Students complain of ‘bad advice for their degree and career path’ Student Room 2014

Thousands of pupils in the UK are being given scant or wrong advice about the best A-level subjects to study to gain a degree place, a survey has found.

The study by The Student Room online forum suggests many students have poor guidance on what to take at A level. Of more than 6,000 students in the study, hundreds said they found they had taken the wrong subjects to access a chosen university course or career. The Student Room called it a "black hole" in school careers advice.

‘Careers guidance in schools not working well enough’ Ofsted press release 2013

“A report published by Ofsted finds that the arrangements for careers guidance in schools are not working well enough. Three quarters of the schools visited for the survey were not implementing their duty to provide impartial careers advice effectively. The survey also finds that guidance for schools on careers advice is not explicit. The report examines the quality of careers advice since September 2012 when schools were given the legal responsibility to provide this service to students aged 14 – 16. The survey looked at the extent to which young people in this age-range were receiving impartial careers advice in order to make informed decisions about their future. Very few of the schools visited knew how to provide a service effectively or had the skills and expertise needed to provide a comprehensive service. Few schools had bought in adequate service from external sources.”

And what about the Government’s Flagship – The National Careers Service. “Nearly all of the students interviewed who were aware of the website, told inspectors that it offered nothing different from other similar sites and the large majority felt it was mostly aimed towards adults and employment.

Helping the inbetweeners –

Barnardo’s produced this similar report due to concerns over the decline in careers advice for young people revealing that “these services are not reaching young people – some young people saying that their school provide few face-to-face careers advice sessions and, in some case, NO 1 to 1 guidance took place.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw said: “'It is vitally important that young people have access to information on the full range of career pathways available so they can make informed choices about their next steps.”

“Following a public consultation in 2012 on extending access to careers guidance, all further education (FE) colleges and sixth form colleges will be subject to a new requirement to secure access to independent careers guidance from September 2013. This is being introduced alongside an extension of the age range of the existing careers duty on schools to years 8-13 and will form part of FE college and sixth form college funding agreements.

Independent careers guidance secured under the new requirement should:

  • motivate young people about the full range of further/higher education, training and employment opportunities available to students, enabling them to reach good career decisions.
  • be provided in a supportive impartial manner.
  • promote the best interests of the student to whom it is given.”

In many instances this is not happening.