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Pupils: Vocational Guidance

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the provision of careers advice for (a) secondary school and (b) post-16 pupils; what steps his Department takes to ensure that provision is met; and what requirement there is for such provision to be inspected. (142976)

Under section 114 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000, the Secretary of State has the power to provide or secure the provision of services which he thinks will encourage, enable or assist (directly or indirectly) effective participation by young people in education or training. This power is discharged through the Connexions service who provide careers advice (among a wider range of services designed to improve levels of participation in education and training) to young people aged 13 to 19.

Additionally, all maintained schools have a statutory duty to provide a planned programme of careers education from years 7 to 11. How schools deliver this requirement is up to the individual school, although the DfES provides a non-statutory framework as a guide. There are no statutory duties on providers of post-16 learning to provide a programme of careers education.

From April 2008, local authorities will have responsibility for the provision of Connexions services.

Connexions services are within the scope of annual performance assessments and joint area reviews of children’s services, led by Ofsted.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what records his Department has of the numbers of young people in secondary schools in England who accessed careers advisers in each of the last three years. (142989)

Personal advisers in the Connexions service provide information, advice and guidance to young people on a range of issues. Information on these interventions is collected centrally, but we do not collect information specifically relating to careers advice given in schools.