A new UK Government took office on 11 May 2010. As a result the content on this site may not reflect current Government policy.
All statutory guidance and legislation published on this site continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise.
To view the new website, please visit http://www.education.gov.uk

School Improvement Partners (SIPs) e-newsletter: Autumn 2009

Information, advice and guidance

We have to help young people to respond to a dynamic and global labour market … We must tackle low expectations and help young people to raise their aspirations and unlock their talents.

Quality, Choice and Aspiration, DCSF, October 2009

In October 2009, the DCSF issued 'Quality, Choice and Aspiration', its strategy for young people's information, advice and guidance. At the same time new Statutory Guidance for schools on the delivery of impartial careers education was published.

The key message underpinning both documents was that changes to 14–19 education (including the raising of the age of participation in learning) and to the wider economy have profound implications for the support that we give to young people to help them to attain qualifications and progress into work that reflects their potential.

These changes have placed the provision of high quality, impartial careers education (CE), supplemented by personalised information, advice and guidance (IAG) at the centre of the Government's programme of 14–19 reforms. Revisions to the Ofsted's evaluation schedule' and to the school self-evaluation form reflect this. As a result, CE/IAG now influences a range of issues on which inspectors are required to form judgements.

Quality, Choice and Aspiration

The IAG strategy emphasises the importance of raising young people's aspirations, challenging stereotypes and overcoming barriers to progression. It calls for schools and others to excite and inspire young people by showing them what they can achieve. A key message is that IAG is a process, not an event. It involves:

  • doing more to help parents and carers to support their children
  • making better use of the potential of mentors
  • exploiting the opportunities afforded by new technologies
  • engaging employers more effectively and improving the quality of work experience 
  • developing better school/higher education links.

Announcements made within the strategy include:

  • An ambition to extend to 18 years the existing statutory duty to provide careers education.
  • The development of a new IAG Guarantee - to be embedded within the Pupil and Parent Guarantees.
  • The establishment of a new Task Force on the careers profession.
  • Activity to strengthen younger children’s understanding of the world of work.
  • Plans to review the quality and effectiveness of local authorities' delivery of IAG in 2011.
  • A new £10m Youth Sector Development Fund specifically to support the development of IAG that responds to the needs of young people.

Statutory Guidance

All secondary schools are now required to provide impartial information and advice when discharging their statutory duty to provide careers education to pupils in Years 7–11. The Statutory Guidance – which builds on a formal consultation which took place in the Spring – advises schools on how to meet this statutory duty and includes:

  • 'Principles' of impartial careers education which describe the objectives of programmes of careers education. (The Principles are accompanied by short outcome focussed statements that clarify the Principles and help schools to understand if they have been met.)
  • Questions on post-Key Stage 3 and post-16 learning pathways to which young people require answers (the 'Key Information') if they are to develop the knowledge and understanding that they need to choose between learning options.
  • Additional guidance for headteachers to help them to oversee the delivery of effective careers education.

The IAG Strategy and the Statutory Guidance can both be downloaded from www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications. A resources pack containing materials designed to help schools implement the Statutory Guidance will shortly be available from DCSF Publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood Park, Annesley, Nottingham, NG15 0DJ (Tel: 0845 60 22260).

If you have any questions on the Department’s IAG strategy or on the Statutory Guidance on impartial careers education then please contact David Broadhead.