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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.

Crackdown on Schools Failing to Promote Vocational Qualifications
May 22, 2019
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Schools must stop blocking employers and colleges from speaking to their students about alternative non-academic options‘I want schools to talk about the whole range of things they might do after 16 or after 18 including apprenticeships and college,’ education secretary says to A-levels and university, the education secretary has said.

Damian Hinds has warned the government will take action against schools that are still refusing to open their doors to organisations that want to promote apprenticeships and vocational courses.

Speaking to The Independent, Mr Hinds said: “I want schools to be talking about the whole range of things that they might do after 16 or after 18 including apprenticeships and college options

“I think it is important that children have that knowledge. It is not for everybody to be pursuing a university route, and there are plenty of other really high-quality options and routes available.” Read more

ViewPoint by Anne Milton: We Must Encourage Schools to Promote Apprenticeships
February 6, 2019
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Too many providers are still being blocked from going into schools to talk about apprenticeships, despite enthusiasm from both employers and young people about the rewards they reap, says Anne Milton.

We need to work together to tackle negative perceptions among teachers and parents

Top of the list of priorities for any minister for apprenticeships and skills must be making sure people know about, and can get access to, great further education and training — that’s the way to get a good job, go on to further training or progress your career.

At the start of the year, lots of people – particularly young people – will be starting to think about their futures. And as further education and training providers, you are all playing a vital role in this.

I have visited lots of businesses across the country and met and spoken to many fantastic and talented apprentices. What’s clear is that more and more people are recognising the life-changing benefits apprenticeships can bring. I have seen the enthusiasm among employers grow as they reap the rewards that apprentices are bringing to their workplaces.

Read more

Sutton Trust: PARENT POWER 2018
September 14, 2018
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In 2013 the Sutton Trust published Parent Power?a landmark piece of work authored by Prof Becky Francis and Prof Merryn Hutchings demonstrating how social class influences parents’ ability to support their children in their schooling. Five years later Parent Power 2018 revisits the cultural and financial resources parents use to boost their children’s chances of educational success.

Based on a survey conducted by YouGov, the Sutton Trust’s Rebecca Montacute and Carl Cullinane find similar trends to those found in 2013. From choosing the best school to attend, to paying for out of school extracurricular activities, better-off parents continue to have the upper hand when it comes to navigating the education system and preventing their children from falling behind in school.

The report also reveals new challenges. The ‘hidden costs’ of education such as uniforms and travel expenses are an increasing concern for parents from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, while schools are demonstrating increasing reliance on extra financial contributions from parents following recent school budget cuts.

KEY FINDINGS
  • When choosing what school to send their child to, parents with higher socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to attend open days, read Ofsted reports, speak to parents at the school, read league tables and consult local authority or other education websites.
  • Parents in lower socioeconomic groups were more likely to indicate that the cost of travel, and potential extra financial costs such as uniforms, played a significant role in their decision making. Over half of working class parents (56%), compared to 34% of professional parents.
  • Just one in five parents (20%) reported that they were familiar with Progress 8, the Department for Education’s new headline measure for school league tables.
  • Parents in higher socioeconomic groups were much more likely to report a variety of strategies to gain access to their preferred school, such as moving to an area with good schools or to a specific catchment, along with employing private tutors for entrance tests. Read more
Schools and Employers Must Collaborate to Help Young People into Work
September 5, 2018
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Off the back of last week’s GCSE results, research published by HR Magazine, shows parents feel more must be done by employers and schools to provide work experience for young people.

Most parents (82%) believe schools and employers need to work more closely to prepare their children for the workplace, according to research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The survey also highlighted that despite 78% of parents believing work experience provides the best way for young people to gain employability skills, only 32% agree that employers are actually doing enough to provide that work experience.

Separate CMI research showed that 85% of employers want students to have gained work experience.

It found that parents are roughly as confident about the careers advice they give their children (56%) as they are in that provided by their children’s schools (54%).

Parents’ views play an important role in students’ decision-making. In previous research, 77% of young people said that parents are their number one source of careers advice when leaving school.

Read more

More Pupils in England Reach Expected Standard at Key Stage 2
July 11, 2018
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More children across the country met the expected standard at the end of primary school this summer in English and mathematics, amid rising education standards in England, Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb has announced.

Figures published show:

  • 64 per cent of pupils met the expected standard in all of reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 2 nationally. This figure was 61 per cent in 2017;children with hands up
  • 75 per cent met the expected standard in reading, up 4 percentage points on last year;
  • 78 per cent met the expected standard in writing. This figure was 76 per cent in 2017;
  • 76 per cent met the expected standard in mathematics, up on 1 percentage point on last year; and
  • 78 per cent met the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling, up 1 percentage point on last year.

The new national curriculum and assessments have set a higher standard in schools and today’s rising results show more pupils are meeting that standard, thanks to the hard work of teachers and pupils, and government reforms.

This year’s results are the third to be released following the introduction of a more rigorous national curriculum assessments in Summer 2016, bringing primary education in line with the best in the world.

Standards are rising in primary schools. There are now 154,000 more six-year-olds on track to become fluent readers today than in 2012, in 2017 the attainment gap between disadvantaged primary pupils and their more affluent peers had narrowed by 10.5 per cent since 2011, and England’s rise up the international PIRLS rankings for literacy put the success of the government’s reforms on a global scale.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: Read more

A Guide to Apprenticeships for the School Workforce
July 2, 2018
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In April 2017, the government changed the way it funds apprenticeships in England.

Some employers are now required to contribute to an apprenticeship levy, and there have been changes to funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.

This guide provides information specific to schools on what apprenticeships are, how your school can use them to benefit its workforce, and how the apprenticeship levy and public sector target apply to schools. There are also links to further guidance and support.

This guidance is for school leaders and governing bodies in all schools in England, and for local authorities too. It may also be of use to professional associations, unions and staff working with apprentices.

A Guide to Apprenticeships for the School Workforce

Strengthened Guidance for Schools and Colleges on Safeguarding

The revised Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance now provides additional advice to help school and college staff deal with allegations of child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment, following a 10-week public consultation launched in December.

The majority of the responses to the consultation on the guidance, published today (17 May) welcomed the additional advice on how to support victims of this type of ‘peer abuse’ and the new guidance will be applicable to all schools, including primary schools, on how to best support children of all ages.

Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi, said:

Pupils and parents rightly expect schools to be safe places, where children are free to enjoy their time in education without fear of violence or harassment.

Schools and colleges play an important part in keeping children safe, so it’s right that we take the necessary steps to ensure staff have the guidance and support they need to deal with concerns about a child’s wellbeing.

Read more

Education Secretary to Set Out Vision for “Clearer” School System

Gov.uk is reporting that Education Secretary Damian Hinds will clearly set out how the Government will “trust school leaders to get on with the job” by clarifying who schools are accountable to and boosting development opportunities for new teachers.

In an address to more than 350 school leaders at the National Association of Head Teachers’ (NAHT) annual conference in Liverpool on Friday 4th May, the Secretary of State will set out plans for a clearer system of accountability that will let good schools get on with their job, free from the “spectre” of multiple inspections by making it clear that “the only people who should go to schools for inspections are Ofsted”.

Mr Hinds will announce a consultation to replace the “confusing” system of having both floor and coasting standards to measure school performance, with a single measure to trigger support for schools. This will be backed by a clear statement on when schools convert to academy status to drive improvement.

In a pledge to the profession, published today, the Secretary of State will underline his commitment to give school leaders the confidence to raise standards in their schools and free up teachers to focus on what really matters in the classroom.

The Education Secretary is expected to say:

Accountability is vital. Children only get one shot at an education and we owe them the best…where they are being let down we need to take action quickly – so no one ends up left behind.

But what I’ve found from speaking to many of you these last few months is that there is also real confusion within the sector… I believe school leaders need complete clarity on how the accountability system will operate.

Read more

Data Protection: Toolkit for Schools
April 25, 2018
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The Department for Education has published guidance to support schools with data protection activity, including compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

To prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018 all organisations handling personal data, including schools, need to have the right governance measures.

This guidance will help schools develop policies and processes for data management, from collecting and handling the data through to the ability to respond quickly and appropriately to data breaches.

As this is new content DfE are asking schools and other interested parties for feedback. These responses will then be used to improve and update the guidance.

Please send any comments by 1 June 2018 to data.modernisation@education.gov.uk with the subject heading ‘GDPR toolkit feedback’.