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4th November, 2012

Pearson Think Tank careers report predicts decline in careers service in England

A new survey has found that the majority (61%) of teachers and lecturers are worried about the careers service being offered to children leaving school.

Commissioned by the Pearson Think Tank, the survey also found that nearly a third (31%) of teachers were specifically worried about the quality of advice being provided, commonly citing the closure of services such as Connexions as a factor contributing to their concerns.

The release of the findings coincides with the publication of the Careers 2020 report by the Pearson Think Tank and The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) at the University of Derby.

The report highlights international evidence from countries including the Netherlands and New Zealand which witnessed a decline in both the extent and quality of careers work when responsibility and the associated funding was transferred to schools. Last year's Education Act introduced this new responsibility for all schools in England for the first time but transferred none of the funding.

The report recommends that the implementation of reforms such as the new Statutory Duty and the National Careers Service are carefully monitored and for schools to embed careers work across everything they do, including the curriculum. The Careers 2020 report includes a "toolkit" for teachers to plan their cross schools approach to careers advice and researchers are asking them to take part in the next phase of the Careers 2020 research.

Louis Coiffait, Head of Research at the Pearson Think Tank said: "With record youth unemployment rates and uncertainty about whether schools can provide good quality careers support, it's not surprising most teachers are worried about the careers advice available to pupils. High quality education provision and careers advice are prerequisites for a socially mobile society so failure to get it right now will impact most harshly on some of our most disadvantaged communities for years to come".

Tristram Hooley of iCeGS, University of Derby expressed similar concerns: "Schools have seen resources for careers education and guidance cut and have lost access to vital expertise. International research predicts that this approach is likely to lead to a decline in the extent and quality of careers advice and could have a negative impact on the economic health of an economy".

"Schools need to act now and think about how they can put careers at the heart of their mission and make meaningful links between the curriculum and young people's futures".




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