Talking careers motivates pupils and enhances grades


Career talks can help drive better academic attainment and enhance pupil motivation, new research suggests.

A study by the Education and Employers charity found that less engaged GCSE level pupils are more likely to gain from attending chats on career prospects too.

The report, titled Motivated to achieve, will be published on 6 June, but initial findings indicate that pupils were more inclined to study when they had clear goals in mind.

Nearly 650 pupils from five schools took part in the research, with 307 receiving extra talks on their career prospects and 297 pupils providing post-GCSE survey results.

It has led the charity to suggest that attending as few as three careers talks could provide a huge boost for learners ahead of exams.

However, the low response rate means the data must be accepted with caution and the report itself states that a larger study is needed to reaffirm the outcomes recorded.

Pupils more likely to revise and try harder

Pupils who attended talks as part of the study reported a 9% increase to their weekly revision hours when compared to their peers, with the analysis providing an “indicative direct link to students’ outperforming their predicted grades,” according to researchers.

It is suggested that around one in 25 pupils will exceed their predicted grades by at least one grade as a result.

Careers talks were also more likely to motivate those who were “more sceptical of the value of education” – those predicted a borderline pass in GCSE English reported a 32% increase in the hours they put into revision, whereas those predicted higher grades put just 10% more time in.

The charity has said it marks the first time that a randomised control trial has been used in England to source links between careers advice and pupil attainment, while education secretary Damian Hinds said it “underlines the value of good careers education”.