Opportunity for all – Schools White Paper: a response

As you will be aware the government recently published their long awaited Schools White Paper which sets the government’s ambition for the future of education. Without doubt it’s grand on the ‘why’ and ‘what’ but possibly understandably light on the ‘how’, we took a detailed look at what it said about Careers…sadly, it didn’t take long!

Other than a couple of brief mentions of the Skills for jobs White Paper, the only mention of Careers comes at the top of page 30, paragraph 65…

Yes there were some cursory mentions of T-Levels but we undoubtedly hoped for more than the limited and specific mention above. However, we always like to focus on the positives here (especially as not that long ago Careers probably wouldn’t have featured), so let’s take a look at what this could mean for us all and is there actually anything new here.

New: Careers Programme for primary schools in areas of disadvantage
  • This is long overdue so it is a most welcome inclusion. It should go without saying but this programme should be written in conjunction with or with reference to the recently published CDI Primary Careers Framework. Not only that but lessons learned from the North East Gatsby Primary pilot should be included
Old: Extending legal requirement to provide independent careers advice
  • There are no details on any ‘new money for old rope’ inclusion of the intention to extend the statutory requirement on personal guidance to include year 7 students. This was in the Skills White Paper and we would have hoped that more details on how schools can pay for this increased entitlement would have been included.
Old: Increasing opportunities for students to meet apprenticeship and technical education providers
  • Shoehorning this into the ‘increased’ school hours (32.5hrs) might be a way of achieving this. However, as the majority of schools already work these hours it remains to be seen how schools can increase these opportunities. A solution could be to ringfence time on the timetable or making it an ABSOLUTE inspection accountability measure. While we’re on the subject of things being ringfenced…how about doing this with funding? Furthermore, increasing opportunities doesn’t mean anything if the opportunities or pathways are poor!
Old(ish): Improve professional development for teachers and leaders on careers education
  • While this is a wholly welcomed inclusion and one that we wholeheartedly support, the lack of detail here remains a concern. Where is this development going to come in? Will it be grounded in ITT so we have new teachers coming into role ready not only with a thorough understanding of the importance of Careers education but also on it’s delivery. If not, then surely a NPQ dedicated to Careers education would be a way to go. Sadly, there were explicit mentions of other new NPQs but not for Careers. As such, we feel we’ll be waiting some time before we see this come through. Outside of the NPQ what other training will be offered.

So that’s it, as we said it didn’t take long time to go through this. As always it’s over to you, what do we think about this – comment below the line and we’ll share the best ones on our Twitter feed.

One thought on “Opportunity for all – Schools White Paper: a response

  1. “Will it be grounded in ITT so we have new teachers coming into role ready not only with a thorough understanding of the importance of Careers education but on it’s delivery. ” -I have asked student teachers that we have supported on placement this year about any training that they have been receiving regarding careers. Not one had heard of the Benchmarks and they said they thought there might be a session at the end of the course! Let’s hope this improves.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: