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Teachers fear for quality of careers advice, poll shows

Teachers are increasingly worried over the quality of careers advice given to pupils in schools in England, a survey has revealed, with three-quarters calling for more support from business and industry.

Since September 2012 teachers have been legally responsible for giving independent and impartial careers guidance to all pupils in Years 9 to 11.

But an independent YouGov poll of more than 800 teachers commissioned by Pearson College has found that 75 per cent of teachers want more involvement from businesses when delivering that guidance.

More than half (55 per cent) of those surveyed believe previous experience of business is important to deliver careers advice, yet more than a quarter (27 per cent) have never worked outside of education and more than half (58 per cent) have little or no experience of business and industry.

Roxanne Stockwell, principal of Pearson College, said: “It is worrying that so many teachers do not feel adequately supported to deliver appropriate careers advice at a time when so many young people are struggling out of employment and training.

“The only way we can tackle the current careers advice crisis is for business and schools to work together to deliver guidance that gives students the information they need to make the right choices for their careers.”

In recent months the quality of careers advice in England’s schools has come under attack from a number of sources.

“Narrow and out of date” was Ofsted’s verdict in a report published in September, while in November the president of the Association of Colleges, Michele Sutton, attacked the quality of careers advice in schools as “nothing less than appalling.”

Students themselves have also been critical. Recent research by the National Union of Students suggested that careers advisers were failing to promote apprenticeships to young people and last month a poll by CBI and Barclays revealed that 93 per cent of young people felt that they were not being given the right information to make informed career choices .

The government has already pledged to improve the National Careers Service, and skills minister Matthew Hancock has said that he wants more employers involved in providing high-quality careers advice to schools and colleges.

Giving evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee on school careers advice before Christmas, education secretary Michael Gove defended the government’s record, but said that more should be done to “engage employers with schools and vice versa”.

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