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New research from The Careers & Enterprise Company highlights the impact of careers leaders

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Carried out on behalf of the Gatsby Foundation and The Careers & Enterprise Company, the research is based on a survey of 750 secondary school careers leaders. The research investigated how the 'careers leader' role is being delivered, how it is making a difference to career guidance and what further support is needed to embed the role in schools.

The research has shown that substantial progress has been made by schools in embracing the role of careers leaders, with them becoming an increasingly identifiable workforce even in the first year of implementation, now spending an average of 14.5 hours a week in the role, compared to 7.4 hours in 2009. 42% of career leaders responding to the survey were appointed by head teachers during 2018/19 and 83% of careers leaders reported on career guidance to senior leadership teams at least once a term.

The feedback from careers leaders on their impact has been encouraging, with 88% responding to the research believing they have had a positive impact on the education and career outcomes of young people and 75% thinking that career guidance has improved since the careers strategy.

Utilisation of The Gatsby Benchmarks has helped to improve careers guidance according to 94% of careers leaders, particularly when used in conjunction with the Compass tool which assesses performance against the Benchmarks and flags areas for development.

Challenges facing careers leaders to be as effective as possible include accessing time and staff resources, budgetary constraints, establishing the role at a middle or senior level and engaging teaching staff.

To ensure the continued success of careers leaders, the report has produced five key targets for head teachers and governors to work towards:

  1. Integrate career guidance into the school's strategy so that it is delivered collaboratively across the school.
  2. Appoint careers leaders at middle or senior leadership level so they can work effectively with staff and external partners.
  3. Engage the governing body with the school's work on careers to ensure that careers leaders are supported and challenged at a senior level.
  4. Allocate sufficient time and resource for careers leaders and discuss priorities to ensure these are used to best effect.
  5. Encourage and enable careers leaders to take part in training.

The research concludes that careers leaders are laying the foundations of excellent career guidance in schools, but require stability and continued funding, as well as further investment in training. 

First published 02 September 2019