75% of UK schools failing their students on careers guidance
Ofsted has today warned that the majority of schools are not implementing an effective careers advice strategy.
The Ofsted report examined the quality and availability of impartial careers advice for those aged 14-16 from September 2012 onwards.
The report detailed that very few of the 60 schools visited knew how to provide an effective service, and that many didn’t have the skills and expertise required to provide a comprehensive programme.
The schools also failed to bring employers from the ‘real world’ into the school in order to provide first-hand careers advice. Vocational training and apprenticeships were rarely promoted effectively, meaning A-levels remain the "gold standard".
Compounding this, the Ofsted report claims that few schools were promoting the National Careers Service, the independent and impartial careers advice body. Because of this, the service's telephone line and website are underused.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw said: “Our findings show that too few schools are doing enough to ensure all their students receive comprehensive advice about the breadth of career opportunities available to them.
'It is worrying that the new arrangements are failing to provide good guidance or to promote vocational training options and apprenticeships. Given the high levels of youth unemployment, even amongst graduates, it is important the government, schools, local authorities and other agencies all work to improve the quality of careers advice in schools.”
The report recommends that the government provide more explicit guidance to schools regarding careers advice, and that the government should monitor students’ progress when they leave school through the collection of ‘destination data’.
Ofsted also recommends that its own inspectors take greater account of careers guidance and students’ destinations when conducting school inspections.