Schools Urged to Buy in Careers Advice for Their Pupils

Schools Urged to Buy in Careers Advice for Their Pupils

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John Smith
Published: 19th September 2013

I remember the excitement I felt in my final year of secondary school when we were given access to a computer programme that could predict your ideal career simply by analysing your responses to 40 questions. It sounded unbelievable; like a window into an exciting future of endless possibilities.

Frustratingly for me however, every time I completed this programme I would get the same response: Dog Groomer. No matter how I tried to measure my responses so that I could become a policeman, I seemed to be forever condemned to a life of grooming dogs. It was Question 27 that thwarted me: from the moment I answered ‘yes’ to ‘Do you like animals?’ my fate was sealed.

So for me, careers advice at school was a pretty disheartening experience. I can only be grateful that Sprint came along and hoovered me up before I fell through the cracks of society!

Perhaps this was the reason my attention was grabbed by a new Ofsted report concluding that three quarters of secondary schools are now failing to deliver adequate careers advice. Furthermore, it found that “very few” schools actually have the skills in-house to provide career guidance.

In response, a Department for Education spokesperson defended the government’s decision to pass the duty to provide careers information to schools in 2012, saying that it is the schools that “know their students best, so it is right that they should decide what provision is right for them and that they have complete control over their budgets to buy in the support they need”.

However, the report concluded that “few schools had bought in adequate service from external sources” and many were tending to prioritise academic pathways above the provision of information regarding vocational training.

All this, of course, comes at a time when levels of youth unemployment are soaring, meaning that these issues cannot afford to be ignored. Clearly there is a real opportunity for companies who are able to prove to schools that they can improve the quality of careers advice for their pupils and take away some of the pressure from internal staff.

A lot of the feedback we get from schools is that much of the responsibility for careers guidance is now being passed to the Deputy Head or the Head of Sixth Form, who often haven’t had sufficient training to carry out this role effectively.

Now is a fantastic time for you to reach out to these teachers and tell them how you can solve their problems, and we at Sprint can help you by putting you in touch with Careers Teachers, Heads of Sixth Form and Secondary School Deputy Heads. Just email us at or give us a call on 01684 297374 and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help you promote your services to schools.

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