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23 January 2013
Responding to the publication of the Education Select Committee's report into careers guidance for young people, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
“The provision of high quality, impartial careers advice is essential in supporting young people to make the most of their talents and in helping them maker informed choices about their futures.
“However, as the Committee's report has rightly recognised, the Government's reforms to the careers service risk reducing this important entitlement to a postcode lottery.
“Devolving responsibility for careers guidance to schools risks a narrowing of the options available to young people and could result in wide variations in the careers support available to students.
“Careers guidance is best provided by an independent, external careers service staffed by appropriately trained experts who can support young people as they plan and consider their future career options. The Coalition Government must act to reinstate the duty on local authorities to plan and organise the provision of support for young people.
“Given the committee's recognition of the importance of high quality careers advice for all young people, it is disappointing it has not recommended the provision of any additional funding to provide careers advice.
“With education budgets coming under increasing strain as a result of the Government's austerity measures, additional finance to meet the challenges identified in the Committee's report should be a priority.
“The quality of careers provision in schools is already part of the Ofsted inspection remit and schools are already held accountable for the standard of their careers support. Imposing a further requirement on schools to publish an annual careers plan would be completely inappropriate and a distraction from schools' core purpose of focusing on teaching and learning.”