Headlines: March 24th, 2010

Inadequate careers advice is leaving some young people at risk of making the wrong choices about their future, according to a report published today by Ofsted. It says the quality of information and guidance varies across England and, in some cases, fails to meet the needs of those people who are most at risk of ending up not in education, employment or training.

The Ofsted report, “Moving Through the System”, is based on visits by inspectors to schools and services for looked after children in 10 local authority areas. In eight of these inspectors looked at the progress made since the authorities took over responsibility from the national Connexions service. Ofsted says in the best cases advice was used to ensure students stayed motivated.

In spite of good support from the Connexions service in all the authorities inspectors found examples of carers, residential staff, teachers and tutors who were providing advice but who had too little knowledge and understanding of the full range of options to do this effectively. They found that looked after children were particularly vulnerable and in nearly half of all cases records of their academic performance and plans for the future were incomplete. In one local authority not all the carers involved had even seen the educational records of the children for whom they were responsible.

Christine Gilbert, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, said: “It is encouraging to see the examples of good practice in this report which I hope will provide inspiration to providers across the country.”