• The evidence base for careers websites. What works?

      Vigurs, Katy; Everitt, Julia; Staunton, Tom; University of Derby (Careers and Enterprise Company, 2017-11-24)
      There is some evidence which suggests that using career websites as part of broader careers education provision can impact positively on young people’s career readiness and the quality and diversity of their social networks for careers purposes. The evidence points to a number of findings which can be turned into lessons for practice. - Information-based career websites need to exist in the context of a wider offline careers support program. They are not a replacement for professional career guidance. - Career websites that provide automated interactions need to be embedded within a wider range of careers support services. Only by doing so can they increase users’ awareness of career support or give users new ideas about careers by exposing them to multimedia resources. - Where career websites are used to facilitate communication (e.g. through online guidance and counselling or through delivery based inside virtual worlds), this can lead to positive outcomes such as gains in career decidedness and self-knowledge, gains in satisfaction with future career prospects, and in career exploration behaviours (such as more frequent career searches). - Career websites need to be integrated into careers education provision and into wider forms of career support (e.g. tutorial support and personal guidance).
    • External agents, providers and specialists: an exploration of the other individuals invited to be involved in schools and classrooms.

      Everitt, Julia; University of Derby (British Education Studies Association, 2018-06-28)
      This study examines the other individuals involved in schools and classrooms who are not teachers or teaching assistants. Many terms exist for these individuals including external agents, providers and specialists. This is set within a policy background of government reports, Acts and initiatives from the early 1900s which contain invitations for these external agents to be involved in schools in England. Those invited include statutory agencies, military-style organisations, the voluntary sector, community members, parents, post-16 educational institutions and employers. The literature which examines the involvement of these external agents in schools does so from a narrow perspective, such as a specific agent type or policy initiative. In contrast, the aim is to identify the full range of agents involved across four case study schools through a broad approach in that it does not focus on a type of agent (e.g. employers); a specific initiative (e.g. extended schools) or period (e.g. 1960 to 2000). It adds to knowledge in terms of this broad approach to the identification of agents, against the approach taken in previously studies. The research involves the completion of a pro-forma by a staff member at each of the four case study schools to identify the external agents involved during one academic year. It also includes semi-structured interviews with school staff and external agents plus documentary analysis of school websites and reports. The findings indicate a high involvement of external agents in the schools, with trends of agent type being linked to government policies. There is a decline in agent involvement in relation to New Labour policies such as extended schools which set a duty on every school to work in collaboration to offer activities and services (e.g. extra-curricular activities). The agent involvement has shifted to the wider aspects of the curriculum (e.g. PSHE, careers) as opposed to the wider aspects of the school (e.g. community access). There was a ‘messiness’ in the identification of agents which resulted in just a ‘snapshot’ of the agent involvement. This is a consequence of insufficient staff knowledge related to their role, time in service or value they place on the capitals (e.g. financial, cultural) of the agents. There is a disconnection between some agent perceptions of their relationship to the school and the inclusion in the data and a suggestion that some agents are involved as a tick-box exercise. In these cases, it does not appear to matter who the agent is, just what they can deliver, which poses questions over quality
    • Gatsby careers benchmark north east implementation pilot: interim evaluation (2015-2017)

      Hanson, Jill; Vigurs, Katy; Moore, Nicki; Everitt, Julia; Clark, Lewis; International Centre for Guidance Studies (University of Derby, 2019-02-15)
      This report presents interim evaluation findings on the implementation of the Gatsby Benchmarks (herewith referred to as the Benchmarks) for good career guidance with a sample of 16 pilot schools and colleges (herewith referred to as education providers) in the North East of England. These interim findings report progress made against the Benchmarks during the course of the pilot (autumn 2015 to autumn 2017), the enablers and barriers faced, and the impact of the Benchmarks on learners’ career readiness and attainment. The interim findings suggest the following: Timescale - Schools and colleges involved were able to make significant strides towards fully meeting most, if not all, Benchmarks within two years. To date Benchmark 2 (Learning from career and labour market information) and Benchmark 7 (Encounters with FE and HE) have seen the largest increase in the number of pilot education providers fully achieving them. Benchmark 3 (Addressing the needs of every pupil) and Benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum to careers) have the least number of pilot education providers fully achieving them. Positive impact on learners. Learners show an increase in some aspects of career readiness and tentative increases in some aspects of GCSE attainment. Effective implementation of the Benchmarks. This was enabled by the existence of a regional facilitator to support pilot education providers and strong provider leadership and robust organisational infrastructures. Key barriers were a lack of time and space (in the curriculum), a lack of funding and a lack of commitment at senior leadership level, which impacted on achieving a cultural shift in some education providers. Regional impact. The implementation of the Benchmarks is impacting more widely in the region with non-pilot education providers forming links with pilot providers to seek support on developing good career guidance in their settings. Furthermore, wider stakeholders such as local employers and providers of careers education were also using the Benchmarks to review and develop their services to schools/colleges. Emerging challenges: A noticeable challenge was how the term ‘meaningful’, in relation to encounters with employers and employees, was interpreted and how education providers monitor provision of such encounters.
    • Graduate gap years: Narratives of postponement in graduate employment transitions in England.

      Vigurs, Katy; Jones, Steven; Harris, Diane; Everitt, Julia; University of Derby (Routledge, 2018-07-26)
      For UK higher education students, the ‘gap year’ or ‘year out’ is historically conceptualised as an amassing of wider life experience, often overseas, during a twelve-month period between the completion of A-level studies and the first year of a university degree. However, in a recent comparative study, which saw interviews conducted in both 2014 and 2015 with final year undergraduate students (n74) from different social backgrounds, across two English universities (one Russell Group university and one Post-1992 university), the term ‘gap year’ was being re-appropriated to capture something different. The term was being used to describe a period following graduation in which graduands planned to take low-paid work or ‘ordinary’ jobs, take stock of their financial situation, and attempt to save money and/or repay urgent debt. A high proportion of students in the 2015 stage of the study (16/37) spoke of taking a graduate gap year, compared with 9/37 in 2014. It may be that the increasing costs of debt-based forms of higher education payment coinciding with growing precarious employment has contributed to this situation. By borrowing the term gap year to describe a new and different phenomenon, some of the student interviewees may be legitimising the predicament in which they find themselves. This chapter explores the experiences of students who spoke of taking a graduate gap year. It examines the different roles of a graduate gap year and discusses wider implications for unequal graduate outcomes.
    • Higher fees, higher debts: Unequal graduate transitions in England?

      Vigurs, Katy; Jones, Steven; Everitt, Julia; Harris, Diane; University of Derby; University of Manchester (Emerald, 2018-05-09)
      This chapter draws on findings from a comparative, qualitative research project that investigated the decision-making of different groups of English higher education students in central England as they graduated from a Russell group university (46 interviewees) and a Post-92 university (28 interviewees). Half of the students graduated in 2014 (lower tuition fees regime) and the other half graduated in 2015 (higher tuition fees regime). The students interviewed were sampled by socio-economic background, gender, degree subject/discipline and secondary school type. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore students’ future plans and perceptions of their future job prospects. Despite higher debt levels, the 2015 sample of Russell Group graduates from lower socio-economic backgrounds had a positive view of their labour market prospects and a high proportion had achieved either a graduate job or a place on a postgraduate course prior to graduation. This group had saved money whilst studying. The 2015 sample of Post-1992 University graduates (from both lower and average socio-economic backgrounds) were worried about their level of debt, future finances and labour market prospects. This chapter raises questions about whether a fairer university finance system, involving lower levels of debt for graduates from less advantaged backgrounds, might avoid some graduates’ transitions to adulthood being so strongly influenced by financial anxieties.
    • Personal guidance: What works?

      Everitt, Julia; Neary, Siobhan; Delgado-Fuentes, Marco Antonio; Clark, Lewis; University of Derby (The Careers & Enterprise Company, 2018-11-13)
    • Progression for success: Evaluating North Yorkshire’s innovative careers guidance project

      Moore, Nicki; Vigurs, Katy; Everitt, Julia; Clark, Lewis; University of Derby (North Yorkshire County Council, 2017-11-14)
      This report sets out the findings from an evaluation of North Yorkshires innovative careers guidance project.
    • Supporting service children in school: An organisational improvement framework

      Burke, Ciaran; Neary, Siobhan; Hanson, Jill; Parker, Gordon; Everitt, Julia; Clark, Lewis; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-12)
      The SCiP Alliance defines a Service child as a person whose parent, or carer, serves in the regular Armed Forces, or as a reservist, or has done so at any point during the first 25 years of that person’s life. Quoting the 2016 School Census, McCulloch and Hall (2016) report that there are 68,771 Service children in England. Service family life may involve repeated relocation, deployment and separation; literature highlights the impact this lifestyle may have on Service children‘s progression. The empirical research detailed in this report provides a robust evidence base to support the development of an improvement framework, a simple way for schools to identify improvement priorities and strategies for their work supporting Service children.