The Careers Leader at PCA is Michael Shanagher, Head of Sixth Form and a member of the SMT. 

The Careers Programme is reviewed annually at the end of the academic year against the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Practice in Careers Guidance, and updates and improvements are made as appropriate. Our evaluation always includes a review of the impact that activities within the programme have had on pupils. 

Careers Golden Thread:

The Careers Education at PCA will give pupils the help they need to make informed careers choices enabling them to fulfil their potential. It will build the values and skills necessary to become a full member of society in the modern ever changing world.

Key Stage 1:

Pupils learn about all the careers associated with our school, their family and people who help us. The children have visits from the School Nurse, Dental Team, Fire Brigade and Police.

Key Stage 2:

Careers are taught as part of the PHSE program. The pupils are taught about economics, well-being and how to be a good citizen. The pupils are required to look at the importance of working and contributing to society. The pupils also look at how money works and where it comes from. A cross section of jobs and examined, looking at what they do and how you would go about entering that profession.

Key Stage 3:

Careers are covered throughout Key Stage 3’s termly topics and numerous areas of the curriculum including ‘Topic’ lessons, PHSE and English. Throughout such topics, pupils learn about what work is available in our local community and globally. Pupils’ go out into the community and visit local shops and services, as well as having visitors coming into school to talk to them e.g. the fire safety officers, banks, road safety etc.

Although not taught as a discreet lesson, careers are embedded throughout the curriculum within KS3 to prepare them for life once they have left school.

Key Stage 4/5:

Careers are taught as part of the PSHE qualification in the secondary department. Pupils learn about Health and Safety at Work and application and interview techniques. All KS5 pupils attend a local annual careers convention at Blackpool Pleasure Beach where all Fylde Coast employers, training providers and educational establishments attend. We also invite pupils from Year 9 upwards to a Careers Fair held at PCA in February each year which consists of numerous employers, colleges and training providers. Pupils discuss post 16 options in their annual review and parents evening, particularly as the pupil approaches leaving. Pupils also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award undertaking the volunteering section in the local community and have a variety of opportunities as they move through the school. The school also employs a level 6 careers advisor where possible to give students the opportunity to have a one to one careers interview.

Pupils have a one day a week placement at the two local colleges to prepare for post 16. Pupils can choose taster courses from Creative, Computing, Catering, Drama, Hair and Beauty, Car Bodywork, Car Mechanics, Brickwork, Sport and Leisure, Horticulture, Farm Animals and Small Animal Care. Post 16 students continue with the College links course where they now have the options of gaining qualifications in construction, childcare, media/photography, car mechanics and catering. We also now have moved to offering our year 14 students an onsite cooking course focusing on those all important skills in ‘preparation for adulthood’.

Students in Year 11 who are leaving PCA to attend an alternative FE provision in/around Blackpool, undertake a one week block of external work experience at a business of their choice. The process of identifying placements is supported by the Education Business Partnership and as far as possible is linked to the pupils aspirations for adulthood. Recent placements have included: Sandcastle Waterpark, B & M Bargains, Newhouse Nursery, Honest Crust, The Cottage Chippy, Charnwood Chippy, Muscle Gym and various mainstream primary schools. Students in Year 11  who have chosen to remain at PCA’s 6th form will take part in work experience placements when in KS5.


Students in KS5 undertake a 6 week external placement that comprises a 1 day a week placement. Recent placements include: CJ Cycles, Toyland, Burton's Biscuits, Wilmott Dixon Construction and The Vue cinema. KS5 pupils also undertake work experience within school in the following areas: site staff, catering, support staff and administration.

Students also take part in an internal work experience program that offers time with the site team, the office staff, the catering department and the PE department.

Local employers are continually sought for work experience and to host visits to their establishment. Through our Enterprise Co-ordinator and Enterprise Adviser, employers are encouraged to be involved in other aspects of careers activities within school and we now have our own dedicated link with an enterprise champion from a local business.

Sixth Form pupils also take part in an annual employability day supported by local employers. During the day, students examine employability skills for their future careers.

Finally, the Education Business Partnership provide a 'World at Work' careers event within PCA where KS4&5 pupils can examine job opportunities across the whole world of work.

Key Stages 1-4 also take part in an annual £30 Enterprise challenge where classes compete to make the most money in 2 weeks through making and selling products and/or services.


Teachers and Support Staff:

Within individual classes, teachers and support staff are aware of their role of providing both formal and informal careers guidance from the Early Years to the Sixth Form. In the delivery of core curriculum subjects, teachers incorporate activities which focus on careers related learning. In effect all staff are responsible for careers guidance at PCA. Next steps are always discussed at the pupil's Annual Review including career options as they get older. 

External Partners including Employers and Providers:

If any local employers would be willing to provide work experience placements, workplace visits for classes or come to school to carry out activities engaging with pupils, please contact Mr Michael Shanagher at RƵ on 01253 764130. 

Provider Access Policy


This policy statement sets out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school for the purpose of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997.

Pupil entitlement

All pupils in years 8-13 are entitled:

• to find out about technical education qualifications and apprenticeships opportunities, as part of a careers programme which provides information on the full range of education and training options available at each transition point;

• to hear from a range of local providers about the opportunities they offer, including technical education and apprenticeships – through options events, assemblies and group discussions and taster events;

• to understand how to make applications for the full range of academic and technical courses.

Management of provider access requests


A provider wishing to request access should contact Michael Shanagher, Head of Sixth Form/Careers Leader, Telephone: 01253 764130; Email: 

Opportunities for access A number of events, integrated into the school careers programme, will offer providers an opportunity to come into school to speak to pupils and/or their parents/carers.

Premises and facilities

The school will make the main hall, classrooms or private meeting rooms available for discussions between the provider and students, as appropriate to the activity. The school will also make available AV and other specialist equipment to support provider presentations. This will all be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit with the Careers Leader or a member of their team.