CEIAG for Headteachers, Governors and SLT

Careers can't fit into PSHE any longer - What can my school do?

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

I'm currently working on a presentation for the CDI conference next week on 21st Century Careers in schools. Whilst having a break from creativity I popped onto Twitter and saw this Tweet.

The context was Prof Mick Waters had kept a list of phrases used by the press to communicate things they perceive our young people have problems dealing with. He then pointed out that PSHE wasn't mentioned but included most of them.

This got me thinking, I know how crowded the PSHE curriculum can be, I also know how different the careers landscape is post Connexions. The fact of the matter is, if you rely on a block or two of PSHE careers input; then you're almost certainly not going to meet Ofsted criteria, let alone the aim of most teachers - a well adjusted life long learner who is ready for the next stage of their life.

Coordination is key - A major shift

Many (Most?) schools still rely upon PSHE to deliver any career education, back in the days of council careers departments and Connexions when experienced people were employed to keep schools up to standard with the needs of the 20th C employment landscape. The problem is that today we have a fast paced jungle trail rather than the career path of yesteryear. Gone are the days of a teacher getting a couple of free periods and being able to administer careers.

To be able to deliver what is needed by the young people that rely on schools to help prepare them for life, schools' need to address the need for cross curricular careers learning. This requires change at strategic level. A major shift in the way careers is perceived by staff and students. Teach First has recognised this in their Careers Education in the Classroom project and is currently training Teach First alumni to undertake the role of teacher/manager in schools.

Why make the change?

  • It's the right thing to do for your students
  • Destination data is examined by Ofsted to check impartiality
  • Ofsted requirements
  • Each school has a statutory duty to deliver a minimum standard of careers learning which requires the school has a 'framework' of careers learning and guidance activities

Managing the change

This is not an easy matter. We know that SLT & Governors are busy people. Yes there are courses out there - (Mine included). Should I add the disclaimer that there are other courses available? There are publications - I'd recommend the great (and free) A Guide to Best Practice & Commissioning Careers Guidance in schools and colleges from the CDI. There are companies that will come in and sell you a computer programme or a package that "will take care of it all.", or at least part of it. How do you make that choice?

You may choose to engage a consultant, in which case I'd suggest you look at my testimonials. There are obviously other great consultants around, The CDI (Career Development Instutitue - the professional association for career development practitioners) has a list of fully qualified members who are able to help. which can be searched by anyone here.

Good luck on your journey.