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Higher profile for careers in Ofsted inspections from September

Ofsted has announced changes to education inspections from September 2015

As expected, the arrangements for the inspection of careers in school inspections from September 2015 have been strengthened. Currently, inspectors are encouraged to examine careers as an indicator of the effectiveness of leadership and management. Careers will be moved out of this part of the framework (although it will stay in that place in the FE and Skills Framework). Inspectors  will now be encouraged to scrutinise the careers provision when making judgements about:

Personal development, behaviour and welfare

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a school is outstanding, including:

  • High quality, impartial careers guidance helps pupils to make informed choices about which courses suit their academic needs and aspirations. They are prepared for the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training.
  • Pupils understand how their education equips them with the behaviours and attitudes necessary for success in their next stage of education, training or employment and for their adult life. (p.49)

Outcomes for pupils

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a school is outstanding, including:

  • Pupils are exceptionally well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment and have attained relevant qualifications. Compared with the national average for all pupils, higher proportions of pupils and of disadvantaged pupils, progress on to a range of higher and further education establishments, apprenticeships, employment or training. These destinations strongly support their career plans. (p.55)

The effectiveness of the 16 to 19 study programmes

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a school is outstanding, including:

  • Leaders plan, manage and evaluate study programmes so that learners undertake highly individualised and challenging learning that builds on their prior attainment, meets all the requirements of 16 to 19 provision and prepares them very well for future employment.
  • High-quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow study programmes that build on their prior attainment and enable them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available and are informed about local and national skills needs.
  • Learners are confident and conduct themselves well. They are punctual. They have excellent personal, social and employability skills and undertake high quality non-qualification activities and work experience that are relevant to their study programmes. Attendance rates are high.
  • Almost all learners progress swiftly to higher levels during their study programme. Almost all learners complete their study programmes, achieve qualifications relevant to their career aims and move on to sustained education, employment, training or an apprenticeship. (p.63-4)

 

Careers also figures prominently in the criteria inspectors will use to judge if an FE and Skills provider is outstanding:

Effectiveness of leadership and management

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • Leaders, managers and governors ensure that the provision of accurate, timely and impartial careers guidance enables learners to make informed choices about their learning programme and that learners are very well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment. (p.39)

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • Staff promote, where appropriate, English, mathematics, ICT and employability skills exceptionally well and ensure that learners are well-equipped with the necessary skills to progress to their next steps. (p.43)

Personal development, behaviour and welfare of learners

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • High quality careers guidance helps learners to make informed choices about which courses suit their needs and aspirations. They are well prepared for the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training.
  • Learners understand how their education and training equip them with the behaviours and attitudes necessary for success in the future as reflected by the excellent employability skills they acquire and the achievement of relevant additional qualifications.
  • Learners, where appropriate, participate in purposeful and challenging work experience and placements relevant to their future career plans. These learners often quickly become an asset to the business and make a highly valued contribution. (p.46-7)

Outcomes for learners

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • The proportion of learners completing their courses and achieving meaningful qualifications, including, where appropriate, in English and mathematics, that are relevant to their career aims or learning goals is very high or improving rapidly.
  • Learners progress as soon as they are ready to higher level learning and/or into sustained employment or gain promotion at work. The proportion of learners progressing to positive destinations is very high.
  • Learners are exceptionally well-prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment and have attained relevant qualifications, skills, knowledge and understanding. They progress to positive destinations that are relevant to their career plans. (p.50)

The effectiveness of the 16 to 19 study programmes

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • Leaders plan, manage and evaluate study programmes so that learners undertake highly individualised and challenging learning that builds on their prior attainment, meets all the principles of 16 to 19 provision and prepares them very well for future employment.
  • High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow study programmes that build on their prior attainment and enable them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available and are informed about local and national skills needs.
  • Learners are confident and conduct themselves well. They are punctual. They have excellent personal, social and employability skills and undertake high quality non-qualification activities and work experience that are relevant to their study programmes. Attendance rates are high.
  • Almost all learners progress swiftly to higher levels during their study programme. Almost all learners complete their study programmes, achieve qualifications relevant to their career aims and move on to sustained education, employment, training or an apprenticeship. (p.52-3)

Adult learning programmes

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow learning programmes that build very effectively on their prior attainment and enable them to progress towards clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available to them and are informed about local and national skills needs or the work of relevant community groups or projects.
  • Learners’ attendance is excellent. Learners are confident and conduct themselves well, according to the requirements of the learning programme or workplace. They are punctual. They have developed excellent personal, social and employability skills, as relevant to their learning programme.
  • Almost all learners progress swiftly to higher levels during their learning programmes. Almost all learners complete their learning programmes, achieve qualifications relevant to their career aims and move on to sustained education, employment, training or an apprenticeship, or are more independent in their personal lives or their communities. (p.55-6)

Apprenticeships

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • Leaders plan, manage and evaluate apprenticeships so that apprentices undertake highly individualised and challenging learning that builds on their prior attainment, meets all the requirements of the apprenticeship standards and frameworks and prepares them very well for future employment, including progression in their current job.
  • High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that apprentices follow programmes that build on their prior attainment and enable them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Apprentices understand the options available and are informed about local and national skills needs.
  • On- and off-the-job training is particularly well planned in consultation with employers so that they are very well-coordinated with apprentices’ development at work. Training and assessment support and challenge apprentices to make sustained and substantial progress in all aspects of their programme and to develop excellent skills and knowledge to high industry standards. Training enables apprentices who fall behind to catch up swiftly and the most able to progress quickly to more complex and advanced tasks.
  • Apprentices are confident and conduct themselves well. They are punctual. They have excellent personal, social and employability skills and undertake high quality training activities and additional qualifications that enhance their chances of sustained employment in their relevant industry. Their attendance is excellent.
  • The proportion of apprentices successfully completing their programme within the planned timeframe is very high. Progression to higher-level apprenticeships, further training or study, or to sustained employment and/or to more responsible roles with their employer is very high. (p.58-9)

Traineeships

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • Leaders plan, manage and evaluate traineeships so that learners undertake highly individualised and challenging learning that builds on their prior attainment and prepares them very well for future training and employment.
  • High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow traineeships that build on their prior attainment. The guidance enables learners to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available to them and they are informed about local and national skills needs.
  • Teaching, learning and assessment, including on work experience, support and challenge learners to make sustained and substantial progress in all aspects of their traineeship. Teaching enables learners who fall behind to catch up swiftly and the most able to excel and progress to an apprenticeship.
  • Learners are confident and conduct themselves well. They are punctual. They have excellent personal, social and employability skills and undertake high quality learning activities and work experience that prepare them very well for an apprenticeship or employment with training. Learners’ attendance at learning sessions and at work is excellent.
  • The considerable majority of learners progress to an apprenticeship, or employment with training. (p.61-2)

High-needs learners

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • Leaders, managers and governors use the funding for high-needs learners very effectively. They plan, manage and evaluate the provision so that learners undertake highly individualised and challenging learning that builds on their prior attainment, and prepares them very well for future employment and/or greater independence in their everyday lives.
  • Learners develop skills in English and/or mathematics very well relative to their starting points, so that they have the skills in these subjects that they need for the next step in their careers.
  • High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow individualised programmes, including study programmes, that build on their prior attainment. The guidance enables them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available to them.
  • Learners are confident and conduct themselves well. They are punctual. They develop excellent personal, social and employability skills, and undertake high-quality learning activities and, where appropriate, work experience that match their needs. Attendance rates are exceptionally high.
  • Where appropriate, learners progress swiftly to higher levels during their programme or to more complex learning activities. Almost all learners, especially those on mainstream programmes, complete their programmes and achieve qualifications relevant to their career aims and move on to sustained education, employment and training or an apprenticeship or are more independent in their everyday lives. (p. 64-5)

Full-time provision for 14- to 16-year-olds

The inspection team will consider a number of descriptors when judging if a provider is outstanding, including:

  • Leaders plan, manage and evaluate the provision so that learners undertake highly individualised and challenging learning that builds on their prior attainment, and meets all the requirements for Key Stage 4 provision, including that for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The wide ranging curriculum prepares them very well for future study or training.
  • High-quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow learning programmes that build on their prior attainment and enable them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners have a good understanding of all the options available to them, including apprenticeships, and how they relate to local and national skills needs.
  • Learners are confident and conduct themselves well. They are punctual. They have excellent personal, social and employability skills and undertake a wide range of high quality enrichment activities and practical vocational training that are relevant to their career plans. Learners’ attendance is excellent.
  • Almost all learners achieve their learning goals and qualifications and move on to sustained education, employment, training or an apprenticeship at a higher level than their prior attainment and highly relevant to their career aspirations. (p.67-8)

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