Career education under microscope as part of £1m evidence drive

Career education under microscope as part of £1m evidence drive

Traditional careers programmes such as work experience and CV clinics will be trialled under a new £1 million pot to establish the most effective ways to deliver careers education.

The fund is aimed at boosting future job prospects for disadvantaged pupils, and will be run under a partnership between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the Careers & Enterprise Company, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The cash injection comes less than a week after Ofsted said it would judge schools more heavily on how they prepare pupils for the world of work.

The inspectorate had warned schools were putting the “nation’s future economic prosperity” at risk because of a failure to sufficiently prioritise enterprise education.

Inspectors found that just 10 per cent of schools were getting enterprise education right, and warned that poor coordination between schools and businesses, plus the absence of an ‘overarching government strategy’, were leaving young people unprepared for work.

The EEF said many approaches to careers education, such as work experience or job shadowing, have not been studied through research, despite them being common practice in schools.

A spokesperson said the new partnership, announced today, aims to “address these gaps in the evidence base” and to provide schools and colleges with a better idea of ‘what works’ in careers education.

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the EEF, said: “Schools and colleges are under more and more pressure to provide their pupils with a strong careers offering. But there is little evidence available on how to do this well.

“Teachers deserve a much clearer picture of what good careers education looks like. Investing in rigorous and independent evaluations of different approaches is the most effective way to do this.”

The cash comes from a £5 million Careers & Enterprise Company investment to boost social mobility and help young people “in greatest need of support”.

Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, added: “This research will help us understand which type of encounters and support, in particular, have the greatest impact. Based on that insight we can use our investment fund to rapidly scale what works across England.”