Extending access to independent careers guidance

From September 2012, schools were given the responsibility of securing independent and impartial career guidance for students in Years 9-11. However, from September 2013, this duty will be extended to include Year 8 students and 16-18-year-olds in both schools and colleges.

In May 2012, the Department for Education published a consultation on extending the duty down to Year 8 and up to 16-18-year-olds. There were 327 respondents, including career professionals, local authorities, further education institutions and academies.

The decisions to extend to Year 8 and to 16-17-year-olds were separate; both received responses of over 80% in favour of the changes.

Lowering the age to Year 8 was met with 80% of responses in favour. The reasoning behind extending the duty down to Year 8 students is the belief that it will support students choosing GCSE options, improve motivation, raise aspirations and encourage engagement in education. Furthermore, due to the increased choice in education options available, including studio schools and University Technical Colleges, students may be required to make significant decisions surrounding their education from a much younger age. Lowering the duty will gives students more of an opportunity to make informed decisions about their education path and future career.

Regarding extending the duty to 16-18-year olds, 87% of those who responded to the government consultation agreed with the expansion. They believed that it was particularly important in relation to Raising the Participation Age (RPA), which is set to come into action in September 2013. This means that more young people will be engaged in education for a longer period of time, which is likely to result in higher qualifications.

“The decisions that young people make during the 16-18 phase are just as critical to them realising their future potential as the decisions they make pre-16.”

From September 2013, students will be in some form of education or training up until 17 (18 in 2015) and if they have no guidance on what to do when they have finished, this could result in wasted potential and more young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Career guidance is needed for 16-18-year-olds to support their post-18 decisions, which could involve higher education, vocational qualifications, apprenticeships, employment, training or work-based education.

Those against expanding the duty raised concerns over insufficient resources available to support schools and colleges to deliver the extended duty.

To read the full report, please click here.

At CASCAiD, we provide career guidance programs to help school deliver this duty to students of all ages. Our programs aim to introduce students to the world of work, inform them of all the different options they have available to them and raise their aspirations so they can reach their potential with their future education and career choices.

To read more about how CASCAiD programs can help schools and colleges deliver impartial and external career guidance to students of all ages, please click here.

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