Last updated: 02.12.16

Ofsted: Pupils leaving school unready for work

Education watchdog Ofsted believes that a lack of an “overarching government strategy” is resulting in a generation of pupils leaving school unprepared for the world of work.

According to the latest report by Ofsted, chaotic careers education in England’s schools could put the UK’s future economic prosperity at risk.

However, the government has said that its plan is to open young people’s eyes to many opportunities and choices, while chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw claims that the country’s success depends on harnessing “home-grown talent”.

The report calls on the government to do more to promote enterprise education in schools, including the promotion of economic and business understanding, as well as financial capability among students.

In November, MPs were accused of hiding from the facts when it comes to careers education.

"It is really important that schools are providing the right opportunities, working effectively with local businesses to offer their pupils the chance to understand how businesses work,” commented Sir Wilshaw.

"This is even more important for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Everyone should have access to an education that prepares them well for the next stage of their lives, be that higher education, entering employment or setting up their own business".

In the Ofsted report, of the 40 secondary schools visited earlier in this year, only four put enough emphasis on work-related learning. Instead, inspectors found that too many schools didn’t consider work-related education important, had weak links with local businesses or were unsure about the external careers education support on offer.

Ofsted also requested that the government revisited recommendations made in the 2014 report by Lord Young that urged for more emphasis on work-related learning in schools.

According to Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, stronger relationships between both schools and employers would be vital “in a period of massive change”. He called for a cultural shift within the education sector, with Ofsted putting less of a focus on exam results.

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