Less than the cost of a cup of coffee is being spent on providing careers advice to young people in our schools and colleges

Careers England in association with NAHT and the WorthLess? campaign

On the 12th November at the national Careers England Summit in London a report will be published which reveals that schools are unable to provide young people with the careers advice and guidance they need.

The report shows that very little of the money the DfE are spending on careers actually goes to the schools and the people working with and supporting young people.

The report shows that despite schools now recognising the vital importance of careers provision they are unable to deliver this due to a lack of funding:

  • Only 10% have adequate funding
  • 75% have insufficient, limited or no funding
  • It highlights around a 5 th of secondary schools receive less than £2K in funding per annum. Given average size of secondary school is 1000 this equates to circa £2 per student - less than the cost of purchasing a cup of coffee!
  •  About a third of secondary schools receive less than £5k per annum - £5 per students.
  •  Yet 84% of schools “strongly agree” or “agree” that careers provision in their schools is now a high priority.

TES person of the year 2018, Jules White, started the WorthLess? Campaign in 2015 because he felt frustrated that children were not getting the full range of opportunities they needed and deserved. At the same time, the Department for Education was telling everyone that we’d never had it so good and there was “more money going into our schools than ever before”.

As the Government rolls out the second wave of Career Hubs over the next 12 months, which aim to provide local, targeted careers and advice and guidance to young people, the Local Government Association is concerned that the Hubs will support only 1,300 schools and colleges and only reach a fraction of young people, meaning the Government careers advice scheme will fail to reach thousands of young people.

Katharine Horler OBE, Chair, Careers England said:

“This is really worrying and it’s something that a new Secretary of State will need to give urgent attention to. We must make sure that we are giving all our young people high quality independent impractical careers advice and guidance. Schools are desperate to do this but they don’t have adequate resources and this needs to change”.

Jules White, Head Teacher and member of the Worthless Campaign said:

“Sadly, these findings present an unsurprising but depressing picture of careers provision in our schools. Years of funding cuts and mismanagement has seen a vital service diminished to just a skeletal provision. A fundamental role for any school is to prepare our pupils for the world of work so that they can make active economic and wider social contributions in adult life.

"How can we do this without adequate resources and professionalised support? Radical and urgent change is required rather than warm words and benchmarks which become meaningless unless they are properly supported.”

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deirdre hughes100x100Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, former Chair, National Careers Council, England said:

"We need to provide funding direct to schools to enable them to employ careers professionals to provide much more support for young people. How can it be right that less than the cost of a cup of coffee is being spent on providing careers advice to young people in our secondary schools and academies?

"This generation are seriously missing out. Clearly ill-informed career decisions from an early age have long-term cost implications for both the individual and society as a whole." 

John Yarham 100x100John Yarham, Interim CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company said:

“We agree with this survey’s finding that careers provision in schools is now a high priority, with Careers Leaders in schools at the forefront of this improvement. The Careers Leader role is now one year old.

"Our survey with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation of 750 Careers Leaders shows:

  • 88% say their role is having a positive impact on young peoples’ outcomes
  • 81% feel positive about the future of careers provision

"Good quality careers advice is an important element of careers support in the Gatsby best practice benchmarks and we recognise the issues that surround this, including affordability. We look forward to working with Careers Leaders to strengthen the provision of careers advice in their schools.“

The national survey of school leaders and careers professionals was undertaken by Careers England, supported by NAHT and the Worthless? Campaign - with technical input from Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE.

It aimed to identify what support, if any, is being given to schools to help them provide careers advice and guidance for young people. There were a total of 191 responses.

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