Ofsted inspections

How Ofsted will inspect CEIAG in FE Colleges from September 2017

Having blogged for (oh vey, many) years on the evolving focus on CEIAG in secondary schools from Ofsted, this year my attention lies elsewhere and how the Inspectorate will be considering the CEIAG offers of Further Education Colleges across the country. While the Common Inspection Framework remains the core guidance document for the Inspectorate, each type of provider under the watch of Ofsted has their own Inspection Handbook to outline in greater detail the expectations, schedules and grade descriptors for that type of provision. This type of transparency is vital in allowing providers to know what they will be judged upon by Inspectors, how that process will work and so how their internal quality control mechanisms will aid inspectors.

The 2017 update to the Further Education and skills inspection handbook explains that FE inspections adhere to the same policy employed in school inspections. This means that Grade 1 (Outstanding) providers are not routinely inspected and will only be monitored if concerns arise, Grade 2 (Good) providers will undergo a short, smaller scale inspection which will only upgrade to a fuller inspection if the outcome is recommended to change while Grade 3 (Requires improvement) and 4 (Inadequate) will have more frequent, in-depth inspections as well as other interventions.

For a full inspection, HMI will grade 4 areas of quality

  • effectiveness of leadership and management
  • quality of teaching learning and assessment
  • personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • outcomes for learners

and also grade the different types of provision an FE College may offer

  • 16-19 study programmes
  • Adult learning programmes
  • Apprenticeships
  • Traineeships
  • Provision for learners with high needs
  • Full time provision for 14-16 year olds

and then give an overall grade.

Inspectors will gain evidence from meetings with staff, senior leaders, students and stakeholders, documentary evidence such as policies and data such as student destinations.

For each of the areas above, the handbook lists the grade descriptors for Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate. Careers work is only mentioned at Good and Outstanding grades highlighting the importance of this kind of provision to Colleges wishing to excel. I will only quote the Outstanding descriptors below.

Effectiveness of leadership & management

Here, the quality of the College’s CEIAG offer plays a substantive part as inspectors will consider

the extent to which learners receive thorough and impartial careers guidance to enable them to make informed choices about their current learning and future career plans

and that this will be judged as Outstanding if

Leaders, managers and governors ensure that the provision of accurate, timely and
impartial careers guidance enables learners to make informed choices about their learning programme and that learners are very well prepared for the next stage of
their education, training or employment.

Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare

CEIAG quality also appears in the judgement criteria for Personal Development as Inspectors will judge

learners’ use of the information they receive on the full range of relevant career pathways from the provider and other partners, including employers, to help them develop challenging and realistic plans for their future careers

and that this will judged as Outstanding if

High quality careers guidance helps learners to make informed choices about which
courses suit their needs and aspirations. They are prepared for the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training.

16-19 Study Programmes

When inspecting study programmes of full-time learners, Inspectors will judge if

learners, and groups of learners, progress to the planned next stage in their careers, such as a higher level of education or training, or to employment or an apprenticeship

and that this will be judged Outstanding if

High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow study programmes that build on their prior attainment and enable them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available and are informed about local and national skills needs.

Adult Learning Programmes

The effectiveness of Adult Learning Programmes will be judged to be Outstanding if

High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow learning programmes that build very effectively on their prior attainment and enable them to progress towards clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available to them and are informed about local and national skills needs or the work of relevant community groups or projects.

Apprenticeship programmes

The effectiveness of Apprenticeship programmes will be judged to be Outstanding if

High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that apprentices build on their prior attainment and develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Apprentices understand the options available and are informed about local and national skills needs.

Traineeships

The effectiveness of Traineeship provision will be judged to be Outstanding if

High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow traineeships that build on their prior attainment. The guidance enables learners to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available to them and they are informed about local and national skills needs.

Provision for learners with high needs

Will be judged as Outstanding if

High-quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow individualised programmes, including study programmes, that build on their prior attainment. The guidance enables them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners understand the options available to them.

Full time provision for 14-16 year old learners

Will be judged to be Outstanding if

High quality impartial careers guidance ensures that learners follow learning programmes that build on their prior attainment and enable them to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for their future. Learners have a good understanding of all the options available to them, including apprenticeships, and how they relate to local and national skills needs.

 

These multiple mentions show that, to be judged as Grade 1 Outstanding, an FE College should be investing in a high quality, impartial Careers Service. The duties and work of those practitioners should then be embedded across the varying types of provision a modern College now provides and that learners are feeling the benefits of those interventions. As Colleges offer a greater range of Higher Education provision, there may even be scope for the work with those learners to be given its own section separate from other adult learner provision in the future.

 

More proof that Ofsted is not the white knight for CEIAG provision

One of the repeatedly suggested levers to pull which would improve CEIAG provision in schools is monitoring from Ofsted. Stakeholders, reports and Education Select Committee recommendations have all suggested that a secondary school’s Careers provision should be judged upon by the Inspectorate. This came to pass with the introduction of instruction for Her Majesty’s Inspectors to include comment of the quality of CEIAG provision in the 2013 and 2014 Handbook for Inspectors. This was taken as a positive step in concentrating the minds of school leaders to prioritise their CEIAG provision. Things changed though with the introduction of Ofsted’s short, targeted inspections of schools currently rated GOOD (grade 2) in September 2015.

This changed the way a large number of schools were visited and assessed and is further explained here but essentially it raised fears that, in a short, one day inspection performed by one inspector for a GOOD school that then remained GOOD, CEIAG would not be inspected. The checklist of school duties for a team of four or five inspectors to monitor over a two-day period cannot be the same for one inspector to check in a one day visit. Ofsted’s workflow guidelines for inspecting a GOOD school reflected this with the requirement for a Section 8 inspection to be carried out instead of a full Section 5.

In it’s justification for this change, Ofsted (with some rationale) argued that, in a supposedly self improving school system, an inspectorate should be focusing its resources on where the system needs them most and that would be on schools graded as 3 or 4. This was in line with the previous move to stop inspecting grade 1 schools as a matter of course and only place them under the microscope if substantive concerns were raised. Others would point out that this was an inevitable consequence of an Inspectorate tasked with inspecting growing types of provision and establishments but with a reducing budget.

Earlier this month, Ofsted released both a consultation on how short inspections had worked and the statistics for the numbers of inspections, including short inspections, from September 2016 to March 2017.

Concentrating on secondary schools, a total of 287 short inspections were carried out, of which 201 schools remained GOOD.

dfhpkeovyaaseak

A total of 535 secondary schools were inspected during this period which means that around 37% of secondary school inspections were not even required to pass comment on CEIAG during the academic year.

Ofsted also notes that the number of short inspections that converted to full Section 5 inspections is lower than last year

Twenty nine per cent of short inspections between 1 September 2016 and 31 March 2017 converted to full inspections. In 2015/16, 35% converted.

So, as schools coalesce into the higher grade boundaries but find that OUTSTANDING rating just out of reach, it seems that fewer are undergoing a full Section 5 inspection.

The folks over at Education Data Lab have already done the work in totaling up these numbers to see the complete picture of inspections that have occurred since they were introduced in 2015.

edudatalab1

So, from a total of 530 short inspections of secondary schools, 55% in those 18 months would not have been required to offer a judgement on a school’s CEIAG provision.

The most recent Ofsted Annual Report (2015-1016) shows that more secondary schools than ever are being judged as good or outstanding

ofsted1

a rise of 12 percentage points since 2011.

Both the rise in non converting short inspections and the exemption of inspection OUTSTANDING schools leading to 10 years between inspections in some cases

ofsted2

means that

a) it is increasingly less likely that a school’s CEIAG provision will not be monitored during an inspection

b) it is increasingly likely that a judgement on CEIAG provision contained in an Ofsted report is from a school that previously held a grade 3 or 4

and so then

c) the headline trend of rising numbers of GOOD and OUTSTANDING schools offers no evidence to the quality of Careers provision in schools as the Careers provision in these schools will have either i) not have been inspected during the most recent inspection or ii) been inspected quite a number of years ago.

Under the current framework of inspection, Ofsted is no substantive barometer of the quality of Careers provision in schools now and, if the current trends continue, will only be more out of snyc with provision in the future.

 

 

 

Is Ofsted delivering the CEIAG goods: 2015 reup

Back in the Autumn of 2013 the inclusion of monitoring the CEIAG statutory duty on schools was newly part of Section 5 Ofsted inspections and I posted about what this was looking like in those first early reports from that academic year. It was clear even from that small sample size that inspectors were taking their time to incorporate the then new requirement into their inspection process and the resulting reports showed an uneven mention of CEIAG provision.

Since then careers has continued to be part of the annually revised Ofsted inspection process. Updates for inspectors came ready for the start of the 2014 academic year and then the 2015 academic year. The careers update this year though, while comprehensive in its wording, needed to be placed in the wider context of the changes to the common inspection framework and the schools inspection handbook.

These changes meant that:

Schools holding an OUTSTANDING rating: are exempt from full Section 5 inspections and will only trigger a shorter, Section 8 inspection if results dip, significant complaints are made from stakeholders, a visit on a thematic survey raises concerns or safeguarding issues are raised.

Schools holding a GOOD rating: Will receive a shorter Section 8 inspection once every 3 years. If the result of this visit is a recommendation to remain GOOD, the school continues to do so. If the Section 8 inspection offers the potential for the school to move to OUTSTANDING or drop to REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT or INADEQUATE then a larger team of inspectors will arrive and carry out a full Section 5 inspection usually within 48 hours.

Schools holding a REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT rating: Will receive another Section 8 monitoring inspection in the same term and, if the rating remains, another Section 5 inspection within two years.

Schools holding a INADEQUATE rating: A whole raft of measures come into play including the Local Authority, further inspection visits and academisation or sponsor change. The Education & Adoption bill is currently travelling through the Houses towards Royal Ascent and will soon narrow the options here.

Section 8 inspections are shorter, more focused visits, usually with less inspectors present at the school. The specific handbook for these visits details the areas inspectors should cover. Inspecting careers provision isn’t mandated or mentioned.

What does this mean?

That Ofsted will spend much less time focusing on schools not causing concern. In fact, budget cuts (Ofsted strategic plan 2014-2016 document details a near £60m cut from 2010 to 2016 page 8) will mean less inspections in total. In 2012/13 they inspected 1334 secondary schools while 2013/14 saw 1048 secondary schools visited.

Using the “Find an inspection report” by date on the Ofsted website the number of Secondary school inspection reports published:

Between 1st September 2013 – 31st October 2013 = 105

Between 1st September 2014 – 31st October 2014 = 133

Between 1st September 2015 – 31st October 2015 = 81

Of those 81 published reports so far this year, many are Section 8 reports with no mention of careers (examples here, here and here). There do continue to be full Section 5 reports as well that do mention careers provision. Some examples:

1. School: Droylsden Academy

Inspection Date: 1/10/2015

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/135864

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=135864

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations:

Careers education is largely focused on Key Stage 4 and the transition to college or employment. The academy is building a careers education from Year 7 onwards as part of the drive for greater aspirations and the development of work-related skills and aptitudes.

2. School: Barnsley Academy

Inspection Date: 22/09/2015

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/131749

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=131749

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations:

They appreciate the useful information from careers lessons and interviews which help them to reflect on their future education, training or employment prospects.

and for the Sixth Form:

While some students do undertake work experience relevant to their needs, and impartial careers guidance enables most students to develop realistic plans for the future, the overall range of enrichment activities, visits and visitors is too narrow

3. School: Salford City Academy

Inspection Date: 22/09/2015

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/135071

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=135071

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations:

The academy provides its students with good careers guidance and advice that helps them to make informed choices about their next steps.

Good careers advice is provided and this is reflected in the number of students gaining university places and in the number of those who also gain employment or training. Advice and guidance processes for students making study choices for GCSE are very thorough and lead to very few pathway changes. The academy is committed to developing students’ understanding of the world of work. All students are encouraged to take part in quality work experience during Year 12. Commitment to work experience is strong and runs alongside well-structured impartial careers advice to support learners’ next steps.

4. School: Trinity Academy

Inspection Date: 22/09/2015

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/135007

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=135007

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations:

There is a full programme of careers guidance from Year 7 which builds incrementally as students get older. Students are guided in their choice of subjects and career choices, which includes a number of visiting speakers from local and national firms and professions. However, some students in Key Stages 3 and 4 have mixed views regarding the quality of careers guidance provided. Leaders recognise the need to evaluate this provision against student outcomes.

And in the Sixth Form:

Leaders ensure that all students benefit from external and impartial careers advice so they can make well-informed choices. They provide effective guidance to students entering the sixth form and as they prepare for the next steps in education, training or employment when they leave. As a result, no student leaves without a secure pathway for the future. An increasing number of students take up study places at university, many at the top universities in the country.

5. School: Djanogly City Academy

Inspection Date: 22/09/2015

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/134253

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=134253

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations:

Careers professionals and teachers guide students to make appropriate course choices well. All students last year accepted places to follow appropriate courses at the academy or post-16 colleges and schools. The course choices were well suited to the aptitudes and aspirations of the students. The academy takes its responsibility seriously to ensure that students make informed and appropriate choices for the next stage of their education.

But it’s worth noting that all 5 of those schools were rated as INADEQUATE at their previous inspections. More and more schools are being judged as OUTSTANDING or GOOD, the tables at Watchsted tell us 74.5% of England’s 3117 secondary schools are now in either of those two categories. That means that, as a matter of course, only 25.5% of secondary schools will be monitored for their careers provision. For the schools in those top two categories it will be dependant on the processes outlined above.

Everyone concerned with CEIAG in schools seems to agree that Ofsted has a role to play in the quality assurance process. Just last week, Garry Forrest of the British Chambers of Commerce wrote

Inspection of schools is important, so I’m pleased that Ofsted is increasing its focus on this area in the new Common Inspection Framework.

Even Sir Michael recently said

What’s really important for inspections of secondary schools is that HMI ask questions about post-16 provision, whether schools and head teachers of secondary schools are providing youngsters with all the information that they need to make good choices and not restricting that information to get youngsters into their own sixth form.”

What seems to have less awareness though is that Ofsted is changing year on year. The pressure on the Inspectorate to provide authoritative verdicts on a greater range of schools, FE, early years and social care provision is only increasing (the focus on British values as a school example) while their financial capabilities to conduct this work are tightening. Their visits to OUTSTANDING and GOOD schools will be much more infrequent and on a smaller scale. As Ofsted themselves state in the Common Inspection Framework (para 19) “Ofsted is committed to inspecting in a proportionate way so that resources are focused where they are needed most.” This this will mean that this academic year, the instances of an Ofsted inspector being in a secondary school and asking the question, “So, what do you do for your careers work?” are likely to be much fewer than the past two years.

Submission to the Education Select Committee follow up Careers inquiry

In a continuing series of posts that should really be tagged “Russell gets ideas above his station,” back in July (which means that Ofsted quote isn’t now from our most recent report) I submitted a response to the Education Select Committee’s call for written evidence for its follow-up session in their Careers Guidance investigation. You can find my submission here (PDF) and the rest of the submissions here.

There are some conflicting views and differing opinions but also plenty of common ground in those submissions about which drivers of change the Committee should recommend the DfE to enact and it will be interesting to see what response the raised profile of CEIAG will elicit from the Education Secretary in her session with the Committee on 3rd December compared to the utter dismissal the previous post holder gave.

July 2014

Submission to the Education Select Committee Careers Guidance Follow Up inquiry.

Russell George (personal submission) Careers Co-ordinator Stopsley High School.

Post holder for 5 years as part of a Work Related and Curriculum team at our 11-16 school. Our most recent Section 5 Ofsted Inspection in 2012 rated the guidance for students moving as “Outstanding” and we were visited as part of the Ofsted “Going in the right direction?” Careers report in February 2013. Following this I have been fortunate to be invited to present at national conferences and events. I also blog at https://fecareersiag.wordpress.com/

Executive Summary:

  • The DfE must realise that asking schools to commit staffing and resourcing to this work requires a significant budget commitment and a dedicated member of staff
  • A scale-able system for organising school/employer interaction already exists in the Inspiring the Future website and any overlap with the forthcoming expansion of responsibilities of the National Careers Service should be avoided
  • The current accountability stick of Destination Measures is not enough to override short term decisions made by institutions to funnel students into or keep them on learning routes for funding reasons. Further detail and onus is required
  • Local Authorities have a central role to play in the collaboration across transition points of all local providers of all routes and must improve their post 14 learner data collection but confusion around their input, role and monitoring powers of FE, UTC’s, Studio Schools and Academies means that many gaps, overlaps and dead ends in curriculum and qualifications have been allowed to flourish

Submission

1. Since the Coalition Government came to power, schools that have committed to succeeding in careers work have taken on two large financial commitments to enable this work to continue at a service level similar to what went before. Firstly, they will have either employed or paid to buy in a Careers practitioner to provide guidance to students and to organise employer facing activities which previously were secured through a free service offered by Connexions. Secondly, those schools which still offer some form of work experience in Key Stage 4 now have to pay a service provider for those placements to still occur. Previously local Education Business Partnerships (EBPs) were centrally funded to perform this work. These standard offers of a Careers program can then be further supplemented with trips to national events such as the Skills Show or the Big Bang Fair and tasters to more localised progression routes but still with the costs of staffing and transport to overcome. More overarching schemes such as Career Academies or Pearson’s Think Future scheme allow schools to buy in a wholly packaged service but this has a cost price that reflects this plus they would still need a nominated co-ordinator in school. This sudden extra demand on school budgets was noted in the recent Gatsby Foundation report “Good Career Guidance1” and the figures they quote for organising each of those activities are, in my experience, realistic. Placing a new requirement on schools and then having Ofsted monitor the implementation of this requirement is sensible but does beg the question that, if Careers, Education, Information & Guidance (CEIAG) work is deemed now to be an accountable aspect of a school’s purpose, should this not be funded as such?

2. Since the updated Careers guidance was released in April 2014, it has been trailed that The National Careers Service will have an extended role to play in encouraging and facilitating school and employer engagement. The Committee should note that a working and highly successful model for this is already in place. The free Inspiring The Future website2 run by the Education & Employers Taskforce allows volunteers from a vast range of organisations and job roles to sign up to offer their time to schools. Schools are then able to contact the volunteers through the site and organise bespoke events from assemblies to group sessions to Careers fairs. Any new offer from the National Careers Service would need to tread carefully so not to needlessly overlap the Inspiring The Future service and find a niche not already catered for. In recent years a raft of organisations and schemes with similar employer/school interaction goals have sprung up such as MyKindaCrowd or National Careers week, employers such as Barclays have set up their own Lifeskills offer, business groups such as Business in the Community and CIPD have their own schemes and regional bodies have grown out of the ashes of EBPs to facilitate this work. For employers wishing to engage with schools this landscape is extremely confusing with all of these competing bodies offering structure and access. This area needs simplification, not the addition of a repetitive new organisation. Without the political will to implement or fund a national structure for school/employer collaboration the Committee should stress to the Government to look to support and expand what is already there.

3. Working in a secondary school without a Sixth Form immediately changes the freedoms and onus of my role. In his evidence session with the Committee on Careers in December 2013, Michael Gove refused to acknowledge the negative impact on CEIAG that the pressures and assumptions placed on students to stay in the school’s own Sixth Form can have. Anybody who has worked in secondary education can tell you this is a palpably false assertion. The DfE has introduced the inclusion of Destination Measure statistics as a monitoring tool to, in some extent, combat this practice but felt that the publishing of a Careers Plan as suggested by the Committee was an administrative step too far. Destination Measures in their current form do not have the accountability clout to alter school’s behaviour in this regard. The forthcoming changes to the accountability system in 2016 have been universally welcomed for placing the progress of every child at the heart of school accountability. Destination Measures must be included in these changes. In the DfE document “Reforming the accountability system for secondary schools3” October 2013 it is stated that a fifth statistic of a sustained destination percentage is desired but that the underlying data must be “robust” enough for this to be including as one of the headline figures schools will be required to publish in a uniform format. The Committee should press the Government to ensure that progress is being made in ensuring the stability of this data from Local Authorities and secure a commitment that these statistics will form a headline part of the new accountability structure. This public accountability would then dovetail with the welcome inclusion of a CEIAG focus in Section 5 Ofsted inspections and the future data to be collected on school alumni employment and benefit outcomes as recently included in the Small Business bill.

4. As well as the impetus on Local Authorities to secure robust 14-19 transition and destination data, further clarification should be requested from the DfE on their requirements to ensure collaboration of education and training providers across Key Stages in their region. A number of recent policies have aims and outcomes which, with local oversight, school led CEIAG can aid. Without local oversight the recent growth in school Sixth Forms at academy schools have the potential to prove poor value for money and increase the pressure on schools to protect revenue streams. Without local oversight the recent growth in UTC and Studio School provision to offer new choices to students at 14 will continue to struggle to enrol students leading to more high-profile closures. Without local oversight, employers will struggle to inform Colleges and training providers of their future labour force needs and the demands of the future localised labour market. Without local oversight, CEIAG becomes a threat to providers conscientious of their reputations and of the competition for enrolment numbers. With local oversight, transparent and informed CEIAG can motivate students to succeed in the routes and paths most relevant to them benefiting all local providers, the regional economy and, most importantly, the students themselves.

  1. http://www.gatsby.org.uk/GoodCareerGuidance
  2. http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/249893/Consultation_response_Secondary_School_Accountability_Consultation_14-Oct-13_v3.pdf

 

The CEIAG bits of our recent Ofsted inspection

There are two events which are by far and away the most stressful and tension filled times working in schools. One happens every year as those all important GCSE results come in but then the spreadsheets and data packs are soon forgotten as the young people start to arrive and collect their grades. The other happens (as just has in our case) around once every four years and is preempted by a midday phone call, an evening of photocopying and then two days of direct, thoughtful and rigorous meetings and questions. That’s an Ofsted visit.

Link: http://www.stopsleyhighschool.co.uk/Mainfolder/RV5-Final-449147.pdf

I thought I’d do a post covering my experience of the Inspection to help careers colleagues who are at schools also expecting “the call” this academic year.

During the two days, I had two meetings with an Inspector, both with another member of staff present. In one, myself and our Assistant Head for Curriculum were tasked to cover our curriculum offer and progression. In another, myself and my colleague Jo (who alongside a mentoring cohort, also does a lot of careers and apprenticeship work) were tasked to cover our vocational (including offsite) provision and related progression.

Discussion in the Curriculum session covered:

  • CEIAG policy
  • Annual action plan
  • Past audits of provision
  • A broad and balanced curriculum model and how it ties into local progression routes (both College & employment)
  • Take up of different options and the options guidance process
  • The range of activities & visits offered to students
  • Pupil feedback from their meetings with inspectors
  • NEET and progression percentages into different routes
  • Our Learning for Life (PHSCE) lessons with careers lessons included
  • How these provision feed into the “British Values” agenda

Discussion in the Vocational provision session covered:

  • Range of offsite & on site vocational provision
  • Service Level agreements between institutions
  • Parental agreements (with above focusing on safeguarding procedures)
  • Tasters
  • The reporting schedule for parents
  • Day to-day attendance and progression monitoring
  • Specific progression case studies for these learners

In both of those sessions we had all of our relevant documentation with us and were able to present it to the Inspector as we told our story.

This lead to a paragraph in the final report that states:

Students in Years 8 to 11 receive good independent advice and guidance regarding their future careers.
Older students benefit from support to help them to make informed decisions about examination subject
choices, as well as the opportunities available to them in further and higher education, employment and
training.

as well as a number of mentions of our vocational offer.

It’s probably worth relating this to the recent work of Careers England looking at (the lack of) CEIAG in Ofsted reports from last academic year. When a meeting on Curriculum was requested, my Headteacher suggested who should attend, when a meeting on the school’s Vocational provision was requested, my Headteacher suggested who should attend. During those meetings the Inspector asked pertinent and searching questions as we went through our setup and provision but it was down to us to initiate the direction of the conversation. In the Curriculum meeting I piped up at various points to expand on points our Deputy Head was making to show how our careers work supports progression into local routes and the local labour market. Basically, I made sure that the Inspector couldn’t walk out of the room without a clear idea of what we do. Both sessions did have a different dynamic though to the sessions we had when visited by Ofsted as part of their survey into Careers provision back in early 2013. Then the Inspector clearly had a much more defined and tailored brief of what to look for and his approach and questions reflected this. The lesson may be that it is those schools that are willing to be vocal and upfront about their CEIAG work are the ones who achieve a mention in their final reports. Those who keep quiet are the ones where the questions that should be being asked, may not be.

Early Signs: Is Ofsted delivering the CEIAG judgement goods?

A new term means new Ofsted inspections and reports which, this year, should get special scrutiny from the CEIAG community. For it is from this September that Sir Micheal Wilshaw has promised that a school’s proficiency in fulfilling the duties of the Statutory Guidance and the quality of their CEIAG work will be given a greater priority in inspections. The guidelines issued to inspectors are clear so now, for schools to  believe that this work is a vital part of the structure they build for their students, it just has to happen.

In these first reports from this academic year only full school inspections on secondary schools are included here:

1. School: Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School

Inspection Date: 11/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/112969

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=112969

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: None (although the paragraph at the bottom of page 6 does mention progression routes)

2. School: Sharples School Science Specialist College

Inspection Date: 10/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/105259

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=105259

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: On page 6, “students receive good support and guidance about the next steps open to them after they leave school.”

3. School: Granville Sports College

Inspection Date: 12/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/112940

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=112940

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: On page 6, “They have also developed a range of courses which are increasingly relevant for students. Most students are now prepared well for the next stage of education or work,” which is really more about curriculum pathways and design rather than IAG.

4. School: South Wolverhampton and Bilston Academy

Inspection Date: 18/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/135983

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=135983

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: None

5. School: Sandhurst School

Inspection Date: 10/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/110068

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=110068

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: None

6. School: Acland Burghley School

Inspection Date: 11/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/100053

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=100053

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: None

7. School: Fearnhill School

Inspection Date: 17/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/117504

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=117504

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: YES! – On page 8, “The school makes suitable arrangements for providing independent information, advice and guidance to prepare students for the next stage of their education and the world of work.”

8. School: Hasland Hall Community School

Inspection Date: 12/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/112959

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=112959

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: YES! – On page 7, “Independent and impartial careers guidance is available to students through an independent careers service and events and opportunities provided by the school. There are good relationships with local providers of post-16 education.”

9. School: Litcham School

Inspection Date: 12/09/2013

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/121168

Performance table:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/school.pl?urn=121168

Specific mention of Careers/CEIAG/Destinations: None – although reference is made to qualification pathways and opportunities for small numbers of students to participate in work related learning but, again, this is a curriculum design issue, not an IAG reference.

It’s far too early to form a judgement or look for any emerging patterns here on either how Ofsted are inspecting or then reporting CEIAG as part of regular school inspections but I wanted to flag up that, in some cases, it seems to be happening well.

The early questions raised are though

1. Will negative verdicts on a schools CEIAG provision start to appear as well?

2. Does omission of a CEIAG verdict in the report imply the inspection team did not focus on it or a negative verdict on the school’s provision?

3. Will Destination figures get a mention at some point?

In time, we shall see.