A Shropshire education expert has praised the latest Ofsted report which calls for more links to careers for students.
Andy Goff, who has decades of worldwide experience in teaching, technology in education and media training in schools, has welcomed the government inspectors’ advice to improve careers provision.
Andy, who is based in Shrewsbury, agreed with the report that said schools were ‘limited by the time and resources available for careers guidance’.
Andy said: “I am hoping this report will kickstart a change in careers guidance in schools.
“Ofsted have said exactly what I’ve been calling for, for a long time - that career provision needs to be more tailored to the individual pupils and more connected with industry professionals.
“All schools should be part of a careers hub which would give them direct access to realistic career advice from the people already in those careers.
“It isn’t so much about what job they want to do, but more about what they enjoy and what interests them, then we can link this to a career they are more likely to thrive in.”
Andy, who spent 12 years as a teacher and 19 years leading educational businesses and initiatives, including for Sony PlayStation, Oxford University Press and Toshiba, has most recently launched Career Cards.
The interactive cards are placed in schools linking future teenage talent with employers and opportunities in their desired industry locally.
The cards are now active in schools across Shropshire and feature more than 80 businesses. Each card has details of a role, information about local employers and a scannable QR code to take the pupil to videos on the Career Cards’ website, recorded by that employer, to find out more.
Andy believes these cards are one way of helping reach the recommendations expressed in the latest Ofsted report.
The report, released earlier this month, said: “All pupils and learners should receive quality careers guidance that raises their aspirations and leads them to make choices that will help them realise their potential.
“We found that this could be achieved if leaders think strategically about careers and support employer engagement that is authentic, contextualised and personalised.
“For schools and FE and skills providers that were engaged with career hubs, these played an important role in ensuring effective employer engagement and contributed more widely to career programmes.”
“Many of the schools we visited ensured that pupils received unbiased guidance that was balanced between academic and technical options, but this was not the case in all schools.
“In general, a lack of unbiased guidance was usually not about schools deliberately choosing to direct pupils to particular courses that might benefit the school, but due to insufficient strategic planning and attention to the needs of individual pupils.”
The inspectors visited 30 schools and 14 Further Education and skills providers between January and April this year.
Andy, the Founding Director of Interactive Opportunities Ltd, will also speak about connecting businesses with education at the British Educational Suppliers Association Networking Brunch in Birmingham next month.