HMI: Curriculum Matters

Background notes

1 English
2 The Curriculum
3 Mathematics
4 Music
5 Home economics
6 Health education
7 Geography
8 Modern foreign languages
9 Craft, design and technology
10 Careers education and guidance
11 History
12 Classics
13 Environmental education
14 Personal and social education
15 Information Technology
16 Physical education
17 Drama

Careers education and guidance from 5 to 16

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

I The nature and scope of careers education and guidance (page 1)
II The aims of careers education and guidance (3)
III Objectives (4)
IV Provision 5 to 13 (7)
V Provision 13 to 16 (10)
VI Assessment (21)
VII Conclusion (24)
Appendix 1. Criteria for careers education and guidance (25)
Appendix 2. Training arrangements for careers education and guidance (27)

The text of Careers education and guidance from 5 to 16 was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 13 June 2011.

Careers education and guidance from 5 to 16
HMI Series: Curriculum Matters No. 10

London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1988
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

[title page]

Department of Education and Science

Careers education
and guidance
from 5 to 16

Curriculum Matters 10


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Crown copyright 1988
First published 1988

ISBN 0 11 270648 7

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I The nature and scope of careers education and guidance

II The aims of careers education and guidance
    Aims 5 to 163
    Equal opportunities4

III Objectives
    5 to 13: knowledge and skills4
    13 to 16: knowledge and skills5
    5 to 16: attitudes and personal qualities7

IV Provision 5 to 13

V Provision 13 to 16
    The careers education programme10
    The Careers Service13
    Work experience and school industry links14
    The contribution of subjects and aspects of the curriculum17
    Accommodation and resources20

VI Assessment

VII Conclusion

1. Criteria for careers education and guidance25
2. Training arrangements for careers education and guidance27

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Since 1984 HM Inspectorate has published a number of Curriculum Matters papers designed to stimulate discussion about the curriculum as a whole and its component parts.

Careers education and guidance 5 to 16 is the tenth in the series and sets out a framework within which schools might develop a programme for the teaching and learning of careers education and guidance. It focuses on the aims and objectives of careers education and guidance in secondary schools and the relationship of such work to the experiences provided in primary schools. It considers the implications of these aims and objectives for the choice of content, for teaching approaches, for curricular organisation and for the assessment of pupils' progress.

This document refers specifically to work in schools from 5 to 16 but many of its principles apply to students beyond that upper age and may well have relevance for work with those following further and higher education and training courses. Clearly, the development of careers education and guidance is a process which is far from complete at 16.

Like other earlier publications in the Curriculum Matters series, this is a discussion paper intended to stimulate a professional debate and to contribute to reaching national agreement about the objectives and content of the school curriculum. That debate has now moved on with the announcement of the Government's intention to legislate to establish a national curriculum. The government intends to set up a National Curriculum Council supported by individual subject working groups: to identify and consult on essential features of the national curriculum, including core subjects, other foundation subjects and cross curricular themes; to identify a range of attainment targets at the ages of 7 (or thereabout) 11, 14 and 16; and, with the help of a task group on assessment and testing, to propose ways of assessing performance at these ages.

Though not a foundation subject careers education and guidance is an essential aspect of the curriculum as was underlined by the Department of Education and Science, Department of Employment and Welsh Office document Working together for

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a better future and the major review of provision its publication set in train.

Careers education and guidance is needed by all pupils in years 3, 4 and 5 [now Years 8, 9 and 10] of secondary schools; and the groundwork for it needs to be carried out from the primary years onwards. To some extent it can be catered for within the attainment targets and programmes of study of the foundation subjects, but the specific careers education and guidance needed by pupils calls for a taught element that, if not in the foundation curriculum, will need to be provided in the time not taken up by foundation subjects.

This paper is addressed not only to heads and teachers but also to school governors, local education authority elected members and officers, parents, employers and the wider community outside the school. By drawing together professional and lay opinion it is intended as a contribution to the deliberations of the National Curriculum Council and its working groups. More broadly it is hoped that it will contribute to a continuing professional debate about the nature and aims of careers education and guidance.

If you have any comments please send them to HM Inspector (Careers Education and Guidance), Department of Education and Science, York Road, London SE1 7PH, by 31 May 1988.

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It is essential that this document should be read as a whole, since all sections are interrelated. For example the lists of objectives must be seen in relation to the defined aims and to what is said about the principles of teaching and assessment.

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I The nature and scope of careers education and guidance

1. We live in a period of rapid, challenging and at times uncomfortable economic and social change. The years pupils spend at school should, among other things, prepare them to contribute effectively and responsibly to their own and others' social and economic well being. In this process careers education and guidance has a very important part to play. Schools need to involve, and gain the confidence of, both the pupils themselves and those who are responsible for their development as contributory members of society. In particular schools should take account of the concerns of parents, employers, further education and the Careers Service and work in partnership with them.

2. The intensified debate about the curriculum and initiatives such as Industry Year (1986) have produced widespread and growing recognition that schools have a significant and specific contribution to make in preparing young people for adult life and employment. Curriculum Matters 2 (1) argues that 'In a world in which a pupil's future may include several changes of occupation and periods of unemployment, it is more important that careers education should be concerned with personal development and should set employment in the general context of adult life'. Better schools HMSO, 1985 states that a major objective of education 5 to 16 is 'to help pupils acquire understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to adult life and employment in a fast changing world'. Considerable impetus has been given to careers education and guidance in schools by the development of new government education and training initiatives such as the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) and by various documents, for example Working together - education and training HMSO, 1986. This emphasises that careers education and guidance is essential, not least because many new education and training initiatives are unfamiliar to pupils and their parents. In 1987 the Departments of Education and Science and Employment along with the Welsh Office launched an initiative, built round publication of the document Working together for a better future DES, 1987, which affirmed the importance the Government attaches to

(1) See page 30

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good careers education and guidance, and asked local authorities to involve all their schools and colleges in a review of policy and practice in this field. Also, The National curriculum 5-16: a consultation document DES, 1987 reinforced the need to secure for all pupils in maintained schools 'a curriculum which equips them with the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need for adult life and employment'.

3. This paper advises that schools should always encourage boys and girls to see themselves as autonomous and responsible members of society and as far as possible prepare them to act as such. It also argues that schools should make every effort to prepare pupils for the world of work, and to maximise their opportunities within it, even though their job prospects will be affected not only by their personal characteristics, interests and abilities, but also by a range of economic and social circumstances including levels of employment. The paper acknowledges that schools need the understanding, support and involvement of parents and employers in carrying out the work described here.

4. Some definitions may be useful. In this document career is used to describe the variety of occupational roles which individuals will undertake throughout life. It includes: paid and self employment; the different occupations which a person may have over the years and periods of unemployment; and unpaid occupations, such as that of student, voluntary worker or parent. All these occupational roles are linked to the acquisition of qualifications, skills and experience. Guidance refers to activities which aim to help pupils as individuals to make choices and transitions which are appropriate for them. It is a continuous process through which young people are assisted to relate their growing understanding to the demands, responsibilities, opportunities and values of adult life. Guidance may be personal, educational or vocational in nature, but these aspects are not always distinct and shade into one another. Guidance in relation to careers is concerned with helping young people to think about and to implement their plans for what they intend to do on leaving school. Careers education and guidance provides pupils with a planned course or co-ordinated provision of activities concerned particularly with choices and transitions affecting their future education, training, employment and life as an adult member of society. Teachers engaged in offering guidance to pupils need counselling skills; counselling may be

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defined as a purposeful relationship which helps individuals to understand and cope more effectively with themselves and their circumstances, and to handle their personal development, their roles and their relationships with other people.

5. In primary, secondary and special schools contributions to careers education and guidance are made in the teaching of many subjects and aspects of the curriculum; in the values and attitudes of teachers; and in pastoral provision, extra-curricular activities and the variety of routines and events which contributes to school life. Such experiences, in different ways and to varying extents, contribute to young people's perceptions of adult and working life, of themselves and of others. In secondary and special schools careers education and guidance may also be offered through, for example: designated careers lessons; modules within personal and social education; pre-vocational courses; or an organised tutorial programme.

II The aims of careers education and guidance

Aims 5 to 16

6. The provision of careers education and guidance should help pupils, through their education, to:

In support of this overriding aim careers education and guidance should also help pupils to:

  • develop knowledge and understanding of themselves and others as individuals - their strengths and limitations, abilities, skills, personal qualities, potential, needs, attitudes and values;
  • develop knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live and the employment and other career opportunities that are available;
  • learn how to make considered choices in relation to anticipated careers and occupations;
  • manage the transitions from school to adult and working life effectively.

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Equal opportunities

7. Schools have a significant influence on the confidence, aspirations and career patterns of boys and girls, including pupils from ethnic minorities and those who have special needs whether long or short term. The images which young people form of themselves are influenced from the earliest years by the models presented by other people, in and out of schools, by the nature of the curriculum they are offered and by the range of choices available. Schools have a responsibility to ensure that negative or demoralising stereotypes, for example those restricting the sort of employment opportunities available to women, are not reinforced by pupils' reading and text books by illustrations and by display material. More than that, they need to encourage realistically high aspirations in pupils of all abilities, aptitudes and backgrounds, and to provide an education which keeps open, for each individual, the widest possible range of career opportunities. Through the curriculum as a whole, schools need to ensure that pupils have equal access to and equal opportunities in, careers education and guidance, regardless of aptitude, ability, sex or ethnic background.

III Objectives

Five to thirteen: knowledge and skills

8. Lessons entitled 'careers' are unlikely to be offered to pupils before the age of 13; nor is it likely to be appropriate for this to happen. During the primary and early secondary years, however, the curriculum should provide pupils with experiences which contribute to their growing knowledge and understanding of themselves and of a range of occupations and to the development of skills associated with choice and decision making, in addition to such basic skills as literacy, oracy and numeracy.

Knowledge and understanding

9. The curriculum should help pupils to know and understand their own developing characteristics, skills and abilities. In particular, careers education and guidance should help them to:

i. recognise different adult roles within the home and the community, how labour is divided and tasks are shared;

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ii. understand the nature of work and occupations, paid and unpaid, and how these affect people's lives and attitudes;

iii. understand some of the ways in which people contribute to, are dependent upon, and are affected by industry, commerce and technology;

iv. recognise, and develop ways of dealing with, stereotyping;

v. recognise ways in which social and economic circumstances both local and national affect people's lives.

10. Pupils should be developing skills:
i. in self-appraisal, especially the ability to recognise their own aptitudes;

ii. in making choices and informed reasoned decisions;

iii. in working with others.

Thirteen to Sixteen: knowledge and skills

11. For pupils in this age range objectives should include:

Knowledge and understanding

12. By the time they are 16, pupils should have:

  • an understanding of some basic concepts about the economy and work, such as supply and demand, wealth creation, the responsibilities and commitments of employers and employees; the role and function of trade unions; mobility;
  • an understanding of the ways in which living standards are affected by the country's international economic competitiveness;
  • knowledge of the main types of employment and occupation - local, regional and national;
  • knowledge of the wide range of opportunities for further education and training, in both the immediate and longer term, of how to gain access to these opportunities and where they may lead;
  • a knowledge of the types of financial support available (grants, training allowance and benefits);
  • an awareness of the work and services of support agencies;

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  • an awareness of the impact of technological and economic changes on work and occupational patterns, and of the resulting need for continuing education and re-training at intervals during adult life.


13. The acquisition of the basic skills of literacy, oracy and numeracy is, of course, a prerequisite for widening the employment opportunities open to pupils. Radical changes in patterns of employment and training also make it important for schools to help pupils develop skills concerned with making decisions and implementing them. These skills include:

  • some competence in self-appraisal and an awareness of the kinds of activity which they find satisfying and which they can do well;
  • the ability to investigate available alternatives, to make reasoned, informed decisions about the immediate future and to prepare contingency plans;
  • competence in using resources both in the school and in the wider community to help them to find out about possible occupations and opportunities for further education and training;
  • an ability to analyse and compare different occupations;
  • an ability to identify the various factors - such as the qualifications needed, working conditions, life styles, values and opportunities - which are involved in choosing careers;
  • job seeking skills, including the ability to write application letters and prepare a curriculum vitae, to use a telephone and to conduct themselves well at interview;
  • competence in working with others, of their own age and adults, and in communicating with them in, for example, setting targets and working at solving problems of differing types;
  • competence in completing tasks independently and cooperatively.
In addition, there are more general skills which may be fostered by many subjects and aspects of the curriculum, for example;

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  • finding and using information;
  • giving oral and written accounts of tasks completed;
  • sustaining and developing an argument;
  • showing initiative and enterprise;
  • using responsibility effectively;
  • developing a wide range of personal interests.
Five to Sixteen: attitudes and personal qualities

14. A crucial part in achieving satisfaction and success in the world of work is played by an individual's attitudes and personal qualities. These will develop over the course of a young person's experience, in school and also outside, where the role of parents and other interested adults, is very important and where pupils will encounter wider influences such as the media. From the beginning of the primary years schools should encourage the development of:

i. qualities which enable pupils to adjust to and cope with change - for example, self-reliance, adaptability, flexibility and reliability, understanding others, cooperation, curiosity, pride in their work and a concern for quality;

ii. self-confidence, a sense of personal worth, and resilience in the face of setback and disappointment;

iii. a positive attitude towards acquiring a range of skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to adult life;

iv. a determination to make the most of one's own talents and opportunities, through, for example, showing initiative and adopting an enterprising approach.

For 13 to 16 year olds there should in addition be the development of:
v. an interest in post-14, post-16 and post-I8 opportunities and an appreciation of what is needed to find out about these possibilities and make decisions in relation to them.

IV Provision 5 to 13

15. An important function of primary and middle schools and the early years of secondary education is to widen pupils'

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perceptions of adult life, and help them to understand how their education can contribute to the development of skills and abilities which will sustain them as adults. Images of self, of adults and of purposeful occupation are developed in everyday life within the primary and secondary school. From an early age boys and girls should be helped to avoid stereotyped views of particular occupations as these constrain choice and inhibit aspiration. Schools should aim to raise the awareness of their pupils, many of whom will not perceive the range of opportunities open to them. Underlying all good preparation for adult life is the importance of a broadly based education which will enable later choices to be made from a common foundation of skills and knowledge. Schools must, therefore, ensure that they are offering in practice the same range of opportunities both to boys and to girls of all backgrounds.

16. Primary education involves children in developing many of the skills which are later brought into play in careers work. It can lay the foundations for developing the ability to co-operate and work in teams. What are later called decision making skills are quite closely related to activities in which young children make choices such as selecting a topic for a project, deciding on materials in creative work or helping to plan expressive dance and drama. The value of such opportunities to make choices is enhanced if pupils are encouraged to discuss the reasons for, and consequences of, their decisions.

17. In primary schools a wide range of activities has a part to play, and a key role is likely to be fulfilled by well-chosen literature and aspects of science, geography, history, religious education and social studies. An introduction to the nature of work may be provided by studies of everyday life and by reading or hearing stories on work-related themes. 'Work' here includes: the roles and tasks people perform; how groups divide the labour amongst themselves; how some people specialise in certain tasks and activities; how work fits within people's lifestyle; how they use their leisure; how and why people receive payment for work; and how they spend their income. These ideas may be illustrated by examples from the home and family life and from the local community. Useful comparisons can be drawn between modern times and everyday life in the same locality some years ago, perhaps using parents' and grandparents' experiences as sources of information. Comparisons can also be made between work in pre-industrial, industrial and

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post-industrial societies. Teachers in primary schools may also arrange visits to farms, shops, factories and working museums, all of which give pupils insights into people's jobs and working conditions, and into the life-styles associated with particular occupations at particular stages of our history. Activities such as these will extend concepts with which many children are already familiar.

18. Classroom activities such as play, simulation and drama can enable pupils to develop insights into behaviour. For example, a class studying one of the world wars might role play the effects of conscription upon a family, particularly upon the domestic division of labour. Likewise fiction, whether read by an individual or shared by the whole class, should be based upon a wide range of social and cultural situations, embedded in which will be some of the issues listed in paragraph 12 as 'knowledge and understanding' objectives.

19. Television and radio provide topics for discussion in class: younger children, for example, might talk about news items on shops and prices, famine relief or people's jobs; and older pupils might be asked to consider the budget and taxation. Through links with local businesses pupils can begin to understand the processes of production and of distribution and the nature of service to clients. In the early secondary years pupils' awareness of the adult world, their understanding of themselves and others and their ability to make reasoned choices may be promoted not only through the subjects of the curriculum but also through tutorial programmes. Assemblies are an opportunity to introduce pupils collectively to the moral issues raised by human triumphs and tragedies: thinking about poverty, for example, may help pupils to understand and form views on the distribution of wealth and resources.

20. In a great many schools display is used to good effect as an integral part of teaching and learning. In the context of careers education and guidance display has an important contribution to make in providing images of a wide range of adult roles and activities, in ensuring that men and women are portrayed across a spectrum of occupations, and in encouraging pupils to appreciate the relevance of what they are studying at school to possible future occupations. It is also helpful for pupils to have ready access to books and other materials relating to the world of work.

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21. In view of the range and diversity of activities which contribute to careers education in the years from 5 to 13, it is essential that all schools should identify the elements which contribute to careers education and guidance and make them explicit in their policy documents.

V Provision 13 to 16

The careers education programme

22. All pupils in years three, four and five of the secondary school should receive careers education and guidance, which should reflect the aims and objectives described earlier. Guidance in the third year should help ensure that pupils choose their options knowing them to be relevant to the world of work as well as to their personal interests and to potential qualifications.

23. Pupils should:

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  • explore, through role play, discussion and first hand experience, relationships and issues associated with the world of work.

24. In paragraph 5 reference was made to the various ways in which schools organise careers education and guidance. In general, its pervasive nature means that duplication, gaps in provision and poor continuity can often arise. Good organisation and planning are therefore particularly important; guidance needs to be formalised so that all pupils receive the help that is necessary for choices to be made at 13-plus, 15-plus and 17-plus. How effective this is depends to a considerable extent on a clear understanding by all teachers of the aims and objectives, and on properly identified arrangements for coordination of the provision. It is important that activities are co-ordinated by a teacher who has the training and status to liaise effectively with colleagues concerned with academic and pastoral provision, with senior staff, with careers officers and with employers. Appendix 2 describes the issues which a school needs to consider in providing in-service training for the careers co-ordinator and other members of staff. The co-ordinator needs to be capable, among other things, of evaluating the programme of careers education and guidance.

25. A careers teacher or co-ordinator should attempt to ensure the following:

  • There is an evolving scheme of work, which identifies: aims and objectives; teaching methods; approaches to be adopted with pupils of different abilities; materials and resources) including, increasingly, computer-based information and guidance systems such as CASCAID (1), JIIG-CAL (2) and ECCTIS (3); use of outside speakers and local visits; the place of work experience and related activities. A scheme will also need to indicate: how other areas of the curriculum contribute to careers education; how in a personal and social education programme, the careers module relates to other elements; how the provision should be evaluated; the arrangements for and provision of guidance; and how pupils' work is to be assessed.
(1) Careers Advisory Service Computer Aid.

(2) Jobs Ideas and Information Generator-Computer Assisted Learning.

(3) Educational Counselling and Credit Transfer Information Service.

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  • Individual teachers responsible for careers work, particularly those without specialist expertise, are aware of what is intended by the careers programme and have support enabling them to carry it out effectively.
  • What has been learned by pupils can be effectively recorded and/or assessed: this question is considered in more detail in Section VI on assessment. In general terms, the careers teacher is responsible for ensuring that what is learned is sufficiently thorough to offer pupils the opportunity of achieving the programme's objectives.
  • There is some evaluation of the success of careers education and guidance. This can be done by eliciting responses from pupils themselves and from others including local employers, parents, college tutors and careers officers. It can also be done to some extent by having regard to pupils' choices at the age of 16. As part of this the careers co-ordinator should analyse and evaluate the school's record of pupils' destinations in the light of the data from other schools in a similar situation.
  • There is effective continuity and progression. Careers education should be built upon and arise out of work done in earlier years. The timing of certain elements is crucial, for example when pupils choose options, apply for jobs or seek places in further education or training courses. Provision also needs to take account of the sort of careers work which pupils may be encountering after compulsory school leaving age, for example in sixth forms, training schemes or colleges of further education.
  • Careers education and guidance is seen as relevant by pupils, parents, teachers and employers. One of the major responsibilities of the teacher in charge of careers is to have contacts with the community and especially with the Careers Service. A careers teacher not only seeks to keep others, including colleagues and the school's governors, informed about what is happening regarding the school's provision of careers education and guidance but will also seek to involve members of the community in the work, for example by bringing adults other than teachers into the classroom.

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The Careers Service

26. In providing careers education and guidance schools work in partnership with the Careers Service. In a good working relationship with schools, careers officers:

  • are aware of the school's aims and curriculum as a whole and can contribute to the planning, development and review of careers education;
  • complement the school's provision of careers education, for example by explaining the role of the Careers Service, informing pupils of career paths after the age of 16 and of the opportunities available to them, and more generally contributing to their understanding of the world of work;
  • enhance other expertise in the school and provide up to date and detailed information about the labour market, government training schemes and further education. This may be provided direct to teachers, to individual pupils in interviews, to groups of interested pupils in voluntary extra-curricular sessions, or in timetabled periods;
  • advise and assist teachers on the use of techniques to aid guidance, including computer assisted systems and software;
  • provide guidance whether in interviews or group work, particularly in the fifth year, which informs career, training and further education choices of pupils;
  • are available to help pupils at other decision points, for example at 13-plus;
  • work with teachers to develop informed relationships with parents (for example at parents' evenings) and employers.
27. Productive relationships between a careers co-ordinator and a careers officer are more likely to be established where: the Careers Service is sufficiently involved in the school's work; school staff and careers officer have clear knowledge of what the institution is seeking to achieve in its careers and guidance programme and are able to make an informed contribution to it; each has enough time to carry out his or her duties; each is supported by effective LEA and school policies and organisational arrangements; there is active support from the LEA's

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advisory service; each has appropriate training and experience; the teacher's knowledge of the pupils is complemented by the careers officer's knowledge of jobs and training; there is a formal and informal exchange of information about pupils and their occupational destinations.

Work experience and school industry links

28. Preparation for working life presupposes that pupils will be encouraged to interpret the concept of work in relation to a series of definitions; these range from work seen as paid employment to work viewed as the tasks to which human creative energies can be focused. Work experience helps in this process.

29. Work experience can arise in various ways. Pupils may already have part time jobs or may have helped parents, relatives or neighbours with their work. Such experience can usefully be drawn on in school to explore the nature, demands and meaning of work. The term 'work experience' usually refers, however, to the placement by schools of pupils in local places of employment for a limited period. Pupils may by law participate in formal work experience only from the start of their final twelve months of compulsory schooling - in effect from Easter in the fourth year for some and from the end of May that year for the rest. DES Circular 7/74 and LEA guidelines make clear the legal and insurance implications for schools. If such experience is to be successful schools need to be clear about its educational objectives. These include:

  • promoting a knowledge of the industrial, commercial and public employers in the area and an understanding of how they function;
  • assisting the development of personal and social skills such as the ability to operate in groups, to take responsibility, to relate to adults in a place of work and to adjust to a culture outside school;
  • promoting realistic but challenging aspirations;
  • assisting pupils in choosing a future occupation;
  • the erasure of stereotyping;
  • giving an understanding of the rewards and strains of employment;

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  • helping to motivate pupils by enabling them to see aspects of the curriculum as having meaning and relevance for their particular interests and aspirations.
30. Pupils of all abilities, including those with special needs, should have the opportunity for work experience or related activity before leaving school. Schools need to take account of a number of important issues. For example, such experience, if it is to be of educational benefit, needs careful preparation and follow-up. Pupils should see the placement as being relevant to their immediate and long term needs. They should be fully briefed and have time to discuss their expectations or worries. The employer too needs to know clearly what is expected of him and his firm. Afterwards there needs to be time for evaluation and sharing of views about the experience. Schools also need to recognise that work experience has some limitations. For example, pupils can usually only experience the role of employee, and that often at a very low level. Moreover, it is difficult to determine an ideal amount of time. While two or three days do not make serious inroads into a pupil's whole timetable, a significantly longer period may create problems with which some subject departments find it difficult to cope. From the point of view of a pupil, two weeks in a well organised and personally rewarding placement may be too short, while two days in a less satisfactory environment may be more than enough.

31. Work experience can be supplemented, or even if necessary replaced by other approaches. Work simulation and mini-enterprises (in which students run a small business), can give pupils the experience of various roles, including that of employer; they can offer pupils the opportunity of gaining some insight into functions as varied as design, production-line management, book-keeping and sales. Business games too have a part to play, and there are some excellent computer-based examples. Work simulation can be offered as an entirely school-based experience or can be made available outside the school: in either case it may be run in conjunction with employers who can make the link between simulation and reality. One challenge for the teachers and other adults involved is to make the experience sufficiently realistic for pupils to perceive its relevance to the world of work.

32. Work shadowing involves pupils in following the activities related to the work of a particular adult. It offers insights which

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can not only be worthwhile to the individuals concerned but which can also provide a basis for valuable contributions to class discussion, whether through formal presentations or through informal group work. Variations on work experience and shadowing are offered through visits and job sampling, forms of relatively short experience which, if they are to be of value , need to be carefully structured and within the context of the total curriculum. Where work experience is available to the same pupils as related activities such as job shadowing, sampling, visiting, simulation or community work the school should try to ensure that these activities are offered in a pattern which forms a coherent and progressive experience. A record of achievement or other form of school record should make appropriate reference to a pupil's experience of work related activities.

33. Experiences which are first hand, which encourage active learning and which relate to the world of work may be linked to a range of curricular areas. Careers education itself is perhaps the most obvious; however the Schools Curriculum Industry Partnership (SCIP) and other organisations have helped to identify ways in which different areas of the curriculum can become actively involved with industry and the world of work in such ways. Examples of activities arising from such contact with local firms may include the design of market research for a planning authority, the construction of a miniaturised circuit board and the building of transport for disabled people. With the introduction of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), and particularly with TVEI and the Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education (CPVE), where work experience is a required element, has come an increase in the range and variety of coursework and assignments, many providing opportunities for extensive contacts with industry.

34 Where work experience and associated activities require a teacher to be in touch with an employer, the demands on the time and organisational abilities of that teacher are very considerable. If the responsibilities are to be effectively carried out schools have to ensure that the necessary time and facilities are available. This includes time for staff to visit pupils on placements. While work experience and school industry links overlap with careers education and guidance, they do not necessarily fall entirely within the area of responsibility of the careers co-ordinator. The school's senior management therefore have to ensure that the division of labour is clear and that the

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staff concerned are enabled to work co-operatively and productively towards mutually agreed and understood objectives.

The contribution of subjects and aspects of the curriculum

35. The subjects of the curriculum have an important contribution to make to careers education. Indeed in some schools careers work is embedded in the subjects and aspects of the curriculum as a matter of policy. Departmental schemes of work should identify ways in which different subjects support careers work. This may be through reference to relevant content or skills, or to the ways in which a subject contributes to particular types of career. Such an approach is particularly appropriate to areas of the curriculum like computer studies, business studies, modern languages, and craft, design and technology, whose applied nature relates to the world of work. Where schemes are helpful in this respect it becomes easier for careers teachers to carry out their responsibility of establishing a co-ordinated, whole school approach to careers education and guidance.

36. Certain aspects of subjects such as science, design and English depend on pupils using their imagination in a way which is relevant to careers education. For example, the skill of investigating a number of possible courses of action is brought into play in establishing hypotheses in scientific thinking and in the design process where various models or plans need to be tested. In the study of fiction, plays and autobiography, pupils frequently encounter characters who are faced with difficult decisions. More specifically geography should help pupils to learn about the relationship between environmental conditions and various social and economic activities, and about the differing opportunities and constraints facing people living under strongly contrasting economic, social and physical conditions. For older pupils courses concerned with economic awareness may contribute to the understanding of ideas such as the distribution of income and wealth, and also to knowledge of the economic activities of government and commercial structures of the UK, including types of business enterprise, trade unions and employers' associations. History may encourage pupils to consider how patterns of work and leisure change and the extent to which this may be influenced by economic, social

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or political causes, long or short term factors, or personalities. These are just some examples: other subjects have their own contributions to make.

37. Subject departments also have a clear role to play in the guidance of pupils about future courses and possible careers. Because pupils are in daily contact with subject teachers they will often turn to them first for advice. It is important that all teachers understand their responsibility for guidance. While they will often point pupils in the direction of detailed specialist help, they need to be able to offer general, accurate advice about career paths related to their own subject.


38. Both the concept and the practice of guidance concentrate attention on a very real dilemma which lies at the heart of much careers work in school. On the one hand education of quality encourages independence of mind; on the other hand local or national economic circumstances and employment opportunities and pupils' ability impose an inevitable limitation on the exercise of choice. The challenge for any teacher involved in guidance is how to respect, support and encourage autonomy, without fostering false hopes. While there can be no easy solution to such a problem the teacher who is well informed, effectively trained and properly supported by coherent and relevant school and LEA policies is in a position to offer the most valuable support to pupils - the sort of impartial, balanced and considered help and guidance most likely to reconcile economic reality and individual pupils' needs, aspirations and abilities.

39. Pupils receive information and guidance about future occupational roles from what they are taught, how it is presented, and the range of choices open to them within the curriculum. Ensuring that curricular provision helps to develop understanding and provides information for pupils are important foundations of guidance. Specific careers guidance needs to take account of the influence a curriculum may have on pupils. Moreover, those responsible for it should be able to take part in any discussion of the modification and development of the curriculum. A prime task of guidance, however, is to ensure through curricular programmes or individual and small group discussion, supported by appropriate documentation, that

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pupils are aware of the implications for their future of choices they will make at school.

40. In most secondary schools third year pupils are asked to make choices about the subjects and courses to be taken during the fourth and fifth years. These choices have long-term implications for later opportunities both for continued education and for employment. While the advent of the national curriculum of 10 foundation subjects will alleviate these decisions in the third year, it will still be essential to make more formal provision of educational and careers guidance at this stage to help pupils to become aware of longer term factors which may influence them. Form tutors and heads of year or house have an important role, parents are nearly always involved by schools at this stage and careers officers provide a valuable contribution. In the fourth and fifth years some schools are now introducing modular courses and it is likely that the complexity of such courses will increase the demands on teachers for guidance and counselling of pupils.

41. Pupils have particularly important choices to make in the fifth year, and must be in a position to reach decisions in the light of systematic and coherent provision of careers education supported by individual guidance and counselling. Careers officers usually interview all or some pupils at this stage, and teachers, for example heads of fifth year, often meet pupils thinking of staying on in full-time education beyond 16. At this crucial time it is natural for parents to be involved. Schools should ensure that the guidance offered by teachers and careers officer is co-ordinated, coherent and balanced, and that personal, educational and vocational considerations are all taken fully into account.

42. For many pupils the later years of secondary education are a time for more conscious examination of their strengths and weaknesses and a stage when they begin to ask more specific questions about themselves and possible occupations. Many experience doubt about themselves and their ability to cope with the demands of the future and with a wider network of relationships. One important concern of guidance at this stage is to contribute to the development of a positive self-image. Since personal identity in our society is often linked with occupational identity, helping young people to think about and plan for their own future in these terms is an important feature of educational

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provision. Furthermore, pupils should not feel threatened by the feelings of uncertainty that many of them will have regarding the years to come.

43. Although some young people identify a career aspiration for themselves at an early stage and retain this as an ambition, for many the years of adolescence are characterised by a sequence of changes of intention and for some no clear ambition emerges while they are at school. Consequently guidance needs to help pupils to become aware of the possible effects of altering their priorities and aspirations. This is one reason why counselling is important for some pupils. Experienced teachers are aware that what for some pupils may seem attractive at 15, may not seem equally attractive five years later.

44. In general, guidance - educational, personal and vocational - is the essential continuing process concerned with the specific steps that should be taken to ensure that a pupil reaches his/her learning potential and is best placed to pursue his/her particular aspirations. Individual variations in ability, background, interests and expectations suggest that guidance needs to be based on differentiated learning in careers education and on sensitivity to the changing needs of individual pupils.

Accommodation and resources

45. Accommodation for careers education and guidance will inevitably vary from school to school. However, it is important that formal teaching of careers in secondary schools takes place in rooms which facilitate a flexible grouping of pupils and which provide easy access to resources for careers work; that careers co-ordinators have direct access to a telephone and a wide range of information, including a database held on computer; and that personal guidance can be provided in conditions which offer reasonable comfort, privacy and freedom from interruption.

46. Schools also need to establish areas where careers literature and other materials can provide effective support for careers education and guidance. Some schools provide separate specialist accommodation containing these resources; some use part of the school library; some have collections in subject departments or areas associated with particular social activities or with a particular age group. Wherever resources are placed, pupils require easy access to a wide selection of information

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which is appropriate to their stage of development and which is displayed and stored in a way which encourages and aids individual search and retrieval.

47. Effective display contributes significantly to careers education and guidance. Much can be done in circulation areas and classrooms to provide changing displays which encourage general awareness of the world of work, training and continuing education and which, directly and indirectly, link the work of departments to pupils' consideration of their future choices. Display can be an effective means of providing specific information about careers, job vacancies, training opportunities, qualifications and educational routes for students at various stages.

VI Assessment

48. Schools need to assess the extent, nature and quality of learning which has occurred in relation to careers education. (See Appendix 1). In primary schools and the early years of secondary schools, where elements of careers work occur within a wider context of teaching and learning, assessment is best included in a more general response to pupils' work and development. From the age of 13 onwards more explicit assessment of the learning is desirable. The introduction of the national curriculum will require formal assessment of the learning against prescribed attainment targets. This should include the assessment of the quality of learning which has occurred in relation to careers education. This can be done, in general terms, by including attainment targets related to cross-curricular themes.

49. Where appropriate, learning should be assessed through formal and informal procedures which include the marking of written and oral work, and the discussion of outcomes. Assessment:

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  • helps in evaluating the overall quality of what is happening in careers education and guidance; and, as a consequence, re-defines new objectives.
In the context of careers education and guidance work, pupils benefit from regular assessment which involves constructive discussion between teacher and pupil, where it helps the pupil to see assessment as part of the learning process, and where it contributes to awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses. Such assessment can take place within subjects as well as in sessions specifically related to careers.

50. Much of the work in careers education and guidance, however, is associated with the development of personal and social skills and relationships and the ability of pupils to relate what is learned to their own personal plans for the future. This is a difficult area to assess, and it is one which most schools have only recently begun to explore. Nevertheless, various approaches can prove fruitful. First of all there is a need to bring together and make explicit to pupils those relevant aspects of work which occur across a range of subject areas. Moreover, it is possible to devise tasks which in themselves contribute to the process of careers work whilst forming the basis for assessment of pupils' attainment. Reflective writing, for example, lends itself to this: a carefully structured piece of work which invites pupils to think about, analyse and advise other pupils might, for example, focus on thoughts about guidance at 13-plus, and enable the extent of pupils' awareness of the various career implications of choosing particular options to be evaluated. It can also be helpful to involve other adults in assessing certain types of competence. Parents, for example, have an important role in helping their children to develop an accurate and realistic appreciation of their own abilities. Careers officers, too, talk regularly to pupils and are in a position to contribute to the assessment, amongst other things, of pupils' ability to relate to adults, of their levels of self awareness and of their ability to take initiative and responsibility in exploring possible careers. Many forms of assessment tend to concentrate on knowledge and understanding, but careers education which failed to pay significant attention to, and assess effectively, those outcomes of teaching and guidance concerned with skills and attitudes, would be unsatisfactory.

51. It is Government policy to introduce records of achievement by the 1990s. Schools need to establish effective record

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systems in order to ensure an adequate information base on which to develop records of achievement. These should provide a focus for personal, educational and vocational guidance and contribute significantly to the assessment of pupils' development.

52. Careers and guidance records should include, for each pupil, details of:

  • interviews in year 3 concerned with option choices and related career issues;
  • interviews in year 5 concerned with future educational and/or vocational paths;
  • the guidance given by a careers officer;
  • feedback from any other interviews, such as those involving employer or admissions tutor;
  • pupils' school responsibilities, extra-curricular activities and. out of school interests, contained in a regularly updated, individual, personal profile which can be consulted easily.
53. Such records will probably be compiled by and will certainly need to be used by a variety of people. For example, pastoral and other staff may well be involved in interviews in year 3 and careers officers in those in year 5. Tutors will need access to records to help build up an overall picture of individual pupils' personal, social and academic development. Moreover, whoever is responsible for writing references will rely on what is recorded. Records can readily be designed for open use. They can contribute considerably to the overall effectiveness of assessment if they can be used by and with both pupils and parents. As described in paragraph 25 schools will need to record details of pupils' destinations in terms of continuing education, training or employment and be in a position to make some evaluation of the overall position.

54. The siting, co-ordination and accessibility of careers education and guidance records need to be considered by the senior management. It is for example not much use if records, however meticulously kept, are for all practical purposes inaccessible to pastoral staff. Conversely, to centralise all school records in one place can be cumbersome and counterproductive.

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To minimise such problems schools need to have a policy on the maintenance, use and content of records, and need to ensure that all concerned understand and implement that policy.

55. Assessment of pupils' progress in, for example, thinking about their future, identifying a range of possibilities and starting to make decisions, has an important contribution to make to the evaluation of the careers programme. It is necessary to focus on pupils' learning to discover the extent to which appropriate knowledge, skills and perceptions have been established. This will shed light on the quality of provision, indicate its strengths and identify the weaknesses to be remedied. Schools will then be better able to improve the effectiveness of their careers education and guidance.

VII Conclusion

56. This document has attempted to raise for discussion key issues relating to careers education and guidance. In particular it has argued:

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Appendix 1

Criteria for careers education and guidance

1. Knowledge and understanding

i. Are students knowledgeable about the general range of opportunities for continued education and training, both post-16 and later (eg further and higher education, youth training schemes, job training schemes, small firms advisory and support groups) and where they may lead?

ii. Do they know about the range of opportunities available to them post-16-plus and post-18-plus? Do they know what qualifications are needed for their immediate and long term future?

iii. Do they know of sources of support and help in society, and how to gain access to these?

iv. Are they aware of the impact of technology and economic change on work and occupational patterns? Do they recognise the need for re-training at intervals?

v. Can they offer simple explanations and examples of economic/work terms such as division of labour, wealth creation, employer and employee responsibilities, job sharing, mobility, causes of unemployment, supply and demand?

vi. Do they know about money matters - wages and salaries, insurance, savings, credit, taxes and benefits?

2. Skills
a. General skills

i. Can students present and discuss evidence to support a point of view?

ii. Can they give and receive instructions systematically?

iii. Can they work successfully as co-operative members of a group?

iv. Can they work independently as individuals responsible for completing a task?

b. Particular skills

i. Can students explain how they reached their decisions about (a) subject choices (b) post-16-plus plans?

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ii. Can they write adequate applications and give a suitable account of themselves in interview?

iii. Can they explain where and how to find information about opportunities?

iv. Do they know how to analyse and compare occupations?

v. Can they think about alternatives to their first choice?

vi. Can they understand the implications of transition to the next stage of their career?

3. Attitudes and qualities
i. Do students appear appropriately self-confident in facing the future? Do they have a positive self-image?

ii. Are they able to demonstrate a sense of initiative? iii. What attitudes do they have towards unemployment? iv. What views do they have about occupational stereotypes, and about racial and sexual discrimination?

v. Do they appear to have been helped to develop a realistic as well as a positive self-image? Can they identify their likes and dislikes, sources of satisfaction, ambitions?

vi. Are they willing to consider attitudes other than their own?

4. Overall
i. Do students have a reasonable picture of likely expectations for the next stage in their lives?

ii. Have efforts been made to broaden their horizons and encourage them to think positively about their future?

iii. Do they seem to be 'employable', given the availability of opportunities suitable to their interests and abilities?

iv. Do they recognise the implications of unemployment, redundancy etc, and have they been helped to develop a strategy for coping with such experiences?

v. Has the school equipped them to leave with an awareness of their capabilities and with an experience of success?

vi. Has the school's provision of careers education and guidance helped to foster in them initiative and a spirit of enterprise?

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Appendix 2

Training arrangements for careers education and guidance

Few teachers have received any significant training associated with careers education and guidance during initial teacher training. Thus the effective delivery of the work described in this document, and its co-ordination, are heavily dependent on in-service education and training.

The training need

i. Those responsible for co-ordination of careers work require management and organisational skills in dealing with young people and adults, both inside and outside schools. They also require knowledge and skills associated with curriculum development.

ii. More specifically, all teachers need to be familiar with the basic aims and objectives of careers education and guidance and, depending on their level of involvement, will require varying types of in-service education and training associated with development of appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes.

iii. Careers education and guidance are offered in the context of educational and employment opportunities which are constantly changing. There is, therefore, a need for systematic in-service education of teachers (INSET) provision to bring teachers up to date.

Training provision

Training for careers and guidance should be a significant priority in LEA in-service policies. The exact form, content and length of courses will vary according to the particular policies and needs of LEAs, of schools, and of individual teachers. It is, however, necessary for all concerned to consider ways in which such training can be consistent and offer a degree of continuity and coherence which will make for effective provision of careers education and guidance. Satisfactory training is likely to be met by staff development activities in schools, by different types of short courses held locally or regionally, and by longer term courses, such as one year advanced diploma or higher degree courses, which are challenging to the teachers concerned and provide a much wider context for the work. In the light of the

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overriding need for all careers teachers to receive a minimum level of training there is currently, however, a particular need for more intensive short courses, of high quality, offered locally.

A coherent LEA or school policy for careers education and guidance training should include:

i. Consideration of how newcomers to this area of work, both those interested in careers work as a specialism, and those who wish to relate careers to other curriculum areas, receive basic training.

ii. Identification of a range of strategies to ensure the right level and quality of teachers involved in careers work, including advanced education and training opportunities for some.

iii. Acknowledgement of the need for up-dating of all teachers associated with changing employment, education and training trends.

iv. Consideration of ways in which careers officers and teachers can share expertise and training where appropriate.

v. Recognition of a range of skills, attitudes and knowledge which are appropriate to careers education and guidance and which might be developed through courses which are subject based or cross-curricular.

Training objectives

There follows a list of objectives for training which identifies the areas of knowledge and expertise which support careers work in schools. Whilst some teachers who have undertaken an advanced diploma will have addressed most, if not all, of these objectives as issues in training, it is not envisaged that anyone member of staff in a school will necessarily have appropriate training to meet all objectives. Rather, this list is offered as an indication of the range of training objectives of which a co-ordinator should have an overview. It is further suggested that a secondary school staff collectively should be able to meet these objectives through appropriate training.

As a result of training, teachers concerned with careers education and guidance will develop:

  • Knowledge and understanding of careers guidance theory

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    and theories of occupational choice and career development.
  • The ability to relate the above theories to the needs of adolescents through the provision and practice of careers education and guidance.
  • Understanding of curriculum development with particular reference to careers work: how the curriculum enables young people to prepare for different adult roles and to manage the changes along educational paths and from full time education to adult and working life; and the role of careers co-ordinators and their colleagues in this process.
    [Including specific consideration of issues associated with planning and delivery of careers education within differing curricular and organisational arrangements; and appropriate content, approaches, teaching and learning styles including experiential learning].
  • A range of skills necessary to provide effective guidance for individual pupils.
    [Including development of skills related to guidance and counselling, interviewing, group leadership, establishment and use of relevant data bases and other sources of information, and record and profiling systems].
  • Knowledge of the range of educational, employment and training opportunities; how to cover them in a careers education and guidance programme; and how to use effectively the computer-based information and guidance tools.
    [Including basic awareness of economic, industrial and occupational trends; consideration of definitions of work; analysis of labour market information; and strategies, eg work experience, for developing students' direct experience] .
  • Understanding of the role of the Careers Service and of ways of constructing effective relationships with parents, employers and others who influence young people.