Education Act – FAQ
The Education Act 2011, which was enacted late last year, includes changes to careers guidance provision for young people in England.
Here, we answer some of your questions about the changes.
What do the changes mean?
The Act places a new duty on schools (and pupil referral units) to ensure that they secure impartial careers guidance for students.
When do the changes apply?
The legal requirement applies from September 2012. However, the government expects schools to put arrangements in place during this academic year.
Which year groups do the changes relate to?
Schools will be required to provide careers guidance from the year in which the majority of students reach the age of 14, up to the end of the school year in which the majority of students reach the age of 16. In most cases this means Years 9, 10 and 11.
What about post-16 students?
There is no statutory duty. However, with the introduction of the destination measures, schools will be measured on how well their students progress from Key Stages 4 and 5.
The government has committed to consult on extending the duty to 17 and 18 year olds.
What will schools have to do?
It will be the responsibility of each school to decide how careers guidance is delivered. However, schools must ensure that:
- Careers guidance is impartial and independent
- All students are provided with information on all post-16 education and training options
- Each student is provided with guidance which is in the student’s best interest
- Guidance provided comes from a source external to an individual employed by the school.
Do the changes apply to academies?
The government expects academies to provide careers guidance; provision requirements will be written into funding agreements.
Can schools use existing staff members to deliver careers guidance?
Schools that have their own careers teams can continue to offer guidance through these members of staff. However, the school must also ensure that pupils have access to a source of guidance which is independent and external to the school.
Can schools just use free resources?
When choosing resources, schools must consider their quality and impartiality. Any resource which a young person uses to make decisions about their future must be validated.
With the radical changes in the labour market, resources which aren’t regularly maintained risk misleading students with out-of-date information.
What about face-to-face guidance?
Schools can use any, or a combination of, web-based or telephone services, and/or face-to-face sources of guidance.
The government has stated that schools should provide face-to face guidance where it is “the most suitable support” for a student.
Will all schools fulfil the new duty?
Head teachers and governors will have a legal duty to ensure that each student receives impartial careers guidance.
The new destination measures should also incentivise schools to invest in high-quality careers guidance to help each student make successful transitions.
Will local authorities still offer careers provision?
While their duties to provide careers services for all young people are being removed, local authorities will retain responsibility for supporting young people who are vulnerable, including those with special educational needs.
Who is responsible for young people who are ‘NEET’?
Every local authority will be required to maintain records on young people not in education, employment or training. Local authorities may provide careers guidance for these young people under their duties for ‘vulnerable’ young people.
Where does the National Careers Service fit in?
The full National Careers Service (NCS) is scheduled to be operational from April.
Access for young people to the NCS is via the helpline and website only.
How can CASCAiD help?
We are committed to continuing to support schools to deliver high-quality, impartial careers information, advice and guidance.
Our programs play a vital role in helping schools to deliver their new duties.
By mirroring the guidance process, our student-centred approach produces results that are unique to each student and give young people a strong starting point to enable them to explore the full range of career, education and training options.
Central to our philosophy is transparency: young people can see exactly why they have the results that are displayed. This promotes self-awareness and builds confidence.
Our career information is impartial, up-to-date and verified by professional bodies. Our information is updated three times each year, ensuring that your students have access to quality resources, while reducing the time and money spent on monitoring and updating resources.
For more information, please click here.
Can CASCAiD recommend a source of impartial face-to-face provision?
We have joined forces with the Inspiring Futures Foundation to launch Inspire, a new approach to raising aspirations and achievement by delivering high-quality, impartial careers guidance in schools.
Inspire uses specially designed school activities, delivered by experienced advisers to:
- Raise aspirations by showing students what they can achieve if they aim higher
- Give access to impartial guidance for students making career decisions
- Offer an exciting way for students to enhance their employability skills
- Improve student achievement and their school’s success rates.
Inspire is a key investment for schools to support the new statutory duties and helps schools to deliver policy commitments around social mobility and widening participation.
Inspire provides a cost-effective way of ensuring that students achieve their full potential and progress into higher-level education and successful careers.
For more information on Inspire, please click here.