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Careers and Progression Statement 2021-2024

The main aim of our East Kent Colleges Group Colleges is to create well-rounded people who are ready to enter the workplace, and a key part of that is careers advice and guidance. Continuing to work within the parameters of the wider 2017 DfE (Department for Education) Careers Strategy, we’ll be assessing our work to ensure we provide the best guidance and support to our students as they progress to the next stage of their lives.

The 2017 DfE Careers Strategy sets out that every further education institution should use the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers provision. The Gatsby Benchmarks are not a statutory framework but by adopting them, the East Kent Colleges Group can be confident of meeting the actions set out in the Careers Strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents, DfE December 2017.

Each College has a Careers Lead, who will focus on providing Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) to all of our learners and raise their aspirations through it.

Every learner has opportunities to have meaningful encounters with employers and learn about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace and what it takes to be successful and explore potential career paths. Our support will be tailored to address the needs of all students, especially disadvantaged students, and we will use data and technology to drive improvements. 

Provider Access Policy

East Kent Colleges Group, encompassing six colleges across East Kent, three including Junior Colleges for students aged 14-16, actively encourages all providers of education, training and employment opportunities to engage with us.

Providers interested in engaging with local colleges should contact their local college Careers Adviser, by telephone via the switchboard or email the contacts. Providers wishing to engage with the East Kent Colleges Group more broadly for careers related purposes, should contact the Group Head of Higher Education and Careers, Alice Heggie on

The Matrix Standard

Achieving the Department for Education’s (DfE) matrix Standard is a top priority for every educational institute, as it demonstrates efficacy in delivering a high quality education and student experience.

East Kent Colleges Group received an inspection in early 2022 to review the matrix accreditation it had previously been given in 2018, and was found to once again meet the high standards required by the DfE.

The scope of the assessment was decided to be Student Experience and constituent parts of Student Services and EKC Training, and consisted of discussions with staff from across the Group.

The assessor noted that a restructure since the last matrix assessment provided more autonomy on a local level, with local leadership teams ensuring community responsibility and student support.

Through good communication between Principals and with the local community, the assessor noted the new model ensured good standards of delivery. It has also been met with positivity by the staff, which the assessor states “bodes very well for the future.”

This delivery includes the embedding of employability in the curriculum, which the assessor highlighted as an effective method of supporting students. In his report, assessor Steve Jackson wrote: “For example, the employability needs of students at Ashford are being addressed through improved local enrichment by engaging with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.

“Their President was interviewed as part of the partner discussions and he was both impressed by the College’s open approach and very keen to support the College by using the Chamber’s members to provide meaningful encounters with employers.”

Mr Jackson also noted East Kent Colleges Group’s use of Progression Mentors to monitor and support vulnerable students has expanded. He also wrote that there had been “advances in the use of assistive technology to improve communications and access”.

The Group was found to have “excellent partnerships with local strategic organisations such as local authorities” and that, in terms of adult education, “The EKC Training unit is an excellent bridge between learning and worklessness.”

The work of the Safeguarding team in its approach to students’ mental wellbeing has led to “excellent wellbeing practice”, and that work with external partners in that area had created strong impact.

The report states: “Analyses of student feedback showed 90% plus of those surveyed were satisfied or better with support provided by East Kent Colleges Group.

“There was much evidence that East Kent Colleges Group provides highly effective individual advice and guidance. Student feedback was extremely positive about the support received.”

The assessor also found that the Group’s Strategic Plan was clear and laid out effective objectives and outcomes, with “effective measures in place to improve and a more systemic approach to raising performance.”

We are a group of six community-based colleges

Our mission is to play a leading role for East Kent in developing the economic and social prosperity of the diverse communities we serve.