Is biased careers advice hindering FE students?

A recent report from the Association of Colleges (AoC) has criticised careers advice, revealing that sixth form schools are putting up barriers between students and further education.

AoC policy director Joy Mercer has said that schools put income benefits of keeping learners on after the age of sixteen before the needs of their students.

In the survey of 105 colleges, 74% of respondents felt careers advice had worsened because schools wanted to keep the more academic students to benefit their performance tables, and 69% of respondents said schools allowed college liaison officers to only speak to certain students.

Joy Mercer said: “For schools, students mean income and so they are thinking of the institution and their staff, rather than the good of the individual student. That’s why we find there is a difference between 11 to 16 schools and 11 to 18 schools — 11 to 16 schools know the pupils will be leaving at 16, while the others tell students that the raising of the participation age means they have to stay in school.”