This morning, the conclusion of the House of Commons Education Committee inquiry into the transfer of the duty for careers guidance to schools was published.
The committee called the decision to transfer responsibility for impartial careers guidance from local authorities to schools “regrettable”.
The committee heard evidence from careers guidance and education experts as well as employers about the way that schools are delivering the duty which was introduced last September and the impact that this is likely to have in the short-, medium- and long-term on young people and the economy.
The overarching conclusion of the committee is that while the need for quality, independent guidance for young people has become is more important than ever, the evidence that they heard points to a significant deterioration in the service that young people are receiving.
The Committee is calling for “urgent steps” to be taken by government because “young people deserve better than the service they are likely to receive under current arrangements”.
Currently, schools are required to provide students with access to impartial careers guidance in Years 9-11. From the start of the next academic year, this is to be extended to include Year 8 and 16-18-year-olds in schools and colleges.
One of the major criticisms of the decision to transfer the duty for careers guidance provision from local authorities to schools is that schools were given no additional financial support to deliver the duty. The committee acknowledges that this has led to a drop in the level of provision.
Whilst the committee isn’t calling for direct funding for schools, it has stated that “schools need to make careers guidance a priority within their budgets”.
The committee has also highlighted concerns over accountability. In the evidence that it heard there were discrepancies between what ministers believe would be the inspection approach and what Ofsted will be inspecting.
So going forward, how will the committee’s findings change careers guidance provision for young people?
A thematic review by Ofsted into careers guidance in schools is due to begin shortly, with a report published later in the year.
In the meantime, many careers guidance professionals are calling for improved guidance for schools on what they are expected to deliver.
However, for the time being schools continue to face the challenge of ensuring that their students have access to impartial careers guidance.
At CASCAiD, we are continuing to support schools around the country to make high-quality, impartial careers guidance resources available to their students. You can find out more by clicking here.
And with our partners The Inspiring Futures Foundation, we are helping schools with face-to-face adviser-led guidance activities as part of the Inspire programme. You can find out more about Inspire by clicking here.
You can read more about the committee inquiry and its findings by clicking here.