Vocational Guidance: Disability

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th May 2022.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to amend careers guidance to require schools, colleges and local authorities to work together on specialist careers advice for disabled young people.

Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department has published statutory guidance for schools and colleges on providing careers guidance and statutory guidance for local authorities on their duties relating to the participation of young people in education, employment or training. Both statutory guidance documents are clear about the important role that, to fulfil their statutory responsibilities, schools, colleges and local authorities must work together to ensure that young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can access the careers advice that they need. By identifying those in need of targeted support, schools, colleges, local authorities and other agencies, can support disabled young people to make positive and well-informed choices and to participate in education or training.

Statutory guidance states that schools and colleges must co-operate with local authorities, who also have statutory functions in relation to supporting young people’s participation in education and training and an important role to play through their responsibilities for SEND support services.

The participation of young people in education, employment and training statutory guidance also states that local authorities should work with schools, colleges and other post-16 providers, as well as other agencies, to support young people to participate in education or training and to identify those in need of targeted support to help them make positive and well-informed choices.

The careers statutory guidance includes an expectation that schools and colleges will use the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance to develop and improve their careers programmes. The third benchmark focusses on addressing the individual needs of each student. We expect schools and colleges to tailor careers activities and educational goals to the needs of each student, taking account of their prior knowledge and skills, the choices and transitions they face and any additional support that may be needed to overcome barriers.

The department funds The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) to increase young people’s exposure to the world of work and support schools and colleges to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks. The CEC runs a Community of Practice focused on inclusion. Schools, colleges and training providers work together to support each other in their local community to work with students from disadvantaged groups, including young people with SEND, through the sharing of good practice and the development of resources.

To help more young people with SEND get into great careers we are also taking action to improve careers guidance - providing support, resources and SEND specific training for Careers Leaders and Special Educational Needs Coordinators who design and deliver inspirational careers education programmes, tailored to the needs of young people with SEND.

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