Blunkett calls for careers advice to help shape verdicts in Ofsted inspections

SCHOOLS SHOULD not be rated good or outstanding unless their careers advice is up to scratch, former Education Secretary David Blunkett has claimed.

The veteran Labour politician insisted Ofsted should give no school a category greater than “requires improvement” if an appropriate careers service is not available to pupils.

During education questions in the House of Commons yesterday, he described the Confederation of British Industry’s assessment of the current provision - “on life support” - as “generous in the sense that it presumed there was some support at all being given”.

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The Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough MP asked Education Secretary Nicky Morgan: “Will you not put in place a monitoring process and at the very least instruct Ofsted to give no school a category greater than ‘requires improvement’ if their careers education advice is not up to scratch?”

Ms Morgan maintained a monitoring process is in place in that Ofsted has a duty to look at the independent careers advice available.

She added: “Whilst I wouldn’t want to say that everything is all sorted ... I would just point out to you a recent survey carried out by a careers advice company in my constituency - CASCAiD - which showed around 86% of schools students said they had already had access to some careers advice. But you are right to say there is more we can do.”

Shadow Education Minister Lucy Powell branded the Government’s record on careers “woeful”, and claimed figures she had uncovered showed that despite doubling the bursary for the flagship early years apprenticeship scheme - aimed at those aspiring to a career in early years education - just 38 people had applied in the first six months.

Mrs Morgan maintained the Government had created a wave of new apprenticeships and had committed to “creating three million more in the next parliament”.