Elizabethan Academy Careers guidance – Ofsted say “students are getting a good deal”

As part of a national survey into careers guidance, taking in sixty schools across the country, the school was visited by Angela Headon, a member of the Government’s OFSTED team, on 26 February.

Mrs Headon spent the day talking to members of the Academy’s Careers Guidance Team, observing careers interviews, interviewing students about their experience of careers education and reviewing the Academy’s careers policy, PSHCE programme and related documentation.

The outcome of the visit was extremely positive.  In her feedback, Mrs Headon pointed to a “coherent and comprehensive programme” which meant that students “are getting a good deal”.  She was impressed to see careers education featuring in all years of the PSHCE programme and recognised that careers support was not targeted solely at Year 11.  The interviews conducted by the Senior Leadership Team with every member of Year 11 were another strength, which had allowed specialist careers advice to be targeted at those students who needed it most.

Mrs Headon was quick to praise the Academy’s work linking advice and guidance to aspirations, attendance and achievement.  She commended us on our proactive efforts with students to raise their aspirations and encourage them to aim high.

Another strength was the Careers Fair which took place on Review Day in December.  This she took as evidence of our commitment to independent and impartial advice, a cornerstone of the Government’s careers guidance strategy.

Mrs Headon had nothing but praise for the students she met.  She said they were “a delight”, admired their confidence when speaking to her and quickly saw that they value the support and guidance they receive.

Following changes to Government policy, schools are now responsible for the commissioning and delivery of their own careers guidance.  In the past, this was provided by the national Connexions service.  However, for the past 12 months, the requirement to ensure that students receive appropriate guidance has passed to individual schools.  The Academy was awarded the Career Mark for its guidance work last year, and this visit is further recognition of our strengths in this area.

The results of the survey will form part of a national report to be published in the summer, and Mrs Headon expected that aspects of our work would be identified in this.  Unfortunately, no judgement was made on the visit; however, asked whether there was any good practice in other schools which we could adopt, she replied that the Elizabethan was “the best she had seen”.