Strike whilst the iron is hot - Ofsted are interested in CEIAG

Strike whilst the iron is hot - Ofsted are interested in CEIAG

Thursday 21st March 2019

This week, Ofsted published a blog in the TES What Ofsted looks at when it comes to careers education, information, advice and guidance. This is a further sign that Ofsted is slowly moving CEIAG up the agenda. I do hope that this is good news for careers leaders throughout the country who are struggling to get CEIAG taken seriously in schools.

What's the blog about?

The blog in itself is a bit of a breakthrough. Ofsted have been very quiet on the subject since Karen Aadrianse left a few years ago. There is a new person in the role but they are specialist in F/HE and to be honest, I've seen so little from them that I've forgotten what their name is other than their name is Anna, something hyphen Jones.

So let's look at what has been happening since Karen left Ofsted.

  • There was a blog a few months back that looked at CEIAG in FE
  • The inclusion of CEIAG in the Personal Development area of inspection in the draft common inspection framework (CIF)
  • A few encouraging tweets from Sean Harford telling us that CEIAG is important to Ofsted
  • All Ofsted's inspectors received a half day training on what good CEIAG looks like.

So what does this blog signify?

The blog itself is fairly general and caters to the large group of school leaders who know nothing or very little about CEIAG. It also encourages people to respond to the consultation that I highlighted in my previous blog. This is an exciting prospect. Are Ofsted asking those of us in schools to help them inspect CEIAG more effectively? I do hope so.

  • The blog itself sets out the difference between Education, Information, Advice, and Guidance which is a big step forward and many teachers and school leaders will now need to get their head around.
  • It confirms that Ofsted are not there to check with compliance to statutory and legal duties and it goes on to say that We are not here to check on compliance. What we do care about is that whatever you offer to students serves them well and gives them the information and support they need to succeed.
  • The blog tells us that We finally have a description of 'good' and 'outstanding' careers

Whoooohhh hold on there do we? Hmmm we're told what good CEIAG does (page 68/9 of the current CIF) but it doesn't go on to tell us what it looks like in practice.

What do schools need to do

That is where schools are struggling. Careers doesn't have a nice neat syllabus. It is left to the school to define and that will mean different things to each. For example in a school in a well to do area where most parents are professional and there are a lot of local employers offering varied careers nearby and young people tend to live with parents if they don't go to uni. It will mean something totally different in a rural academy where the majority of students may have limited experience of the varied jobs available and will often believe they mayneed to move away from home to find jobs at an earlier age.

Reverse Engineering

Start at the end. What do you want to achieve for your school and its students. then work back to how you're going to achieve that. This is where the Gatsby Benchmarks come in.

Without doubt, schools will need the time, money and staff necessary to work that out for themselves and to be able to justify their choices by showing how their CEIAG programme supports their students to be prepared for the next steps that are available and suitable for them as individuals and as members of the local community.

Strike Whilst the Iron is Hot

Tell Ofsted what you want to see from them in regards to CEIAG.

  • Do you want clarification if they'll want to look at your Compass tool results?
  • Do you want to see a guaranteed evaluation/comment about the schools' CEIAG programme?
  • Do you want to see more Ofsted inspectors with a better understanding of CEIAG?
  • Tell them what you need to know about their plans and method of inspecting CEIAG

Don't think you need to be a head or principal, ANYONE can respond. Most of your answers will fit into questions 1 and 2 of the 10 question consultation document. You don't need to reply to all the questions.

Finally, I'm including a link to a presentation I've been delivering at various events, including the National Careers Guidance Shows in London and Leeds which gives my interpretation of what the proposed changes could mean from September 2019
My Presentation
TES blog
Ofsted consultation