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Survey Shows Careers Guidance for Young People has Improved Over the Last Two Years

Careers guidance for young people has improved over the last two years, according to a large-scale survey of schools.

The research points to the successful early establishment of a new cohort of senior ‘Careers Leaders’ with responsibility for driving a whole school approach towards careers support.

The survey of 750 Careers Leaders reveals that they feel positive about the future of careers provision and the impact they’re having on young people, and have the backing of their senior leadership teams.

Previous research from Education & Employers has shown high quality careers support and employer engagement has a positive impact on young people’s gradesemployment prospects and future earnings.

In 2017, the Government’s Careers Strategy set an ambitious plan for every school in England to appoint a named Careers Leaders with ’the energy, commitment and backing from senior leadership’ to deliver a comprehensive careers programme. 

The research – carried out on behalf of The Gatsby Foundation and The Careers & Enterprise Company – represents the first comprehensive survey of Careers Leaders.

It reveals they are overwhelmingly positive about the approach set out in the Careers Strategy and the outcomes for young people:

  • 88% say their role is having a positive impact on young peoples’ outcomes
  • 81% feel positive about the future of careers provision
  • 75% think careers provision has improved since the Careers Strategy

The Careers Strategy called on schools and Careers Leaders to work towards meeting all eight of the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance – a set of standards based on international best practice.

The survey reveals that 94% of Careers Leaders said the Gatsby Benchmarks had helped to improve careers guidance. This follows findings published last year showing schools across the country improving against the Benchmarks.

Careers Leaders are a relatively new part of the school workforce, with two-thirds appointed within the last two school years. But the research finds that school leaders are backing the reforms and their focus on ensuring Careers Leaders are senior or have senior access in schools – 83% of Careers Leaders are either part of their school’s senior leadership team or report directly into senior leadership

The research also finds that Careers Leaders spend twice as much time on careers as ‘careers-coordinators’ did a decade ago, underlining the increased prioritisation of careers by schools.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“According to this major survey across 750 schools, Careers leaders are overwhelmingly positive about the direction of careers support in schools. The significance of this lack of cynicism should not be underestimated. They value what they are doing and see the benefits for their students.

“The survey finds that Careers Leaders are in senior positions or report into the SLT, representing a marked shift in the profile of careers to central in school agendas. High quality careers and enterprise support is increasingly being used by schools as a core pillar to ensure excellent long-term outcomes for their students.

“We see it in the progress every day: across the country careers support is improving in schools, and particularly in the most disadvantaged communities. This is down to the commitment of Careers Leaders and the school leaders that back them.”

Sir John Holman, Senior Adviser to the Gatsby Foundation and author of the Good Career Guidance report, said:

“The pilot of the Gatsby Benchmarks in the North East of England showed us that the key success factor is having an effective Careers Leader, with access to the senior leadership of the school or college.

“It is very encouraging to see that schools are truly making this role a priority, and that those in post feel so confident about the future. This research gives valuable insight into how Careers Leaders can be best supported and enabled to do their job, which is critical to the future of every young person in the school.”

The survey was carried out by independent research organisation SQW, on behalf of The Gatsby Foundation and The Careers & Enterprise Company. 750 Careers Leaders responded to the survey, and results were weighted to be representative of schools across the country.

Field work took place between 4th March and 5th April 2019. The survey achieved a response rate of 22% and 750 schools. Responses were weighted be representative of region, type of school and size of school.

Education Secretary Announces £2.5m Boost to Careers Hubs in 20 Areas

The Secretary of State for Education has announced the expansion of a successful model helping to transformDamian Hinds meets pupils benefiting from a Careers Hub in Leicestershirecareers education around the country.

This follows news last year that careers support is improving across England and is now strongest in disadvantaged areas.

Last year, The Careers & Enterprise Company launched the first 20 Careers Hubs accross England. Each Hub brings together a group of up to 40 schools and colleges to improve careers support for young people in their area.

Schools and colleges in this first wave of Careers Hubs are already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education. Read more

Halfon Blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their ‘Magic Money Tree’

The following news article by Billy Camden was published by FEWeek.

The chair of the education select committee has laid into the Careers and Enterprise Company for believing it has a “magic money tree” growing in its garden.

Robert Halfon (pictured) offered the heavy criticism during an event about the future of careers guidance in Parliament this morning.

It followed the organisation’s second hearing with MPs two weeks ago, in which it was the revealed the company spent more than £200,000 on two conferences using its own public money instead of private sponsorship.

The company had also told MPs earlier in the year that it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

Mr Halfon, who’s also a former skills minister, said today that this was an “obscene waste of money” and a “scandalous lack of oversight”Halfon blasts Careers and Enterprise Company for their 'magic money tree'

“My colleagues and I in the education select committee are deeply concerned by what we have learned in two recent hearings,” he said.

“I don’t doubt for a second that the company is passionate about its work, and that there are good people working there. But I’m worried they are not providing us with value for money.

“This body can be ludicrously wasteful. Last year it spent £200,000 of taxpayers in a time austerity on two conferences – money which should have gone to the front-line. One cost around £150,000 and the other was about £50,000 and held at KidZania! Salaries are too high – its CEO earns almost as much as the Prime Minister.

“And it has spent £900,000 on research, with another projected £200,000 a year to come.

“There is a lack of convincing data on its impact. And a lack of data on hard outcomes: like education and training decisions, or employment outcomes.”

Read more

DfE Urged To Launch Independent Review Into Careers And Enterprise Company

Schools Week has reported that the government has been urged to commission an independent review of whether the Careers and Enterprise Company is doing a good job helping poorer students get work experience.

https://schoolsweek.co.uk/dfe-urged-to-launch-independent-review-into-careers-and-enterprise-company/

British Youth Council charity, also said Ofsted should inspect provision that is funded by the CEC to check on its quality.

The organisation, which came under fire from MPs in May for spending almost £1 million on research and not frontline careers advice, is set to face the education select committee for a second time on Wednesday.

Now, the ‘Realising the potential of work experience’ report, which reviewed 50 submissions of written evidence and two days of oral evidence, has warned of the “patchy and unequal nature” of students’ access to work experience. Read more

‘Good Career Guidance’ Handbook

All schools will have recently received a copy of Good Career Guidance: Reaching the Gatsby Benchmarks. 

This handbook was created by the Gatsby Foundation, and contains stories and learnings from their successful two-year pilot of the Benchmarks in the North East of England, to help assist a school’s journey to adopting the Benchmarks.

For more information on the pilot and the Benchmarks click here

Winners of The Careers & Enterprise Company Annual Awards 2018

This month the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) celebrated the work of schools, colleges, businesses, and careers professionals with its annual awards ceremony for 2018.

Over 200 nominations were accepted for the nine categories and the winners were chosen by a panel of independent expert judges.

“Across the country schools and colleges are making progress towards world class careers support as laid out by the Gatsby benchmarks. Just last month Ofsted remarked on the improvement across England,” Claudia Harris, chief executive of the CEC, said.

“Our award winners provide further inspiration for schools and colleges designing their careers offer and seeking to provide their students with the best possible start to their working lives.”

Three finalists in each category were whittled down to one overall winner, with the champions announced in a ceremony at the CEC annual conference today at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire. Read more

The Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit & the matrix Standard

This toolkit for Enterprise Advisers and Enterprise Coordinators illustrates what good looks like across all eight of the Gatsby benchmarks. It includes example case studies of best practice and useful tips and resources.

The toolkit will assist Enterprise Advisers and Enterprise Coordinators in promoting to schools how the benchmarks will help all students reach their full potential. It also contains practical ways for schools to put the benchmarks into practice. 

Page 34 – Top Tips for Schools under Benchmark 8 states Make sure the organisation you are commissioning is high-quality and matrix accredited. 

Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit – Full Document

Careers & Enterprise Company Questioned About Spending

The Education Select Committee questioned the Chief Executive and Chair of the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) on the organisation’s role in coordinating careers and enterprise support and the delivery of the Government’s careers strategy. (16th May 2018)

Deirdre Huges OBE has collated and shared how the Committee meeting has been reported in the press. CEC Education Select Committee

The following article by Paul Offord was published by FE Week.

The Careers and Enterprise Company has been heavily criticised for spending almost £1 million on research and not on frontline guidance for learners.

CEC slammed for multimillion-pound research spending

During a bruising appearance before the Commons education select committee, where CEC was called an “overbloated quango”, its chair Christine Hodgson admitted that £900,000 had been spent on research since it was set up in July 2015.

Nine research reports were pushed out in the last few months of 2017 alone.

Ms Hodgson and chief executive Claudia Harris provoked further bemused reaction when they added that another £1,000,000 was likely to be spent on research over the next three years.

“So that is money not going to the front line?” asked Mr Halfon.

“Why do you spend money on that when you could have think-tanks, or universities, or the Department for Education doing that? Why do you need to spend £900,000 which could go to frontline careers advice, on being a think tank, which is not your role?”

Ms Harris countered that much of their research “underpins where we focus our spending – like the cold spot reports; we have got a few other reports that do same thing”. CEC also has to “evaluate our work”.

Read more

Education Committee To Question Careers And Enterprise Company – 16 May 2018

The Education Committee is to question the Chief Executive and Chair of the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) on the organisation’s role in coordinating careers and enterprise support and the delivery of the Government’s careers strategy – https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/

The CEC was established as an independent social enterprise in 2015 with the aim of supporting schools and colleges in improving their careers guidance for those aged 12 to 18.

The Department for Education published its careers strategy in December and questions may focus on the CEC’s role in delivery as well as its work bringing educational institutions, employers, funders and independent careers guidance organisations together.

Members of the Committee will also ask about the role of careers guidance in promoting social justice. Read more

Compass in 70 Seconds

The Gatsby Benchmarks are just one of the framework that can support schools and colleges improve their careers provision – matrix being an obvious alternative framework which can help all organisations achieve positive outcomes from their IAG delivery!

This short video describes the features and benefits of Compass.

 

Features and benefits 

  • Evaluate your careers activity in as little as 30 minutes
  • Compare your school to each of the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks
  • Identify areas for improvement, with resources to help you get there
  • Use your result as the basis for your careers plan for the year