What every careers leader needs to know about the 2019 Ofsted CIF

What every careers leader needs to know about the 2019 Ofsted CIF

Sunday 19th May 2019

Back in January Ofsted asked for our opinion on their draft Common Inspection Frameworrk. They've considered our responses and they now have an updated version for teachers and school staff to consume, digest and respond to. Given how busy SLT and Careers Leaders are, here are the salient points for CEIAG.

Personal Development

The big new change which impacts heavily on careers leads.

The key move for Ofsted is that they are moving away from data and more into looking at the efficacy of the curriculum in building pupil's personal development with the caveat that the results of such work will often not be visible until long after the input of the intervention.

The curriculum provided by schools should extend beyond the academic, technical or vocational. Schools support pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life.

One of the keywords that keeps popping up, careers education has a key role in developing resilience. Careers education has developed far beyond the matching and dispatching days of matching programmes where pupils fill in a questionnaire and were provided with information on the top 5 jobs that came up on the list.

Today's careers education focuses on learning the skills needed to navigate the 21st century employment market. such as but not exclusively:-

  • The skills of being able to tell the difference between reputable information sources and those that are not to be trusted.
  • Understanding stereotyping and being able to combat it.
  • Recognising and playing to their strengths and being able to develop those skills in which they are less strong.
  • Developing understanding of the way that the employment market works today, including AI sifting of candidates and the different types of interviews/selection processes they may encounter

The key thing to remember is that Ofsted want to see you doing your best to deliver these forms of development but they understand that the outcomes can't be measured quickly

What does Ofsted say about the Careers Programme?
On page 59 it starkly sets out that it expects the school to :-

  • providing an effective careers programme in line with the government's statutory guidance on careers advice that offers pupils:
    • unbiased careers advice
    • experience of work, and
    • contact with employers to encourage pupils to aspire, make good choices and understand what they need to do to reach and succeed in the careers to which they aspire

Therefore I'd expect them to look at the qualifications of your careers adviser and also the details of who he/she has seen over the past year or two
Question or ask to see records of any work experience, work shadowing and workplace visits that pupils have taken part in
Question or ask to see records of employee/employer contacts with pupils
I'd expect inspectors to use their triangulation technique of speaking to pupils to verify their understanding of the latter 2.

It then goes further on page 61 by citing the following as one of the key sources of evidence for the personal development judgement

  • the quality of careers information, education, advice and guidance, and how well it benefits pupils in choosing and deciding on their next steps.

Again triangulation as well as a look at the careers pages of your school website, VLE and/or intranet, your physical careers library and of course displays.

The Descriptors for Personal Development

Secondary schools prepare pupils for future success in education, employment or training. They use the Gatsby Benchmarks to develop and improve their careers provision and enable a range of education and training providers to speak to pupils in Years 8 to 13. All pupils receive unbiased information about potential next steps and high-quality careers guidance. The school provides good quality, meaningful opportunities for pupils to encounter the world of work.

The school does not ensure that pupils get access to unbiased information about potential next steps, high-quality careers guidance and opportunities for encounters with the world of work

My interpretation

The school has

  • a qualified careers adviser,
  • reliable and good quality information and are
  • working towards or have achieved the Gatsby benchmarks.
  • completed the musts from the statutory guidance e.g. Having an access policy and a copy of the careers programme on the school website.
  • Has an accessible careers policy with entitlements that are easily understood by pupils and parents
  • Ideally has a link Governor

I'd say any of the first 4 being inadequate would indicate a less that good judgement. The latter 2 may or may not but if I were inspecting would indicate the need to look more deeply at the provision.

Sixth Form Judgments

As before Sixth forms attract a separate judgement from the main school and inspectors are directed to take account of
the effectiveness of high-quality impartial careers guidance in enabling all students to make progress and move on to a higher level of qualification, employment or further training when they are ready to do so.

Descriptors for Sixth Form Provision

The sixth form prepares its students for future success in education, employment or training. It does this through providing: unbiased information to all about potential next steps; high-quality, up-to-date and locally relevant careers guidance, and opportunities for good quality, meaningful encounters with the world of work.

The school does not ensure that sixth-form students get access to unbiased information about potential next steps, high-quality careers guidance, or opportunities for encounters with the world of work.