Ofsted careers guidance for your school website – how to get it right

The close of the academic year is a great time to review the statutory 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.

Career's Programme

The Ofsted careers guidance for this section is quite straightforward. Each of the 4 requirements focuses on publishing your school's careers programme information on your website.

Each of these requirements increases the transparency and awareness of what's going on in the careers programme. It should advise what students can look forward to and how they can find out more. As well as ensuring progress is measured and reviewed to maintain continuous improvement. As a result, offering the best possible careers guidance available.

It's perhaps not surprising to our regular blog readers that 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 adequate and 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, include each of these within your policy statement and check these requirements off as complete.

But what about making the best of this opportunity to maximise the positive impact your updated careers information can have on your school website.

Presenting Your Careers Guidance Information

If you don't already have a careers page/section on your website it's certainly worth considering allocating a section of your site to this. Ideally, this will be a page of content to enthuse 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.

Make the contact details of the careers leader clear and obvious and include a photo. This results in a much warmer and 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. Tagged blog posts would work great for this.

The provider access policy statement is then to a different audience. It's all about the providers - engaging with providers and making the process easy is a good way to build and foster positive relationships with them. Maybe make a new page for careers providers and include a welcome to them. With the same aims as the welcome message to students and parents. 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.

Further reading

School website requirements guide

42A of the Education Act 1997

42B of the Education Act 1997

This OFSTED careers guidance has been around since 2018. However, we still find this is often missing or incomplete on secondary school and college websites. If you do not have this statutory information clearly communicated on your site, it would be great to get that added ahead of the new academic year. If you have any further questions, just get in touch with us at hi@schudio.com.


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