National report summary

In Term 3, 2014 ERO visited 10 schools that were providing high quality careers education and guidance.

A coherent approach

Leaders and teachers at the 10 schools understood their role in preparing students for their life beyond school and that effective careers education and guidance could improve outcomes for students.

Schools designed careers education and guidance to fit with both the curriculum and the pastoral care system. They identified desired outcomes of career education and guidance for students, and carefully designed their programmes to lead to these outcomes.

Staff involved parents and whānau in developing goals for students and planning how to meet these.

How well is our careers education and guidance integrated into how we prepare students for life beyond school?

Age-appropriate and well-timed careers education to develop career management competencies of all students

Age-appropriate careers education and guidance increased students’ knowledge as they moved through secondary school. Carefully timed careers education linked well with subject choices so students were better informed about possible pathways.

How effective are subject teachers in including career-related information in their teaching?

Individual guidance

Individualised guidance and support helped students to successfully transition into tertiary education, training or employment. Schools recognised the importance of careers guidance for students at risk of poor outcomes.

How effective are the links between pastoral care and careers education and guidance?

Developing high-quality careers education and guidance

Career education programmes had been developed and improved over several years to respond to students’ emerging interests, strengths and aspirations, and to support them to make informed decisions about their subject choices and pathways.

The schools with the most successful careers education and guidance had worked with Careers New Zealand and used their Benchmarks to review and improve practices.

How effective is our planning to improve our careers education and guidance provision?

Developing staff capability and confidence

Many schools had extended the roles of form teachers and subject teachers to provide careers education and guidance through such things as pastoral support and academic counselling.

Schools had clarified expectations for these roles and put in place plans to increase teachers’ confidence and to support them with useful resources. Many schools had participated in whole-school professional development that provided many opportunities for staff to develop their knowledge and understanding.

How clear are teachers about their specific responsibilities in supporting students to develop career management competencies?

What additional support do our teachers need to develop their capability and confidence in providing careers education and guidance?


Reviewing provision, quality and outcomes

High quality careers education and guidance review was purposeful, systematic, ongoing and based on several sources of evidence. Most of the schools had recently used the Benchmarks to review and improve aspects of their careers and education guidance. Most schools sought feedback from students on particular events or experiences.

Some schools monitored the teaching and quality of the careers education and guidance provided by form teachers and subject teachers. Some had developed systems to ensure every student participated in the careers programme.

What is helping our CEG provision? What is hindering it?

Do all our students receive careers education and guidance to meet their specific needs? Are there any groups that may need additional support?

How effective is our monitoring and review of careers education and guidance provision and outcomes? What is reported to the board?

Outcomes for students

Students at these schools were given considerable opportunities to plan for their future, and were supported to reach their goals. Students knew it was important to choose subjects that kept their options open.

Careers education and guidance supported them to: 

  • develop awareness of their strengths and interests
  • identify possible learning pathways and careers
  • make plans and put them into effect.

As a result students had a better sense of direction, knew their next steps, understood the relevance of their learning, were more engaged in learning, remained at school, and were motivated about their futures.

Students knew where to find information about careers and courses and were able to identify a range of possible careers. Visiting tertiary providers and experiencing workplaces helped them to clarify which options would suit them. Some students had been offered jobs as a result of work placements.

I’m 17 and working for my dream company! This wouldn’t have happened without [the careers adviser].

I’m good at speaking persuasively so I might work in human resources, law or sales.

What are the outcomes for students of our CEG? How do we know?

How confident can we be that students are developing CMCs? Who monitors this?

Careers New Zealand’s Career Education Benchmarks are a self-review resource for schools. They identify four ‘key dimensions’ of high quality careers education and guidance and the competencies needed to successfully transition to further learning and work. Leaders and teachers could use the Careers Benchmarks to help them answer the self-review questions in this summary.

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