Careers education and guidance is poor in one out of three schools, according to a re- port from inspectors published yesterday.
A minority of schools is ignoring pupils' interests and trying to persuade them to stay on in the sixth form when they would be better off elsewhere, the report from the Office for Standards in Education says.
It says the need for schools to market themselves because they get money for each sixth-former means some are not offering impartial advice: "In about a quarter of the schools with sixth forms, there were unresolved tensions as to how far students should be encouraged to go and see for themselves what was on offer elsewhere." Those that were open and even- handed about careers advice did not suffer from an exodus of pupils.
The survey, based on 117 school inspections and evidence gathered from a further 72 schools, found students were not given enough information to decide whether they were suited to A-level or advanced vocational courses (GNVQs).
8 A Survey of Careers Education and Guidance in Schools; HMSO; pounds 3.95.
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