Abingdon School’s Career Guidance Programme takes students aged 11-18 (Year 7 to Year 13) on a journey of self-discovery, helping them to:

  • be in touch with their values and what is important to them
  • grasp and gain insights into what is meant by ‘career’
  • identify potentially suitable future occupations
  • make educational choices informed by career thinking and planning
  • understand and experience the world of work
  • develop key skills needed to gain employment
  • prepare to live independently after leaving school

In short, our goal is to help every pupil think carefully about, and take practical steps towards realising, his future career.

The Career Guidance Programme helps students through career thinking and planning lessons supported by printed and online career information resources; career psychometric testing and one-to-one career guidance meetings, employability skills workshops; CV, cover letter and interview training and practice; financial education tutorials and seminars; and a wide range of events and activities, including talks and classroom lessons with working professionals, an annual careers fair, several career advice evenings, work experience schemes, and meetings with British Armed Forces careers advisers.

The career guidance section of the pupil intranet (Firefly) is a ‘one-stop-shop’ of links to recommended websites for researching occupations; learning about different academic, vocational, and work-based educational options (post-16 and post-18) and their relevancy to career choices; searching for enrichment opportunities that give insight into career choices, and finding work experience placements, internships, apprenticeships, and school leaver programmes.

Every year group enjoys a set of bespoke activities designed for its step in this journey, with one year’s activities smoothly transitioning into that of the next year. This design ensures coherence from year to year and puts students in the best position possible to make informed educational choices at the end of each key stage in their education: GSCE, A Level, and all post-18 options, including Higher Education.

Supporting the delivery of the Career Guidance Programme are teachers, tutors, and selected suppliers of career education, information, advice, and guidance as well as parents and Old Abingdonians. If you are a parent or Old Abingdonian (or both!) and would like to volunteer your time to support an activity or event in the Programme, please get in touch!

Michael Triff serves as Head of Career Guidance, responsible for designing, delivering and evaluating the Career Guidance Programme. He is always interested to hear your views.

Read his blog entitled ‘Apprenticeships: What’s in a name?’
Read his blog entitled ‘Do Secondary School Pupils Need Career Guidance?’
Read his article entitled ‘The Career Maze: How Parents Can Help’
Read his article entitled ‘Looking for an Alternative to University?’
Read his article about work experience entitled ‘Following the Right Path’

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1235 849129

Career Guidance Parent Correspondence

Morrisby Profile Programme


Some 5th Year students will have a very good idea of what occupation they might like to pursue after completing their education. Other 5th Year students will be considering a range of occupations but as yet not have a strong leaning towards any one or another. And other 5th Year students – perhaps most of the year group – will not have any idea of what occupations might be in their future.

Regardless of which situation a pupil finds themself in, 5th Year is an important time to be looking ahead and thinking about one’s future career. Why? Because tentative A Level subject choices are made in late November and confirmed in late January, and the choices made can both open and close doors to educational pathways that lead to particular occupations.

One of the goals of Abingdon’s Career Guidance Programme is to help 5th Year students think about possible occupations they might pursue in the future and research what the entry requirements are to those occupations so that they make A Level subject choices that are informed, at least in part, by career planning considerations.

To help your child with their career thinking and research, 5th Year students have access to a range of career information resources online linked to from the student intranet (Firefly).

In addition, Abingdon School offers all 5th Year students the opportunity to participate in the Morrisby Profile Programme designed and delivered by the Morrisby Organisation.

About the Morrisby Profile Programme

During the first half of Michaelmas Term, participating 5th Year students will be scheduled to complete at school a brief online questionnaire designed to pin-point their key skills, interests and motivations and identify potential careers that would appear to be well matched to them (based on their answers to the questionnaire). Upon completing the questionnaire, they can see immediately an online report of the findings from their questionnaire. Then, after the October half-term break, participating students will receive a 30-minute, one-to-one career guidance interview via Zoom with an independent and experienced career adviser from the Morrisby Organisation. The adviser will discuss with the pupil the findings in their report and implications for A Level subject choices as well as post-18 education, training, and work options. Students can give parents access to read their online report using a function in their Morrisby online account.

Responses to Common Pupil Objections

If you plan to discuss participation in this Programme with your child, and would like to be prepared with answers to common pupil objections, you may find this document useful.

Costs and Opt-Out

This programme is operated by Abingdon at a cost to parents and on an opt-out basis. The cost for a 5th Year pupil to participate is £88 (including VAT), which is charged to parents via their school bill. Parents who do not wish for their child to participate in this Programme may opt-out.

To opt-out, a parent or guardian must email [email protected] no later than midnight on Monday 11 September 2023; otherwise, their child will be enrolled in the Programme and the £88 charge will be made. We regret that refunds will not be possible after this date.

Making the Most of the Profile Programme

For those 5th Year students who participate in this Programme, here are some ways they can make the most of it:

  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the 5th Year Work Experience Scheme and can use a work experience placement to gain real-world insights into an occupation identified in their online report.
  • Students who attend one of the many career fairs offered throughout the year in London, Birmingham, Manchester and other cities around the UK can seek out exhibitors in occupations that have been identified in their online report.
  • While at the Abingdon Careers Convention on the evening of Thursday 14 March 2024, seek out representatives from occupations identified in their online report. Ask questions to gain further information about their occupation.
  • Meet with the Head of Career Guidance, Mr Triff, to discuss further the findings in their online report and additional ways they might advance their career thinking and research.
  • Students interested in a military career should ask Mr Triff to arrange a meeting at Abingdon with a career adviser from the Armed Forces Careers Office in Oxford.