March 15, 2022 dmh

A recent article from TES Magazine that talks about what needs to be done in order to keep a level of consistency in career guidance in schools across the country.


All schools should have a professional careers adviser because the quality of careers guidance is too varied, says Sutton Trust report.

All schools should have a professional careers adviser because the quality of careers guidance is too varied, says Sutton Trust report10th March 2022, 12:01amTes Reporter

Nearly a third of teachers in state schools say they do not have enough funding to deliver quality careers guidance to their students, compared with 6 per cent of those in private schools, new research shows.

A report from social mobility charity the Sutton Trust says that, in a survey, 32 per cent of state school teachers said they lacked funds to deliver good quality careers provision, with over half – 51 per cent – saying they did not have enough time to advise students on careers.

Schools in poorer areas were less likely to have a specialist careers adviser compared with those in more affluent neighbourhoods, the study found.

The report, published today, also looks at the impact of the Covid pandemic on careers guidance. 

More than seven in 10 of the teachers surveyed – 72 per cent – said that the pandemic had negatively impacted on their school’s capacity to deliver careers education, with state school teachers more likely to report this than those working in private schools.

‘Too much variation’ in careers guidance in schools

The paper recommends that the government develops a new national strategy for careers education, formed in partnership with employers and linked with the “levelling up” agenda.

Schools should have a leader on careers and a professional careers adviser on hand for students because there is “too much variation” in the advice available to chlidren across the country, the paper says.

It adds that schools need more funding to set up work experience placements for students aged 14 to 16.

While the research showed there had been improvement in careers guidance since the Sutton Trust’s previous analysis of the issue in 2014, which revealed that students faced a “postcode lottery” when it came to the careers support they had on offer, it revealed stark differences in the advice given for academic and technical routes.

While 46 per cent of 17- and 18-year-olds said they had received a “large amount” of information on university routes during their education, just 10 per cent of students said they had received this for apprenticeships.

More than a third of secondary school students – 36 per cent – said they did not feel confident about the next steps they should take in education or training.

Nearly four in 10 – 38 per cent – of state school students said this, compared with 23 per cent of private school students.

James Turner, chief executive of the Sutton Trust, said: “All young people – whatever school they go to and wherever they live in the country – must have access to high-quality support to help them in their journeys through education and work.

“As the government looks to make further changes to the qualifications and funding landscape, it is more important than ever that young people have the information, advice and guidance that they need to feel confident in their next steps.

“The government must urgently develop a new national strategy on careers education, and all schools, especially those serving the poorest communities, should be supported to offer the highest-quality provision”.

Sarah Hannafin, senior policy adviser for school leaders’ union the NAHT, said: “Good-quality careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is important to all pupils in our schools. 

“We have continually stressed that CEIAG should be appropriately resourced and of a high standard in order to support pupils to make the best choices and maximise their life chances.

“Despite support for careers education from school leaders, the current provision remains underfunded and therefore inconsistent. There is no specific funding for schools, nor any budget with which to provide impartial and independent CEIAG or work experience.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The main reason that there is variation in careers advice is that the government dismantled the national provision about a decade ago and transferred the responsibility to schools while also squeezing their funding. Since then it has endeavoured to make up for lost ground with only partial success.”

He added: “Regarding the recommendation that all pupils have access to work experience between the ages of 14 and 16, identifying and sourcing work experience placements for 17- and 18-year-olds can be very challenging, let alone for 14- to 16-year-olds.”

“While the principle is a good one, it is difficult to see how this would work in reality. Indeed, one of the main difficulties in delivering the government’s new T-level qualifications at scale is how to source the extensive industry placements which form part of these courses.”


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