Head teachers need to know how often their subject teachers are asked for careers advice

FE News reports that many head teachers underestimate how often subject teachers – who do not have careers advice training – are asked about careers by students, new research has found. The same survey showed that both subject teachers and head teachers are also unsure about the different levels of apprenticeship, and that heads have not been made fully aware of their obligations when it comes to careers advice provision, presenting questions about whether UK school leavers are receiving sufficient information about their options.

AllAboutSchoolLeavers surveyed 210 UK head teachers as part of its annual research into the school leaver careers market – alongside 15,200 students, 5,300 parents, 500 teachers and 380 careers advisers – to gain a broad understanding of relevant parties’ knowledge and opinions on school leaver options such as apprenticeships.

The resulting report – The School Leaver Careers Market 2017 – found that, despite not being trained specifically to do so, 67% of subject teachers say they their students ask them about school leaver options. And this is a frequent occurrence too: 44% say their students ask them for advice about the future more than once a week, and a further 19% say it happens more than once a month.

However, many head teachers underestimate how often their subject teachers are asked about careers: more than half think this only happens a few times a month or a few times a term. This contradicts what their subject teachers are experiencing on the ground.

The same research showed that many heads do not know what is legally required of them in terms of careers guidance. Just over 30% of head teachers do not think it is a legal requirement to “ensure independent careers guidance is presented in an impartial manner”, despite it being a duty of theirs.

Despite being approached by both students and parents, subject teachers display a knowledge gap when it comes to school leaver options. While nearly all of them (97%) know about university options, less than half are aware of apprenticeships, school leaver programmes and work shadowing schemes.

When asked about Intermediate Apprenticeships, the number of teachers recognising their equivalence with GCSEs declined this year – 82% in 2015, down to 67% in 2017. Roughly the same is true of Advanced Apprenticeships: the number of teachers correctly identifying them as equivalent to A-levels dropped from 83% in 2015 to 68% in 2017. Over half identified Higher Apprenticeships correctly (59%), but a significant number did not. Head teachers’ knowledge is similar to that of subject teachers.

Read the full article Head teachers need to know how often their subject teachers are asked for careers advice

How well to you know your careers advice? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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