At a recent committee of MPs, it was suggested that schools should be specifically rated by Ofsted on the quality of their careers advice. This would be a significant development for the CIEAG industry, and for schools as a whole.
While careers advice is already taken into account in Ofsted inspections, the recommendation from the parliamentary public accounts committee suggested that a tougher line should be taken to ensure that careers provision is as strong and well-developed as possible.
The committee also suggested that the Department for Education is struggling to get the information it needs to make decisions on whether careers education is working effectively, for example whether enough students are entering STEM fields.
Per Schools Week, the committee is “concerned” about the quality of careers advice in schools. The DfE’s new careers strategy is part of the government’s plan to address this quality problem. But, the committee also suggested that Ofsted should consider giving a specific rating to the quality of advice provided in individual schools.
However, The Edge Foundation, while acknowledging the validity of the DfE’s concerns, raised the issue of funding in schools. With schools funding and resources under increasing pressure, adding more responsibility to an Ofsted inspection may end up doing more harm than good.
Edge suggests that an Ofsted rating may prove to be an overly simplistic tool. Good careers education is complex, and relies on meaningful relationships between schools, employers and other service providers. By incentivising careers education through an Ofsted rating, rather than through increased resources, there is a worry that it may end up becoming a tick-box exercise, rather than a truly holistic careers provision that’s embedded in the curriculum.
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