The information on this page is reviewed annually. If you have any feedback, please get in touch via the contact page on this website or call the main school number and ask to speak to our careers department. 

Ormiston Forge Academy employs two career leaders in Dawn Benson, responsible for KS3 and KS5 and Rachel McCarthy, responsible for KS4. They are supported by a fully qualified L6 careers adviser, Beverley Scott and the career team administrator, Kaylee Howard.  

Student entitlement to careers education is set out in the Ormiston Academies Trust Careers Education Information, Advice and Guidance Policy – see bottom of this page. The Academy has a planned programme of careers education, providing students with the knowledge, understanding and skills in order to make realistic careers decisions. 

For any further information about the careers programme, please contact: 

Dawn Benson for matters relating to KS3 and KS5
Rachel McCarthy for matters relating to KS4
Beverley Scott careers advisor 
Please use the CONTACT US page if you want to get in touch 

Find information about the Provider Access Policy Here

For news of careers events and talks, please check our social media feeds. We will also inbox students with any relevant updates and inform parents. We will also post to Satchel One or make contact via ClassCharts.  

Click here for the DfE Guidance for careers guidance and access for education and training providers. 

Forge policies regarding careers can be found in our policies section of the website

Click here for a useful pack for parents and carers of students considering an apprenticeship

In 2021, we ran an event where guests came in to talk to our year 13 students about pathway beyond Forge. Click here for more details. Some of the feedback from guest attendees to this event:

The students were very engaged and showed great interest in both my experience and their own chosen career paths. Behaviour and conduct of students was a credit to the school.
Phil Coldicott
IT Manager (Retired)

The small group approach – students seemed more comfortable and willing to engage.
Reanne Upton
Associate | Dispute Resolution
Higgs LLP

The students were really enthusiastic and positive and the format worked really well.
Scott Thompson
Managing Director
Thompson Group

I have worked with the Careers team at Ormiston Forge Academy supporting their Careers programme for many years. Each year we are impressed with the support given to pupils, the efficiency of the team, and the vast employer links that are created and maintained to give pupils as much exposure as possible to the world of work. I recently had the pleasure of launching work experience with the year 10 cohort during a dedicated careers assembly. I was asked to stress the importance of work experience, and developing key employability skills for any pathway pupils choose following year 11. I was able to give an employer’s perspective which is extremely important for pupils to hear, and forms one of many employer encounters pupils have during their time at the school.
Sally Stone
Work Realted Learning Consultant and Enterprise Co-ordinator, SIPS

Student entitlement at Ormiston Forge Academy

Careers learner entitlement 

Student entitlement at Ormiston Forge Academy: 

  • Follow a programme that covers the eight Gatsby Benchmarks and the six themes of the CDI framework 
  • Follow a programme that supports learners to self-develop, explore careers, manage their career, identify opportunities, action-plan for the future, handle selection processes, manage change and transition 
  • Have access to computer programmes (e.g. Careerspilot, Start) 
  • Have access to UCAS, via dedicated staff, Tracey Beech and The Access Project. 
  • Have access to AimHigher and Aspire to HE services (KS4 and 5) 
  • Receive a minimum of two provider encounters by the end of each key stage 
  • Receive opportunities to give feedback about the careers programme 
  • Follow careers education that links to the PSHE curriculum and subject curriculum.  
  • Have access to a careers team that provides multiple opportunities for good quality, meaningful encounters with employers, colleges and training providers. 
  • Have an opportunity to complete a work experience placement in year 10 and in Sixth Form 
  • Receive access to an impartial Careers Advisor when required 

Learning outcomes for all students at Forge that take part in a careers programme from Years 7-13 :  

  • Students understand possible options for future education, training and employment and can use relevant software packages 
  • Students develop decision-making skills that allow them to manage their own career development and progression 
  • Students create career action plans for their future career pathways 
  • Students source and use appropriate careers and employment information such as LMI 
  • Students have work-related activities and experiences, including encounters with employers that develop their knowledge of the ‘World of Work’ 
  • Students learn to negotiate key transitions such as year 9 for option choices, year 11 for post-16 pathways and year 13 for post-18 pathways. 
  • Students can contribute to the careers programme by providing informative evaluation and feedback 

Students have access to, and guidance in the use of, careers information that is: 

  • Accessible and straightforward to use (e.g. on school website/Google site etc.) 
  • Up-to-date and wide ranging  
  • Age appropriate and comprehensive 

Students are offered careers guidance that is: 

  • Individual, impartial, high-quality, up-to-date and locally relevant. CEIAG 1-2-1 career guidance sessions to cover all pathways and LMI from Beverley Scott (Careers Advisor), Dawn Benson (Careers Advisor – KS3 SEND) Pam Brown (KS4 SEND – Connexions Sandwell) and support from the Access Project. 
  • Confidential 
  • Appropriate to their specific needs and circumstances 
  • Supportive of diversity and equal opportunities 

Forge parents and carers are welcome to: 

  • Contact the Career Leader/Careers Advisor by phone or email with any queries 
  • Arrange a meeting with the Career Leader/Careers Advisors to discuss their child’s options and plans 
  • Receive information about careers events and activities 
  • Attend any Careers events they are invited to attend 
  • Give feedback on the content and effectiveness of the careers programme 


Our destination data for year 11 (2022):

  • Continued into our sixth form: 68
  • Other sixth form/FE colleges: 186
  • Training/Apprenticeship: 19
  • NEET: 2


CDI Careers Development Framework

Audit of the Gatsby Benchmarks (March 2023):

Connexions Working Arrangement

Current annual plan, set against benchmarks:

Careers Resources

Ormiston Forge Academy comes under the Rowley Regis district but if you live in other areas you can find out about labour market information using the dashboard in this link. Page 2 on the dashboard – you can read through some of the subjects required at school for different jobs in the area – see the bottom table and the final column. Page 3 – select Sandwell in the top left menu and click on Rowley Regis and this will show a list of the strategic businesses in the area. There are around 80 strategic businesses, with an annual turnover of more than 1 million, all close to Ormiston Forge Academy. Pupils should be encouraged to look through the dashboard if they live in another locality. Pupils can select a different locality from the menu.

The Annual Economic Review (formerly called State of the Sub Region) is an annual report which focuses on the ‘indicators’ in the Black Country Performance Management Framework, which enable us to understand if the Black Country is making real progress towards achievement of the aspirations set within the Black Country Vision and the Black Country Strategy for Growth and Competitiveness. It also includes a range of information from over the last 12 months, providing a Black Country picture of the impact and direction of travel.
You can download the 2019 Black Country Annual Economic Review here:

Sandra Fritz is our School Business Advisor, she has volunteered her time to support students in the school with work-related learning and will be providing sessions, mentoring and support with workplace visits.

I am 51 and live in an old Victorian house with my three cats. I have two master’s degrees one in HR and the other in Law. In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym, the cinema, theatre, live music and comedy. The best gig I have been to see this year was the Prodigy.

At school, I was an average student and was never quite sure what I wanted to do. I liked art, reading and sport.

My first job was an apprentice. I remember my first ever manager said, ‘A job is what you make it’. I’ve never forgotten that advice.

I fell into HR, but I like the work. Mainly my job involves making sure people are supported at work, for example, if they are being bullied, or off sick and need support back to work. My work also involves fun stuff like working with schools and giving young people the opportunity to gain some work and looking after apprentices who come to work in our offices. I also get involved with community activities such as helping to deliver food parcels at Christmas for people who are living in poverty. I also have two other jobs. I teach adults at college one evening each week and I also work alongside judges in Tribunal where we make decisions on important cases that affect people’s lives.

In giving a key message to students… work hard, follow your dreams and never give up. Remember all the people who help you to achieve your dreams and aspirations and help others in the same way.

Matt Spencer is our Enterprise Advisor

“My name is Matt Spencer, known to most as Spence. I am 37 and in 2022 I’m two years into balancing a full time job and a full house renovation. I really enjoy DIY, Eating out with friends and of course a good boxset on Netflix.

I was the kid at school who was the cheeky one, always cracking jokes and never taking life too seriously. I left school with a less than the average number of GCSEs, along with matching grades. I went to college because that’s what everyone did. Unfortunately college and I didn’t get along and in no time the inevitable big wide world of work was a reality. After a number of part time jobs I finally managed to secure a job as a temp working for The AA (Automobile Association). This is when I met reality head on for the very first time and wished I had listened more at school (easier said than done, right?!). So after finally realising that nobody is going to hand me anything on a plate, I set out on a mission to make something of myself. I studied English in my own time, secured qualifications through work (NVQs, Foundation Degrees and of course… a fire warden badge because we got one days training a year where we got to spray fire extinguishers) and now, I’m the business partner for the resourcing team within the Automobile Association. I’m responsible for leading the team who schedule over 2500 patrols/technicians nationwide to be there for our customers when they need us most. There’s too much to tell about my career journey, however one thing I would say, it’s not been easy, it’s not been handed to me on a plate – I’ve missed parties/weddings/meals out with friends… but it has been the most rewarding experience of my life. You get out what you put in.

I’ve been involved in the creation of apprenticeship programmes all the way through to being able to mentor some fantastic colleagues in my career. My time spare time before becoming an enterprise advisor, was spent partly with a local anti-bullying charity which was hard work (emotionally) but also very rewarding. My passion for helping others never stops and I hope the small impact we (As enterprise advisors) have on the younger generation, will pay us all back tenfold in our future years.

Stay humble, be polite, be passionate, be honest, be punctual and never stop being intrigued. You will fail at many things throughout life, that’s natural – success comes with resilience and an ability to pick yourself up and go again.”

Here are useful video links on understand apprenticeships.