Schools careers advice ‘appalling’

Schools do not always provide impartial careers advice, steering pupils towards staying on in their sixth form rather than considering vocational training.

Michele Sutton, president of the Association of Colleges, has claimed that the quality of careers guidance in schools is “nothing less than appalling”, the BBC reports.

There have been repeated warnings about weaknesses in careers advice, including from the Education select Committee and the Confederation of Business Industry earlier this year.

The AOC chief highlighted concerns that pupils do not always receive impartial advice: “Too many young people, usually those who need advice the most, miss out,” said Ms Sutton. “They end up in the wrong institution, usually school sixth forms, doing the wrong course, and recently published Education Funding Agency data shows that schools lose 50% of their pupils between year 11 and year 13. How many end up not in education, employment and training?”

She also called for more funding for the National Careers Service to improve guidance for young people.

Responsibility for careers guidance has been devolved to schools but an Ofsted report in September found that “very few” schools had the skills to deliver this and that three-quarters of schools it inspected were not delivering adequate careers advice.

Do you agree that schools are failing to provide impartial careers advice to pupils, and if so  is it damaging recruitment to FE colleges? Share your views with us!

6 thoughts on “Schools careers advice ‘appalling’

  1. As a experienced qualified Teacher I would like to via into Careers guidance, however my experience of courses in London has shown the fees to be prohibitively expensive! I think there should be a free Careers courses as CPD which would obviously benefit learners immensely, & provide current appropriate support. If Teachers are to deliver specialism help enable them to do so!

  2. I think this is an unfair criticism. As someone who works in a high school with year 11’s, my instinct, based on long experience of government initiatives instigated for no other reason than to win votes and tick boxes, then leaving the situation high and dry when it suits them, I would prefer to advise young people to have a plan ‘B’. This means they should acquire whatever qualifications they can, while they can, and take up politicians flavour of the month pre-election, offers once they are ‘safe’. Until governments can offer guarantees of a future secured following an apprenticeship scheme, that’s all it is, just another scheme.
    Far better to do what I do and forge partnerships with sustainable local industries to secure ‘internships’ which may or may not lead to an apprenticeship. If it does then that’s great, if it doesn’t then at least that student has a 2 year internship with industry on his/her CV. Nobody loses. This was an my idea and I didn’t need to go on a course to come up with it :) What I find worrying is that the politicians didn’t… maybe it was too simple.

  3. I’m really impressed with the careers advive given to pupils in high schools “these days”. In Wales,we have CAREERS WALES, which provide excellent advice. My daughter has aspergers and is at a residential school in Cardiff. Even though her needs are”complex” at the moment, CAREERS WALES are always willing to attend meetings, which are geared specifically for her.

  4. Speaking of International Schools if you have any inspirations for working overseas do not apply for jobs at the GEMS Academy school in Alexandria, Egypt.
    Think very carefully before you apply for a job at this school.


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