Think about what brought you into teaching in the first place. The opportunity to continue to work with / learn more about your specialist subject, and to communicate their enthusiasm for this subject to others, may be high up on the list of reasons. For those in the primary sector, the chance to teach a range of subjects, and to spend time in the company of younger children, may feature strongly. We may want to build relationships, to make a difference to people’s lives – something which doesn’t really feature in a number of professions. We may see schools as places where we will continue to learn and to stretch ourselves; there will be variety and the opportunity for a wide range of experiences within and beyond the classroom.

Following on from Jane Basnett’s recent article on NQTs, a pastoral professional-turned newly-qualified teacher (and former colleague of Basnett’s) gives her advice to veteran teachers dealing with newcomers.

I'm about to embark on my NQT year teaching English in an 11-18 academy in the South West. Before doing the PGCE, I worked in other areas of education for four years, first in university outreach, then in a pastoral and academic role in an independent school, where I was a colleague of Jane Basnett. Following on from Jane's very welcome and gratefully received ideas in an earlier post - 'Be prepared: A veteran's advice for NQTs' - here's a view from The Other Side: an NQT's guide to handling NQTs...

As it's National Careers Week, I would like to share some of my top tips that will help students choose the right career.

1. Make it fun and widen your choices

Using online resources is a great way to explore your options. Planning your future should be fun. You could be working abroad or working in a profession yet to be invented - the world is your oyster. What can be more exciting than thinking about where you could be in five years time? Don’t forget to research careers you have not heard of before. For example, you may enjoyed maths, and the obvious choice might be an Accountant, but what about an Actuary or Quantity Surveyor, to name but two alternatives?

Careers Education, Impartial Advice and Guidance, Work Related Learning and Enterprise are all subjects when done well require input from employers. Previously there has been a plethora of organisations who were placed to be that link between education and employers, EBP’s who could put on a Careers Fair, Dragons' Den or Work Experience programme to meet the needs of the school. Sadly, in many cases they have gone, and so too has the budget to buy in such services.

Schools are left with a choice: to continue to deliver an enriched programme of learning or to bring it down to the statutory basics and offer a very limited CE/IAG curriculum. In some schools it is the fear of the planning and employer engagement that leads this decision.

This September, secondary schools in the UK will have a new legal duty to provide impartial careers guidance to their students. With that time fast approaching, we look at some of the issues and challenges that are facing schools.

Preparing to deliver new duty

Schools have had details of their new responsibility from the Education Act 2011 and the statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) earlier this year. The government expects schools to put arrangements in place this academic year for delivering careers guidance in September. It is essential for schools to prepare and plan their new duty, but what does this involve?

The new statutory guidance for schools was published on 26th March 2012 and provides guidance on delivering impartial careers guidance in schools. With this new responsibility on headteachers and school staff, we take a look at the implications.

New duty for schools

The Education Act 2011, established late last year, places schools under a new duty in terms of providing careers guidance for pupils in years 9-11 in England. Schools will be expected to provide ‘independent and impartial careers guidance’ for their students from September 2012. The statutory guidance for providing careers guidance has been published with a recent statement from John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning: “The publication of this new statutory guidance marks an important step as schools prepare for the introduction of the new legal duty to secure independent careers guidance from September. Schools will be expected to work in partnership with external and expert careers guidance providers, as appropriate, to ensure pupils get good advice on the full range of post-16 options. The statutory guidance makes it clear that face-to-face careers guidance can benefit pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to make informed choices and successful transitions.”

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