Litmus – for Schools

Please note that the Careers Service has no longer supports the Litmus for Schools programme.

The survey was used to collect this information from all pupils in one or more years, with other demographic data either supplied by the students or added by staff. Industry sectors used were intended to be usable by any school, and specific industries added for individual schools.

Based on the inaugural Litmus careers information programme, the Careers Service and Trinity College at the University of Oxford released a report in November 2021 about the impact of Government career education programme in North East schools.

Read the Litmus for Schools report

Benefits to pupils

  • Opportunity to report openly and honestly which industry sectors they are interested in
  • Received targeted and personalised career activities, in sectors of interest …
  • … and that match their current frame of mind

Benefits to teachers

  • Understanding the group mindset about careers, eg for all of year 9
  • And to compare this with the national picture being collected by Oxford University
  • Able to target specific groups of pupils with similar interests – eg all those students interested in Media or Healthcare
  • Use the frame of mind data to work with different levels of engagement in the careers discussion, in the most appropriate way

Frame of mind

Respondents chose one of four statements that best described their current career plans. We provided an explanatory statement, each of which can be summarised as:

  • Postponing
  • Exploring
  • Flowing
  • Focused

Industry sectors

Respondents selected one or more sectors (from a choice of 24+) that they considered, or be interested in exploring, e.g.

  • Engineering – designing cars, buildings, aircraft, household goods (e.g. phones, TVs, fridges) etc.
  • Social work and counselling services – social worker, facility support worker, art therapist
  • Education – school or college teacher, teaching assistant, nursery school, childminder, child care

Aggregated and consolidated data from a number of participating schools to date has revealed, for example:

  • Almost half of Year 9 pupils are focused on their career, ie they know what they want to do
  • EAL status makes a significant difference to the proportion of pupils postponing
  • Having one or both parents with university degrees is associated with pupils who are less ‘focused’ and more open to ‘exploring’ industry sectors
  • Media and the Arts is the most popular industry sector for Year 9 and Year 11 pupils; Healthcare is most popular in Year 12

We shared relevant data to review how schools compared.

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