The prestigious matrix accreditation has been awarded to Peterborough Regional College (PRC) incorporating University Centre Peterborough (UCP), for providing high quality information, advice and guidance across the campus to young people who want to make informed choices about their career.
Both PRC and UCP have a dedicated team of fully trained course advisors, who offer guidance on training options for all customers regardless of their age or circumstances.
Joanne Hather-Dennis, executive director of students, said: “Achieving the matrix standard is a very prestigious award as it shows the high level of support and commitment that we have for both current and prospective students relating to Information, Advice and Guidance.”
Staff, students, governors, apprentices and employers were interviewed as part the rigorous five day inspection. All spoke very highly of the College and the assessor highlighted one statement in particular, given to them by a group of students: “There is no doubt that it is a good college now. Lots of people have a lot of positive things to say about it. For that reason alone, you don’t need to look any further and once you are here you are glad that you didn’t.”
This accolade comes at a time when career services are under considerable pressure. With the demise of Connexions Careers Service last year, the Government launched a new all-age national careers service where schools have a legal responsibility to provide independent career guidance for their students in years 9 to 11.
The new legislation means that the careers guidance provided should include information on all the options available in 16-18 education and training, including apprenticeships, and should be impartial and promoted in the best interests of the pupils and show no bias towards their own or another institution.
Angela Joyce, Principal at Peterborough Regional College, said: “We are extremely proud to have achieved the matrix accreditation for the second time. We strive to ensure that all students are equipped with the right impartial advice and guidance to enable them to make informed decision about their future.”
Following the new legislation a recent report from the Government’s Education Committee found that the quality and quantity of guidance for young people is deteriorating just when it is needed the most. Ofsted have commissioned a survey within secondary schools to explore the extent to which all young people, up to and including 16 year olds, are receiving comprehensive impartial advice and guidance to make informed decisions about their options pre- and post-16.
The results of the survey, due to be published in the summer, will provide information on the extent to which the surveyed schools have responded to their new statutory duty to provide careers guidance since September 2012 as well as providing judgements on the quality of practice reviewed.
Angela Joyce added: “We know that guidance is critical to helping young people make the right choices in education and training. This is what helps reduce the number of young people that might otherwise become not engaged in employment, education or training. Good guidance can raise aspirations, increase motivation and ensure higher levels of achievement. We are delighted to have the kite mark to show that we offer impartial advice designed to support young people.”
On learning of their first successful accreditation, Liz Knight, executive director of UCP, went on to add: “I am thrilled to have gained the matrix accreditation for the first time and this kite mark confirms the high quality of impartial advice we give to our students and prospective students who engage with UCP.”