Month: June 2015

How Ofsted will inspect Careers IAG in schools from September 2015

Good lord, I’ve been writing this blog a long time.

This is the 3rd update in this series. To see what Ofsted were planning to inspect from September 2013 look here and for September 2014 look here.

Things are slightly more complicated this time round though as the kind and frequency of an inspection a school will undergo will depend more on their current Ofsted rating.

Schools already rated OUTSTANDING are exempt from inspection unless they trigger warnings from a risk assessment of data (in other words their results drop through the floor) or other triggers such as whistle-blowing or substantive parental complaints (p8).

Schools already rated as GOOD will receive a one day light touch inspection every three years. The Handbook for these Section 8 inspections is here and “Careers” or “Destinations” isn’t mentioned once. If the school causes enough of a concern during this one day visit or shows evidence that it might be able to move to OUTSTANDING, within 48 hours a further team of HMI will arrive to carry out a full Section 5 inspection (helpful flow chart p14).

So now the new 2015 Section 5 Inspection Handbook instructs HMI to look for:

In the “Personal development, behaviour and welfare” section, OUTSTANDING schools careers provision will:

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while in GOOD schools:

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(pages 49 & 50)

while in the “Outcomes for pupils” section the descriptors include:


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(pages 55 & 56)

For schools with a Sixth Form provision in the section “the effectiveness of the 16-19 study programmes” the descriptors read:


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16-19 GOOD

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(pages 63 & 64)

It’s nice to see the spread of CEIAG verdicts across two of the four key judgement areas and I like the balance between a descriptor on provision and descriptor on outcomes. It’s worth bearing in mind though that the new regime will see fewer schools be questioned about their careers provision as a smaller number will be undergoing full Section 5 inspections than before.

As ever, if I’ve missed something, give me a shout in the comments below.

The internet gives everyone a career right to reply

Even for less than serious comments.

Back in 1993 when film CGI was a new and genuinely awe inspiring phenomenon, the credits writers of Jurassic Park had a bit of fun by titling the VFX Supervisor Phil Tippett as “Dinosaur Supervisor.” Which, considering just how much trouble those frog DNA spliced critters got up to, was quick to spawn this meme

This week, because of the release of the latest movie in the series, Phil replied:

Running with the joke and accepting it as part of your online presence is just another example of how using the internet right, can be a great aid to your own professional brand.

Some UCAS graphs

This week, I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation by Mary Curnock Cook, the Chief Executive of UCAS.

Some of the slides she went through were striking and I think are worth sharing as they may well help frame your advice & guidance to Key Stage 4 or 5 students.

All slides are the work of Mary & UCAS and are reposted here to help spread the message.

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Your leavers until 2020ish are going to be part of a falling population of 18 year olds before the big population bump comes through. This means they will be entering a HE marketplace primed for greater numbers and so very, very keen for their applications and acceptance of offers. This will put those with good grades into a strong position of consumer power.

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Similarly, as the warnings about grade inflation have fed through the system the number of ABB+ achieved at A Level has been falling. With the new A Levels and the AS/A Level decoupling, don’t expect this to reverse anytime soon. Those who do achieve ABB+ will be rarer and so hold even more power in their choices.

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Mirroring this, predictions don’t seem to be recognising the new landscape. Those students of yours who think, just because they’re being predicted ABB+ that it’s in the bag; it’s not.

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Overall though, A Level acceptances have remained steady over recent years while the growth has come from students holding BTEC or combined A Level and BTEC qualifications. If you have BTEC students nervous about how HE will view them, reassure them that they are the growth area.

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But that comes with the usual caveats, BTEC and A Level & BTEC combined students are much more likely to progress onto HE institutions with lower tariff requirements. As with a lot of career decisions, this is perfectly acceptable as long as the student is aware of and happy with the future doors they might be closing.

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Similarly, BTEC students are more likely to progress onto a narrower band of HE subjects than A Level students who spread out into a broader range of disciplines. Again, perfectly fine if the student is clear and confident in their aims.

Social Mobility

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A levels are getting better but aren’t great at getting students from poor backgrounds to access HE (prior attainment will play a large role there).

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Whereas BTECs are much better at providing an egalitarian access route to HE.

It’s interesting to combine that information with this data from a recent Yougov/Ofqual survey

that might hint that young people are being a tad sniffy about the “easier route the poor kids take to get to Uni.” You would imagine this should change as the growth in numbers taking BTEC and the curriculum reforms come into play over the next few years.