A third of schools have dropped careers education

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Up to a third of schools have dropped careers education from the curriculum, with many more only offering it from year 9 onwards, a survey has suggested.

The Careers Development Institute (CDI) has carried out the research, with support from Careers England, in a bid to inform the work of the new Careers and Enterprise Company, set up by education secretary Nicky Morgan earlier this year to foster links between business and education.

A total of 319 responses were received to the survey from secondary schools in England. Of these schools, only two-thirds said that they included careers education in the curriculum for students in years 9, 10 and 11.

The proportion providing careers education in the curriculum in year 8 is even lower at around half of the schools. In year 7, the proportion falls to just one third.

Elsewhere, when asked how they meet their statutory duty to secure independent and impartial careers guidance, the most common approach was to employ a qualified careers advisor on staff (32 per cent), while other schools commissioned external services (25 per cent), or bought local authority services (16 per cent).

However, the CDI says that 24 per cent of respondents skipped this question, raising concerns that they are not meeting their duties. 

Also, the findings show that not all pupils are receiving impartial careers guidance interviews. Just 13 per cent of the schools gave all pupils in year 8 an interview, with this figure rising to 27 per cent in year 9, 32 per cent in year 10, and 60 per cent in year 11. In years 7, 8 and 9, many of the schools said they prioritised pupils identified as needing support for the interviews.

The survey asked schools what the new Careers and Enterprise Company might “usefully offer” to make a difference to careers provision. The report states: “A range of suggestions were received but by far the most frequently mentioned was a database of contacts for employers willing to work with schools. 

“Although many of these requests related to the provision of good-quality work experience placements, respondents were also seeking employer contacts for other career-related activities including talks, mentoring, practice interviews, work visits, careers and apprenticeships’ fairs and CV workshops.”

Other requests included financial support, support for subject-specific activities or training for employers on how to work with schools. 

The CDI, which is a professional body for careers advisors and teachers, has already presented the suggestions to the new chief executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company.

The report can be read at www.thecdi.net/write/BP340-Schools_Survey-_FINAL.pdf

  


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