Statutory Duty

A Quick Guide To The DFE 6th form & College Careers Guidance Document Aug 2014

Thursday 24th April 2014

Today I woke up to a full Twitter feed asking me for comments on today's newly released publication Careers Guidance & Inspiration Guidance for general FE & 6th form colleges. I've had a first flick through and my first thoughts are in purple. I should point out that these are my personal views and don't represent the views of any company that I work for.

In general it doesn't differ very much from the school's guidance in many ways. However, it does point out that many colleges have good or excellent provision which contrasts sharply with the current situation in schools.

The main points

  • The new guidance applies to all pupils up to the age of 18 and to pupils with SEND needs up to the age of 25
  • It states that independent careers guidance secured under the requirement should:-

• Inspire and inform young people about the full range of education, training and employment opportunities available to students
• Be provided in an impartial manner, and
• Promote the best interests of the student to whom it is give.

  • Governors are specifically mentioned as 'being in a good place to' facilitate business contacts for "speakers from business, student mentors and relevant work experience placements" They really are trying to ensure nobody wants to be a governor aren't they?
  • There is a duty to review, evaluate and improve provision in order to meet student needs and makes mention of destination data as one method of doing this.
  • It provides a large list of people to give guidance but doesn't make the use of a qualified careers adviser mandatory. However, it does add the point ou that Independent careers advisers can help students to locate ambitious careers options by assessing their abilities, interests and achievements

The document then goes on to point out:-Training in preparing CVs, job hunting and interview techniques can also help young people prepare for the next step. Colleges should provide specific help for those who wish to progress to HE, for example in completing UCAS applications.

Why only mention UCAS in this context? What about apprenticeships and traineeships? What about school leaver programmes?

The document then goes on to offer some good practice case studies and makes reference to The Skills show/find a future, NCS, The Apprentice service and a number of other support organisations

So in short, there's not a huge amount to comment on. It mearly reflects the halfway house guidance which is currently in place for schools. Full of whizz bang ideas but little understanding of the realities of the educational landscape within FE & 6th form colleges. I'm saddened by the continual sidelining of careers professionals and the complex and intricate nuances that they bring to the table when supporting our young people. Can I say I'm surprised? no, I'm not.

The full document can be found here