Careers advice in Welsh schools is out of date

School inspectors in Wales claim that careers advice for pupils is out of date, too generic and come too late, with only a handful offering pupils one-to-one careers advice before choosing and after taking GCSEs. Anne Keane, the Chief inspector of schools in Wales said “Schools should be encouraging pupils to talk about their aspirations and hopes so that they can make informed decisions about their own future.”

The inspectors covered learning support at a cross-section of 20 secondary schools. There were some positive findings:

  • Improved attendance, especially in deprived areas since 2009
  • More pupils staying in education or training after 16
  • Fewer pupils being excluded.

However there are still improvements that need to be made to improve exam results and careers advice. Anne Keane also urged schools to develop the quality of their careers guidance to take into account individual needs.

The Bridge Builders Mentoring Scheme is one such tool available to schools, including those in Wales, to address careers support. We connect schools with large businesses, providing one-to-one mentoring to some of the pupils who need it most – boys from poor backgrounds. By receiving focussed, one-to-one mentoring, mentees are able to discuss their aspirations, realise what options are available to them, receive guidance and make action plans for the future. If you work in a school or youth organisation which has boys aged 12 or above that you think might benefit from one-to-one mentoring, please call 0333 200 4703 or email Amber at We are looking for schools committed to improving social mobility and helping these young men to realise their potential.

Helen Robinson