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Effective evaluation and review ensures that planning flows from evidence and career education and guidance practice is fit for purpose.

Career education and guidance can be reviewed as part of the school’s regular self-review processes. It can be reviewed in conjunction with other areas, such as literacy and numeracy, the key competencies or specific curriculum learning areas.

Suggested questions

A review evaluates effectiveness and looks for ways to improve outcomes for students. Questions that could be used in review include:

  • What evidence is there that career education and guidance is incorporated into the school's structures and curriculum?
  • How consistently is career education and guidance provided at each year level?
  • Are pastoral care and classroom teaching supporting career education and guidance to the extent needed?
  • To what extent is career education and guidance student-centred? Does it meet the particular needs of the school's students? How well is the school catering for the diversity of its students?
  • What evidence is there that students are developing career management competencies?
  • What benefits do students gain from specific career-learning activities and events (such as career modules, expos, and career days)?
  • Do students and parents receive sufficient career-related assistance prior to key transition points, such as choosing subjects?
  • Is career information accessible to all? Is it up to date and accurate? Is it impartial? Is there an appropriate balance between impartial material and promotional material produced by tertiary education and training providers?
  • How much confidence do students have about seeking career guidance?
  • Could the school make better use of the resources allocated to career education and guidance?

Relevant evidence

Evaluation should draw on a range of relevant evidence and be designed to measure effectiveness against baseline data. Some of the evidence chosen for the evaluation will already exist in the school. Some will need to be gathered to answer specific questions. Evidence can include (adapted from the Ministry of Education publication Consider the Evidence, 2006) :

  • Demographics - data that describes the school’s students, staff and community. Much of this data is collected at enrolment, when students leave school and by tracking students beyond school. This evidence will reveal the distinctive features of the school’s student community that will shape the school’s career education and guidance programmes.
  • Student achievement – data and other evidence from attendance records, assessments, standardised testing, portfolios of student work, student profiles and achievements soon after leaving school. This evidence can indicate the impact career education is having on student motivation and achievement.
  • Perceptions – evidence of what staff, students, parents, whānau, and communities think about the career education programme and how much they know about learning and career pathways and options.
  • School processes – how the school is organised and operates. Senior school curriculum options, the ease of changing subjects and the structure of the timetable can be factors in students’ career options.
  • Other practice – academic research, the experiences of other schools, methods to track students beyond school, etc. Keeping up to date with other practice is a key role for the school’s career education leader.

Review should take account of factors that are beyond the school’s control. Fluctuations in the national and local economy can impact on job opportunities and how students, families and whānau feel about possible learning and career options. For example, if local businesses are struggling, work experience and placement programmes might have to be reviewed. Or, if local businesses are actively seeking workers, some students may need help to weigh up the risks of leaving school without gaining qualifications.

Published on: 04 Aug 2009