CAREERS GUIDANCE-GUIDE TO HELP SCHOOLS
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