Good career advice helps schools


Schools that offer pupils good careers advice are likely to score higher exam results and have better attendance rates, according to research by the Sutton Trust charity.

The report warns that young people in England are facing a "postcode lottery" with some receiving much better guidance and information on employment prospects than others.

Since 2011, there has been a legal duty on schools to offer careers advice, but schools have had to do this out of their existing budgets, with no extra money available, the study, published by the Sutton Trust charity, argues.

"This has resulted in a decline in the quality and quantity of the career guidance available to young people in England and the emergence of a 'postcode lottery' where some young people have access to much better career guidance than others."

The study goes on to show that there is a link between good careers advice and improvements in GCSE and A-level results and access to top universities, and calls for an overhaul of the system to ensure that pupils get the information they need to make choices about their future.

In a series of recommendations, the researchers say that the Government should strengthen the role of the National Careers Service and give it a clear role to support schools in providing advice and guidance.

The report also says that there should be stronger incentives to encourage schools and colleges to prioritise and invest in careers advice and for Ofsted to review the way it inspects careers guidance.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "We have already updated guidance for schools to encourage closer links with employers to deliver career insight talks, mentoring and work tasters in order to open pupils' eyes to the opportunities available to them.

"But we know there is much more to do and we are looking closely at how we can further strengthen the system to ensure that every child has access to the support they need to make the right choices at the right time."

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