Careers Education

Our Careers Lead is Mrs Helen Hill: telephone: 01494 862869

Preparation for employment is an integral part of everything we do at the Misbourne. We aim to prepare our students to go on to further or higher education or skilled employment and enable them to make a significant contribution to society.

While qualifications remain very important, with few exceptions, they are no longer the only consideration. We recognise that employability or work-readiness is becoming more and more important when potential employers’ look for people to fill vacancies. 

We do everything we can to ensure Misbourne students develop these skills and attributes so that they get ahead in the workplace. We support students by:

  • holding careers seminars
  • giving students individual careers advice
  • working with business mentors
  • encourage Sixth Form students to organise work experiences relevant to their higher education and career aspirations
  • hosting  an annual careers fair
  • giving individual careers guidance
  • helping students  to write effective curriculum vitae and personal statements
  • arranging interview training and mock interviews
  • providing guidance regarding different career pathways, including information on apprenticeships

As well as ensuring that students understand how they will be able to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained in school when they go out to work.

For a full listing of our careers programme please see our Personal Development Schemes of Work or Tracker Plan.

One way to make your personal statement / CV stand out is to show that you have studied around your subjects. You could try taking a free online course at:  Choose from hundreds of free online courses from top universities and specialist organisations. Browse by subject or start date, to find the right course for you.

To view a number of other helpful websites visit:

Careers Programme

The Misbourne is keen to ensure that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to investigate, research and enter their chosen professions.  We have included a summary of some of the activities we conduct from Year 7 to 13. 

Misbourne Careers summary   CLS (1) Page 1

More detailed information can be obtained by emailing


Impact of the careers programme on students

Each year we review the destination data.  We are proud of our students and that the school has zero NEETS.  This enables the school to understand our students’ career paths and shape the careers programme and curriculum going forward.

If you would like more information about our destination data please contact:

Next Review

We are constantly reviewing and improving our careers education and guidance in line with the Gatsby benchmarks.  The next review of the strategy will be published June 2020.

Click here to download The Misbourne Careers Programme mapped against Gastby Benchmarks.

Careers Leader

Helen Hill
The Misbourne
Misbourne Drive
Great Missenden
HP16 0BN                                                                                                                            

01494 862869

The Bucks Skills Show 2019

The Bucks Skills Show - Buckinghamshire's largest skills and careers event that helps young people explore future careers will take place from 9.30am to 3.30pm on 18 and 19 October 2019  at The Gateway in Aylesbury.

Click here for more information.

To book your tickets click here.


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow you to earn while they learn, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and are available in 1,500 occupations across 170 industries varying from construction to manufacturing through to IT and the creative and digital sectors.

Apprenticeship levels

There are various levels of apprenticeship you could apply for depending on their current skills and qualifications. Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:


Level Equivalent

Educational level



5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C



2 A level passes


4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or master’s degree

All apprenticeships will include elements of on the job and off the job training leading to industry recognised standards or qualifications. Some apprenticeships will require an assessment at the end of the programme to assess the apprentice`s ability and competence in their job role.

Benefits of doing an apprenticeship

  • Earning a salary
  • Training in the skills employers want
  • Excellent progression opportunities, whether looking to study further or climb the ranks within the workplace
  • Increased future earning potential
  • Apprentices enjoy marked salary increases when they complete their training, and those completing a higher apprenticeship could see increased earnings of an estimated £150,000 over their lifetime
  • Learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor
  • Paid holiday

Entry requirements

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England. There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.


The minimum wage for apprentices is £3.40** per hour, but many employers pay more than this.  This is dependent on the sector, region and apprenticeship level eg some higher apprenticeships can pay as much as £300 – £500 per week.  More details on salaries and entry criteria in specific apprenticeship occupations can be accessed by looking at the vacancies on ‘Find an apprenticeship’.

** wage rates change annually – check for updates.

Applying for an apprenticeship

At any one time there are up to 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies available on the ‘Find an apprenticeship’ site in a variety of careers and industries across England. Visit and search ‘Find an apprenticeship’.  You can search by keyword (job role, occupation type or apprenticeship level) and by location.  Once the right job comes up, you can simply register on the website and follow the step by step instructions to apply for the role. The “How to apply” film has useful hints and tips on applying. To see this and other films on apprenticeships visit You Tube and search apprenticeships/NAS.

Not quite ready for an apprenticeship or job?

You could try a traineeship with a local employer to gain valuable work experience and the opportunity to improve their English and mathematics, if needed.  Visit and search ‘traineeships’ for more information or to apply for traineeship opportunities.

Click here to view the adviza parents' guide to apprenticeships.

Useful websites:

Search for apprenticeships:

Information for parents and students:

Local apprenticeships:

The Telegraph's Apprenticeship App:

Not going to Uni:

For information about apprenticeships with the London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy click here.

To help families and students navigate the fast-changing world of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships, job reviews and careers advice for school and college leavers:

If you need support: 

Email Mrs Hill on and we will arrange for a careers appointment for you to help answer your queries.

Local employers send vacancies through to the school – we email these out to Year 11 and 13 parents when we receive them.

Careers Guidance and Advice

At The Misbourne we are keen to encourage our students to research the careers and opportunities that are available to them so that they can set themselves targets to strive towards.

There are many resources available that provide information, but we have signposted a few websites below that are a good place to start:

  • National Careers Service; provides careers advice and information on a wide range of jobs, training course resources and funding:
  • I Could: has 1000s of career videos of people from 100s of careers:
  • Careers Box: holds the national careers film library and The Skills Explorer:
  • To find out more about apprenticeships and information about vacancies and opportunities visit the apprenticeship website: or
  • From apprenticeships to debt-free education, there are literally thousands of other opportunities out there.  The Not Going to Uni team are there to help you find apprenticeships, college courses or work experience to start building your future:
  • Explore careers, gain work experience, find opportunities in Buckinghamshire right
  • information about the job market for students, graduates and school leavers. They also have websites for law careers, finance careers, apprenticeships and school leaver programmes.
  • for graduate jobs, postgraduate study, advice about work experience, internship opportunities and graduate careers.
  • As well as being a jobs board, the Career Advice blog ( provides a range of student services such as CV advice, interview advice, information on apprenticeships.
  • Access to educational and careers resources:
  •  revision materials
  •  tips on exam technique
  •  guidance on applying to university
  •  practical careers tips
  •  apprenticeship vacancies and information
  • deals to help students make the most of their budgets and free time
  • Whether you’re deciding what to study, taking your exams, planning a career, or just curious, BBC Bitesize is there to explain the world of work, with advice from people who've found the right path for them :


Careers and Higher Education Fair

The Misbourne holds an annual Careers and Higher Education Fair. Misbourne students, their parents and their siblings who attend other secondary schools, are invited to attend this popular event which provides an opportunity for young people to find out more about careers and education opportunities.   

Who exhibits

  • Representatives of professions including law, accountancy, teaching, and medicine who were able to talk about their career path and what it’s really like to work in their chosen field.
  • Representatives from the creative industries including design, photography, and screenwriting
  • A selection of universities and colleges
  • Apprenticeship specialists
  • Gap Year companies
  • Adviza Careers Advisor

Why students should attend

  • Visitors were able to talk to people from different backgrounds about what their job involves.
  • Exhibitors were available to discuss their own qualifications and experience.
  • Students were able to find out the skills, qualifications and attributes employers are looking for.
  • The event helps students with their options choices, for example GCSE and Post 16.
  • University exhibitors can provide generic advice on UCAS applications, finance and university life.

To download the Students' Careers and Higher Education Fair Planning Booklet click here.



Are you an employer looking to work with a school?  Then we are looking for you!

We are keen to work with employers who can pass on the benefit of their skills, experience and expertise.  Many of our careers events require volunteers who are willing to get involved in a variety of activities such as:

  • speak to students in small groups
  • present in assemblies
  • answer questions posed by students (speed networking in small groups)
  • interviewers (Skype or face to face)
  • observers at our group assessment activities
  • work with students on a one to one basis to help edit their draft CVs
  • stall holders at our annual careers fair
  • link with curriculum areas to show how students how their learning in specific subjects can lead in to various careers

The Careers & Enterprise Company

The Careers and Enterprise Company are running a national campaign to encourage employers to Give an Hour.... Make a difference.  Click here to find out more details.

If you would like to find out more, or would like to volunteer for an event please contact:

Mrs Helen Hill, Careers Lead:


GCSE and A Level Options

When deciding which subjects to study it is important that you do your research as some careers will require you to gain specific qualifications. There are a number of sources of advice available:


How to support your child's career choices

Families want to ensure their children believe in themselves so that they can lead happy and successful lives. Our children look to us for advice and guidance even if they don’t like to admit it! It’s never too soon to think about careers, qualities, skills and interests, we would encourage you to focus on career options from Year 7 onwards (if you haven’t already done so).

Families have a key role to play in decision-making processes and the general career path your child chooses to pursue. Sometimes it is difficult to know how involved to be. Should you adopt a hands-on role? What is the best advice you can give your child? When do you need to get involved?

We have all adopted beliefs about success, how to be successful and what constitutes a ‘good job’ or ‘ideal life’. We may have personal opinions on the ‘right’ education paths but often things have moved on since we were in our child’s situation. Anything we feed back to our children is based on our beliefs and our own experiences. So long as we recognise our potential personal biases we should build on our experience and research further to ensure we can best support our child with their career decisions.

The most important thing we can do to support our child is to keep communicating and provide the tools to help them make their own informed decisions.

How you can influence your child:

  • Regularly speak to your child about various careers that you encounter on a daily basis
  • Highlight the skills that your child possesses
  • Set a good example (socially, personally and professionally) for your child
  • Share positive attitudes, views and values
  • Support your child to adopt high aspirations regarding their education, career and life
  • Provide and enable students to take opportunities to learn and develop.

Practical ideas to help your child:

All Year groups:

  • Attend the annual careers fair – plan which stands to visit with your child and prepare relevant questions. On the evening help instigate discussions with the ‘exhibitors’
  • Visit the Bucks Skills Show with your child
  • Review your child’s suggested job roles with your child on and research potential roles in the ‘world of work’ section (your child needs to register if they haven’t already set up an account at school). The Misbourne’s registration code : 16758
  • Research opportunities on The Misbourne Careers pages with your child
  • Discuss the careers activities that take place at the school with your child
  • Book an appointment with our Careers Advisor if there is specific information you require
  • Contact the National Careers Service if you would like specific advice

Year 7

  • Provide a work placement for your child in the ‘Year 7 Day to Work’

Year 8

  • Attend the Options Evening with your child

Year 11

  • Attend other Open days with your child e.g. College, other local 6th forms
  • Discuss your child’s Careers Advice Plan (written by our independent Careers Advisor) – these appointments usually take place in Year 11 and 13.
  • Attend the Sixth Form Options Evening with your child

Sixth Form

  • Attend the Year 12 Higher Education and Apprenticeship Evening
  • Take your child on University Open Days
  • Help find a work experience placement for your child (and potentially offer to other students in our Sixth form)
  • Help your child edit their personal statement and CV
  • Help your child edit their application forms (University / apprenticeship / employment)
  • Help research and discuss possible next steps (University / apprenticeship / employment)


In terms of career choice, we should:

  • Aid, but not dictate, the decision-making process
  • Support our child’s decisions
  • Give our children freedom and time to discover their skills
  •  Provide motivation to develop and achieve
  • Provide encouragement to pursue interests and ambitions
  • Try to instil a responsible attitude and mature outlook
  • Instil an attitude of self-belief by being positive and never critical – as responsible adults, our words are likely to have the biggest effect on our children.


What we should bear in mind when helping our child with education choices

Everyone has a unique set of skills and aptitudes. Each child is individual in their own way, and so may possess different skills and abilities to other members of their family. With this in mind, adopting a similar career role to a family member may not be the right course of action.

We all take time to ‘find our feet’. We may say things such as “pick a course you think you’ll like” or “why don’t you apply for this job”. Though it may seem that we’re doing the right thing in terms of steering our children in the right direction, we also need to remember that we all need space and time to discover what we truly want to pursue. University, for example, isn’t for everyone; engaging in relevant work experience and/or undertaking an apprenticeship can be just as valuable in finding a suitable vocation in which you can thrive.

We aim to educate children that life is about self-discovery and new skills and talents are developed. How many of us are in careers we thought we would be in when we were 18? We can only make decisions based on what we know about ourselves at the time. We need to let our children know that it's okay that they aren't sure what they want to do yet but the important thing is to be proactive in finding their way.


This can often be a stressful time not only for our students but also for families. The latest issue of Careermag for Parents is available for our students' and their families to sit down together to look at all the qualification and career routes available. There are articles about options for school leavers and key dates to put on your calendar.

This issue is sponsored by Pearson, the UK’s largest awarding organisation offering academic, vocational and work-based learning qualifications. The magazine features:

  •  Top Tips for Parents
  • University challenge
  • UCAS 2019 - 2020 dates
  •  Degree and Higher Apprenticeships
  • 20 things you need to know about Apprenticeships
  • Qualifications Guide
  • Traineeships
  • Four industries

If you would like further information on how to support your child, please contact


Labour Market Information

Labour market information (LMI) may help students and their parents understand the job market and find out which careers, different qualifications can lead to.  We strongly advise students to look through the resources below before making GCSE and A Level option choices. 

Students have been encouraged to complete the careers software that the school subscribes to, (the school registration code:16758), by asking a number of questions, the software guides the students to research a variety of suitable careers.  It would be useful if students spent time reviewing the software results with parents to ensure they maximise the benefits.

To view the local labour market information Presentation click here.

To view useful information on the national labour market  and future trends in the labour market click here.

The National Careers Service provides excellent information about a wider variety of job roles.

When students think about their future options, it's important that they consider their skills and knowledge, which careers interest them and also the job availability in that sector . Visit Moving On to compare average earnings, working hours and predicted  job openings. 

Find out about different options by searching 12 careers sectors full of advice and information such as salaries you can expect to earn, the types of jobs available and what your options are with, or without, a degree:

From academic librarian to youthworker: look through graduate job descriptions to find out what each job involves and the qualifications and skills that are most needed:

Past Misbourne Students

We're so proud of what our students go on to achieve once they've left The Misbourne.  It's great to hear about the careers that students pursue, not just to celebrate their successes but also to inspire the next generation of students.  Understanding our students' career paths also helps the school ensure that we are offering the right curriculum and careers support going forward. 

If you haven't already done so, it would be great if you were willing to join The Misbourne Alumni on LinkedIn

You will need to make sure that your profile states that you studied at THE MISBOURNE (select, rather than type). This will then show the alumni button on the Misbourne page.  The latest LinkedIn upgrade means that the alumni unfortunately only shows on your PC, not your mobile phone. 

We post the odd update on what's happening at school so that you can keep in touch.  and occasionally we ask if ex-students are able to volunteer to help at a careers event. 

Sixth Form Work Experience

Preparation for university and employment is an integral part of the sixth form programme at The Misbourne.  Employability or work-readiness is becoming more and more important to universities and employers.  While qualifications remain essential, with very few exceptions, they are no longer the only consideration.  By gaining work experience in relevant sectors our students can gain a real advantage when applying for university or work.  While on work experience students will be able to talk with and observe skilled and qualified people who can give them a better idea of what their job involves.  It is an opportunity to network and find contacts.

We encourage all our Sixth Form students to secure and participate in meaningful work experience during their summer holiday at the end of Year 12 and at other appropriate times, including other holidays.   By completing work experience during their holidays students will not lose any valuable learning time.  This models how students will often need to secure work experience during their long holidays from university, to gain experience before moving into the workplace.  Work experience is an ongoing process in the journey towards a career.

All students are expected to find their own work placements.  Taking personal responsibility for finding the placement and researching their further education and career path is an important part of the process.  While we will provide support and inspiration in school and, no doubt, you as parents will do the same, but we expect students to actively find the placement and apply for it themselves – and they will learn a great deal from doing so.  The students have attended an initial assembly about the process and we will be organising regular clinics to help those students who require support, we also have a group of local business people with extensive contacts who work can work with students to research and approach placements if required.  If your son/daughter is having any difficulty with the process please ask them to come and see Mrs Cook in the Sixth Form office for help.

Target Careers - Work experience for school students: what you need to know and how to get it.

Specific Industry Career Advice

Financial Services - The financial services industry is filled with acronyms and jargon that can sometimes be hard to remember. This 'Accountancy Glossary', produced by Chartered Accountants, will give students an expert guide or act as a helpful reference point:

Met Office careers site for schools
Discover careers in the Civil Service
Building Materials Industry career site
Explore the many Careers at Sea
Accounting Careers


"Young adults who recall four or more encounters with employers while at school are five times less likely to be NEET and earn on average, 18% more than peers who recall no such activities" 

Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Research and Policy, Education and Employers Task Force.

Careers guidance needs to happen in the classroom, not just in distinct careers activities.   We encourage all curriculum areas to embrace employer led learning, using industry professionals and resources to help deliver curriculum lessons, blending careers ideas with academic learning. There are numerous benefits for our students:

  • TIME:  Employer-led curriculum learning forms part of the planned timetable and doesn’t take pupils away from lessons. 
  • NEW IDEAS:  Opportunity to discuss topics with external professionals who use subjects practically on a daily basis, exchanging ideas and expertise.
  • NEW ANGLES:  Use real life examples to get across concepts students find difficult to grasp.
  • BUILD LONG-TERM RESOURCES:  Develop the relationship into a regular experience.
  • ENRICHMENT:  Add an extra element to deepen curriculum learning.
  • NEW INSPIRATION:  You could be providing the single inspirational moment that changes the direction of a student’s life.
  • MOTIVATION:  Students see that subjects are relevant to the real world – and therefore why it’s important to study them.

Teachers are able to use their own acquaintances or ask Mrs H Hill, Careers Lead: for support finding relevant contacts.

Year 7 Day to Work

The Year 7 Day to Work takes place each year when students accompany their parents or another trusted adult to their place of work for the day to observe and take part in working practices that they would not normally come into contact with at school.

It is a valuable personal development opportunity for our students and an excellent way to introduce the Work Related Learning Curriculum. The Day to Work helps students to realise the value of the skills they are learning in the classroom  as well as appreciate how hard their parents work to support them! 

As part of the day the students are asked to complete a comprehensive handbook recording what they learn during the day and assess whether it will have an impact on their future educational and career aspirations. 

The fundamental aims of the day is to introduce the varied and wide skills base behind working life to students and to boost their confidence in practical and social skills.

To read a report on one student's Day to Work click here.

To view the Year 7 Day to Work Employer Guidelines click here.

To download a copy of the Year 7 Day to Work Handbook click here.

To view the Year 7 Day to Work Frequently Asked Questions sheet click here.

To view the letter to families about the Year 7 Day to Work click here.

Subject Documents Date  
Bucks Skill Show A4 2019 18th Sep 2019 Download
Bucks Skills Show Speaker Schedule 004 18th Sep 2019 Download