Once again the teaching profession is undergoing a review of school staffing structures. Many teachers of careers education and careers co-ordinators feel threatened by the replacement of the management allowances with the new Teaching and Learning payments (TLR).
This, however, could be the opportunity for Careers Education and Guidance (CEG), Work Related Education/Learning (WRE/WRL) and Personal and Social Education (PS(H)E) to become recognised and rewarded as the important and vital part of the curriculum they now play in the life of a school.
In England and Wales all three subjects are statutory, but with slight variations
England – statutory requirements
Wales – statutory requirements
|CEG – 11- 16 year olds||CEG – 13 – 19 year olds|
|WRL – 14 –16 year olds||WRE – 14 – 19 year olds|
|PSHE – non statutory||PSE – 5 – 16 year olds|
Not surprisingly, the recent NACGT survey revealed a tremendous variation in job descriptions and job responsibilities. Titles varied from careers teacher, careers co-ordinator, Head of Careers, PSE co-ordinator including careers, co-ordinator for CEG/WRE/PSE and many others. There is also a considerable variation in the role of line manager for the careers co-ordinator. In this article, the term ‘careers co-ordinator’ will refer to all those involved in the management, organisation and delivery of careers lessons in schools.
The majority of careers co-ordinators should not feel threatened by the criteria and factors laid down for the TLR payments and for those who do feel threatened, this could be opportunity to revisit your job description in the light of the NICEC briefing written by David Andrews, Leading and Managing Careers Work in School: the changing role of the careers co-ordinators, NICEC, March 2004. Several careers co-ordinators have used this briefing to help redefine their role in school and have presented it to their headteacher, with some success.
Criteria required for the TLR payments
A TLR payment may only be made to a teacher who is accountable for a significant, specified responsibility focused on teaching and learning, that is not required of all classroom teachers, clearly defined in the job description of the TLR payment holder, and requiring teacher’s professional skills and judgement. The TLR payment should be for a sustained responsibility in the context of the school’s structure needed to ensure continued delivery of high-quality teaching and learning.
Careers teachers need to go back to the basic aims of CEG. A CEG programme should provide the teaching, learning, information and advice that helps young people:
|Ø To understand themselves and develop their capabilities|
|Ø To investigate careers and opportunities|
|Ø To implement their career plans|
|Ø To increase their self-awareness and identify their personal development needs|
|Ø Become aware of changing career opportunities in the labour market, further and higher education, and self employment|
|Ø Develop skills in career planning that help them make choices and manage their career development|
The following are examples of where a teacher with the responsibility for careers in school has to be involved:
Ø Planning a scheme of work of careers education, in England from Year 7 to 11 and in Wales from Year 9 to 13. This will probably have to be co-ordinated with PSE, WRE and in England , citizenship. This involves exactly the same work as other teachers with responsibilities for their subject. OFSTED and ESTYN will both look at the teaching and learning taking place in careers lessons.
Ø When planning a scheme of work a careers co-ordinator will have to consider the guidance from the CEG Framework, work for all the key stages, differentiation, a range of activities, teaching and learning styles, key skills, and possibly working towards a local or national quality award. This is usually the responsibility of one person, unlike a head of English or Maths (where the subject is also taught to all pupils in school) who may have a second in the department who will take on some of the workload.
Ø Briefing and supporting other teachers / tutors delivering careers education.
Ø Liaising with relevant external agencies including Careers Wales/Connexions, employers, further and higher education institutions and training providers.
Ø Advising the senior leadership group and governors on policy, priorities and resources for CEG.
Ø Monitoring the effectiveness of the teaching and learning in CEG.
Ø Reviewing the overall provision of careers work, and evaluating an aspect of the programme each year. Using the outcomes to prepare the department development plan which should link in with the school development plan.
Ø Careers education is about motivating pupils and raising their aspirations through self-awareness activities, experiencing the world of work and meeting other adults and learning through a variety of situations. This has the knock on effect of raising achievements – something all headteachers are looking to achieve.
The factors that apply for TLR payments
A responsibility must meet the criteria and factors a, b, and c in order to qualify for any value of TLR payment. Factor d has to be met for the upper values of payment.
Here are some examples that may already be part of your work and may be of help if you are considering reviewing your job description.
- Impact on educational progress beyond the teacher’s assigned pupils
Ø developing coursework
Ø developing key skills and key skill activities
Ø target setting, raising achievement (possibly linked to Progress File)
Ø work experience preparation, planning and de-brief
Ø establishing and maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date provision of careers information
Ø working towards a quality award
- Leading, developing and enhancing the teaching practice of others
Ø lead school based training for teachers and tutors involved in teaching CEG
Ø work with the Pastoral team and Progress File co-ordinator to ensure a coherent provision of individual support and guidance, such as 14+, 16+ and 18+ option choices
Ø liaise with the SENCO to provide support for those pupils with special needs
Ø provide on-going support to others in school
Ø maintain your own and others’ continued professional development for careers work
- Having accountability for leading, managing and developing a subject or curriculum area or pupil development across the curriculum
Ø required to take part in OFSTED / ESTYN inspection
Ø reporting on and reviewing the effectiveness of careers work to senior managers and governors and present strategies for further improvement
Ø using the National Framework for the development of CEG
- Having line management responsibility for a significant number of people
Ø This may be difficult for teachers who teach in a small school.
Ø It may mean that the responsibility for CEG/PSE and WRE/WRL should be combined so that there is a co-ordinated approach to delivery of these programmes.
Ø Includes managing the work of the careers support assistant.
Ø The careers co-ordinator may provide the careers work for a large number of tutors to deliver
The Careers Co-ordinator is probably the one teacher who has a ‘whole school’ role in that as well as managing their own department and preparing work for all key stages, they also have to have links with the careers service/Connexions and the adviser(s) who work in their school, the librarian or resource manager, the PS(H)E co-ordinator, the WRE/WRL Co-ordinator, the Heads of Year, the Progress File co-ordinator, the SENCO and possibly mentors from outside school. They have to maintain links with FE and HE institutions in their area, with employers and other organisations, who come into schools to deliver aspects of the curriculum or who will accept visits from groups of pupils.
The careers co-ordinator can do a great deal to raise the profile of the school in their locality.
Some schools are starting to deliver a more integrated programme as they have discovered that there are several overlaps in the CEG, WRE/WRL, PS(H)E frameworks and great care needs to be taken to avoid duplication or non coverage of certain topics. Consequently those teachers involved in these areas of the curriculum need to work closely. Some schools are now realising just how much work is involved in these curriculum areas, not just the teaching but organising, co-ordinating, networking, managing and leading their department. In fact the role of the careers co-ordinator is much larger, more of a “careers work manager” and in some cases this person is being given higher recognition. Other schools have taken the opportunity of merging the CEG, WRE/WRL, PS(H)E areas of the curriculum into a “Personal Development and Guidance” department or faculty, with a faculty leader and others responsible for the strands within the faculty.
I realise that no school is the same. The size, composition, nature and interests of the headteacher, governors and staff can affect the way the school is organised and the priorities it is given. However, all head teachers want the best for their pupils and one way to achieve this is to give the careers co-ordinator the opportunity (including time and status) to develop a strong, well respected department that will reap benefits to the whole school.
It is now up to you to convince your headteacher!
Look at the ATL, NASUWT, PAT, NAHT and SHA recommendations.
“Leading and Managing Careers Work in School: the changing role of the careers co-ordinators”, NICEC, March 2004.