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Careers Guidance - How Must Schools Prepare for New Requirements from September 2018?

on Friday, 13 July 2018.

New Careers guidance and access for education and training providers was published by DfE in January 2018. Some of these changes were effective immediately, however further requirements will come into force from September 2018.

This article is therefore intended to be a timely reminder for schools.  The DfE has indicated that further information and support will also be made available in September 2018.


Since September 2012, schools have been under a statutory duty to provide independent careers guidance to pupils from Years 8 to 13, which is presented in an impartial manner (without bias or favouritism towards a particular institution or path), includes information all education or training options available (including apprenticeships and technical education routes) and promotes the best interests of the pupils.

From January 2018, schools were required to:

  • give a range of education and training providers the opportunity to access all Year 8 to 13 pupils for the purpose of informing them about approved technical qualifications and apprenticeships
  • publish a policy statement setting out the arrangements for provider access on its website, and ensure that it is followed (Annex A of the guidance sets out an example policy statement for this purpose)
  • begin using the Gatsby Charitable Foundation's Benchmarks (see below), with the aim of meeting them by the end of 2020
  • in relation to the 'Encounters with employers and employees' benchmark, begin to offer pupils at least one encounter per school year from Year 7 to Year 13, and meet this benchmark by the end of 2020

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation's Benchmarks

The Benchmarks create a framework for schools to rely on to demonstrate compliance with their legal duties, and ensure standards of excellence are being met. In summary, the Benchmarks include:

  • a stable careers programme
  • learning from career and labour market information
  • addressing the needs of each pupil
  • linking curriculum learning to careers
  • encounters with employers and employees
  • experiences of workplaces
  • encounters with further and higher education
  • personal guidance

The guidance gives detailed information in relation to all of the Benchmarks, and how schools are expected to meet them. 

What Are the New Requirements?

From September 2018, schools must also:

  • appoint a named person to the role of 'Careers Leader' to lead their careers programme
  • publish the name and contact details of the school's 'Careers Leader' on their website
  • publish information about their careers programme on their website, which must include how they measure the impact of their careers programme on pupils and the date of the next review of the published information

What Next?

The DfE intends to publish further information and support in September 2018, including job specification and standards for Careers Leaders.  They have also stated that, during 2018 and 2019, Careers Leaders training will be funded for 500 schools and colleges.  By the end 2020, all schools will also have access to an Enterprise Adviser.

What About Ofsted Inspections?

Careers guidance will be considered during Ofsted inspections in accordance with their Common Inspection Framework and School Inspection Handbook.

For further information or advice, please contact Joanna Goddard in our Regulatory Compliance team on 0207 665 0805.

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