Careers Coordinators in Schools

Frances Reed, Tami McCrone, Marian Morris, Helen Marshall, Karen White , David Andrews , Anthony Barnes

26 October 2009

Research report available to download from DERA

In 2008 the DCSF commissioned research to explore the possibility of a national professional qualification for careers coordinators in schools. The research was carried out by a team at NFER, in collaboration with the National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling (NICEC).

The central aim of the research was to gain insights into the qualifications, skills and the role of careers coordinators, as well as to establish the level of potential interest in a new professional qualification.

The main research methods used were:

  • a review of the current qualifications provision for careers coordinators
  • in-depth qualitative case-study visits to 18 schools
  • a national survey of 1208 careers coordinators (achieved response).

The main market for any potential new qualification appeared to be amongst those coordinators who were less experienced, those who were non-teachers and those who recognised that a new qualification would help them to do their job better and would be good for professional development.

The research explored and identified the potential content of a new qualification, should one be funded, in terms of knowledge and skills. The findings of the research have also been used to formulate guidance as to how higher education institutions (HEIs) may develop a new qualification or adapt current provision.

Key Findings

  • that there was a need for the teachers delivering careers education to be more knowledgeable about, and dedicated to careers education in order to prepare students for choices ahead.
  • that, in general, it was believed that a potential new qualification would help to enhance CE/IAG provision in schools and ultimately benefit students by preparing them adequately for the future.
  • that it was recognised that the status of careers education and guidance, and careers coordinators, needed to be raised and it was believed that a new qualification would contribute to this.
  • it was felt that a new qualification would aid recruitment for careers coordinators by providing a quality mark and consistency, and that it would also be beneficial when careers coordinators wished to move to another job.

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