Section 55: Inspection of careers services in Wales
117.This section makes new provision extending the remit of the Chief Inspector for Education and Training in Wales in relation to the inspection of careers services in Wales. Under section 8 of the Employment and Training Act 1973 the Assembly is under a duty to secure the provision of a careers service to certain persons receiving education, and under section 9 of that Act it has the power to provide careers services for others. The Assembly has made arrangements under section 10 of that Act to provide careers services in Wales. These are provided by a number of careers companies, limited by guarantee, which together make up Careers Wales. Although it is an all-age service its work is primarily directed towards provision of careers advice and guidance for young people and, in particular, young people aged 14-19 in education and making choices about learning and career options.
118.Careers services provided by the companies which form Careers Wales are currently inspected by the Chief Inspector for Education and Training in Wales under section 35 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998. However these inspection arrangements are out of step with all other areas of inspection in Wales, particularly since the introduction of a new Common Inspection Framework from September 2004 by Estyn, and the existing legislation provides the Chief Inspector with only limited powers. In particular inspections of careers services can only be carried out at the Assembly’s request.
119.The provisions in this section will ensure that careers services in Wales are subject to a similar system of inspection as other education and training within the Chief Inspector’s remit.
120.Section 55 requires the Chief Inspector to inspect persons providing or arranging the provision of careers services in Wales at intervals which will be prescribed by regulations to be made by the Assembly.
121.Subsection (2) places a general duty on the Chief Inspector to keep the Assembly informed about the quality of the careers and related services provided in Wales.
122.Subsection (4) provides a power for the Assembly to make regulations governing the interval between the inspections of careers service providers.
123.Subsection (5) requires the Chief Inspector to provide the Assembly with such advice as requested on careers services in Wales, and, when asked to do so by the Assembly, to inspect any careers service provider.
124.Subsection (6) provides that the Chief Inspector may, of her own accord, give advice to the Assembly on matters relating to the provision of careers services or arrange for a careers services provider to be inspected at any time.