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Schools: Vocational Guidance

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government plan to take to improve career advice services in schools. (180066)

We are taking a range of measures to improve the quality of the careers advice received by young people in schools.

We are seeking to place a statutory duty on schools to deliver careers education impartially. This will be backed up by guidance to which schools will be required to have regard.

The Children's Plan announced several measures designed to improve the quality of careers provision in schools; for example, by promoting experiential learning and by providing materials to support more effective peer mentoring. It also announced pathfinder projects in primary schools designed to explore the benefits of early careers interventions in extending young people's horizons and raising aspirations.

And we are looking at ways of ensuring the delivery of high quality careers education within the new PSHE: Economic Well Being curriculum. This is expected to include the development of new curriculum guidance and the provision of high quality teaching materials for use in the classroom. We are also looking into new arrangements for the continuing professional development of the careers workforce.

Schools' careers support for young people is backed up by external, independent advice from the Connexions service. From April 2008 responsibility for Connexions will pass to local authorities which will enable them to make improved links with other services for young people. Local authorities will also be expected to have regard to recently published “Quality Standards” which set out my Department’s expectations of the information, advice and guidance services that they will provide.