Through my job I visit many schools and colleges. Without exception these schools understand and value the importance of good careers guidance. That is where the similarities end, for it appears no two schools have the same overall approach to providing this and a stronger roadmap is required.
I was extremely interested to learn of the Gatsby Pilot running in the North East where I am based and am fortunate to work with some of the schools that are involved.
The Gatsby report tells us (as I’m sure we all know) that “good career guidance helps inspire students towards further study and enables them to make informed decisions whenever choices are open to them. It helps them to understand enough about the world of work to know what skills they need to succeed. It is important for social mobility because it helps open students’ eyes to careers they may not have considered. Ofsted now includes career guidance specifically within the inspection framework.”
The Gatsby report was compiled following visits to six countries and many schools to try to decide what good careers guidance looks like. Eight benchmarks of good careers guidance were identified.
1 - A STABLE CAREERS PROGRAMME
2 - LEARNING FROM CAREER AND LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION
3 - ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF EACH STUDENT
4 - LINKING CURRICULUM LEARNING TO CAREERS
5 - ENCOUNTERS WITH EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
6 - EXPERIENCES OF WORKPLACES
7 - ENCOUNTERS WITH FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION
8 - PERSONAL GUIDANCE
Once the benchmarks were identified hundreds of schools across the country were surveyed to see how they measured up against the benchmarks, 69% of schools achieved only one benchmark and 39% only two. No school achieved more than five (only 2% achieved five).
The survey revealed that schools see the importance of providing career guidance. Many schools are partially fulfilling the benchmarks.
Most of the benchmarks have several components, and achieving all of them is an ambitious challenge for even the best schools.
So it seems this backed up what I had been witnessing day in day out.
Since the publication of the Gatsby report in 2014 a partnership was launched with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership NELEP in Oct 2015 which includes 13 schools and 3 colleges in order to rigorously test the benchmarks.
This pilot will run for 4 years and will hopefully yield some great results that can only be good for the future of students from all around the country.
For extra information on the Gatsby report http://www.gatsby.org.uk/uploads/education/reports/pdf/gatsbygoodcareerguidance8pagea5.pdf
For details on the Pilot run by NELEP http://nelep.co.uk/north-east-schools-and-colleges-selected-for-national-careers-pilot/
Unifrog Area Manager