Careers advice in schools ‘deteriorating’, say MPs

23rd Jan 2013
Written by: Sara Mason-Parker

Careers advice in schools ‘deteriorating’, say MPs

New reforms lead to worrying drop in standards

The decision to drop careers services in schools has led to a worrying drop in standards, MPs have said in a new report.

In September 2012, schools throughout England took over the responsibility of careers advice from independent-advisors Connexions.

At the time, the Government said it’s up to schools to decide what services are right for them with each school managing its own budget. Each school had the option of putting in as much or as little into careers services as they saw fit. Unfortunately for students, more schools opted for the latter over the former.

In a strongly worded report examining the effects of the change that came into force, the cross-party Commons education select committee said there was already evidence of a “worrying deterioration” in the overall standard of careers advice.

Graham Stuart, chair of the education committee, told the BBC: “The quality and quantity of guidance is deteriorating just when it is needed most.

“If young people are to benefit we need a careers advice and guidance system which supports them to make the right choices.”

Latest research suggests that careers advice has been reduced in more than eight out of 10 schools in England over the past year.

Careers advice in schools 'deteriorating', say MPs

Macca Sherifi, spokesperson for gapyear.com, said: “There’s no doubt about it, the drop in standard is worrying. Often careers advisors would talk about and promote a gap year as a viable option for students. Without them there, we’re worried that teachers don’t have the knowledge base of the options available after school and that they’ll just say ‘go to university’, which for a lot of students isn’t the best choice.

“A number of students will find value in a gap year, others will want an apprenticeship, and others will want to move abroad or go straight into work; this is something schools are not necessarily set up to advise on.

“For those students considering a gap year we want you to know that we’re here to help in any way we can.”

Good career guidance, something that we all had access to in school, has been highlighted one of the ways to tack social issues and youth unemployment.

Do you think there’s less career advice in school? If so, how is it affecting you? Post your comments below.

If you want to talk to some people about your next step then head over to the message boards and get talking to some fellow travellers.

Images supplied by CUS Visual Media Team.

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