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Schools: Vocational Guidance

Education written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Labour, Gateshead

To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the conclusion of his summit with young people in May 2011 that young people preferred face-to-face professional career guidance, how he plans that access to such guidance will be assured under the new National Careers Service.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

There is a range of evidence suggesting that young people like to access advice in a variety of ways including face-to-face, in groups or online. Schools are best placed to know what support their pupils need. The Government recognises that many young people can benefit from a face-to-face discussion of their skills, abilities and interests to help them think through future education and career options. We will highlight this important issue to schools through statutory guidance in advance of the new duty to secure access to independent careers guidance commencing in September 2012, subject to the passage of the Education Bill. The guidance will place a clear expectation on schools that they should secure face-to-face careers guidance where it is the most suitable support, particularly for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Schools may choose to work in partnership with providers engaged in delivering the National Careers Service, or with other providers, as they see fit. The National Careers Service will be required to meet a robust, high quality standard and all providers involved in the service will be expected to be accredited to the standard by April 2013. It was recently announced that this quality standard will be the revised matrix standard. The standard will assist schools in making well-informed decisions about which providers to work with.

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