The importance of impartiality
There are a number of requirements of the new duty but the government has stressed the importance of providing impartial careers information, advice and guidance.
“Careers guidance must be presented in an impartial manner and promote the best interests of the pupils to whom it is given. Careers guidance must also include information on all options available in respect of 16-18 education or training, including apprenticeships and other work-based education and training options.”
- Statutory guidance issued by DfE March 2012
Although schools with their own careers teams can continue to deliver guidance, they must also ensure that pupils have access to an external and independent source of guidance. This will bring about the challenge for schools to source impartial and quality support and resources that will help their students to make well informed choices about their education, training and career options. The new duty will also include careers provision for pupils from Year 9.
Other issues for schools: Raising the Participation Age
It will be increasingly important for schools to deliver good quality careers guidance in light of Raising the Participation Age (RPA) which comes into effect in 2013. This means that students currently in Year 10 will continue in education or training until at least the end of the year in which they turn 17 and current Year 9 students until their 18th birthday.
Schools will be central in providing guidance to students in their post-16 options as well as supporting their compulsory education and training.
Rewarding schools for good careers advice
Schools which provide a very good standard of careers advice and education may be rewarded with the Government’s new Career Mark. This award is designed to recognise and reward schools for their careers education programme where their pupils have received good quality careers advice and guidance. A school in Wiltshire that recently won the award, was noted for making “good use of outside organisations and extra-curricular activities as part of its programme.”
As children’s services cabinet member, Lionel Grundy, commented:
“Schools are about to take on the statutory responsibility for providing careers advice and guidance so this is a good time for all secondary schools to consider how they can best provide that support.”