EEF partners with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to investigate improving careers education for disadvantaged pupils

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has partnered with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to investigate ways to improve outcomes for young people through careers education, it was announced today.

The organisations have jointly commissioned a review of evidence to identify the most effective types of careers education and to determine the current state of careers education at English state schools. The review, due to be published later this year, will be conducted by Dr Deidre Hughes OBE, Principal Research Fellow at the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research, and Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Policy and Research at the Education & Employers charity.

The review will look at research relevant to the provision of careers-focused education in schools, including career guidance and work-related learning.

Having the right careers education is key to ensuring young people know all the options available to them, and are able to make informed decisions regarding subject choices, apprenticeships and college or university courses. International research suggests that careers education can also have a positive effect on attainment by engaging and motivating students with their school-work.

There is strong evidence that careers education in England varies considerably by school and area. There is a risk that a lack of good quality careers education will disproportionately impact on students from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are perhaps less likely to have family or friends with the breadth of insight and expertise to offer informed advice, and who could be left poorly equipped in making decisions about their futures.

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “High-quality careers advice can make a real difference to young people’s outcomes after school but research suggests that its current provision in England is patchy at best. Finding out what the evidence says about effective approaches and programmes, and their link to academic attainment, will help teachers and school leaders to make informed decisions about the advice and support they offer.”

“I’m delighted that we’re partnering with Bank of America Merrill Lynch who are offering funding, support and advice and that Dr Deidre Hughes OBE and Dr Anthony Mann, leading experts in this field, will be undertaking this review. Together, we hope to identify the most promising ways to improve outcomes through careers education in England.”

Anthony Harte, Head of Community Engagement, EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “Youth unemployment is one of today’s biggest social concerns for government and communities across the UK. This is why, at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a large proportion of our support focuses on initiatives that promote skills, knowledge and aspiration to facilitate young people’s transition from education into employment. We are therefore pleased to work with the Education Endowment Foundation and look forward to the results of this research, which should strengthen our understanding of the effectiveness of careers education.”