Business: Education

Education written question – answered on 21st July 2014.

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Photo of Peter Luff Peter Luff Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment she has made of the potential value of the Careers Lab programme and the recommendations of its recent report, Inspiring the Next Generation, to her Department’s skills policy.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are creating a better skills system that is led by employers with more relevant, respected qualifications and an emphasis on young people acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. This approach is reflected in the Government’s policy on careers guidance, which centres on schools and colleges building stronger links with employers to inspire and motivate young people about the world of work.

More employers are getting involved by offering coaching, mentoring, work tasters and work experience to ensure that pupils can access careers advice from people with experience of business. Careers Lab is an example of this employer-led approach.

In the report, ‘Inspiring the next generation’, the recommendations for government focus on the importance of holding schools to account for the destinations of students and the need to set quality standards to help schools judge which career initiatives are worthwhile. The Government has communicated its expectations to schools on both of these areas. New statutory guidance and departmental advice on careers guidance and inspiration, effective from September, provides a framework for schools and paints a clear picture of what high quality careers guidance looks like. This incorporates information about the quality assurance of any external organisations that schools plan to work with.

The guidance is clear that schools will now be held to account for the outcomes for their students through destination measures. Ofsted will take greater account of the quality of careers guidance and of students’ destinations in school inspections when judging the effectiveness of a school’s leadership and management. Data on post-16 education destinations is already published in Performance Tables. We intend to publish full key stage 4 and key stage 5 destinations data in performance tables once we are content that the data are robust enough.

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