Education Bill

Memorandum submitted by CASCAiD Ltd (E 100)

Response to call for written evidence on the Education Bill

In response to the call for written evidence on the Education Bill, CASCAiD Ltd would like to offer the following information in relation to Clause 26 and Clause 27 and careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG).

Careers education v careers guidance

Both of these elements are vital. Careers guidance cannot take place in isolation if it is going to have a positive effective on young people, social mobility and the future economic prosperity of the country.

Careers education equips young people with the opportunity, skills and knowledge to become good career planners. It enables them to make the most of the careers guidance that is available. Careers education is necessary to enable young people to understand the importance of planning their future and to enable them to become good career managers.

Careers education is also crucial for enabling young people to understand the relevance of what they are learning in each subject. In order to be engaged in learning, they need to see the relevance of the knowledge that they are being given and how it will be useful to them in the future. This can only be achieved by truly embedding careers education in each subject. Issues with potential future skills gaps in subjects such as science, mathematics and modern foreign languages can be avoided if young people understand how their current learning relates to the knowledge and skills that they will need to be successful in the future. Enabling young people to explore how their learning will have practical application in a structured way is vital if every young person is to be given the opportunity to succeed and improve their social mobility.

CEIAG should be provided from age 11. At 14, most young people have already made choices which will affect their future options. In many cases they have also already become disengaged with some subjects. For this to have happened before they have been given the opportunity to explore the impact of their rejection/disengagement of those subjects on their future is damaging for them, their learning establishment and their future prospects.

Careers guidance, however good, has limitations when it takes place in isolation. Yes, careers guidance is crucial at key transition and decision making points, but that must not be the extent of the intervention.

Checks and balances

It is crucial that CEIAG provision in schools is quality measured. Greater focus must be placed on the quality of provision as part of a statutory inspection process. In order for senior leaders in schools to fully embrace CEIAG they need to understand that insufficient and inappropriate provision will have an impact on their results.

Relatively few inspection reports refer to careers education and guidance, which considering the vital role that it plays in a young person’s future, is concerning.

Quality assurance must consider the following factors in relation to CEIAG:

· Impartiality of provision – how well provision reflects the best interests of the young person.

· Integration within the curriculum – how well provision is linked to subjects to enable students to recognise the links between what they are learning and how it will benefit them in the future.

· Impact of provision – how well provision raises aspirations and motivates students to engage with and achieve in different subjects.

In conclusion, the role of a school is to equip young people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and ability to succeed in life. To succeed in life, it is vital that they choose the right career path. With social mobility high on the agenda, good quality CEIAG is critical if young people are to achieve and the economy is to prosper. Where there is a culture of benefit dependency within communities, young people have few positive role models to view as examples for exploring opportunities to develop their own economic wellbeing. In these situations CEIAG is even more critical.

About CASCAiD

CASCAiD is the UK’s leading provider of careers information and guidance solutions. Part of Loughborough University, CASCAiD has over 40 years experience of supporting the delivery of information, advice and guidance (IAG) to young people and adults. More information about CASCAiD can be found at www.cascaid.co.uk

March 2011