It is coming up to the end of the academic year! Almost time for the holidays! Now is a great time to review the Ofsted Careers Guidance for your school website. The government careers strategy outlines their long term plan to build and improve a careers system for all. The statutory requirements, introduced in 2018, are in place to ensure secondary schools and colleges are delivering a careers programme supporting this strategy. This requirement is applicable to years 8 - 13.
The school website Ofsted careers guidance requirements are grouped into 2 sections. The first around the careers program itself, and the other around the 'Provider Access Policy Statement'. You can view the specific requirements on our school website requirements guide.
The Ofsted careers guidance for this section is nice and straightforward. The 4 requirements focus on publishing your school's careers programme information on your website.
Each of these requirements should let students know what they can look forward to with the career's programme. As well as ensuring progress is measured and reviewed to maintain continuous improvement. As a result, offering the best possible careers guidance available.
It really is that easy for the career's programme guidance! It really is the most simple requirements are often the ones that get missed. Make sure that you provide all of the details in the first 4 sections - including points 20.1 and 20.4. The most simple but the most frequently missing too.
Provider Access Policy Statement
The provider access policy statement is in place to ensure each school has appropriate arrangements in place for dealing with careers providers. Publish this policy on the website, update it annually and include the required criteria.
Each requirement outlined in the Ofsted careers guidance seems to be about making sure procedures for careers providers are clear. In short make sure to include each of these within your policy statement and check these requirements off as complete.
Always make it interesting! Compliance is tough to read through for the even the most dedicated Ofsted auditor. Throw some pictures in, make their life easy!
Presenting Your Careers Guidance Information
If you don't already have a careers page or section on your website it's certainly worth considering. Ideally, this will be a page of content to delight your site visitors and showcase the careers programme that you offer. Consider any alumni success stories you can draw on and include those as testimonials in this section. Remember your audiences, prospective parents, students AND Ofsted. Cater to all of them!
Make the contact details of the careers leader clear and obvious and include a photo. This results in a much friendlier page compared to just a name in text on the page. In this case, a nice approach might be to write a welcome from the careers leader. Including a summary of the programme and any real-life examples of your careers programme in action.
The provider access policy statement is to a different audience. It's all about engaging with providers and making the process easy. It is a good way to build and foster positive relationships with them. One of the best things you could do would be to include a step by step process for providers, outlining the process, and timeline, and what to expect. Your published policy statement will include all this information. However, a step by step list is much easier to follow and digest. Firstly, remember to make their life easy!
This OFSTED careers guidance is so easy to get right, but we still find this is often missing or incomplete on secondary school and college websites. If you do not have this statutory information clearly presented on your site, it would be great to get that added ahead of the new academic year.