Following the publication of the Government’s Careers Strategy in December 2017, the DfE have this month issued revised statutory guidance for schools regarding their duties relating to independent careers guidance. Of particular relevance to GMLPF members is the new legal duty for schools to provide access to providers of technical education and Apprenticeships.
Key points from the Careers Strategy and Statutory Guidance (Careers Guidance And Access for Education and Training Providers) of relevance to GMLPF members are as follows:
- Gatsby Benchmarks
The Careers Strategy and Statutory Guidance recommends that secondary schools and academies should adopt the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s Benchmarks to develop/improve careers provision.
- Benchmark 7
States that by age 16 “every pupil should have had a meaningful encounter with providers of the full range of learning opportunities…… including Apprenticeship providers.”
The Statutory Guidance states that “every school must ensure that there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to access all pupils in year 8 to year 13 for the purpose of informing them about approved technical education qualifications or Apprenticeships.”
- Policy Statement
Every school MUST publish a “policy statement setting out their arrangements for provider access and ensure that it is followed”. Schools must publish this on their website. The Guidance provides an example of a policy statement on provider access and this features a named contact that providers should contact to request access to pupils.
- No exceptions
Schools MUST make provider visits available to ALL pupils, and “should not do anything which might limit the ability of pupils to attend”. Examples of unacceptable behaviours are given as “restricting invitations to selected groups of pupils”.
- ASK programme
It is suggested that schools make use of locally available support, such as the ASK programme, which GMLPF is contracted to deliver to schools with the support of members.
- Labour Market Information
It is advised that schools should ensure that all pupils have made use of information about career paths and labour market information to inform their decisions. Here, it is obvious that information and data about Liverpool City Region Growth Sectors and associated opportunities will be particularly useful for local schools.
- Addressing individual pupil needs
In relation to careers advice, schools are advised to ensure that “young people from all backgrounds, gender and diversity groups, including those with special education needs and disabilities consider the widest possible range of careers.” They should also take particular care to identify those pupils who are at risk of non-participation post 16 and draw support to ensure transition into further education or training. Here, GMLPF members who have historical success in supporting these sectors of the community have a strong offer to make to schools.
Building on our experience of delivering Apprenticeships information sessions in schools as part of the ASK programme, GMLPF will be considering the scope of contributing to a coordinated support service for schools to help them deliver duties relating to provision of information about Apprenticeships and other vocational options.
In the meantime, we strongly recommend that GMLPF members hoping to build relations with schools:
- Familiarise themselves thoroughly with the Careers Strategy, Statutory Guidance and Gatsby Benchmarks
- Familiarise themselves with LCR Growth Sector information and opportunities
- From now on, review policy statements on schools’ websites to identify named contacts to arrange visits to increase likelihood of “speaking to the right person”
- Consider tailoring approach to schools based on their duties as outlined in the revised statutory guidance, showing how as an Apprenticeship/vocational training provider you can help them meet their obligations
We would be interested to know your views on the revised guidance, especially suggestions for a coordinated approach for supporting schools. Please email [email protected]