There are only so many careers lessons for us all, what matters is applying them.

The UK’s Child Poverty and Social Mobility Commission published its first annual ‘state of the nation’ report today. Here is what it said about the provision of careers advice in schools in England:

“The Commission is very concerned that, following the devolution of responsibility for careers advice to schools, three-quarters are failing to provide an adequate service. Government has devolved the responsibilities without devolving the resources to enable schools to provide good careers advice to pupils … The current gaps in careers provision leave disadvantaged young people at risk of missing out on the information and networks they need to make the right career choices … The Commission will be looking for evidence that many more schools and businesses are developing the long-term relationships needed to give more students access to the insight and information that the most advantaged children can take for granted. This is an area the Commission will keep under active review.”

Earlier this week the STEM Disability Transition Group, of which I am a member, published a report on its first conference about overcoming the barriers to disabled students progressing in STEM subjects through school, college and university to employment.


Both reports build on previous ones about specific careers issues in the English education sector. Graham Stuart MP, Chair of the UK Parliament’s Education Select Committee, called yesterday for the Department for Education to pull its finger out. The evidence seems pretty much overwhelming that more needs to be done in schools – the final piece of the jigsaw would be a comprehensive economic impact analysis of NOT trying hard enough in this vital area i.e. the real cost to UK plc.