I am delighted to announce that Claires Court has received The Education 2
Employment Award, a nationally recognised accreditation for our work in providing
- High Quality, impartial careers guidance to all pupils;
- Encouragement to our pupils to develop professional values whilst in education with us;
- Ensuring our pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their employment, self-employment or training.
This excellence in Careers provision at Claires Court is not new; we have offered all Year 10 independent careers reports for at least 25 years now, which assist in summarising on an individual level where pupils talent, interest and aspirations might take them in terms of further and higher education and/or the world of work. The report itself is provided by Cambridge Occupational Analysts, COA for short, and you can read more about their work here.
3 Year’s ago, the cross party House of Commons Education Select committee made it clear that the government’s removal of Careers Education from local authorities had backfired completely, leading to a “worrying deterioration” in the overall standard of careers advice. The Connexions Careers service was reduced from providing human visits to schools and advice clinics, to an on-line website – the National Careers Service.
Such reductionism is almost always the outcome of spending reviews, in short authorising a substantial reduction in the quality of service because ‘new ways’ of working can provide. As the then chair of the Education committee Graham Stuart said: “”We want a face-to-face guidance to be available to all young people as an integral part of a good quality careers service. They deserve and should receive far better support than current arrangements generally allow.”
Our Careers Adviser, Helen Cole, is a senior sector professional working within Careers Education, and is linked to all of our heads of year and attends many of the parents evenings involving Years 9 and above. Helen and I both feel that independent careers education is essential in supporting children enter adulthood with a great chance of enjoying happy and fulfilled lives, and like many who work with us, Helen has been part of the expert independent visitors team for many years now. Helen directly works with our children during Year 9 when they are making subject choices for GCSE and every year thereafter. The Careers Report debriefing at the start of Year 11 is a really important piece in the jigsaw, often perhaps the first time that parents and children have worked together to review what the child’s ‘data metrics’ say.
Back to the E2E award; it lasts for 3 years, and permits us to advertise that our provision is of the highest quality. We are already looking to see how to move greater ownership from adults to children in developing their career pathway, and enterprise education is one of the key responsibilities Assistant headteacher Steph Rogers carries within Claires Court. Of course many of our Sixth Form leavers seek to go on to enjoy elite University education, but there is a significant minority that know they need to go to work for their next step. This is not because they won’t get the grades; far from it. What the students are seeking to do is start earning, learn more whilst they work and perhaps look at further vocational qualifications en route. After all, with that University experience likely to give rise to a £40k debt, there’s plenty of incentive for talented youngsters to avoid that cost if the world of work wants them badly. And increasingly, work is stating just that; “some to us with your A levels and we’ll help you qualify whilst working!”
For those interested in reading more on what makes careers education so vital in schools, here’s Dr Adam Marshall, Executive Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce writing in a recent Education Magazine: “No one wins if we have a generation of young people lost to unemployment, or an inadequate talent pool for UK companies”. Page 18 if you are interested.