Schools need to support pupils better in making career choices

Secondary schools need to ensure that pupils have access to up-to-date impartial information about their options for future learning and careers as well as facilitating regular discussions about pupils’ options, according to a report published today by Estyn. While nearly all schools provide pupils with general information about the routes that are open to them after GCSE, the majority of schools have not responded effectively to changes in how they are supported by Careers Wales. As a result, pupils’ access to impartial advice, guidance and personal support varies too much. Only a few schools ensure that all pupils have a personal interview to discuss their future. In general, schools place too much emphasis on promoting their own sixth form rather than the options available in sixth forms in other schools, further education colleges or apprenticeships.

The report ‘The implementation of the careers and world of work framework (CWoW) in secondary schools’  looks at the extent to which schools are delivering the statutory framework intended to help prepare young people for their working life. Inspectors found that the amount of lesson time and the methods of providing pupils with careers advice and experience of the word of work varies too much between schools. While the time allocated to careers and work-related activities by schools has on average increased, in many cases this provision is now planned around the requirements of the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification rather than the CWoW framework.

Meilyr Rowlands, Chief Inspector, says,

“Today’s report highlights that not all pupils are receiving the same level of support to help them make important decisions about their future education and career.


“All schools need to ensure that all their pupils are fully supported when making these decisions. They should be presented with the full range of post-16 options, be offered relevant work-focused experience, and have an interview to discuss their career.”

The report also says that schools need to evaluate how well they support pupils in planning for their future. Leaders need to ensure that staff are well-trained, and that they make better use of information to monitor achievement to help plan improvement.  

Further recommendations are outlined in the report for schools, authorities and consortia and the Welsh Government, including increasing the involvement of governors as well as reviewing the government’s framework to reflect the principles of the new curriculum.

About the report

Estyn’s report ‘The implementation of the careers and world of work framework in secondary schools’ was commissioned by the Welsh Government and is available in full at http://www.estyn.gov.wales/thematic-reports

Previous reports:

 The evidence base of this report included evidence from 156 secondary school inspection reports, questionnaires from 21 secondary schools, telephone interviews with nine schools and five inspections focusing specifically on careers and the world of work.

Publication date

Tuesday, 12 September, 2017
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