Learner support services for pupils aged 14 - 16 - May 2014


Secondary schools, colleges and work-based learning providers have a statutory duty under the Learning and Skills (Wales) Measure 2009 to widen choice and provide learner support services for young people aged 14 to 19. Learner support services include learning coaching, personal support, and careers information and guidance. The report looks at the quality, consistency and impartiality of learner support services provided by schools to pupils before, during and at the end of key stage 4.
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Schools should:

  • focus learner support services on improving pupils’ attainment of high grades in GCSE English or Welsh first language and in mathematics;
  • take a more strategic approach to learner support services and co-ordinate the delivery of learning coaching, personal support, and careers advice and guidance;
  • improve the scope and quality of careers advice and guidance;
  • make sure that all pupils have regular discussions with the most appropriate support staff about their progress, aspirations and learning pathway, especially at key points in Year 9 and Year 11;
  • provide all staff involved in giving advice and guidance with regular and up-to-date training and information;
  • evaluate the impact of learner support services on outcomes; and
  • plan for possible reductions in funding for external support so as to sustain current levels of learner support.

Local authorities should:

  • lead and co-ordinate partnerships to support schools with external support services.

The Welsh Government should:

  • update its guidance to schools on careers advice and guidance to reflect the recent changes to the role of Careers Wales.