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Set up a careers lead team

Establishing a representative team is an important factor in incorporating career education and guidance in school-based curriculum and school structures.

The most effective teams are led by a senior manager working closely with a career education leader. Some schools seek representation on the team from each learning area or syndicate, while other schools invite classroom teachers with an interest in career education. Decide how you will involve other staff through consultation. Students could be represented on the team.

The careers lead team is responsible for developing and monitoring the provision of career education and guidance. Team members may need to lead significant whole school change. Consider providing professional development to help them do this.

Review your current education and guidance

Gather and analyse all available evidence about the coverage and impact of current career education and guidance and the needs of your students. Run teacher, student and whānau surveys. How is career education perceived in the school? How satisfied are school leavers and parents with the help they receive? How well did students cope with decisions at key transition points (such as selecting subjects or deciding when to leave school)? Look widely across the school for activities that are contributing to career education outcomes whether overtly planned or not. Identify potential synergies with other initiatives that could be explored for future development.

Understand your students' needs

Schools need to understand the unique characteristics of their student community before designing their approach to career education and guidance. It is important to identify the needs of the student community as a whole, as well as those of particular groups and individuals who may need special consideration. For example, the school’s geographic location or ethnic mix could be relevant. The needs of parents and whānau could also be considered, as they have significant influence on their children’s career development.

Establish specific goals and priorities

Specify targets for student outcomes. These could refer to learning and career planning, successful transitions and engagement beyond school. There could also be a need for development goals, such as a phased process for introducing career education topics into learning areas and professional development for teachers.

Specify available resources

Consider the expertise, staffing and budget required to plan, deliver and monitor the career education and guidance programme. Factor in the costs of resources, special events, external input, etc. Look at all sources of government and other funding.

Look outside the school

Research effective practice and review available resources, including those produced by Career Services. Decide which community representatives and organisations you will involve in planning and delivering career education and guidance. Plan ways to actively involve family and whānau.

Outline the programme

Decide on the shape of a school-wide delivery model and how that will be realised. For example, how some career education will take place within curriculum learning areas, what specific career-related learning activities are scheduled, how all students can receive some degree of ongoing individual support, and how students who need additional support are identified and given attention.

Decide how you will evaluate, review, and report

How will the school assess whether its vision, goals and targets for career education are being achieved? It is important to establish baseline data so you can measure progress. Decide how to monitor the programme and how you will gather and report information on its effectiveness.

Published on: 04 Aug 2009