Beths Grammar School Careers Provision
This report has been created in accordance with the Department of Education document ‘Careers guidance and access for education and training providers’ which was published in January 2018.
Beths Grammar School provides CIAG from Year 7 right through to Year 13. This is a coherent programme of activities that inform, inspire and motivate young people and provide information advice and guidance for the students to prepare them for work or further/higher education and assist them to understand where different education and training pathways can take them in the future. We have an in-house CIAG department which is also supported by external resources such as a regular Prospects adviser and regular contact with employers and universities.
We have a well-established careers department and we work within the requirements of what we ‘should’ do in the best interests of the students and the school as well as what we ‘must’ do as required by law and in accordance with the DfE Careers Provision document published in January 2018. Alongside this document we have access to the supporting non-statutory advice document to help develop the department further with the examples of best practice and case studies published in it.
As our duty is to provide independent careers advice we have a Prospects adviser come in once a week from the beginning of term until April. They provide one-to-one meetings for students who are identified by either the forms they fill in at the beginning of the new school year, self-referral or tutor referral.
We have a duty as a school to provide an outlet of impartial advice to all our students, from Year 7 upwards. We do this by buying in a certain amount of days from the Prospects careers service. Once a week for the first school term a careers adviser comes in to see students which have been pre-booked to be interviewed. These may be sixth formers who need extra help with University selections, to Year 11’s with A-level help or Year 9’s with their options. The students are identified by either a survey by the sixth formers at the start of term of from tutors and heads of year, or by student self-referral. The careers adviser fulfils the role of the school to get expanded, independent careers advice so that the students are inspired and motivated to achieve their full potential.
According to Ofsted’s thematic review, ‘some schools have responded well to the new duty, the majority of schools need to do more to set high expectations for all students and provide high quality advice and guidance that motivates them to succeed’. Here at Beths we have a broad range of provision for all years (please see diagram one at the back of this report). These include being offered face-to-face advice and access to careers software from Year 7. From observations from recent CIAG meetings at the Local Authority, many schools starts their careers advice from Year 8, as that is the statutory age to begin this provision. We work together with employers throughout the duration of the Year 10’s work experience and keep good contacts with the firms involved in order to have healthy relationships with employers for future Year 10’s and for our school leavers.
When students attend careers meeting whether it is for in-house support or with the independent careers adviser, we always aim the student towards the highest possible achievable career goal. For example when advising students using the careers software I always encourage them to set their aspiration for a job at A-Level and degree level so it will give them a range of options whether they wish to do enter a Higher Level Apprenticeship or a Degree course. This will help fulfil our duty of helping young people, including those who are vulnerable and have special educational needs or disabilities, ‘realise their potential and so increase economic competitiveness and support social mobility’. The school works with a number of external agencies within the Local Authority to help support those more vulnerable young people including those with special educational needs, and those who are disengaged or at risk or disengaging.
Beths can measure its effectiveness of their teaching and careers and inspiration activity the attainment of their students and their destinations when they leave. We keep an accurate record of destinations information for all of our students and last year, a large percentage of our students went onto to Universities both locally and nationally. Only a small amount went onto to further education, apprenticeships or straight into employment. This data is then passed onto the Local Authority and updated every month if we have any 16-19 year old leavers.
The statutory duty requires than governing bodies ensure that all registered students are provided with independent careers advice and guidance from Year 8 to Year 13. At Beths our CIAG is available from Year 7, when the students are introduced to the LRC to the full range of careers literature and material which we have in our extensive careers section. They are also offered the opportunity to carry out the psychometric test. This test is done online through a independent careers advice company and at the end of the test it forms a list of suggested careers. From this list of suggested careers the student can explore more through the wide range of information it provides, from progression routes into the career, universities linked to relevant degrees and pay opportunities. They can have the opportunity to speak to our independent careers adviser although this is not very common in Year 7.
We ensure that our careers guidance provided:
- Is presented in an impartial manner.
- Includes information on a range of education and training options, both apprenticeships and other vocational pathways.
- Is guidance that the person delivering it considers the best interests of the students to whom it is being given.
What must the governing body do?
Governors are responsible for ensuring that we at Beths –
- Provide sustained contacts with employers, mentors and coaches who can inspire students with a sense of what they can achieve and help them understand how to make them a reality. Although here at Beths we do not have an actual ‘Careers Policy’ we have a strategy and a provision. The work experience co-ordinator and the careers and work related learning co-ordinator keep regular contact with local employers to maintain a good working relationships between them and the school for work placements or attending related events.
- Have a strategy for advice and guidance for young people. That this strategy is embedded within a clear framework linked to outcomes for students and should meet the needs of the students and reflect the school’s ethos.
- Provide access to a range of activities that inspire young people including employer talks, careers fairs, motivational speakers, college and university visits, coaches and mentors. The needs of the student who require more intensive or sustained support before they are ready to make career decisions should be considered.
- Provide a range of independent advice and guidance, to meet the school’s legal requirement to provide both partial and impartial advice. Our provision includes an external careers adviser to deliver independent advice as well as access to online tools such as an online psychometric test and careers information. A wide range of career and further/higher education literature available in the LRC.
- Consciously working towards preventing all forms of stereotyping in the advice and guidance being delivered, to ensure that both boys and girls from all different backgrounds and diversity groups are offered the widest possible range of careers, including those are that often primarily portrayed as for one or other of the sexes.
Responsibilities of Schools
When giving advice to students we take into account the needs of the individual student to succeed. We work in partnership with local employers and other education training providers such as colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers. This ensures that the students benefit from direct experience of the world of work so that they can make informed decisions about their future and their education/training options.
STEM (Science, Technology, English and Maths) subjects play a large role when choosing many professions, whether it is in accountancy, business administration, sports therapy, engineering, to name a few. We aim to advise students which are the best subjects to take when they are making crucial educational decisions. Guidance will inform GCSE/A-Level course choices together with own individual needs and abilities when advising on STEM subjects.
The provision for enterprise education involves suspended timetable days and form tutor periods. Activities are embedded within year groups across the academic year to ensure that each student benefits from the provision. This is in addition to personal, social, health, citizenship and economics education (PSHCE) lessons, external competitions and an extra-curricular club on a weekly basis. We have not had a provision in the past for entrepreneurial skills, however it is currently planned to introduce a Key Stage 3 ‘Enterprise Club’ into lunchtime extra-curricular activities for students who wish to learn more about these skills for self-employment. This would also be an outlet for support, advice and guidance for students with businesses which are already up and running, which mainly applies to those in this position in the sixth form. It will be an opportunity for students to learn about working for themselves which may be a viable and sometimes necessary option for the future.
High attaining students are supported to choose the very best universities based on what course they wish to undertake and to apply to the universities which are on the highest end of their UCAS points. Equally, high achieving students who wish to choose an apprenticeship are encouraged to find high calibre placements which will challenge and interest them. Students, no matter whether they are the higher achievers or not, are always given the information as to what opportunities are available. All students are advised to choose one to suit their level of education. For example a student which has achieved A-levels would be advised to go for a Level 3 Higher Apprenticeship, rather than a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship which is more suited to a student who is entering an apprenticeship after obtaining their GCSE’s and has chosen not to take their A-Levels.
The LRC has a range of notice boards and areas where extra-curricular activities which may be of help with their career aspirations. It also has a PowerPoint presentation displayed which is updated almost daily with new opportunities which include apprenticeships, university information/help. Also helpful out of school opportunities to support students in building their CV’s for future university/job applications is included in the display.
Inspiring young people
Modern careers guidance includes sustained and varied contacts with employer networks, FE colleges, higher education institutions as well mentors, coaches and alumni. These individuals/groups of people can motivate students to think beyond their immediate experiences and encourage them to think of a broader range of options for their future education or careers.
We aim to create a learning environment which allows and encourages students to tackle real life challenges which require them to manage risk and develop their decision making, team building and problem solving skills. This is most apparent during the ‘World of Work’ week for Year 9 and ‘Enterprise Week’ for Year 10, when these students get the opportunity to engage in talks with companies, attend talks for individuals around a variety of careers. This will introduce students to a range of inspirational role models who can reinforce resilience, goal setting, hard work and social confidence into the students, which will help them overcome barriers to success. There is also a plan to introduce an online learning resource which will be delivered in the Year 9 PSHCE lessons, and will teach students such real life lessons as how occupational choices impact upon lifestyle and how to balance of monthly income and leisure time.
Work experience plays a vital role in inspiring young people both in Year 10 where they undertake 2 compulsory weeks at a work experience placement, or in post-16. Having the opportunity to talk to real employers, who are passionate about their own careers, often inspires and breaks down pre-conceived ideas about jobs. It gives the students an opportunity to build knowledge and understand the full range of careers available in a particular sector. It can also help to challenge stereotypes about the kind of careers students can aspire to. The work experience co-ordinator has a large database of employers and placements for the Year 10 students but they are encouraged to find their own. Where there is a need, Post-16 students find work experience placements to gain an understanding of the field of work they want to go into and the individual students arrange this for a time when they are not in school. However, university guidelines states that for many applications work experience related to the course being studied is vital and in such cases the school actively encourages and supports this.
Building strong connections with employers
A large number of employers on the database, which is compiled by the work experience co-ordinator, are kept regular contact with and have annual placements for Beths students. Companies are sometimes cold-called for potential placements and we also have very close contact with the local primary schools as this is a very popular placement for many students. It is our role when providing careers provision to be aware of the current labour market and how opportunities may change in the future and inform students of these factors when advising on work experience placements, careers etc.
We have regular contact with a number of local employers and the professional community to ensure our students create real-world connections. Employers can demonstrate the opportunities available within their fields of expertise and are able to advise students on how to access them. They can also explain the skills and attributes employers are looking for when gaining access to courses or employment. Such real world interactions that we offer include –
- Speakers from the world of work
- Insights from independent careers advisers about the labour market and the needs of employers
- Workplace visits and work experience placements
- Work ‘taster events such as ‘Enterprise Week’
- Careers fairs and careers networking events such as the Higher Education Information evening, the World of Work week and the UCAS Convention
- Access to open days at further and higher education institutes – sixth form students are allowed 3 school days leave a year for such events.
- Access to creative online resources such as kudos and a range of helpful websites are advertised in the LRC.
- Help with basic careers management skills such as CV writing and building, job searches and mock job interviews.
We are working with in partnership with a number of organisations to help with the education and transition from school to higher education or work. One in particular which we use is the ‘Barclays Life Skills’ website. The current year 10’s access this site to complete tests and skills reviews in order to get enough points to gain a placement. At the moment it is mainly placements with this bank but Barclays are encouraging other organisations to join and advertise placements on the life skills website.
We aim to help students acquire the practical know-how and attributes that are relevant for employment. We offer students help and advice with CV and cover letter writing, so that they can create the right impression to the employer in order to gain an interview. Students are also offered the opportunity to undergo mock interviews with relevant questions for the field they are going into, whether it is an interview for a job or for university. There are also books available in the LRC, around these subject areas which students can study at any time.
National Careers Service
The National Careers Service offers information and professional impartial advice about education, training and work, not just to 11-19 year olds but to all ages. They have a website, helpline and web chat available to student and their parents to access. These details are available in the LRC. We can choose to commission support from contractors engaged in delivering the National Careers Service. Here at Beths we have chosen to advertise the National Careers Service so that students can access the website for independent advice when needed. We have an independent adviser from Prospects who is contracted to deliver impartial careers advice.
Helping students to access information on the full range of education and training options and engage with other local learning providers.
We have a careers adviser from Prospects that comes in to deliver information that includes information on the full range of education and training options, including apprenticeships and vocational pathways. These include –
- Post-14: GCSEs; options offered by local university technical colleges and studio schools; opportunities for 14 year old enrolment at local colleges.
- Post-16: A levels, advanced general qualifications, apprenticeships, employment combined with training, supported internships, tech levels and traineeships.
- Post-18: further education course, higher apprenticeships and undergraduate degrees.
We arrange visits to universities such as to Oxford, Cambridge and Sussex. Up-to-date local insight days into the workplace and also college open days are advertised on the rolling PowerPoint in the LRC for the students to be aware of and have the right information when organising these themselves, usually during out of school hours. These are helpful for students to attend as it can contribute to the decision-making process.
We aim to make sure that students can find more about the range of options available in terms of Post 16 education. There is a dedicated post-16 education information area in the LRC which has information about local colleges and further education opportunities and their open days as well as their prospectus’ available for the students to view. We have the responsibility to act impartially and recognise that some students will flourish by pursuing education or training beyond the school. When advising students their individual needs are always taken into consideration and the best options for the young person to succeed is of the highest priority.
Securing support for choices and progression
When giving careers advice to students it is vital that they receive the right support. This will ensure that they make good career choices, and having the right information and aspirations can contribute to this. It is important that the students who need some convincing that having a successful career is positive and attainable receive this help. Supporting the students to think about such areas as their strengths, and what opportunities and risks varied career paths entail. For pre-16 students this is highlighted during their PSHCE classes, predominantly in their World of Work and Enterprise week. For post-16 this is through advice from the careers advisers, the 14-19 administrators, form tutors and also in some cases UCAS personal tutors.
In addition to the National Careers Service website and kudos we provide a range of digital resources to students self-assess their skills and research careers options. The LRC also has a handbook which has been produced in-house and provides a varied list of helpful websites on careers, apprenticeships, voluntary work, universities and further education as well as other advice such as CV building and interview tips. This is in hard-copy form and can be obtained from the LRC as well as pdf versions on the school website.
There is a range of support available for those students who are transitioning at critical points through the school; year 9’s into year 10, year 10 into year 11 and year 11 into year 12. Through close communication of departments students are given appropriate advice when making decisions during these phases. Form tutors, in-house CIAG, external independent advice, 14-19 co-coordinators and information/options evenings are outlets where students are able to discuss educational choices and ask for information and advice. We always take into consideration the individual needs of the students when giving advice during their times of transition. We make sure that students are on track and clear with the options they are choosing and the careers paths these may lead to.
Face-to-face advice and guidance
Face-to-face careers meetings are offered to all students at Beths. Government recommendation is that careers advice starts from Year 8, however, our students can have their log-on details for the psychometric test from year 9 and it is mentioned in their LRC induction that this is available and who to contact for careers advice. When completing the test students are offered the opportunity to discuss their results with the in-house careers adviser. We start to promote self-referral for careers advice from Year 10 and then we are in regular contact with Heads of Year and Form Tutors from Year 11, 12 and 13 to identify any of those they feel need advice. Sixth formers are given a questionnaire to complete at the beginning of the new school year, which identifies their future plans when they leave the school, whether it is to go to University, take a gap year, further education, apprenticeship or perhaps straight into work. This questionnaire also identifies those students who are unsure of their plans and need support. The questionnaires are read and then meetings are set up with the appropriate students accordingly.
Students get the opportunity to speak to a range of people through face-to-face events we run such as the careers fair, during careers week, workshops in the world of work week and the higher education evening. Such people include-
- Real employers and inspiring individuals coming from the careers to which students aspire to (identified from work experience placements or perhaps an employer from a certain field which a substantial number of Beths students have gone on to study at various universities).
- Alumni, who can speak to current students and pass on the benefits of their experience from vocational courses, apprenticeships and degrees as well as having real world experience. Having former students give advice can often encourage a change in perceptions of what students previously thought they were capable of achieving, as they feel they can relate to the alumni.
- Careers advisers, both partial and impartial, as the student’s skills, abilities, interests and achievements can be assessed and the right advice can be given. This is beneficial as the careers meetings are tailored around the individual student and how their needs can be met within the meeting.
We ensure that the face-to-face advice and guidance given is the most appropriate for young people to make successful transitions. Those who are identified as being at risk of becoming disengaged, having special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities are offered these meetings as they may be very beneficial. Our independent careers adviser meets with the students identified and ensures that they are on track with their studies, options and careers choices. There is also close contact between the careers department, the pastoral department and the individual needs department to ensure that these students receive the careers support they need.
Duty to participate in education or training after 16
The Government has raised the participation age so that all young people in England are now required to continue education or training beyond the age of 16. Schools must ensure that young people understand what this means for them when making their career choices. When advising students we make it clear to them that students starting year 11 or below must stay in education until their 18th birthday. This education does not have to be in school; their options are –
- Full time study in school, college or with another further education provider;
- An apprenticeship, traineeship or supported internship;
- Full time work or volunteering (20 hours or more) combined with part time accredited study.
Working with local authorities
Beths work with the local authority to identify those at risk of not participating post-16. We provide a report to the local authority once a month in contribute to this. Local authorities should have in place to ensure 16 and 17 year old have agreed post-16 plans and have received an offer of suitable post-16 education. This is more important now that the participation age has been raised.
The report which is sent to the local authority once a month is called the PAN-London report. It provides the local authority with basic information such as student’s names, addresses and dates of birth. We provide this report to the LA in order for them to be able to support young people to participate in education or training. This report highlights those students who are at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training), although this is a very rare occurrence with Beths students. We ensure that any information shared adheres to the schools privacy notice.
We work in partnership with the local authority to ensure that our students know what local services are available. There is a variety of information available in the LRC for the students to access independent services in their local area from support lines and various websites which offer help. It is our duty to provide the local authority when a student leaves our school before their education has been completed. The arrangement between the school and the local authority is to notify them through the monthly submission of the PAN-London report.
Targeted support for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people
The Student premium is focused on the needs of the individual student and there is no evidence of any careers related work being developed from it, as students have not requested it. The students are also aware of the 16-19 Bursary Fund, which has been set up to support those in financial hardship. There are a number of students who successfully apply for this and receive the support to ensure they have every possible means to succeed at Beths.
Ensuring adequate support for students with special educational needs or disabilities
We have high aspirations for all students with special educational needs and disabilities and support them in preparing for the next phase of education or training and into adult life. Students with SEN or disabilities receive impartial and independent advice and guidance from our external careers adviser about all mainstream education, training and employment on offer. They are also provided with information on specialist provision available to them and the support to access them. Key stage transition interviews are also set up with the appropriate students. It is the SENCo’s responsibility to co-ordinate the educational provisions for learners with SEND and keep all teaching staff informed of the range of needs that these students may have. It is also recognised that consultation with the LA, external support and advisory agencies and support staff within the school, is a necessary and important requirement for the SENCo.
Working with Jobcentre Plus
In the Dfe guidelines it states that school could work with Jobcentre Plus as they can play a role in supporting effective transition from school to work. The students which we have identified as wanting to go straight into the world of work straight after school are supported with their decisions and directed to external agencies to additional support. We do not however have a direct link with Jobcentre Plus as the majority of our students who do not enter Beths sixth form either transfer into another educational setting, i.e. further education or an apprenticeship. The vast majority of post-18 go students go into University, apprenticeship or training. Students with no plans/intentions of pursuing any of these pathways are identified at the beginning the final year, as mentioned via the questionnaire, and supported.
Evaluation and monitoring of advice and guidance
Quality assurance and feedback
We ensure the quality of the external organisations who are employed to deliver careers advice and guidance through both the agencies themselves and from feedback from the students. For example, senior members of staff review the contract with Prospects annually and they are given a service level contract. The provision is evaluated and how successful it has been and to what extent the provision will be needed in the future. The students are also given evaluation sheets to fill in when they have received a Prospects careers interview.
Student’s feedback is also a valuable source when evaluating the careers advice and guidance provision within the schools activities. Work experience feedback is collected via an online form and then sent onto Capital South who oversees all our work experience placements. After the Year 9 World of Work week and the Year 10 Enterprise week formal feedback is given by the students in the form of a questionnaire. It evaluates the different activities and the delivery options to inform the future provision of these annual events. Students identify which area of the events were most useful and also highlights which areas the students found least useful. The feedback is then collated and evaluated by the work-related learning co-ordinator and changes are made, where necessary, for future events according to the students needs.
The role of Ofsted
When being inspected Ofsted will take into account the quality of independent advice and guidance when making their judgement on leadership and management. Previous Ofsted surveys highlighted that the schools they visited were not doing enough to evaluate the quality of the careers provision. With both students and senior management evaluations, here at Beths we take into account all angles of evaluation of our careers provision to ensure the success of our students.
The Dfe report states that Destination Measures data is a good source of how successful schools have been in supporting their students to take up education or training post-16 which offers good long term prospects. The Destinations Measure data report is based on existing data collections. These reports are very nationalised and generalised and does not focus specifically on particular boroughs of local authorities. 2014/2015 is the first school year which the local authority has introduced the monthly PAN-London report which should make the Destinations Measures report more specific and therefore more helpful for Beths to measure its success with post-16 students.
We track the destinations of our students when they leave Beths by asking all students to fill out a Destinations form, which then feeds into the PAN-London report submitted to the local authority. If the local authority also tracks these young people’s progress then we can ask them to share that information with the school. Although many students keep in touch with certain departments when they leave, as well as attending the school when needed for alumni events, and therefore we are aware of their progress.