Education Bill

Additional memorandum submitted by the Department for Education (E 86)

To aid the Committee’s consideration of the Education Bill, this note provides further information on the delegated powers in clause 27.


Policy statement

1. In the White Paper The Importance of Teaching, we set out a clear programme of reform that will help to raise standards for all young people so that by the age of 16 they are well equipped to go on to positive participation in education or training and on into work. High quality careers guidance is an important part of this vision as it not only helps young people to progress; it also helps to increase confidence, motivation and the desire to succeed.

2. Schools have a crucial role to play in ensuring their pupils have access to appropriate independent, impartial careers guidance. They know their pupils best and are best placed to make arrangements that will meet those needs, in ways that respond to local circumstances.

3. This Government is committed to raising the participation age to 17 by 2013 and to 18 by 2015. Continuing in education post-16 means young people are more likely to attain higher levels of qualifications, have increased earnings over their lifetime, enjoy better health and benefit from improved social skills. The decisions that young people make during the 16-18 phase of their education are just as important to them realising their future potential as the decisions they make pre-16. Our intention therefore is to ensure young people up to the age of 18 attending schools and institutions in the further education sector have access to high quality careers guidance.

4. Clause 27 inserts a new section 42A into the Education Act 1997 to require maintained schools and pupil referral units in England to secure independent, impartial careers guidance for pupils in the school year in which they reach the age of 14 until they have ceased to be of compulsory school age. Schools will be free to decide how best to fulfil this duty based on the needs of their pupils.

5. The existing delegated power in section 46 of the Education Act 1997 is being amended through this Bill to allow the Secretary of State by regulations to make provision for amending the scope of operation of the new section 42A duty.

6. The delegated power in section 46 would in future allow section 42A to be extended to cover:

· Over-16s attending the types of schools already covered by the section 42A duty; and

· Over-16s attending institutions within the further education sector.

7. We intend to consult on this issue and, subject to the outcome of that consultation, lay regulations to ensure that all young people attending schools and further education institutions will have access to high quality careers guidance up to the age of 18 in future.

March 2011