Statutory Duty

Turning Questions into Solutions - Statutory Duty for Careers 2014 Part 2

Wednesday 14th May 2014

Following on from my post last week which dealt with capacity, costs & roles, and support networks. This week's blog deals with even more educative viewpoints. Thanks again to Stephen Logan for his input

Training/Quality Assurance/Monitoring and reporting

1) What training is available for business to provide careers guidance & how do we ensure quality of the people working with students? I'd take issue with this statement. business' should not be offering careers advice, they should be offering insight and information. True careers advice is a very specialised part of the process of career development. I believe every school should have a qualified careers adviser available for pupils who require their specialist help. This could be high achieving pupils as well as those with SEND requirements. However, this doesn't mean that business', or schools for that matter, should allow anyone and everyone to engage with our learners. We must remember that they are 'persons otherwise' (to use a term that clearly shows my age) and will need supporting and monitoring when engaging with our pupils. What processes, policies and safeguards will you have in place to govern these interactions?

2) How do School manage partnerships with businesses? I have heard and seen horror stories - Schools cancelling, teachers not supporting etc. If we are going to engage it needs to be an effective partnership for both the school and business. Protocols need to be established to manage these partnerships effectively and ensure that planned activities are supportive of both sets of objectives.

3) What expertise is needed to lead the careers & inspiration team? Where will you find this person? As I said in part 1, it's not a job that can be done in a couple of non contact periods. The person you choose to take on this role will need to be assertive, willing to learn, good at forming relationships and maintain them. They don't need to be a teacher, but will need the guidance of teachers when preparing schemes of work etc. So who in the SLT will be their mentor or direct contact?

Educational/Curriculum aspects

1) What about the role of enterprise education? The new guidance makes specific reference to it. Given that business studies isn't generally part of the core curriculum, how will this be incorporated? Will you be including drop down days or activities to cover this element? Will you, I know it's unlikely given the pressure on the curriculum, timetable enterprise sessions? Will you be planning on enterprise assemblies?

2) What is the role of STEM subjects? How will STEM subjects come together to offer cross subject activities to promote STEM as required by the duty. Your Life is the vehicle that the government has recently put in place to support this need. There are many more including STEMNET, The National STEM Centre & Cogent. Should you be including a STEM subject rep from each STEM department in your CEIAG team? What will their role be?

3) How do we make students aware of their skills and what employers want? How will this be tackled? Should all curriculum areas highlight employability skills? If so how? What will the school method be of achieving this?

4) Where should it start? - guidance says Year 8 - should we start in Year 7? Go on, embed it from the start be a devil.

5) Where will activities such as social media use, CV building & skills identification take place? Cross curricular or discrete timetabling?

Now we move on to the vitally important topic which is the keystone of the new duty. This is a difficult road for schools to walk as they have so many targets in place which depend on pupils taking the academic route of A levels and Russell Group. This is extremely hard to balance with the statutory duty. Add into the equation the need to fill places in the 6th form if you have a 6th form attached to your establishment and you have a very hard job.

Targeting, impartiality and monitoring

1) Matching activities/intervention to student needs - not just about engaging but providing a business with the right students who will benefit most. How do Schools ensure this happens?

2) Self employment - preparing students for this and developing viable businesses in school. The future of the economy relies on SME's. Are you developing the future entrepreneurs in your classrooms?

3) Perceptions about apprenticeships also need to change. General perceptions are that apprenticeships are for plumbers and builders but there are many different types of provision now. How will staff be upskilled to understand the opportunities for KS5 in their subject area linked careers?

4) How will impartiality be handled? especially given that UTCs and studio schools will also be vying for KS4 pupils a well as local colleges for KS5. The dichotomy between need to retain and best interests of pupil is very pertinent. The duty is clear, the pupil interests are paramount. How will this be monitored?

The DFE guidance is very clear on what needs to happen, however the reality in practice as with this blog post leaves more question than answers.