November 11, 2019 dmh

Report: National Survey of School Leaders and Careers Professionals


Dr Deirdre Hughes on behalf of  Careers England

in association with NAHT and Jules White, Headteacher Tanbridge House School and Leader of the Worthless? campaign.

National Survey of school leaders and careers professionals

On the 12th November 2019 at the national Careers England Summit, London a NEW report will be published which reveals that schools are unable to provide young people with the careers advice and guidance they need.

The report shows that despite schools now recognising the vital importance of careers provision they are struggling to deliver this due to a lack of funding. A small-scale survey of Headteachers and Careers Professionals aimed:

To identify what support, if any, is being given to schools to help them provide careers advice and guidance for young people.

Of the 191 responses:

  • Only 10% have adequate funding
  • 75% have insufficient, limited or no funding

The report highlights around a 5th of secondary schools/academies in the survey receive less than £2K in funding per annum. Given average size of secondary school is circa 1000 this equates to circa £2 per student – less than the cost of purchasing a cup of coffee!


 About a third of secondary schools receive less than £5k per annum = £5 per students.

  • Yet 84% of schools “strongly agree” or “agree” that careers provision in their schools is now a high priority.


Katharine Horler OBE, Chair, Careers England said: “This is really worrying and it’s something that a new Secretary of State will need to give urgent attention to. We must make sure that we are giving all our young people high quality independent impractical careers advice and guidance. Schools are desperate to do this but they don’t have adequate resources and this needs to change”.

Jules White, Head Teacher and member of the Worthless Campaign said“Sadly, these findings present an unsurprising but depressing picture of careers provision in our schools. Years of funding cuts and mismanagement has seen a vital service diminished to just a skeletal provision. A fundamental role for any school is to prepare our pupils for the world of work so that they can make active economic and wider social contributions in adult life. How can we do this without adequate resources and professionalised support? Radical and urgent change is required rather than warm words and benchmarks which become meaningless unless they are properly supported.”

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, former Chair, National Careers Council, England said: “We need to provide funding direct to schools to enable them to employ careers professionals to provide much more support for young people. How can it be right that less than the cost of a cup of coffee is being spent on providing careers advice to young people in our secondary schools and academies? This generation are seriously missing out. Clearly ill-informed career decisions from an early age have long-term cost implications for both the individual and society as a whole.”

The report shows that very little of the money the DfE are spending on careers actually goes directly to the schools and the people working with and supporting young people.

There is a hidden assumption that young people will use the National Careers Services telephone helpline for careers advice and guidance – but few people know how many are actually using this online service!

Editors Notes:

Careers England is the sole trade association for organisations involved in the provision of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) products and services in England for people of all ages –


NAHT represents the views of 30,000 school leaders as they strive to deliver a world-class education to the nation’s children and young people. To discuss NAHT’s five priorities for education – contact [email protected].


Jules White started the WorthLess? Campaign in 2015 because he felt frustrated that children were not getting the full range of opportunities they needed and deserved. At the same time, the Department for Education was telling everyone that we’d never had it so good and “there was more money in our schools than ever before”. He was TES person of the year 2018 –


Government careers advice scheme will fail to reach thousands of young people –


Careers and Enterprise Company –


National Careers Service – Telephone helpline for young people



Steve Stewart, CEO, Careers England – Tel: 07714 673411

email: [email protected]


Jules White, Headteacher, Tanbridge School, Horsham, West Sussex – Tel: 01403 263628


Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE – Tel: 07533 545057

email: [email protected]


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