Maintained schools must secure access to independent careers guidance for all pupils in years 8 to 13. In doing so, schools must have regard to statutory guidance which sets out the key features of a high quality careers programme.
The quality of the school’s careers provision is monitored by Ofsted. As part of standard (Section 5) Ofsted school inspections, inspectors make graded judgements on the effectiveness of leadership and management; the quality of teaching, learning and assessment; pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare; and pupils’ outcomes. Matters relating to careers provision feature within three of these four judgements.
First, in judging leadership and management, inspectors take account of the leadership of the curriculum and the impact of the curriculum in preparing pupils for their future. Second, in judging pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, inspectors consider the impact of impartial careers guidance. Finally, in judging outcomes, inspectors consider information about pupils’ destinations.
Destinations data has become an even more significant part of school accountability, as it is now included in Key Stage 4 and 16-18 performance tables.
There continue to be opportunities outside of routine inspection for Ofsted to examine careers provision. For example, Ofsted has conducted thematic surveys on apprenticeships and on enterprise, employability and employer engagement, which draw on evidence about the quality of careers information, advice and guidance.