Publication helps schools to meet their new statutory responsibility


From September 2012, schools will be legally responsible for securing access to independent and impartial careers guidance for all pupils in years 9-11. Careers guidance secured under the duty must include information on all 16- 18 education or training options, including Apprenticeships. In March 2012, the Department for Education published ‘Statutory Guidance for Schools – Careers Guidance’. Schools must have regard to this in exercising their new responsibilities.  Apart from the elements identified in the statutory guidance, schools are free, to decide what careers provision to make available in accordance with the needs of their pupils.  However, no ring-fenced funding  will  be available to schools to provide this support.-so they will have to find the funds from existing budgets.

The Guide accepts that ‘that most, if not all, young people would benefit from individual, face-to-face careers guidance to enable them to make informed decisions about future options based upon consideration of the wealth of information available from a  range of sources and media.’

On the face of it this looks good. But face to face advice is more expensive than other forms of advice (by telephone and via web portals) .Most experts believe that schools will go for the cheaper option, though face to face advice is regarded as essential for the most disadvantaged pupils.  It is also the case that social mobility will improve if young people are given good  independent advice as early as possible(aged 12/13) so they can choose the qualifications and pathways into Further /Higher Education  ,or  into employment,   that  are most appropriate for them. There has always been a concern that schools advice has been of poor quality and not always  impartial , given that schools have a financial  interest in keeping pupils on their rolls.

A further worry is that Ofsted will not inspect the quality of careers advice being offered by schools-so how exactly will schools that fail to provide good careers advice-be held to account?

Schools can retain their careers adviser ‘but, as the statutory guidance makes clear, you will need to supplement this with external sources of careers guidance to meet the new duty. This could include an external careers provider, employer visits, mentoring, website and telephone helpline access. Taken together, the external sources must provide information on the full range of post-16 options and access to face-to-face support where needed’.

Securing  Independent  ,Careers Guidance  A Practical Guide for Schools



  1. Thank you once again for showing up the apparent ‘double-think’ by Government in relation to careers guidance (or lack of it) in schools. How can it be said that there is any committment to social mobility while this lamentable situation persists?

    I spent three years of my academic life in a New University, as an Admissions Tutor, interviewing potential degree course students who had applied for a 4 year multidisciplinary degree with a built in year out in the workplace. What was very clear to me was the lack of advice these students had received re their life options in their final year at school (and indeed further down the system). I found myself spending many of these ‘admissions interviews’ discussing with student the importance of making informed choices about what, for many, were a variety of options available to them – and indeed strategies which they could employ to widen these options(including for example taking at least a year out to accumulate work experiences and taking time to reflect and review ALL the courses available). This was all at a time when career guidance actually existed – now it seems the situation is even worse.

    (Incidentally, I do acknowlege that this kind of approach would not go down well with recruiting Universities at the current time – as the above, in many instances, would have been seen as presenting a conflict of interest in relation to their own recruitment strategy!!!. )

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