Careers Education takes a critical look at policy and practice in the context of the new role of the privatized Careers, Education and Guidance Service. Suzy Harris places the present situation within the context of subordination to market principles; delineates the changing and uncertain relationship between schools and the Careers Service; shows how the politics of curriculum relevance marginalizes careers teaching; describes the downward path to complete exclusion from The National Curriculum and points the way for policymakers to eschew rhetoric and rebuild the Careers Service. This book will be an essential resource to help careers and guidance practitioners make sense of their situation.

Introduction: Contested Careers

Introduction: Contested careers

‘Careers is a seat of the pants job.’

Unplanned Careers

For many the title of this book may invoke memories of their own experiences of careers education when they were at school. Whilst some memories will be positive, others may be less so as individuals recall inappropriate or inadequate careers education. There may even be those who do not recall having ever had careers education. The following story may resonate with some readers.

Mari was perceived by teachers as an ‘able’ pupil who had done well in her exams and was expected to achieve good results in her ‘Highers’ (the Scottish equivalent of the A level). University was automatically considered the next stage after school by her teachers and father, who was himself ...

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