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The Department for Education has today published the revised ‘Careers guidance and inspiration in schools’ statutory and non-statutory guidelines. The documents are for governing bodies, school leaders, school staff in maintained schools, local authorities that maintain PRUs, academies and free schools.  Based on Ofsted’s 2013 report, ‘Going in the right direction?’, the new guidelines identify the fact that “the majority of schools need to do more to set high expectations for all pupils and provide high quality advice and guidance that motivates them to succeed”.

Both documents express the importance of having high expectations for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. Care should be taken to ensure all advice given is free from stereotyping. The non-statutory guidance expands on this, suggesting that “Inspirational speakers can give young people who may not have access to role models through their own families or networks a chance to challenge stereotypical views of different careers.”

It is necessary that in-house guidance and advice should be supplemented by independent, impartial careers guidance for all pupils in years 8-13. The guidance both in-house and externally sought should inspire and motivate all pupils to their full potential and encourage pupils to consider a broad and ambitious range of careers.

This should include:

  • Opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills for self-employment
  • Out of school opportunities such as voluntary and community activities
  • Further education
  • Apprenticeships

The guidance and advice the school gives needs to help pupils gain the confidence to compete in the labour market by providing opportunities to gain the practical know-how and attributes that are relevant for employment. Schools are therefore required to ensure all pupils acquire attributes that employers value.

The guidance needs to be individually catered for each pupil. Some activities for career guidance may include:

  • Employer talks
  • Careers fairs
  • Motivational speakers
  • College and university visits
  • Coaches and mentors
  • Talks from alumni

Let us know your views on the revised career advice guidelines!