Outstanding careers guidance: expert advice

Janet Colledge supports schools to deliver quality careers education that meets the needs and aspirations of pupils. We asked her for her top tips and ideas

Author details

Janet Colledge is a qualified teacher with a post graduate qualification in careers education from Cambridge University. Drawing on more than 15 years’ experience running careers departments in schools in north east London she now consults,...

Schools have to deliver impartial, independent careers advice. How should they be approaching this?

'Look at the current situation realistically. Can you join together with other local schools and create a hub of good practice? If you don't already employ a careers adviser, try to source one with a good knowledge of the area and use their knowledge to help support improvement.

'Add careers education and the improvement of career development skills to the school development plan and consider using a critical friend to support its development.'

Why is it important that SLT invest in developing outstanding careers provision?

'CEIAG is the spider in the web of education, connecting subjects, ideas and opportunities to help young people make sense of the purpose of their time at school. Add to this the fact that most teachers went into education to make a difference to young people. Career development skills are a large part of that process. They improve motivation when a young person has a goal to work towards, and thus they also improve behaviour and outcomes.

'When monitored effectively, career education is an excellent way of evidencing pupil premium progress and of course, the publication of destinations data will highlight the failing of schools with poor careers programmes, as they almost always have a high drop-out rate due to pupils not being clear about their aims and how to achieve them.'

What are the biggest challenges schools and colleges face when it comes to developing links with businesses?

'Time: it takes a long time to source and arrange employer engagement. Also, schools need to be mindful of safeguarding and the monitoring of quality of activities, especially as there is a need to accommodate need for different required outcomes of employer, school and pupil.'

What are your top tips for developing and delivering outstanding careers education?

'Do a preparatory audit – it takes 20 minutes. Employ or identify somebody to take control and ensure they have access to support systems. Track outcomes via an alumni network and/or an effective tracking system.'

Last Updated: 
09 Jan 2018