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Where is the promised careers guidance?

In July 2011, ministers promised to issue statutory guidance for schools to support them in fulfilling their new duty to secure independent careers guidance for their pupils. A hasty consultation took place in NovemberDecember for publication early in January. Yet the guidance has still not been issued.

Meanwhile, schools have been setting budgets without any guidance. There is much confusion. Existing pronouncements suggest the duty can be met by indicating to pupils that they can use the forthcoming National Careers Service website and helpline - which, if true, makes the duty derisory and meaningless.

Current reports indicate that existing provision for career guidance in many schools is being demolished. Connexions funding has disappeared; responsibility has been transferred to schools, but without funding and without the promised guidance. The delays in issuing it are inexcusable.

The destructive effects of misconceived policies are being exacerbated by ministerial incompetence. The damaging effects on many young people's lives will be incalculable.

Tony Watts, Cambridge.

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