Researchers to investigate careers education after warnings over ‘inadequate’ provision for disadvantaged pupils

The Education Endowment Foundation is to investigate the state of careers education, warning of “strong evidence” that there is too much inadequate provision and that this hits disadvantaged pupils hardest.

The EEF and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have commissioned a review that will assess the current state of careers education and identify the most effective ways to provide this service. It aims to help schools make “informed and evidence-based decisions” about how best to prepare pupils for life after education.

It comes as TES reports today that a major study had found schools were failing to prepare girls and ethnic-minority and working-class pupils adequately for life after education. The report, from King’s College London researcher Louise Archer, found that this unwitting discrimination was reinforcing existing social inequalities. See this week’s edition of TES for the full story.

The EEF review will be carried out by Dr Deidre Hughes OBE, principal research fellow at the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research, and Dr Anthony Mann, director of policy and research at the Education Employers Charity.

A statement from the EEF today said: “There is strong evidence that too much careers education in England is inadequate and that the quality varies considerably by school and area.

“There is a risk that a lack of good quality careers education will disproportionately impact on students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are perhaps less likely to have family or friends with the breadth of insight and expertise to offer informed advice, and who could be left poorly equipped in making decisions about their futures.”

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “High-quality careers advice can make a real difference to young people’s outcomes after school but research suggests that its current provision in England is patchy at best.

“I’m delighted that we’re partnering with Bank of America Merrill Lynch who are offering funding, support and advice.”

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