Litmus – for Schools

The survey can be used to collect this information from all pupils in one or more years, with other demographic data either supplied by the students at the time, or added later by staff. Industry sectors used are intended to be usable by any school, but specific industries (perhaps local) can be added for individual schools.

The programme is currently free at the point of use; results are shared in aggregate and, if schools so wish, can be supplied at the individual level – as long as any processes that handle this personal information are GDPR compliant.

Benefits to pupils

  • Opportunity to report openly and honestly which industry sectors they are interested in
  • Receive 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 choose one of four statements that best describe their current career plans. We provide an explanatory statement, each of which can be summarised as:

  • Postponing
  • Exploring
  • Flowing
  • Focused

Industry sectors

Respondents select one or more sectors (from a choice of 24+) that they may be considering, or be interested in exploring, eg

  • 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

Aggregate 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 can share relevant data with you to review how your school compares; if your school takes part, the anonymised data will be added to the research data set for future comparison.

Running Litmus in your school

If you are interested in running Litmus with your school, please get in touch by emailing

We will produce a draft survey for your school based on our general template for you to review; we can then add/modify/remove any specific demographic questions, then send you the web link which you can send to your pupils.

Once the survey is complete (you tell us when), we will send you a summary of the results and, if you wish, the detailed answers which you can then use with individual pupils (eg, all those who selected Healthcare).

Data security

We take data security seriously and are used to dealing with personal data from students and pupils. We use SurveyMonkey for these surveys, which is GDPR compliant. If we send you files, we will use a secure server from which you can download the data – in other words, we do not use email to send you detailed files. Any general comparison data will be consolidated and anonymised.

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