Blog

‘Careers advice should be a core part of a young person’s schooling’

This week the Government’s Commons Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy concluded that the lack of good careers provision in schools in England was harming young people’s job choices and having a detrimental effect on the economy.

In a report, MPs said: “We recommend that Ofsted introduce a specific judgement on careers information advice and guidance for secondary schools, and set clear criteria for making these judgements.”

“The Common Inspection Framework should be amended to make clear that a secondary school whose careers provision is judged as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ cannot be judged as ‘outstanding’ overall.”

“Likewise a secondary school should be unable to receive an overall judgement of ‘good’ if its careers provision is judged to be ‘inadequate’.”

This is a crucial time for schools in England to ensure that their careers advice service is fit for purpose. At Grofar we understand the importance of this and the impact that good careers advice has on student’s futures. Running an effective careers service is time consuming and labour intensive – this is where we can help!

Grofar is a complete careers administration solution, available to schools from just £495 per annum. Grofar manages careers service processes and provides a central location for all careers information. Grofar is the solution for schools who want to improve the careers service they offer to students and maximise their staff potential.

Speak to a member of our friendly team for further information by emailing info@grofar.com. To sign up to a no obligation 30-day free trial please visit www.grofar.com.

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Grofar Product Update

The team have been busy collecting feedback and fulfilling our commitment to improving Grofar. We will release new features and updates every 2 weeks which I look forward to sharing with you.

I am delighted to take you through some of our recent product updates.

Careers Plan – Student Entitlement Statements

The Careers Plan generator now includes a section for you to define Student Entitlement Statements for each year groups. As with all other sections within the Careers Plan, we provide you with example text so you are not starting from scratch!

Careers Plan Student Entitlement Statements

Did you know you can host the Careers Plan on your website and changes are updated automatically?

Student Passport – What Have I Learnt?

All student activity is automatically logged to their Student Passport. We have added the “What I Learnt” feature to capture student’s thoughts immediately after an activity. Students are prompted by an email and within the Student Portal to record “What I Learnt”.

Student Activity Log What Have I Learnt

Did you know you can filter the Students Database by the students who have completed Action Plans, making it very easy to identify those who have not?

One to One Meetings – Meeting Alerts

Improvements to the One to One Meeting Manager mean that you are now alerted immediately within Grofar when a student requests a One to One meeting. A new Pending Meetings tab makes it very easy to manage all new requests. We have also added the ability to easily assign Careers Advisers and meeting rooms to meeting slots.

One to One Meeting Alerts

Did you know you can set up multiple recurring One to One meeting sessions to create a flexible and open Careers Service that students can engage with at times that best suit you and them?

Business Database – Google Maps

We have integrated with Google Maps to enhance the Business Passport and allow you to get a better understanding of your business network.

Business Database Google Maps

Did you know that all Careers activity is recorded against a Business Passport so that you can easily maintain a full history of all Business engagement?

Adrian Lyons from Ofsted says school’s provision for enterprise and employability “is less effective than it could be”

We recently came across a video on Ofsted’s YouTube channel where Adrian Lyons, Her Majesty’s Inspector for Ofsted, talked about schools not monitoring the quality of provision in this area.

In the video, Adrian talks about how school’s monitoring of the quality of the provision is currently lacking, and that the training of teacher’s within this area is not as effective as it could be. He also mentions that many schools do not currently record the activities that students are involved with, making it hard to keep track of what they are actually learning – suggesting there is still work to be done in this area.

At Grofar, we understand the importance of engaging students with businesses in order to raise their careers aspirations, but that currently the process for Careers Leaders can be very time consuming – which is where we can help.

Grofar offers a complete careers administration system for schools who want to improve the careers service they offer to their students and relieve their staff of much of the admin burden. Two features of Grofar Careers Solution include Business Database and Business Comms, which allows Careers Leaders to easily manage the school’s relationship with local enterprises.

For further information about Grofar, including the features of the Grofar Careers Plan and the Grofar Careers Solution, please email info@grofar.com  to speak to a member of our friendly team or visit www.grofar.com to sign up for a no obligation free trial.

Careers Silver Bullet?

In Sir John Holman’s 2014, Gatsby report he said that there was no “silver bullet” that would of itself transform the quality of careers advice in schools. Instead, he said schools needed to provide a series of measures to a high standard.

His views are based on extensive research in the UK, Canada Germany, Holland, Finland, Ireland and Hong Kong. The English government has welcomed the eight Gatsby Benchmarks believing that they provide an important framework of activities and philosophy of what good CEIAG looks like.

The Benchmarks cover all aspects of CEIAG, from achieving a stable careers programme and making this known and understood by students, parents, teachers, governors and employers to providing personal career guidance, best provided by a qualified and registered career adviser. There are also benchmarks for learning from LMI, encounters with employers, FE, HE and other learning providers, work experience and linking curriculum learning to careers.

Career professionals will applaud the focus but for hard worked career coordinators and career leaders, the level of expectation, planning, management and organisational skills should not be under estimated. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was asked to calculate the cost of providing such services and estimated it would be £207 million in the first year and £173 million a year thereafter, or just under £45,000 per secondary school in England. Professional career guidance and management and admin skills of this breadth do not come cheaply.

At Grofar, we cannot of course offer a silver bullet but what we can do is help schools achieve many of the objectives set out in the Gatsby report, as the table below shows:

 

Gatsby Benchmark How Grofar Supports This Benchmark
1. A stable careers programme: Every school and college should have an embedded programme of careers education and guidance Easily create a professional school Careers Plan with templated information

Action Plans can be created for students

2. Learning from career and labour market information: Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities and the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information. Specific portals for different users

One to One Meeting Organiser will help facilitate face to face careers advice to build confidence and motivation.

Careers Noticeboard

Resources Library – will provide access to online tools.

Destination Data collection tool

3. Addressing the needs of each pupil: Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. Careers Dashboard

Individual Student Passports

Student Target Groups

Individual Student Action Plans

Caseload manager

One to One Meeting Organiser

4. Linking curriculum learning to careers: All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers. Schools can link to curriculum information in Careers Plan in order to determine and plan curriculum integration activities
5. Encounters with employers and employees: Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. Business Database, Business Comms and Business Signup to record contacts

Alumni Database, Alumni Comms and Alumni Signup to record contacts

6. Experiences of workplaces: Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience Work Experience Organiser linked to Student Action Plans will offer high quality work experience linked to Student studies

Work Experience Placement Manager to manage process

7. Encounters with further and higher education: All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities (academic and vocational) that are available to them. Event Planner to help organise higher education events

Action Plan to allow recording and planning of Students Careers focus and direction.

One to One Meeting Organiser will help facilitate face to face careers advice to build confidence and motivation.

8. Personal guidance: Every pupil should have opportunities for guidance interviews with a career adviser. Student Action Plans to record student aspirations

One to One Meeting Organiser will help facilitate face to face careers advice to build confidence and motivation.

Resources Library – will provide access to online tools.

 

Grofar offers a complete careers administration system from just £495 per annum for a school with under 800 students, making it an extremely cost effective option for schools who want to improve the careers service they offer to their students and relieve their staff of much of the admin burden.

For further information about Grofar, including the features of the Grofar Careers Plan and the Grofar Careers Solution, please email info@grofar.com  to speak to a member of our friendly team and to sign up to a no obligation free trial.

 

Press Release: Software company launch new solution for schools in response to increasing demands on Careers Leaders

Grofar have launched a new software solution for schools, an integrated set of tools that enables Careers Leaders to improve the service offered to students, save time and meet statutory guidance more easily as well as helping them to achieve the recommendations set out in the Gatsby report.

The company has created the platform in response to the Government’s drive to increase students’ aspirations and ensure that students leave school “prepared for life in modern Britain”. In April 2014, the Gatsby charitable foundation produced the “Good Careers Guidance” report by Sir John Holman, who identified eight benchmarks for what good career guidance should look like.

Speaking of the launch of the software, James Robertson, Managing Director of Grofar, said:

In 2013, OFSTED commented that only one in five schools were effective in ensuring that students were receiving the level of careers information that they needed. We carried out our own research and it’s clear that Careers Leaders are under considerable time pressure and lack the tools that are required to do their job well and that a software package could reduce administration and make the careers programme for schools much easier to manage.

Grofar offers a great cost-effective solution to schools. Using the information from their existing MIS system, it will help them to meet the key requirements of the Government’s statutory guidance, as well as develop the career aspirations of students from a young age.

The cost of Grofar’s complete software solution starts from £495. For further information about Grofar, including the features of the Grofar Careers Plan and the Grofar Careers Solution, please visit www.grofar.com or email info@grofar.com.