Ofsted: too many of our brightest children are being let down in the state system

An Ofsted report ‘The Most Able Students: Are they doing as well as they should in our non-selective secondary schools?’ has found that thousands of bright children are being let down by England’s non-selective secondary schools.

The survey found that in 2012, 65% of pupils (65,000) who had achieved a Level 5 (the highest grade) in maths and English in their SATs exams at the end of primary school failed to attain an A or A* in both these subjects in their GCSEs. By comparison, the rate was only 41% for students in selective state schools (grammar schools).

Ofsted says that a culture of low expectations means that able pupils are failing to achieve top GCSE grades. It believes that many students have become used to performing at a lower level then they are capable of, and parents and teachers have accepted this too readily.

The Ofsted report also commented on advice and guidance within schools.

“The schools visited did not always provide early or effective careers guidance to students to show, for example, the likely pay progression in ‘top jobs’.”

“The absence of such guidance was compounded by a lack of effective information to increase students’ understanding of grants, loans and the cost and benefit of attending university. Early and strong support for first-time entrants to university, including financial advice to students and parents, led to more positive outcomes.”

Ofsted found that only one third of schools visited had well-qualified, knowledgeable, experienced staff to provide high quality support and guidance.

To read the report in full, please click here.

At CASCAiD, we provide quality careers guidance programs for students from age 7 up until they leave education or training. Having a structured and progressive careers guidance programme can raise students’ aspirations as they learn from an early age about the wide variety of options available to them and what qualifications and experiences are needed in order for them to succeed.

Paws in Jobland, our program for primary school age pupils, introduces pupils to the world of work by taking them around ‘jobland’ where they can explore different work areas such as a hospital, airport and factory, and discover the variety of jobs in each area.

Paws in Jobland aims to reduce gender stereotyping by showing examples of women and men in careers not typically associated with that gender.

To find out more about Paws in Jobland, please click here.

Launchpad, aimed at KS3 students, encourages students to discover more about the world of work and explains the links between different subjects and careers.  This can help maintain or keep students’ motivations high as they can see how achieving high qualifications can lead to a good career in the future.

To find out more about Launchpad, please click here.

Kudos Inspire can help older students explore their post-16 and post-18 options.

Students can explore the Kudos Inspire articles and find out more about higher education, including the financial support available. This can give students motivation to believe that higher education is the correct route for them to reach their career aims.

Students can then use the CV and UCAS Personal Statement builders, to create quality documents that help them with their next career or educational step.

The Kudos Inspire ‘Inspire Me!’ section can raise students’ aspirations by highlighting how career options broaden when higher qualifications are achieved. This can motivate students of all levels to aim higher and reach their potential.

To find out more about Kudos Inspire, please click here.

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