Careers Education

Careers education at Duke’s Secondary School is delivered in a range of ways to all pupils form Year 7 to Year 13 and beyond.  Our PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education) programme encourages our pupils to think about career planning from their earliest time in Duke’s and supports this development throughout.  We participate in a range of projects to enable our young people to understand the breadth of opportunities available to them in their future education and employment, and partner with a number of organisations that support us in this aspiration.

Mrs Danielle Towers
Careers and Employability Manager

Mrs Towers works with staff and students from across the school to support all students in their understanding of future opportunities open to them; their progression through the school and into university or training; and to widen understanding of the career options available to them.

Mrs Towers can be contacted by telephone on 01670 816 111 or by email

Mrs Helen Freeman
Head of Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education

Mrs Freeman leads the PSHCE and tutorial programmes across Duke’s School, ensuring that pupils participate in a broad curriculum that helps them to grow personally and prepare vital life skills for their future.

Mr Tony Quinn
Enterprise Adviser

Tony is a Director at ORE Catapult in Blyth, and has held senior positions in a range of large and influential organisations, primarily in the power generation industry.  As our Enterprise Adviser, Tony works alongside Mr Fox in giving advice on creating a careers programme that is fit for business; advising the Senior Leadership Team on enterprise and employability matters; and assisting the school by providing links to the business world.

Mark Fox and Tony Quinn will be continuing to work together to provide students with unique career guidance and development experiences.

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For further information about our careers programme, including how you can access additional information, please contact

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For further information about our careers programme, including how you can access additional information, please contact

Download (PDF, 260KB)

For further information about our careers programme, including how you can access additional information, please contact

Last year, all our students progressed into either higher education, employment or training.

Gatsby Benchmarks Pilot School
The School has also been recognised for its work with a pioneering national initiative that aims to transform the way that careers guidance is delivered in schools.  We are one of 13 North East schools and three colleges working with the North East LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) in the National Careers Benchmark Pilot. Its aim is to build links between education providers and businesses and is being financed by the Gatsby Foundation.

Investor in Careers accreditation
As a result of our work in developing careers education, we are proud to have been awarded the Investors in Careers quality mark in 2018.

NE Ambition Careers Hub – Lead School
In July 2018, the North East was selected as one of 21 areas across England to host a prestigious Careers Hub dedicated to improving careers education for young people. Duke’s Secondary School has been selected as a “Lead School” within the Hub, working with the Careers and Enterprise Company and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver high quality careers education within the region.

Our Careers Leader reports regularly on the impact of the programme through line management meetings and in reports to the Senior Leadership Team of Duke’s Secondary School, the Executive Leadership Team of NCEA Trust, and the Governors and Trustees of NCEA Trust.

We have two link governors who hold the Careers Leader and Principal to account for the progress in this area, and who report on their findings to meetings of the Full Governing Body and the Academy Standards and Improvements Committee.

We utilise the Compass careers benchmarking tool from the Careers and Enterprise Company.

We measure our performance in self-evaluation against the Gatsby Benchmarks for good careers education, and we are regularly reviewed by representatives of the Gatsby Benchmarks organisation to validate or challenge our own evaluation.

We participate in the Investors in Careers programme, which requires external validation of our careers programme.

We listen to what our employers and our pupils tell us about our careers programme, and we implement changes based on this feedback.

The School’s partnership with renewable energy giant, ORE Catapult has been cited as an example of best practice by education experts.

As well as taking part in the School’s World of Work (WOW) Day, which sees over 50 leading employers and learning providers give students an insight into a range of different careers, ORE Catapult has also provided work experience opportunities and one to one mentoring.

The School has also forged strong links with a wide range of national and regional employers as well as further education providers.

We regularly review our careers programme, and this published information is correct for the 2018/19 academic year.  We will review and update the information published here by the end of 2018/19.

Watch this video to find out more: