Career advice brings better grades

The Times, 16/10/14, pupils at schools that provide all children with effective careers advice get better exam results and have better attendance rates, a study has found.

Sixth formers who attended schools with strong career services also had better progression rates to university.

The findings prompted calls for a guarantee of face-to-face careers advice for teenagers in all schools, as critics branded the current system of provision a “postcode lottery”.

The research, led by Professor Tristram Hooley, of the University of Derby, compared data from 820 schools and colleges that received awards for high quality careers advice with those of schools that had not.

Controlling for other factors, it found schools with awards for their careers guidance scored 2 percentage points higher in their proportion of teenagers achieving five GCSEs at C or higher, including maths and English.

Their pupils also had higher A-level grades or marks for other qualifications, using the Ucas points system.

Schools commended for good careers advice also had average pupil attendance rates that were 0.5 per cent higher than in other schools. Such patterns were not replicated in further education colleges with strong careers provision.

Professor Hooley said: “Some schools have maintained high-quality provision and have given high priority to preparing their students for the future, but many have not. We need a much stronger National Careers Service to support schools and colleges in delivering for young people.”

Find out more about the exceptional advice for students on offer in HMC schools regarding post-18 opportunities here.

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