Gatsby Benchmark 3: Addressing stereotypes and raising aspirations in schools

Posted in News & Press  ·  2nd July 2024

The Gatsby Benchmark 3 focuses on addressing the needs of each pupil, promoting equality of opportunity, challenging stereotypes, and raising aspirations. This benchmark ensures that career guidance is inclusive, equitable, and free from bias. Here’s how schools can implement this benchmark effectively with the help of visitors, parents, teachers, and practical classroom activities.


Gatsby Benchmark 3 emphasises providing tailored support to meet the diverse needs of all students. It ensures that career advice and opportunities are inclusive, challenging stereotypes, and raising aspirations.

Practical examples and roles

Visitors to schools

Role models and guest speakers: Invite professionals from diverse backgrounds to speak at assemblies or in classrooms. For example, female engineers, minority business leaders, or disabled professionals can provide powerful examples that break down stereotypes and inspire all students.

Career fairs and workshops: Organise career fairs with a wide range of exhibitors representing different sectors and roles. This exposure helps students understand the variety of career paths available and challenges preconceived notions about who can do what jobs.

Interactive demonstrations: Arrange for professionals to conduct interactive sessions, such as coding workshops led by tech industry experts or science experiments with researchers. These hands-on experiences can demystify careers and show that they are accessible to everyone.


Career discussions at home: Encourage parents to talk about their jobs and the diversity of roles in their workplaces. These discussions can help children understand that career options are not limited by gender, race, or socio-economic background.

Parental involvement in school activities: Invite parents to participate in career days, either by sharing their own career journeys or by helping to organise events. Their involvement can provide relatable role models and reinforce the message that diverse careers are attainable.

Encouraging extracurricular activities: Parents can support their children’s involvement in extracurricular activities that align with their interests and aspirations, whether it’s joining a robotics club, participating in community service, or taking on leadership roles.


Inclusive curriculum: Integrate stories and case studies that highlight diverse professionals and non-traditional career paths. For example, literature classes can study biographies of notable figures from various backgrounds, while science classes can explore the contributions of women and minority scientists.

Challenging stereotypes in classroom discussions: Address and challenge stereotypes directly during lessons. When discussing historical events or scientific discoveries, point out the diverse individuals who contributed to these milestones.

Encouraging critical thinking: Use classroom activities to encourage students to question and think critically about stereotypes. For example, debates on gender roles in different professions or projects researching minority contributions to various fields can foster a more inclusive mindset.

Celebrating diversity: Create a classroom environment that celebrates diversity through visual displays, inclusive language, and diverse learning materials. Display posters featuring diverse role models, use books that represent different cultures and backgrounds, and ensure that the images projected on screens during lessons reflect the diversity of the student body.

School assemblies and events

Themed assemblies: Hold assemblies focused on specific themes such as International Women’s Day, Black History Month, or Disability Awareness. Invite speakers who can share their personal stories and professional achievements, highlighting diversity and challenging stereotypes.

Recognition programmes: Celebrate the achievements of students who have excelled in non-traditional areas for their gender, race, or background. Recognition can boost confidence and inspire peers to pursue their interests regardless of societal expectations.

Workshops and panel discussions: Organise workshops and panel discussions that address the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These events can feature professionals discussing how breaking stereotypes has benefited their careers and organisations.


Implementing Gatsby Benchmark 3 involves a collective effort from visitors, parents, teachers, and the wider school community. By integrating diverse role models, challenging stereotypes in classroom discussions, and encouraging inclusive activities, schools can create an environment where all students feel empowered to pursue their aspirations. Celebrating diversity through resources, learning materials, and visual representations further reinforces the importance of an inclusive education.

For further reading and resources, you can refer to:

Additional Resource: YouBeYou

For schools looking to improve in this area, consider partnering with YouBeYou. This social enterprise provides a valuable programme of resources and support to help schools promote diversity, inclusivity, and equality. Their materials are designed to inspire and educate young people, making them an excellent resource for implementing Gatsby Benchmark 3 effectively.


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