Connexions partnership “unsatisfactory”

A Connexions partnership has received a highly critical report
from Ofsted.

Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Connexions
Partnership which has had four chief executives since it was formed
two years ago provides unsatisfactory value for money says the
inspection body.

Leadership and management throughout the partnership are weak.
Nearly 90 per cent of the £10 million  budget has been
allocated to four subcontractors, most of it to two private careers
companies, Centre for British Teachers Careers Services and Careers
Management. The subcontractors “do not collectively support
the need for an overarching Connexions partnership”, and some
staff funded to be personal advisers do not recognise that they are
personal advisers working as part of the Connexions partnership to
agreed objectives and targets.

Staff, offices and resources have been allocated and deployed to
meet the needs of the sub-contractors rather than the needs of the
partnership and young people, which Ofsted describes as “a
highly unsatisfactory state of affairs”.

Overall the quality of practice by personal advisers was
satisfactory and there were many examples of sensitive work,
especially with young people with special education al needs and
those who were disaffected with school. But it was unsatisfactory
in 18 per cent of sessions observed.

The partnership is now establishing a more robust central team,
and it does provide effective advice in schools and colleges, says
the report.

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