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Career education and guidance is most effective when it is integral to the school’s curriculum and pastoral care systems, and planned so that it is sustainable over time. This is more likely to happen if the board of trustees establishes a vision for career education and guidance in the school and a set of annual goals.

Strategic planning for career education and guidance should:

  • embody the school's vision for the future
  • provide a vision for career education in the school
  • address the particular needs of and desired outcomes for the school's student community - one size does not fit all
  • be clear about how progress will be evaluated
  • be updated as the school progresses towards its goals

Career education and guidance may be included in the school’s charter in its own section and/or in a range of other sections. For example, career guidance might be one of the strategies for addressing the needs of refugee students or promoting lifelong learning. Professional development strategies might include a career education and guidance element.

If career education and guidance in the school is in need of significant growth and development, it could be part of the long-term strategic plan. Boards of trustees can establish annual priorities and targets related to the direction, development or intended outcomes of career education and guidance.


Examples of areas where boards could establish strategic priorities and aims are:


  • Improved identification of students needing individual career guidance
  • Targets for student engagement in further education or work following school


  • Structured involvement of staff in career education and guidance
  • Targets for staff


  • Budget allocations to support a whole-school approach to career education and guidance
  • Property planning to raise the visibility of career education and guidance

Ideally there will be a strong link between a specific goal in the school strategic plan and implementation expectations in the annual plan. The link should then be carried through to expectations for all staff through departmental goals for staff development and student outcomes and the performance management system. The circle would be completed with reporting back to the board of trustees on the delivery and effectiveness of this element of the strategic plan.

(Education Review Office, 2009)

Published on: 04 Aug 2009