The Careers Guidance Lottery - June 2012 - Working towards London 20:20

 
The Careers Guidance Lottery - June 2012 - Working towards London 20:20
The Careers Guidance Lottery
June 2012

Working towards London 20:20
The Careers Guidance Lottery - June 2012 - Working towards London 20:20
org.uk
Contents

Section                                                                                                        Page number

Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................... 4
   Who the report is for...................................................................................................... 4
   Where people can get more information ....................................................................... 4

List of abbreviations .......................................................................................................... 5

Executive summary ........................................................................................................... 6
   Introduction and aims .................................................................................................... 6
   Findings ........................................................................................................................ 6
   Recommendations ........................................................................................................ 7

1. Introduction ................................................................................................................... 8
   1.1.Background and project aims .................................................................................. 8
   1.2.Methodology............................................................................................................ 8
   1.3.Report structure ...................................................................................................... 9

2. Policy and delivery context .......................................................................................... 10
   2.1.What do good careers services look like? A literature review ............................... 10
   The benefits of careers services ................................................................................. 10
   Careers education ....................................................................................................... 11
   Careers guidance ........................................................................................................ 12
   2.2.Coalition government’s policy on careers services for young people .................... 14
   Policy rationale ............................................................................................................ 14
   Local authorities and Connexions ............................................................................... 15
   Creation of the National Careers Service .................................................................... 16
   Removal of duty of schools to provide careers education ........................................... 16
New duty on schools to secure independent and impartial careers guidance ............. 17
   Reaction to policy changes ......................................................................................... 19

3. Survey of local authority 14–19 leads ......................................................................... 22
   3.1.Who will provide careers guidance services?........................................................ 22
   3.2.Continuity and local authority offers ...................................................................... 24
   3.3.Consortium working between schools ................................................................... 26
   3.4.Role of local authorities ......................................................................................... 27
   3.5.Funding of careers guidance in schools ................................................................ 28
   3.6.Ensuring high quality ............................................................................................. 29
   3.7.Overall opinions .................................................................................................... 30

4. Case studies – a mixed market of provision ................................................................ 33
   4.1.Mixed model of careers guidance and increase in volume .................................... 33
   4.2.Limited engagement with careers guidance .......................................................... 34
   4.3.Mixed model – full time permanent careers adviser and additional freelance adviser
        ............................................................................................................................ 36
   4.4.Provision from the further education sector ........................................................... 37
   4.5.Using a local authority contracted private provider with limited planning for
        September 2012 ................................................................................................. 38

5. Conclusions and recommendations ............................................................................ 40
   5.1.Conclusions........................................................................................................... 40
   5.2.Recommendations ................................................................................................ 40

Bibliography..................................................................................................................... 43

                                                                                                                                          3
Acknowledgements
This report was written by Timothy Riley and Lydia Finnegan, with Malen Davies and
Pippa Lane. We would like to thank Michelle Cuomo from the Greater London Authority
and Yolande Burgess at London Councils for their support and guidance with the work.

We would also like to thank the schools, providers and local authority staff who gave up
some of their time to take part in the research and share their opinions with us.

Who the report is for
This report is written to inform:
        Local authorities
        Schools
        Organisations providing careers services
        Organisations representing careers advisers
        Ofsted
        Those interested in social mobility and education policy.

Where people can get more information
London Skills and Employment Observatory website contains continually updated
information about the labour market and skills landscape in London at
http://www.lseo.org.uk.

                                                                                           4
List of abbreviations
BIS     Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

CEIAG   Careers education, information, advice and guidance

DfE     Department for Education

HEI     Higher Education Institution

IAG     Information, advice and guidance

NCS     National Careers Service

OECD    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PSHE    Personal, Social, Health and Economic education

                                                                 5
Executive summary
Introduction and aims
The careers services landscape for young people in London is in a period of significant
flux. The coalition government’s reforms have aimed to shift the balance of responsibility
for delivering careers guidance to young people away from local authorities and to
schools,1 resulting in less control from the centre. Therefore, the Education Act 2011
stipulated that schools have the responsibility to ensure that pupils receive independent
careers advice from September 2012. Prior to this, local authorities had a statutory duty to
fund universal careers guidance for young people, but this requirement has been lifted.
Also lifted is the statutory requirement of schools to provide careers education to their
pupils. In addition, in April 2012, a new all-age National Careers Service (NCS) was
launched with the aim of providing impartial information, advice and guidance for all.
These changes to the youth careers services have worried a number of commentators.
They note that whilst schools have been given new responsibilities to provide independent
careers guidance for pupils, they have not been provided with any additional funding with
which to do so. Moreover, whilst the NCS will provide universal online and telephone
resources, it will not provide a face-to-face service for young people (aged 13 to 19).
Overall, there is concern that ‘the existing funding for face-to-face career guidance
services for young people is being allowed to vanish without a trace’ and that this will have
a strongly negative impact on services on offer to young people2 at a very challenging time
for them in the labour market.
The aim of this project has been to provide an indication of the effect of these changes to
the provision of careers guidance in schools in London, through a survey of local authority
14–19 leads and a number of case studies of the different models being applied.
Findings
This research presents a mixed picture in London about the availability of careers services
for young people in schools from September 2012. On the one hand, nearly as many local
authority 14–19 leads believed the level of careers guidance would remain the same or
increase in their borough as thought that the level would decrease. As of February/March
2012, no borough was envisaging that there would be a widespread collapse of provision
leading to inadequate services across the board.
On the other hand, there were still significant concerns. Around half of 14-19 leads
answering the survey thought that there would be at least one school in the borough where
the service was not adequate. Moreover, one respondent felt that ‘schools with greater
financial issues [would] cut back and these [would be] the same schools with the most
student need.’ There was also concern about the potential for an accountability deficit at a
local level; who was ultimately responsible for the quality of provision or for ensuring
provision was available?

1
  The definition of ‘school’ to which this report refers to is wide, in accordance with the Education Act 2011, and includes
community, foundation or voluntary schools, community or foundation special schools (other than those established in
hospitals), academies, free schools and pupil referral units.
2
  Watts, T. (2011), The Coalition’s Emerging Policies on Career Guidance, Careers England Policy Commentary 15,
http://www.derby.ac.uk/files/policycom152011.pdf, [last checked 03/02/2012].
                                                                                                                               6
But when this research was undertaken, in February and early March 2012, arrangements
were still developing and subject to change in most boroughs. As a result, the ‘snapshot’
presented in this report is subject to change.
Recommendations

        The Treasury and the Department for Education should urgently reconsider
         the decision to remove funding from careers services for young people. We
         believe there is a compelling case for investment in these services to help young
         people to make considered and appropriate career choices.

        In the event that the government continues with its current policy we urge schools,
         London boroughs and London government to consider the following
         recommendations:

             -   Schools should aim to improve the careers services on offer to their
                 students and consider offering impartial careers services to students
                 earlier, such as at Key Stage 3. They should also ensure they keep
                 abreast of best practice in the careers guidance sector and, where
                 possible, look to purchase careers services with other schools locally, as
                 consortia should achieve better economies of scale.
             -   Local authorities should become careers services champions and
                 encourage schools to offer impartial, independent and suitably accredited
                 guidance.
             -   Local authorities should consider providing a careers guidance offer to
                 schools or develop a framework of approved careers advice providers
                 from which schools can purchase services at reduced rates.
             -   The Mayor and London Councils should develop a pan-London
                 vision for careers guidance and consider the merits of a London
                 Careers Guidance service for young people.
             -   The Department for Education should hold a comprehensive review to
                 examine the state of careers guidance for young people in the early years
                 of the policy change.
             -   Ofsted should give careers guidance increased importance in the
                 assessment of schools.
             -   The National Careers Service should continue to develop its website
                 based on best practice in the sector and responding better to local labour
                 market trends.

                                                                                           7
1.Introduction
1.1.      Background and project aims
The careers services landscape for young people in London is in a period of significant
flux. The coalition government’s reforms have aimed to shift the balance of responsibility
for delivering careers guidance to young people away from local authorities and to
schools,3 resulting in less control from the centre. Therefore, the Education Act 2011
stipulated that schools have the responsibility to ensure that pupils receive independent
careers advice from September 2012. Prior to this, local authorities had a statutory duty to
deliver universal careers guidance for young people, but this requirement has been lifted.
Also lifted is the statutory requirement on schools to provide careers education to their
pupils. In addition, in April 2012, a new all-age National Careers Service (NCS) was
launched with the aim of providing impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG) for all.
These changes to youth careers services have worried a number of commentators. They
note that whilst schools have been given new responsibilities to provide independent
careers guidance for pupils, they have not been provided with any additional funding with
which to do so. Moreover, whilst the NCS will provide universal online and telephone
resources, it will not provide a face-to-face service for young people (aged 13 to 19).4
Overall, there is concern that ‘the existing funding for face-to-face career guidance
services for young people is being allowed to vanish without a trace’ and that this will have
a strongly negative impact on services on offer to young people at a very challenging time
for them in the labour market.5
In February 2012, the Institute of Career Guidance published Facing up to the Future,6
which examines how schools in England are responding to the new responsibilities they
hold. The aim of this project, to complement Facing up to the Future, has been to provide
an indication of the effect of these changes on the provision of careers guidance in schools
in London, and to make some initial recommendations on managing this change. Given
the work previously undertaken to examine changes to Connexions services nationally and
within London,7 this has been beyond the scope of this paper.
1.2.      Methodology
Our methodology was as follows:

3
  The definition of ‘school’ to which this report refers to is wide, in accordance with the Education Act 2011, and includes
community, foundation or voluntary schools, community or foundation special schools (other than those established in
hospitals), academies, free schools and pupil referral units.
4
  The DfE has only put £4.7m into the NCS, compared to £84m from BIS. See Hooley, T. & Watts, A.G. (2011), Careers
work with young people: collapse or transition? University of Derby International Centre for Guidance Studies, for further
details.
5
  Watts, T. (2011), The Coalition’s Emerging Policies on Career Guidance, Careers England Policy Commentary 15,
http://www.derby.ac.uk/files/policycom152011.pdf, [last checked 03/02/2012]
6
  Institute of Career Guidance (2012), Facing up to the future. How schools in England are responding to new
responsibilities for careers information advice and guidance,
http://www.cegnet.co.uk/newsletters/mar12/files/ICGFacingup.pdf [last checked 28/03/2012]
7
  See for example, Hooley, T. & Watts, A.G. (2011), Careers work with young people: collapse or transition? University of
Derby International Centre for Guidance Studies, www.derby.ac.uk/files/careers_transition_paper.pdf [last checked
03/02/2012]. See also the associated database examining borough level data on changes to Connexions services.
                                                                                                                           8
   The first stage was to conduct a literature review, to develop a clear
           understanding of government policy and reactions to it. In addition, the literature
           review examined what good practice looks like in terms of providing careers
           services in schools.
          Building on the literature review, we conducted an online survey with local
           authority 14–19 leads in 32 of London’s 33 boroughs (excluding the City of
           London). The online survey asked 14–19 leads to include any information they
           had about how schools plan to provide careers guidance to their students from
           September 2012. The survey was publicised by London Councils, and
           respondents were asked to take part up to three times. In total, 23 local
           authorities provided information as part of the survey.
          To complement this high-level overview of likely developments in London, we
           conducted six case studies to provide more detail about some of the emerging
           models of careers services that will be used by schools. These case studies were
           chosen based on recommendations by 14-19 leads in local authorities (building
           on the online survey), and recommendations from staff at the GLA and London
           Councils.

1.3.       Report structure
The rest of this report has the following sections:
          Chapter 2: A literature review examining what good careers services in schools
           should look like, and looking at current policy relating to careers services for
           young people, and reactions to the policy
          Chapter 3: Findings from the online survey of local authority 14–19 leads,
           providing an overview of how schools are likely to provide careers guidance to
           pupils from September 2011
          Chapter 4: A set of case studies detailing different delivery models being used by
           different schools
          Chapter 5: Conclusions from the research, and recommendations to different
           stakeholders.

                                                                                             9
2. Policy and delivery context
2.1.       What do good careers services look like? A literature review
The benefits of careers services
The rationale for providing careers services is twofold. The first is that they should improve
the efficiency of the education system and the labour market. They do this by guiding
young people to sectors and professions that require more labour or where wages are
higher, and also by contributing to the development of skills that are suitable for such work.
In the case of young people, this often includes encouraging them to stay in education.8
Second, careers services contribute to social mobility and social justice by supporting all
people to develop and progress their career by helping them understand their options and
how to go about achieving their goals. The important role of career services in this regard
were acknowledged in the government’s Strategy for Social Mobility.9
However, previous research into the choices of young people suggests that careers
advisers are often not the main or first source of careers advice, with many young people
tending to favour their parents, friends, relatives, siblings and teachers above the existing
professional careers offer, despite their perhaps not having the necessary knowledge.10
The Panel on Fair Access to the Professions found it was often young people from
disadvantaged backgrounds that were likely to suffer most as a result of smaller informal
networks and poverty of aspiration.11
There is a growing international body of evidence demonstrating the effects of careers
services. Hooley, Marriott and Sampson have presented a collation of evidence of the
effects of careers development work with young people:
          Career development work can improve retention in school-age education and
           reduce drop-out.
          Career development work can enhance students’ academic achievement,
           particularly when introduced at an early age and in systematic ways.
          Career development work can increase the likelihood of enrolment in tertiary
           education.
          Providing support when moving into the labour market can enhance young
           people’s job satisfaction (by helping them move into a sector that suits them), and
           can have an impact on young people’s short- to medium-term earnings.
          Career development work can foster a more optimistic outlook in relation to
           work.12

8
  Watts, T. (2011), The Coalition’s Emerging Policies on Career Guidance, Careers England Policy Commentary 15, p.5
9
  HM Government (2011), Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: a Strategy for Social Mobility
10
   Warwick Institiute of Education Study sourced from Cabinet Office (2009), The Panel on Fair Access to the
Professions. Phase 1 Report: an analysis of the trends and issues relating to fair access to the Professions,
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/200480/fair_access_panel_report.pdf
[last checked 04/04/2012], p.37.
11
   Ibid., pp.36-39.
12
   Hooley, T., Marriott, J., & Sampson, J.P. (2011), Fostering college and career readiness: How career development
activities in schools impact on graduation rates and students’ life success, University of Derby International Centre for
Guidance Studies (iCeGS)
                                                                                                                        10
There is a growing body of evidence outlining good practice when providing careers
services to young people in schools. The first point is that there should be two
complementary elements in a careers service: careers guidance and careers
education.
Careers England defines these two as follows:13
Careers guidance is ‘person-centred guidance and counselling interventions, which
support and enable effective decisions by individuals about learning and work.’ This might,
for example, involve a meeting with a careers adviser.
Careers education involves ‘programmes designed to help young people to develop the
skills necessary to manage their own career pathway.’ This might include activities
designed to develop a better understanding of the world of work and its demands, work
simulation or mini-enterprises, and support relating to decision-making, self-awareness,
and managing transition.14
So, careers education trains young people in how to make decisions about their careers
and how to manage their own career pathway, whilst careers guidance provides more
focused support relating to particular decisions about careers or education that pupils have
to make at different points in time.

Careers education
Whilst one might, prima facie, consider careers guidance to be the most important element
in careers services, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) has emphasised the importance of careers education, by recommending that
policy-makers ensure ‘that resource allocation decisions give the first priority to systems
that develop career-self management skills and career information.’15 This is especially
important in the context of a dynamic labour market where medium and long-term
occupation and skills needs are uncertain and individuals may have to seek out new
careers, learn new skills or apply their skills differently to fit future job opportunities. The
importance of careers education was echoed by Bowes, Smith and Morgan, who
concluded that ‘young people with a higher level of career-related skills, including career
exploration, self-awareness and self-confidence, are more likely to make satisfactory
subject choices in year 9 and less likely to modify their choices or switch courses post-
16.’16 This suggests that a careers service which simply provides career guidance
sessions at key points of transition, such as when making important decisions in year 11,
is inadequate if it has not previously developed students’ capabilities to make these
decisions.
Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that it is important to provide careers education
from a young age – the OECD suggests that it could even be delivered in primary
schools.17 Bowes et al advocate the provisions of careers education from early in
secondary education because ‘it may help raise pupil’s awareness of subject-related

13
   Henderson, L. (2011), “Looking to the future.” The impact of career guidance in England. Evidence and Analysis.
Careers England, p.2.
14
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy. Bridging the Gap, p.44-46.
15
   Ibid., p.14.
16
   Bowes, L., Smith, D., & Morgan, S. (2005), Reviewing the Evidence Base for Careers Work in Schools. A systematic
review of research literature into the impact of career education and guidance during Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 on
young people’s transitions, University of Derby, Centre for Guidance Studies (CeGS), p.3.
17
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy, p.13.
                                                                                                                       11
careers, and counteract external influences, such as peer pressure, which can be very
strong by year 11 when post-16 choices are made.’18
Careers education programmes in schools are likely to be delivered in classroom settings,
but a number of innovative approaches can contribute to their success. These include
ensuring that work experience/work trials are possible, providing mentoring programmes,
or involving other people from the community (such as employers, parents, or former
students) to explain different career and training options. Moreover, linking careers
education to the school’s curriculum can impress on pupils the relevance and importance
of the academic and/or vocational training they are receiving. For example, a student
might build a ‘skills portfolio’, which shows how the skills they are developing in the
curriculum relate to different types of work.
The OECD has identified three different delivery models for careers education:
          As a stand-alone course within the curriculum
          Being subsumed as part of broader course, such as Personal, Social, Health
           and Economic education (PSHE)
          Being infused with most or all other subjects in the curriculum.19

Concerns have been raised about the last two of these options. Bowes et al suggest that
the impact of careers education can be diluted if it is subsumed within another subject, and
that it should therefore be a stand-alone subject.20 And the OECD noted that when careers
education is infused in a variety of other subjects this is sometimes the result of teachers
not wanting to reduce the amount of time available to teach ‘main’ subjects, as was the
case in Austria.21 The result of this is that the careers education can be invisible to
students. To be successful, this approach requires a highly coordinated approach from
different teachers, and to have some time for students to pull the different threads together
and make sense of the different parts.
Careers guidance
With regard to careers guidance, judgements about the quality of guidance offered are
often related to two factors: how careers guidance is given; and who careers guidance is
given by.
First, how guidance is provided is important. In particular, the importance of face-to-face
advice has been emphasised. Careers England has emphasised that ‘Careers guidance
is a personal process and fundamentally depends on a trusting relationship between client
and adviser established by face-to-face contact.’ Whilst face-to-face meetings are more
expensive, ‘they are frequently more inspirational too,’ and only by knowing their adviser
are young people likely to feel comfortable discussing personal issues.22 The OECD,
despite noting the expense of face-to-face guidance23 and the need to utilise other forms
of guidance as well, consider that face-to-face guidance is an important element of careers
guidance for young people.24 Bowes et al suggest that this face-to-face guidance is

18
   Bowes et al (2005), Reviewing the Evidence Base for Careers Work in Schools, p.4.
19
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy, p.44.
20
   Bowes et al (2005), Reviewing the Evidence Base for Careers Work in Schools, p.5.
21
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy, p.44.
22
   Henderson, L. (2011), “Looking to the future.”, pp.15-16.
23
   They suggesting that it is “a personal service analogous to hairdressing in cost structure.”
24
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy, p.74 & p.9.
                                                                                                  12
important both in order to convey information, and also ‘as a catalyst, instilling a sense of
urgency or necessity in pupils.’25
However, organisations agreed that face-to-face guidance should be provided in
combination with other forms of support, including internet resources and telephone
help lines. The OECD noted, for example, that ‘ICT needs to be seen as part of a wider
suite of delivery methods, and integrated, rather than separated from, face-to-face
methods.’26 Similarly, Careers England has noted that ‘Helplines and internet channels are
of limited use without established trust [developed through face-to-face guidance]’27 and
the UKCES suggested that ‘the “person to person” service should be linked with web and
telephone services to provide a multi-channel but blended offer.’28
Good examples of online support include the Careers Wales website,29 and the Career
Coach tool built by EMSI.30 The Careers Wales website provides different sections for
people of different ages; as well as a section of the website for adults, there are three
specially designed sections for those in year 9, those in years 10 to 11, and those aged 16
to 19. The EMSI Career Coach tool links different careers to specific courses from
particular training providers, and plots longitudinal earnings and employment trends based
on specific job roles in specific locations (as defined by the user – for example, within 50
miles of a certain city).
Second, who gives support is of crucial importance. In particular, the literature stresses the
importance of those giving careers guidance being careers professionals, who have high
level vocational qualifications in providing careers advice. In part this is because those
who are not specialists will rely on qualifications that are ‘too general and insufficient’ and
may not understand the basic theories of careers guidance or the several methodologies
that form the knowledge base of the practice.31 Moreover, it was noted that those who
provided careers guidance as well as other pastoral support (including some Connexions
advisers) tended to spend a majority of their time offering the latter, meaning they did not
have enough time to do the former properly. In particular, it was noted that teachers and
other non-professional staff employed by schools were very often unable to provide
careers advice of a high enough quality, as this was not something they had been trained
to do, and that they did not have the time to develop a sufficient knowledge of different
career options to inform students properly. Ofsted found that ‘in all the authorities visited,
inspectors found examples of carers, residential staff, teachers and tutors who were
providing advice and guidance to young people but who had too little knowledge and
understanding of the full range of options to do this effectively.’32
Moreover, ensuring the person providing careers guidance is able to give impartial advice
is of fundamental importance to mitigate against potential perverse incentives. In
particular, if a careers adviser is employed by a school, it is possible that this might, in
some cases, lead to advice being given that is not in a pupil’s best interest. For example,
there might be a tendency for advice to align with the school’s financial requirements, and

25
   Bowes et al (2005), Reviewing the Evidence Base for Careers Work in Schools, p.4.
26
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy, p.9.
27
   Henderson, L. (2011), “Looking to the future.”, p.15.
28
   UKCES (2011), Helping individuals succeed: Transforming career guidance, p.6.
29
   http://www.careerswales.com/
30
   http://www.economicmodeling.com/career-coach/
31
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy, p.10.
32
   Ofsted (2010), Moving through the system – information, advice and guidance, p.5.
                                                                                             13
therefore encourage students to stay in education and help fill the sixth form.33 As a result,
there is support for a partnership model, in which schools work with external
(professional) careers advisers to provide careers education and advice. As the OECD
stated:
     ‘For those in school, the strongest arguments are in favour of a shared responsibility
     between schools and external agencies. In this way the advantages of a
     developmental approach, a strong labour market focus, and advice that is independent
     of the interests of particular institutions can be combined.’34
2.2. Coalition government’s policy on careers services for young
     people
The rest of this chapter examines the coalition government’s policy with regard to careers
services for young people. It starts by examining the rationale of government policy, before
looking in more detail at the different elements of the policy. Finally, it looks at different
stakeholders’ reactions to this policy.
Policy rationale
The coalition government’s policy on careers guidance is based on the following beliefs,
principles and aims:
         The belief that Connexions has failed to provide adequate careers guidance to
          young people in some areas, and that reform is therefore needed. This was noted
          by the Conservative Party in the run up to the 2010 general election,35 as well as
          by senior Labour party figures. For example, Alan Milburn’s Unleashing Aspiration
          report noted that ‘the Connexions service seems to have focused on the
          disadvantaged minority to the detriment of the aspirational’36 and advocated
          ‘abolishing the Connexions careers service and replacing it with a dedicated,
          professional and flexible careers advisory service in every school and college.’37
         The desire to create an all-age careers service to replace Next Step (which
          provided careers guidance to adults) and Connexions (which provided careers
          guidance and wider support to young people). This is aimed at removing the
          artificial split between careers guidance for adults and young people.
         The desire to shift the balance of responsibility for delivering careers
          guidance to young people from local authorities to schools. This contributes to the
          Department for Education’s (DfE’s) policy to give schools more autonomy to
          deliver services to their pupils, based on the belief that schools know their pupils’
          needs best, will act in their pupils’ best interests, and should be allowed to do so
          with less control from the centre.
         The desire to introduce market forces into the provision of careers guidance for
          young people. It is hoped that creating a market will drive up quality, and ensure

33
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy, p.42.
34
   Ibid., p.13.
35
   Conservative Party (2009), Labour’s Failure on Skills,
http://www.conservatives.com/~/media/Files/Downloadable%2520Files/Labours%2520failure%2520on%2520skills.pdf
[last checked 28/03/2012], pp.4-5.
36
   Cabinet Office (2009),Unleashing Aspiration: The Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions,
www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/227102/fair-access.pdf [last accessed 28/03/2012], p.6.
37
   Ibid., p.63.
                                                                                                                   14
that those delivering careers guidance will have to improve standards to win
              additional work.

Based on these principles, the government’s policy has the following elements:
       1. The removal of the requirement on local authorities to provide universal careers
          guidance to young people, in September 2012 (although schools will retain the
          requirement to provide careers services to those not in education)
       2. The creation of an all-age careers service, the NCS, in April 2012. The NCS offers
          online and telephone services to all customers, but face-to-face support to adults
          only
       3. The removal of the duty on schools to provide careers education to students in
          years 9–11, in September 2012
       4. A new duty on schools to secure independent and impartial careers guidance for all
          pupils in years 9–11, from September 2012. However, no new additional funding
          has been provided to schools to meet this obligation.

The table below provides more detail of the services available and which body they will be
available through .38

                                                    Young people (aged                   Adults (aged 20+)
                                                    13-19)

 Face to face                                       Available through                    Available through NCS
                                                    schools or, for those not
                                                    in education, local
                                                    authorities

 Online (non-age specific                           Available through NCS                Available through NCS
 information, email, web forums
 and web chat)

                                                    Available through NCS                Available through NCS
 Telephone

Local authorities and Connexions
A local authority has a statutory requirement, under Section 68 of the Education and Skills
Act 2008, to ‘make available to young persons and relevant young adults... services as it
considers appropriate to encourage, enable or assist the effective participation of those
persons in education or training.’39 In the past this requirement has involved providing

38
     Including detail from: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/aboutus/contactus/Pages/default.aspx [02/04/2012]
39
     HM Government (2008), The Education and Skills Act 2008.
                                                                                                                             15
universal careers guidance to young people, through Connexions services. However, new
statutory guidance from the DfE in April 2011 noted that ‘It is for local authorities to
determine what services are necessary to fulfil their statutory responsibility. There will be
no expectation that local authorities should provide universal careers services once the
new careers service [the NCS] is established and the duty on schools [to provide careers
guidance to pupils] has been commenced.’40
This guidance came at the same time as local authorities’ funding for Connexions was
merged into the Early Intervention Grant (and not ring fenced), which was reduced by
10.9% in 2011–12.41 In light of the new guidance mentioned above, it has been suggested
that many local authorities saw Connexions as a ‘soft target,’ and therefore that its funding
was cut more than other services.42
Hooley and Watts undertook a national survey of the changes in Connexions provision that
have occurred in recent times, published in August 2011.43 They found that at least 22
London boroughs were making cuts to Connexions staff (with estimated job losses of at
least 174), and that Connexions centres were being closed in 11 boroughs. One borough
was replacing face-to-face guidance with phone and internet support, and seven were
focusing particularly on vulnerable young people and reducing services available to all
young people. Hooley and Watts also grouped boroughs into five categories:
          Boroughs making extreme cuts – seven London boroughs fell into this category
          Boroughs focusing solely on vulnerable young people – six London boroughs
          Boroughs with a ‘wait and see’ policy, who often maintained some element of a
           universal service, but with cuts – nine London boroughs
          Boroughs working to sustain a universal careers service – one London borough
          It was not possible to classify 10 London boroughs.

Creation of the National Careers Service
In April 2012 a new all-age NCS was launched. This provides online and telephone
support for all people, and face-to-face advice for adults (continuing the provision
previously delivered by Next Step). There will not be funding for face-to-face support for
young people as part of the core NCS funding. However, it will be possible for schools to
commission NCS providers to provide careers guidance to meet their new statutory
requirements from September 2012.
The NCS website includes areas on a large range of jobs. For                               each job, the website
explains the type of work, entry requirements and details of                                training providers or
representative bodies, pay progression and hours. It does not                              have separate areas
focused at young people and adults, nor provide location specific                          data (see the Careers
Guidance of this chapter for more details).
Removal of duty of schools to provide careers education
From September 2012 schools will no longer have the statutory duty (under Section 43 of
the Education Act 1997) to provide careers education to pupils in years 9 to 11. DfE

40
   DfE (2011), Statutory guidance for local authorities on targeted support services for young people
41
   Hooley, T. & Watts, A.G. (2011), Careers work with young people: collapse or transition? University of Derby
International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), p.1.
42
   Ibid., p.5.
43
   Data set found at following location: http://www.derby.ac.uk/files/dataset_transition.xls, [03 Feb 2012].
                                                                                                                  16
guidance to schools from 2011 noted that ‘the removal of this provision is permissive; it
does not imply that these activities are unimportant but that the government considers that
it is not necessary to legislate for them.’44 Additional DfE guidance from March 2012
suggested that schools should ‘consider a range of wider careers activities.’ However, a
paragraph in the original version of the guidance which reiterated the importance of
providing careers education was removed from the final draft, which has raised concerns
from some quarters.45
There is little existing evidence on what the effect of this will be. However, it is possible
that some schools may see the removal of legislation as a sign that careers education is
less important and, as a result, reduce the quality of careers education on offer to students
in London.
New duty on schools to secure independent and impartial careers
guidance
In previous years, careers guidance in schools has been provided by Connexions
advisers, and funded by local authorities. However, the Education Act 2011 shifts the
burden of responsibility for providing careers guidance to pupils from local authorities to
schools; from September 2012, Section 29 of the Education Act 2011 will require schools
to ‘secure that all registered pupils at the school are provided with independent careers
guidance’ in years 9 to 11.46 The Act defined ‘independent advice’ as being provided by
someone who was not an employee of a school, such as a teacher. Schools might meet
this new duty, for example, by purchasing careers guidance services from a local authority,
a NCS provider or another private or third sector provider.
DfE guidance to schools in April 2011 stated that:
     ‘Those schools that have already developed their own arrangements for providing
     impartial careers advice and guidance – for example, by employing their own careers
     adviser – may continue to do so. However, in such cases a school must also ensure
     pupils have access to a source of guidance which is independent and external to the
     school. This might include web-based or telephone services, and/or face-to-face
     guidance from a specialist provider.’47

This implied that schools will only need to provide access to online or telephone support,
which will be freely available through the NCS from April 2012, in order to meet their
statutory requirement. Tony Watts, has suggested that an interpretation of the guidance
along these lines ‘would render the formal duty [to provide independent careers guidance]
meaningless.’48
Further DfE guidance was awaited which, it was hoped, would clarify the level of service
the schools would have to provide. This guidance was released on 26 March 2011.49

44
   DfE (2011), The Education Bill - changes to the delivery of careers guidance
45
    Watts, T. (2011), Statutory Guidance for Schools on Securing Access to Careers Guidance, Careers England Policy
Commentary 16,
http://www.careersengland.org.uk/documents/Public/Policy%20Commentary%2016%20for%20publication%2026.3.12.pd
f [last checked 28/03/2012], p.5.
46
    HM Government (2011), The Education Act 2011
47
    DfE (2011), The Education Bill - changes to the delivery of careers guidance
48
    Watts, T. (2011), The Coalition’s Emerging Policies on Career Guidance, p.11.
49
    Department for Education (2012), The Education Act 2011. The duty to secure independent and impartial careers
guidance for young people in schools. Statutory guidance for head teachers, school staff, governing bodies and local
                                                                                                                 17
However, it failed to provide such clarification, noting that schools ‘should secure access to
independent face-to-face careers guidance where it is the most suitable support for young
people to make transitions, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds or those
who have special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities’. The guidance,
however, did not explain how schools should determine when face-to-face guidance was
the ‘most suitable’, suggesting that schools could decide this based on their own criteria.
Moreover, it was suggested that noting that face-to-face guidance was ‘particularly’
relevant to certain types of students could imply that it was not necessary for other types of
student.50
Overall, the guidance received a critical reception when it was released. This was both
because it was released later than hoped (at a time after which many schools will have
been setting their budgets for the 2012–13 academic year), and because it did not provide
clearer and stronger direction to schools in terms of the types and quality of service they
should provide. Tony Watts noted that consultation with an advisory group did not affect
the content of the guidance, and that the document was ‘weaker’ than an original draft
circulated in early November 2011.51
The concerns from some stakeholders have been fuelled by the fact that no additional
money has been provided to schools to help them meet this new duty. Schools will have to
fund the provision through the Dedicated Schools Grant, and no funds will be ring-fenced
to ensure an adequate careers guidance service. That is, schools have been given a
significant new responsibility, but no new resources to meet it.
It is possible that some additional funds will be available, but these are likely to be limited:
         Government funding, particularly from the pupil premium may be available. This
          is, however, expected to be limited because of the many other calls on the pupil
          premium.
         Charitable funding. Whilst it is possible some charitable funds will be available,
          this is unlikely to provide a sustainable solution.
         Parent funding. Whilst this may be available in some areas, it is likely to favour
          pupils living in more affluent areas.
         Opportunity provider funding from, for example, higher education institutions
          (HEIs) or employers. Whilst they may provide some funding, it is questionable
          whether the advice will be impartial (for example, HEIs may encourage entry to
          tertiary education, and employers may encourage entry into the labour market).52

The literature has identified a number of new players in the market which schools might
purchase careers guidance services from, including :
         Local authorities (who might produce a careers advice offer based on Connexions
          which schools could purchase);

authorities,
http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/statutory%20guidance%20for%20schools%20on%20careers%20guidanc
e.pdf [last checked 28/03/2012]
50
    Watts, T. (2011), Statutory Guidance for Schools on Securing Access to Careers Guidance, Careers England Policy
Commentary 16,
http://www.careersengland.org.uk/documents/Public/Policy%20Commentary%2016%20for%20publication%2026.3.12.pd
f [last checked 28/03/2012]
51
    Ibid., p.3.
52
    Hooley, T. & Watts, A.G. (2011), Careers work with young people: collapse or transition?, p.7.
                                                                                                                18
   New, small companies or social businesses set up by former Connexions staff
          Agencies that provide supply teachers, who have also been recruiting former
           Connexions advisers onto their books).53

Research by the Institute for Career Guidance published in February 201254 found that
one-third of schools interviewed in the autumn of 2011 were unsure of how they would
provide careers services from September 2012. Half were planning to purchase impartial
careers guidance services from external providers, independent careers advisers,
freelances or other similar providers. However, eight per cent were planning to do nothing,
and merely refer students to online and telephone services, with one-third also planning to
use teachers and/or non-teaching staff.55
Reaction to policy changes
As noted above, there has been widespread appetite, both from the current coalition
government and from members of the previous Labour government, to reform the previous
careers guidance provision available to young people, which was primarily available
through Connexions.
However, the reaction of many stakeholders and commentators to the government’s policy
has been highly critical. UNISON, which represents many workers in the careers sector,
has argued that ‘the government has taken a knife to the heart of the careers service,’ and
warned that the changes ‘will lead to a lost generation, struggling to find work.’56 The
Institute of Career Guidance took a more moderate line, noting that the changes ‘will leave
millions of young people without face-to-face careers guidance at a time of shrinking job
opportunities and a rapidly changing educational landscape.’57 Similarly, Careers England
suggested that the policy was the result of ‘ill-informed decisions’58 Tony Watts, of the
International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby, expects that ‘Most
schools will do whatever they can, because they care for the futures of their pupils; but
some will make minimal provision, because they consider that the government does not
require then to do more.’59
In part this criticism relates to the fact that funding for careers advice for young people has
been cut to such a degree. In total, £200m of funding for providing careers support to
young people has been cut from the sector, meaning there isn’t enough money left to
provide sufficient face-to-face services for all pupils.60 As Tony Watts has stated, if this is
correct ‘the reality will be that the existing notional funding for face-to-face career guidance
services for young people... has not just been pruned in line with general cuts in published

53
   Ibid., p.8.
54
   Institute of Career Guidance (2012), Facing up to the future. How schools in England are responding to new
responsibilities for careers information advice and guidance,
http://www.cegnet.co.uk/newsletters/mar12/files/ICGFacingup.pdf [last checked 28/03/2012]
55
   Schools were able to select more than one type of provision, hence the figures above sum to more than 100%.
56
   UNISON (2011), UNISON gives Cameron careers advice– cutting 8,000 jobs will stop Britain working,
http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=2127 [last checked 03/02/2011].
57
   Institute of Career Guidance (2011), Savage cuts to careers services will lead to a lost generation, http://www.icg-
uk.org/article905.html [last checked 03/02/2012].
58
   Henderson, L. (2011), “Looking to the future,” p.1.
59
   Watts (2012), Careers England Policy Commentary 16,p.9.
60
   Hooley, T. & Watts, A.G. (2011), Careers work with young people: collapse or transition?, p.1.
                                                                                                                          19
spending, but has been allowed to disappear altogether – without any public
announcement to this effect.’61
Tony Watts has argued that the policy is conceptually undermined by a ‘fundamental
tension’ between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’s agenda (to set up
an all-age careers service) and the DfE agenda (relating to school autonomy), and that this
could lead to ‘a widespread collapse of careers help for young people.’62 He has also
pointed out that in New Zealand and the Netherlands, policies to give schools a similar
responsibility to purchase careers guidance for their pupils have led to a decline in the
amount of careers guidance on offer.63 Moreover, the quality of careers guidance has been
low: the New Zealand Education Review Office concluded that only 12 per cent of
secondary schools provided high quality education and guidance to their students.64
Similarly, the OECD warned that ‘within devolved funding systems it [models where
careers guidance is purchased] can be associated with wide variation in quality.’65
In particular, criticism has centred around the following areas:
      If the removal of the duty of schools to provide careers education results in
         schools not providing this service, it will leave student ill-equipped to make
         decisions about their careers. The evidence presented in the literature review
         suggests that careers education is at least as important as careers guidance. This
         might lead to a service that does not include such services as group sessions,
         sourcing external speakers, and arranging visits to further education and higher
         education institutions etc.
      There is concern that the partnership model between Connexions and
         schools has been undermined in favour of a contractor supplier model, which
         may limit the types of career services on offer. It is feared that a move from a
         partnership model to a contractor/supplier model will lead to contracts that are
         short-term and that conceive of career support too narrowly, for example, merely
         as access to online resources and limited face-to-face support at particular
         times.66
      It has been suggested that the market of suppliers that these policies is
         supposed to stimulate will be inadequate to meet the needs of pupils.
         UNISON has suggested that funding cuts will have reduced the pool of careers
         advisers in the sector, and therefore the commissioning options for schools.
         Moreover, it has suggested that, because of their small scale, many smaller
         providers and freelancers may not have access to particular types of information,
         such as good quality vacancy data.67
      It is unclear what quality and accountability standards will be in place. John
         Hayes, the Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, has said that an employment
         and learning destination measure should be used to measure the success of
         careers services, but it is clearly very hard to measure the impact of the service
         by looking at the destinations of young people.68 Similarly, it is unclear what

61
   Watts, T. (2011), The Coalition’s Emerging Policies on Career Guidance, p.26.
62
   Ibid., pp.28-29.
63
   Ibid. p.10.
64
   Henderson, L. (2011), “Looking to the future,” p.10.
65
   OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy. Bridging the Gap, p.11.
66
   Hooley, T. & Watts, A.G. (2011), Careers work with young people: collapse or transition?, p.10.
67
   UNISON (2011), UNISON Briefing on the Careers Service. Opposition Day Debate – 13th September 2011,
www.unison.org.uk/file/A13538d.docx, [last checked 03/02/2012]
68
   Watts, T. (2011), The Coalition’s Emerging Policies on Career Guidance, pp.12-13.
                                                                                                         20
quality standards will be required from the careers services contracted by schools.
           For example, the Matrix standard, Investors in Careers, or an industry standard
           such as Career’s England’s newly launched ‘Quality in Careers’ Standard69 could
           be used. Alternatively, advisers could be required to have vocational/professional
           qualifications at a given level. DfE guidance in March 2012 noted that NCS
           providers would be required to meet the Matrix Standard, but did not state what
           quality standards non-NCS providers would need to meet, (except for noting that
           careers guidance ‘can be provided by qualified careers professionals’).70
          It has been suggested that the government’s policy will have a strongly
           detrimental effect on the profession of careers advisers. In total, Unison
           expects up to 8,000 job losses in the sector71 (although this is likely to be an over-
           estimation). The Institute of Careers Guidance has warned that the policy ‘will
           leave thousands of highly skilled careers professionals without jobs, losing
           invaluable expertise at a time with young people need it most.’72 Hooley and
           Watts suggested that this will result in a downward pressure on salaries,
           movement away from specialist careers adviser roles to more generalist young
           people’s support positions, loss of people to other sectors and low morale, all of
           which will make it harder to professionalise the industry.73

69
   Careers England (2011),National Validation. The “Quality in Careers” Standard. Evaluation Criteria for Careers
Education, Information, Advice & Guidance (CEIAG) Quality Awards,
http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/London%20Councils/Item9.QualityinCareersStandardTHECEQTGKITEMARKRECO.p
df [last checked 20 Feb 2012]
70
   Department for Education (2012), The Education Act 2011. The duty to secure independent and impartial careers
guidance for young people in schools. Statutory guidance for head teachers, school staff, governing bodies and local
authorities, p.3.
71
   UNISON (2011), UNISON Briefing on the Careers Service
72
   Institute of Career Guidance (2011), Savage cuts to careers services will lead to a lost generation
73
   Hooley, T. & Watts, A.G. (2011), Careers work with young people: collapse or transition?, p.9.
                                                                                                                  21
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel