In December 2015 we collected data on career guidance provision from 53 Ofsted School inspection reports that were undertaken using the new School Inspection Handbook. Here’s what we found…
The inclusion of the evaluation of careers guidance provision within Ofsted inspections is working
This latest version of the handbook is the second to contain specific guidance on evaluating career provision within schools and academies. This new guidance was introduced in response to the state of provision as reported in the 2012 report Going in the Right Direction?, which found that ‘only one in five of the schools had well-developed provision for careers guidance.’
Our analysis of recent inspection reports however has unearthed a completely different picture; four in five of the schools inspected had only positive comments about their career guidance provision.
It seems that the inclusion of the evaluation of careers guidance provision within Ofsted inspections has had its intended result and this turn around by schools deserves as much recognition as the original report, though this is probably unlikely.
Schools’ career guidance provision is not being fully recognised
In total, we found 92 comments in the four main sections of the school inspection report (we ignored mentions in the summary). The quality of the comments vary considerably, from the very brief:
‘There is high-quality support and impartial guidance for students considering their next steps’
to the comprehensive:
‘Careers guidance is relevant and helpful so that students can make well-informed decisions about their future. All senior leaders meet and discuss students’ GCSE choices with parents in Year 9 and ensure that there is a smooth and effective transition into Key Stage 4. Students are well informed about higher education and benefit from a programme of work experience that helps to develop their employability skills. The school provides a range of experts and opportunities to guide students’ next steps, including the provision of a careers fair, which hosts representatives from local colleges, further education providers, vocational and apprenticeship providers.’
Whilst the first comment is positive, it doesn’t lead you to believe that it was undertaken with the same rigour as the second inspection.
In all, 17 comments were less than 160 characters long. You can’t do justice to a school’s career guidance provision in such brief statements; this paragraph is 182 characters long.
With schools working hard to deliver excellent careers provision, it is important that their efforts are fully recognised.
Has your school or academy been inspected recently? If so, did you find the evaluation of careers guidance to be robust? Were you happy with the way your efforts were recognised?
Join us at the National Careers Guidance Show 2016 for a special celebration.
Take part in our free workshops and collect your careers success pack along with a special treat!
25th February – Leicester Tigers Stadium, Leicester – Stand 43
2nd March – Olympia Central, London – Stand 42
9th March – Leeds United FC, Leeds – Stand 22
Visit www.cascaid.co.uk/ncgs2016 to find out more.
CASCAID. Our purpose? Your purpose.