CEIAG for Headteachers, Governors and SLT

Catching up with Careers Learning - Ignore it at your peril

Catching up with Careers Learning - Ignore it at your peril

Tuesday 30th March 2021


There is much talk at present of catching up on lost schooling. The Government is concerned that loss schooling and the digital divide has caused a major impact on young people that will result in them achieving less over their lifetime. The DFE page announcing this says

To this end the DFE have provided £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up lost time after school closure. This is especially important for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.

It then goes on to say

This funding includes:

  • A one-off universal £650 million catch up premium for the 2020 to 2021 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time
  • a £350 million National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for those children and young people who need the most help, which includes:
  • a schools programme for 5 to 16-year-olds - for more information, see the National Tutoring Programme FAQs
  • a 16 to 19 tuition fund an oral language intervention programme for reception-aged children

So how much of this budget will be spent on career learning catch ups? IMHO, in enlightened schools where the profile of careers learning is high there may be some spending on extra activities and resources to help catch up on he deficit that has been left by the pandemic. However, I'm sad to say that from the conversations that I've had and the posts on the careers leaders fora, that I've seen, I doubt that these schools will be even a large minority let alone a majority.

Why is this?

Quite simply the focus of most schools is exam results. I"m not qualified to muse upon or the rights and wrongs of this but I doubt that many educationalists will argue with the statement. Therefore, the majority of the money will go on exam subjects.

Yet, think of all the activities that you had planned over the last year, How are we going to ensure that all secondary school pupils have access to high‐quality careers education and information, advice and guidance so they can make informed choices about learning, work and lifestyles and are well supported during transitions.

Given how the Government and Ofsted has strengthened their focus on career learning, I'd be tempted to say that it's a brave SLT that decides to ignore preparation for working life. Think of your destination data!

Destination data is being given much more emphasis over the coming years with Ofsted looking at it to determine the compliance of your school to meet the Baker Clause and also the number of NEETS.

What should be your priorities?

  • Ensure extra time and effort is put into ensuring careers is delivered in subject lessons


  • You update your programme to fit with the new CDI framework.