Collective leadership for high-quality careers support

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CSSA Briefing Note 11

Submission to Education Select Committee Enquiry on Career Guidance

BN11 CoverThis Briefing Note from the CSSA responds to the concerns outlined by the Education Select Committee, but also outlines some of the strategic challenges facing the careers sector, given that there are one million young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs), and growing numbers of graduates are finding it more difficult to get work. Despite the efforts to reduce youth unemployment, concerns remain for the next generation of young people that will face extremely tough choices, not just at school in terms of their subject choices and further study choices, but also their career choices at a time when opportunities for work are limited and the medium-term projections for the economy are for stagnant growth and low levels of job creation.

There is much to support: the Government has issued a ‘practical guide for schools’2 alongside its statutory guidance to schools3; it has established the National Careers Service4 (albeit its face-to-face services are for adults only); it has created a National Careers Council5 to provide oversight for the NCS and to provide advice to government on careers services more generally; it has promoted the Matrix Standard; it has supported the Careers Profession Alliance in establishing a single professional body for careers advisers, to be called the Career Development Institute; and it has supported Careers England in developing the Quality in Careers Standard. But concerns remain about how career guidance provision for young people in schools and colleges will be funded, how quality in provision will be assured, and how schools will be supported to meet their statutory responsibilities.

We risk a postcode lottery

Preparations by schools for the new statutory duty need to be viewed in a broader context. There are concerns from head teacher bodies9 that careers education programmes within schools are being weakened. The current statutory duty to provide careers education within the curriculum has been removed; funding for programmes like Aimhigher and Education Business Partnerships has been discontinued; and work experience and work-related learning pre-16 seem likely to become much less common now that the requirement for schools to offer these opportunities has been withdrawn. There is a very significant risk of inconsistent careers provision across England, with school students suffering from a ‘post-code lottery’ in relation to what they are likely to receive, depending on the resources and priorities of their particular school.

Briefing Note 11 Submission to Education Select Committee

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CSSA Briefing Note 9

Careers Provision in the Education Bill: key outstanding issues

BN9 CoverThis Briefing Note outlines some of the concerns with the drafting of the then Education Bill. It was then clear that the main elements of Government policies in relation to careers provision were unlikely to change. Within this framework, however, the members of the Careers Alliance urged that attention be paid to four key outstanding issues, in order to maximise the potential benefits of the policies set out in the Bill and minimise their risks:

  • proper guidance to schools;
  • quality assured provision;
  • breaches of the statutory duty;
  • extending the BCS remit to NEETs.

“The government should act urgently to guarantee face-to-face careers advice for all young people in schools”.

Recommendation to the Coalition Government from Simon Hughes, the Government Advocate for Access to Education in his report to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, July 2011

Briefing Note 9 HoL Education Bill