New report examines age-appropriate careers education
Founders4Schools and LKMco have published a report examining careers education, calling for an improvement in the current system.
‘More Than A Job’s Worth: Making Careers Education Age Appropriate’ acknowledges that while evidence shows that good careers education guidance is beneficial for children and young people, there’s a lack of understanding as to when certain types of careers-based interventions should be carried out.
The report sets out what careers education should entail and when. It highlights key principles through the young person’s careers education:
- Universality – Everyone should have access to careers education.
- Authenticity – Everyone should experience work reflecting the day-to-day realities of employment.
- Progression – Varying elements of careers education should build on previous learning and experience.
- More is more – It will be more beneficial to provide a range of interventions targeting different outcomes.
- Open-mindedness – Young people should engage with a range of ideas aimed at broadening their horizons about a range of options.
It then goes on to outline the barriers to improved careers education throughout schools and colleges:
- Time, prioritisation and buy-in.
- Division of labour (in schools and between schools and external partners).
- Embedding careers into the curriculum.
- Working with parents and carers.
- Teacher knowledge.
- Networks and brokerage.
- Balancing the need to expand horizons whist whittling down options.
After delving into more detail about the challenges to improve careers-based education in schooling, and making phase-specific suggestions, the report makes recommendations for schools, colleges and the government.
Schools and colleges should:
- Begin age-appropriate, careers-based learning early – as soon as children and young people join the school.
- Appoint a senior leader and a governor or trustee to take responsibility for careers education in that school or college.
- Make sure curriculum and middle leaders work with their teams to find opportunities to include age-appropriate, careers-focused learning during lessons.
- Work with parents from the start of primary school and throughout schooling, for instance by inviting parents to hear careers discussions with their children, or even to talk about their own careers.
- Harness the labour market to align the school or college’s provision with local and regional needs of employers.
- Provide funding to enable pupils in rural areas or areas where there’s a lack of transport options access opportunities for work with employers.
- Signpost to current guidance, resources and support for practitioners.
- Tailor current support and guidance to make it age-appropriate.
- Commission research which examines the impact of different careers interventions on different age groups.
A table in the report sets out what activities should take place and at what age. For instance, it suggests role-play from pre-school age, allowing children to play with costumes and props linked with different jobs. Then, from secondary school age, suggested interventions include careers coaching, mentoring and work experience.
What’s your experience of careers education? Do you think it needs improving across the board?
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