Checklist on the Inspection of Careers Education and Guidance
You need to answer the question; does the school provide effectively for careers education and guidance?
There is a statutory requirement for all maintained schools, including special schools and Pupil Referral Units, to provide:
- A planned programme of careers education to pupils in Years 9 to 11 (DFEE Circular 5/98) The circular goes on to encourage schools to build on the existing good practice of beginning careers education before Year 9 and continuing it post-16.
- Access for pupils to guidance materials and a wide range of up-to-date reference materials (DFEE Circular 5/97)
- Access to careers advisers in order that careers services can fulfil their duty to provide careers guidance to all pupils aged 13-19
- There is no statutory requirement on schools to provide work experience but the DFES supports the view that work experience makes a major contribution to pupil’s learning, preparing them for adult and working life.
What are you looking for?
Effective provision, including schemes of work, a careers library, effective partnership with the careers service and experience of work which enables pupils to achieve the following learning outcomes (QCA Learning outcomes from careers education and guidance1999);
- Self-development: pupils should learn how to understand themselves, what they are good at and where they have weaknesses, and develop their capabilities
- Career exploration: pupils should learn how to investigate careers and learning opportunities
- Career management: pupils should learn how to take decisions, know the implications of their choices, adapt to new circumstances and implement their career plans
Sources of evidence- to be gathered from all team inspectors. There should be a judgement on all of the following, recorded in the inspection Notebook
2.1 Pupils’ achievements-look at destination statistics and drop out rates. Do all pupils make thoughtful decisions based on self-knowledge and achieve positive destinations?
2.2 Pupils’ attitudes, values and personal development-in discussion and observation do pupils display the learning outcomes listed above? For example, do pupils:
- Know which subjects they are good at and assess their capabilities realistically?
- Show self-esteem, self-confidence and present well?
- Show initiative and enterprise and enjoy new challenges?
- Work well on their own and in teams and manage time well?
- Possess planning and negotiation skills
- Have a good knowledge of the full range of opportunities open to them
- Use information finding skills effectively
- Recognise bias and misrepresentation
- Show commitment to equal opportunities
3.How well are pupils taught-this area is often taught by non-specialist teachers. You need to find out if:
- Teachers have good knowledge and understanding the subject. Have they been properly prepared and trained?
- There are good quality schemes of work and lesson plans in place which non-specialist teachers/tutors can follow?
- Teachers communicate the relevance of careers education and engage pupils in lively lessons?
- Teachers record and assess progress in careers education?
- Teachers match the nature of materials and activities to suit different groups of pupils?
4. How good are the curricular and other opportunities offered to pupils-there are many different curriculum models used in the provision of careers education and guidance. The focus for inspection should be whether pupils receive the opportunities to achieve the intended learning outcomes rather than how this is done. Questions to consider are:
- Is there a planned programme to develop skills, knowledge and attitudes relating to choices and transitions in learning and work?
- Is adequate time allocated to this area? A suggested minimum, based on a National Association of Careers and Guidance Teachers (NACGT) survey is 15 hours in Year 9 and 24 hours in each of Years 10 and 11, excluding work experience.
- Are there activities, organised within longer blocks of time than individual lessons, which take place in school or in the wider community? For example, work experience, industry days, Young or Team enterprise careers and higher education conventions.
- Most schools organise careers education as part of their PSHE and citizenship programme. Are pupils helped to see the links between the careers units and other aspects of PSHE, and other subjects of the curriculum?
- Is effective use made of ICT?
5. How well does the school care for its pupils-careers guidance takes place when pupils are helped to apply their knowledge skills and information to make realistic, considered choices about options in future education training and work. Schools work in partnership with the careers service to make impartial guidance available. However, pupils often seek guidance from school staff, tutors and subject teachers. You should check whether staff:
- Are sufficiently aware of key stage 4 and post-16 qualifications and options
- Know when they have reached the limit of their knowledge or impartiality and are able to refer on
- Are able to help pupils in target setting, action planning and Progress file, where it is used
- Have sufficient time to fulfil their tutorial and guidance responsibilities
6. How well does the school work in partnership with parents- you need to check how the school:
- Involves parents in the process of careers education and guidance
- How parents view the quality of the careers education and guidance their children receive.
7. How well is the area led and managed? – careers education and guidance is a partnership involving the school and currently the careers service, with complementing roles and responsibilities. Schools negotiate an annual partnership Agreement with the local careers service. You need to judge the effectiveness of this agreement. Points to consider are does the agreement:
- Set out the planned activities of each partner?
- Outline areas for development and training?
- Take into account an analysis of pupils’ needs and review the previous year’s provision?
Have senior managers had input into the plan?
Every school should have a member of staff with responsibility for this area and preferably a specialist qualification or training. They are often called the careers co-ordinator. The careers co-ordinator should provide:
- A clear careers education and guidance policy for the school
- Adequate support and training for those teaching careers education
- A development plan for careers education and guidance
- Some monitoring, review and evaluation to judge the effectiveness of lessons, events and activities
- Access for pupils to a wide range of up-to-date, well organised guidance and reference materials, making effective use of ICT based careers information resources
- A view on the quality of liaison with the careers service
It is useful to discuss these issues with the careers co-ordinator and with the careers adviser and the pupils and compare your results.
The Connexions service- the Government is establishing a new service for all 13-19 year olds intended to help all young people fulfil their learning potential. It will be wider in scope than the
existing careers service. 16 pilots areas have been set up. You will need to find out if the school is involved in one of these areas. If it is the school needs to have planned for this change and considered how it will work with personal advisers to meet the needs of pupils.