple learning difficulties. The Post 16 provision also caters for young people with moderate learning difficulties. There are currently 52 pupils on roll.

The school achieved the then-named Investor in Careers Quality Award in 2014 and has been re awarded the Quality in Careers Standard through Investor in Careers with exemplary feedback on the quality of provision in place for all post 16 learners in October 2017.

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

The Head Teacher, with support from the teacher with responsibility for Post 16, co-ordinates CEIAG provision for the school.

The school has a contract with the local authority, North Yorkshire County Council, to provide access for all students to a specialist QCF Level 6 careers adviser who works with the school, students and their families. The contract is reviewed annually and guidance and group work sessions have been externally assessed in the last year.

The whole process is supported by a multi-agency collaborative approach within a Person-Centred Review model.

The School has a comprehensive Careers Library, with resources in a range of formats, and an annual “Passport to the Future Event” (involving a vast range of regional providers coming into school) every March, to support students in the locality with the variety of options available to them after school, both within their local community and residential options. Information on this is posted on the school website:

The assessor noted:

  • The student entitlement is consulted on and agreed by the school council. It appears on the school website and is included in the careers and work based learning section of  the Post 16 prospectus
  • The school adheres to all current statutory duties and government guidelines. Education and Health Care Plans are completed within statutory timescales and contain a full contribution from the externally commissioned, fully qualified careers adviser.


All student programmes of CEIAG are personalised to meet their individual and unique needs and aspirations. These are designed as a result of an action plan devised at their Annual Education Review which is run on the principles of Helen Sanderson’s Person-Centred approach:

The School was part of the DfE “Pathfinder Programme” which introduced the Education, Health and Care Plans to replace the “Statementing” system in line with the new SEND legislation September 2014.

A multi-professional team delivers the process and contributes towards supporting preparation for key aspects of every student’s adult life – including independence, health and vocational matters, including enterprise and employment.

Work experience placements are well supported by local employers.

The programme is delivered through the structure of the Equals: “Moving On Curriculum” and accredited through ASDAN programmes at an appropriate level.

The Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education – together with the Work-Related Learning – programmes (including individually tailored work experience and enterprise opportunities) all contribute towards supporting each student’s targets for their future beyond the school.

As a result of its CEIAG programmes, the school believes that:

  • All students are well prepared for further education and training opportunities after school.
  • All students are aware of appropriate employment opportunities
  • All aspects of their support needs in their futures after school are supported through a smooth transition process.
  • Parents and students are well informed about all potential opportunities throughout the entire transitions process from school into adult life.
  • Students are well prepared to play a valued role within their community as a result of their time at The Dales School.

The assessor noted at re assessment that:

  • Careers work is interwoven through the school development plan and is seen as an integral part of the curriculum.
  • The careers education programme is excellent and has been strengthened considerably with the introduction of labour market awareness sessions which has increased and broadened the aspirations of students.
  • The school has audited its programme against the CDI learning outcomes careers, employability and enterprise education.
  • The school presented an impressive selection of diverse lesson plans which were tailored to individual student learning outcomes.
  • The school has really focussed on making students more aware of the local labour market and the requirements of local employers. This was commented on as a possible area for development at the previous assessment.


Everyone associated with the strategic leadership of the school (Governors and the School Leadership & Management Team) is committed to ensuring that CEIAG is of the best provision possible; hence the school’s CEIAG work gained the Investor in Careers CEIAG Quality Award in 2014 and has recently been successful in meeting the Quality in Careers Standard through Investor in Careers as a Licensed Awarding Body for the single national Quality in Careers Standard.

The students’ work is externally moderated through Equals and ASDAN.

OFSTED in November 2013 described the students in Post 16 as being “prepared exceptionally well for their future lives” and assessed the school as being ‘Outstanding’.

The assessor noted at reassessment that:

  • The commitment to CEIAG and increasing the opportunities of students was very much evident in all staff seen at the assessment.
  • This was an excellent submission and I recommend that The Dales School maintain The Quality in Careers Standard.

Contact Details:

Head teacher: Ann-Marie Ellis

(p) January 2015 updated October 2017

Investor in Careers: Ed Whitefield