Are you a headteacher or a school governor? Do you know about your legal duty for careers?

Careers Education Consultant, Ofsted Inspection Careers, Statutory Guidance Careers

Research tells us that careers education is the linchpin for school improvement - pupils are motivated when they know what they want to achieve in their lives and how to go about it.

The publication of Careers Guidance and Access for Education & Training Providers in January 2018 clearly states:

A successful careers guidance programme will also be reflected in higher numbers of pupils progressing to positive destinations such as apprenticeships, technical routes, sixth form colleges, FE colleges, university or employment. Page 5

The new guidance sets out some clear expectations. The most important of which is that all schools should have a Careers Leader and that all schools should be working towards achieving all 8 of the Gatsby Benchmarks. (see figure 1)

The old model of careers being a couple of CV lessons and an interview in year 11 is gone. It's now much more cross curricular and can no longer rely on just one person to deliver it It's a whole range of activities and strategies both inside the classroom and out. (see figure 2)

Careers Education Consultant, Ofsted Inspection Careers, Statutory Guidance Careers

Fig 1.The Gatsby Benchmarks

I'd urge you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you think your pupils have REALISTIC & AUDACIOUS aspirations?
  • Do you feel they've considered ALL the opportunities?
  • Do your teachers & support staff have the necessary skills to support your pupils in making these choices?

You now have a duty to provide pupils with information about ALL career pathways. There is a new legal requirement, often called the Baker Clause, for you to have a policy outlining how employers and educational organisations can make contact and provide information for your pupils.

Are you doing all of this?

Do your teachers know about apprenticeships, foundation degrees, work based learning?
That is why you need Outstanding Careers.

Do you want to achieve OUTSTANDING at your next Ofsted?

Under the Common Inspection Framework that came into effect in September 2019, It was made clear that careers learning is receiving a much higher priority that it had previously. The ability of your school to deliver impartial and effective career learning experiences for all pupils in years 8-13 impacts not just one reporting area, there are aspects of careers learning across the entire framework but especially in the personal development reporting area.

Nothing will happen even if I don't do all this...

The statutory guidance makes it quite clear that if anyone complains steps will be taken:

'In the event of suspected non-compliance with the duties and statutory guidance,our approach is for the parties involved to try to resolve the matter locally. This might include resolving a complaint in line with the school's published complaints procedure. If a complaint remains unresolved, the DfE School Complaints Unit will consider whether the school's statutory policies meet current education legislation and whether they have been adhered to. If the Department finds fault with a school's policies following a complaint, then remedial action could be taken. This could include an official or a Minister from the Department for Education writing to the school and, ultimately, the legal powers of intervention available to the Secretary of State for Education may be enforced."

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