Q3. How does your school address the career guidance needs of each pupil?
Why is this important?
Schools have a role to play in addressing the issues of unconscious bias which pupils might be subject to. Unconscious bias refers to the way that we instinctively categorise other people and ourselves into groups, or for example associate certain traits or jobs with different genders. This can have a significant impact on the way we behave towards different groups or perceive ourselves, and it can affect the types of messages that we convey around such issues as the roles people take in life and work. Careers work should challenge unconscious bias amongst staff and students through programmes of continuing professional development.
Good career guidance has the potential to tackle issues around aspiration and stereotyped choices and to improve social mobility, particularly when introduced early. It should encourage uniquely personal aspirations. A school’s career programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout. It should also take in to consideration the range of support processes which already exist for young people with different abilities such as the Education Health and Care planning processes for those with special educational needs and disabilities.
What strategic questions should you ask the senior leadership team about how to identify and meet individual pupils’ career guidance needs?
- How are individual pupils’ career guidance needs determined, met, monitored and evaluated?
- How does the school currently challenge stereotypical thinking and the effects of unconscious bias on careers and career paths?
- How are Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans integrated into the programme of career guidance and support for those children who have them?
- How does the school ensure that careers advice meets the needs of the pupil (and is not affected by what might benefit the school)?
Case study of good practice
Essential resources to support your school to achieve this Benchmark
- Department for Education guidance on providing support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) through
- Education, Health and Care Planning processes.
- Department for Education guidance on supporting looked after children’s career aspirations.
- The Institute of Physics have produced a resource which considers whole-school good practice in addressing unconscious bias
Additional resources to support your school to achieve this Benchmark
- Ofsted has produced two reports which help schools think about the need to address stereotypical career aspirations: one evaluates the extent to which careers education raises aspirations and informs the careers choices of young women; the second is a good practice example of how a school encourages girls to pursue non-stereotypical careers.
- The Institute of Physics have produced guidance and practical examples of ways in which schools can challenge gender stereotyping by engaging students, teachers and parents as they challenge the barriers which girls and boys face when making their subject choices.
Other questions in Careers
- Q1. How does your school develop, manage and implement its careers programme?
- Q2. How does your school provide opportunities for pupils to learn from career and labour market information?
- Q4. How do teaching staff in your school link curriculum learning to careers?
- Q5. How does your school ensure that pupils have multiple encounters with employers and employees which enrich their understanding of working practices?
- Q6. How does your school ensure that pupils receive relevant experiences of work places to help them to make career decisions?
- Q7. How does your school ensure that pupils receive relevant encounters with further and higher education and work-based learning providers to help them make career decisions about future learning options?
- Q8. How does your school ensure that all pupils have access to the personal guidance they require to help them make informed career decisions?