Ofsted

Ofsted to carry out review of schools’ careers guidance

Watchdog to recommend improvements in practice by next autumn

Watchdog to recommend improvements in practice by next autumn

Assistive technology admissions

Ofsted has launched a year-long review of careers guidance in schools to help “improve practice”.

Government has asked the watchdog to carry out the thematic review in mainstream and specialist schools, as well as in further education and skills providers.

Ofsted will make “recommendations to improve practice” by identifying strengths and weaknesses in provision. Its report will be published next autumn.

The review will help to identify “potential developments” in inspector training and guidance, and help “share good practice and thinking across the inspectorate”.

In the review, inspectors will ask how school leaders fulfill their statutory duties to provide independent careers guidance and make sure it is high quality.

They will also look at how schools engage with employers and careers networks, and how they ensure careers education contributes to local and national skills needs.

Ofsted will also probe how the curriculum helps students make “informed choices” about their future education, employment and training.

Inspectors will visit sample of schools

To do this, the watchdog will review existing inspection evidence and carry out research visits to a sample of schools in spring and summer next year. It will also hold focus groups with employers, schools and inspectors.

Ten years ago, Ofsted did a similar review which found provision in schools “was not sufficiently well coordinated or reviewed” to ensure each student received appropriate guidance.

The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) was established in 2014 to boost careers guidance in schools.

Schools Week revealed in 2019 that the quango would continue to be reliant on government handouts after an ambition the company would become self-sustaining was dropped due to its “expanding role”.

At the time, the organisation had received around £92 million from the public purse. Since then, it has received an additional £50 million and is due up to £30.7 million this year, which would take the total public investment to over £172 million.

The Parliamentary education select committee is also holding an inquiry on the effectiveness of careers advice given to students.

Oli de Botton, CEC’s chief executive, will give evidence to MPs next week, alongside Roger Cotes, director of careers at the Department for Education.

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