CXK Responds to DfE Research Report

Tuesday 4th August 2015

Whilst the release of the DfE research report “Mapping Careers Provision in Schools and Colleges in England” (July 2015) has some interesting findings, CXK questions the validity of drawing conclusions from a hand-picked sample which represents approx. 3% of the total potential sample.

In a survey, which we conducted as part of the Inspiration Agenda in schools and colleges throughout the South-East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), we found that:

  • The majority felt that employability skills were embedded into the school curriculum.
  • 92.6% organised employability activities, with the most popular being career days, career events, external speakers and mock interview practice.  There are also partnerships with Chambers of Commerce and external providers. 
  • The majority of schools had existing employer partnerships. These ranged from large corporates (such as supermarkets and financial services companies) through to the charities and local businesses.
  • Most do not hold a careers award, but would like to achieve one
  • There is a comprehensive programme of employability related events for all year groups (from Year 7 – Year 13)
  • Labour Market Information (LMI) was used in nearly two-thirds of schools, with the majority reporting that they used it to inform their careers and employability provision, as well as supporting curriculum planning and delivery
  • There was limited knowledge of the SELEP and its priority growth industries.

Where the schools felt that they needed support, it was either due to a lack of time or because they wanted to develop specific links with external speakers to come and present on their career. 

Unlike the national survey, which suggested there was limited learning by good practice and a lack of differentiation, most of the respondents to our survey were keen to build links and were open to the sharing of good practice.  Phrases such as “I am continually re-evalating my careers provision” and “reflective practice” were used.

CXK accepts that, along with the national survey, it is likely that our respondents are those schools that have a stronger careers provision than the non-respondents however, due to the use of open questions (rather than closed questions in the national survey), we believe the data gained represents a clearer picture regarding the state of careers guidance within schools and colleges.