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What's New This Month?

Janet Colledge of Outstanding Careers speaks to Push about the 3 biggest challenges facing careers in schools right now.

The 3 biggest challenges facing careers in schools right now.

The challenges facing schools who are now responsible for delivering ccareers to pupils in years 8-13 can be fairly easily broken down into 3 main areas.

Lack of expertise
Most schools had access to free careers guidance via Connexions which was utilised by all state schools to varying degrees. Many schools had thankfully handed over responsibility to Connexions to handle everything careers related. This has left a vacuum where schools are suddenly without a specialist to advise them. This we have a 'postcode lottery' with some schools having excellent provision and others almost none whatsoever.

Lack of motivation
The perfect storm of lack on-site specialist along with the pressure of Ofsted and constantly moving targets have relegated careers to the back burner. This has been exacerbated by Ofsted's apparent lack of coherence when inspecting careers has left it languishing on the back burner for a long time.

Lack of money
When withdrawing Connexions support, no funding was forthcoming to schools to fill the gap. Given the pressure on budgets it was almost inevitable that provision would fall drastically.

The Way Forward?
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I think a good place to start is with my blog, in particular the one entitled Balancing Careers Statutory Duty, Budget and What Students Want.

You'll find my weekly free update to Careers Ed for All Weekly, just fill your email address in the box to the right to subscribe to both the weekly update and my occasional newsletters.

Janet Colledge is a former teacher turned careers education consultant who passionately defends the pupil's right to careers advice, backed up with excellent careers learning. She travels across the UK ensuring that 11-19 year old have access to a good quality careers education and guidance programme. Janet is offering a 20% reduction in prices for booking received via Push. A price list is available at info@outstandingcareers.co.uk.

We at Push have paired up with our friends at Volunteer Latin America to offer you an alternative to the average gap year.

So you've decided you're going to take a gap year. Brilliant! Just one problem; what are you going to do on this gap  year you've been boasting about to all of your friends? Push's friends at Volunteer Latin America may be able to help. Instead of 'finding yourself, man' at a full-moon party in Thailand, why don't you take a look at the different volunteering abroad schemes Volunteer Latin America has to offer? It's a gap year that really will make a difference for others and for you. Companies look for experience just as much as qualifications, and volunteering is the perfect way to develop your skills whilst you get some overseas sun. So whether you want to volunteer at a wildlife rescue centre, construct water filters or even learn Spanish in Antigua, Volunteer Latin America has something for you.

And what's more, the lovely people at VLA have given us some memberships to give away! For more information on how to get your hands on these free memberships, go to our Facebook or Twitter; it's as easy as that!

Finding out more about Volunteer Latin America and the host of amazing volunteer opportunities they offer couldn't be easier, it's only a click away.

Happy Volunteering x

This month, Push and Sophie Davidson have put together a few tips to help loosen your grip on The Bank of Mum and Dad. Don't worry, we're all guilty.

The Bank of Mum and Dad - Overdrawn

The bank of Mum and Dad can really help you out in tough time. It's always there at the end of a phone, day or night, and usually willing to lend you a little money just to tide you over. But what if you could avoid it all together?

Whilst at University you will be tempted to spend money on lots of things, which are not entirely necessary to get by. These sadly include all the fun things such as alcohol, fancy dress costumes, takeaways and tickets for events. By mid-term you can find yourself looking at your bank account and scratching your head, wondering where all that money went and at the extra charges you now have to pay for slipping into your overdraft.

Moving away to University will be the first time  you experience some real independence and you might find yourslef going a little wild. Before you do anything drastic to avoid the Bank of Mum and Dad, see what an expert such as the Money Advice Service has to say, to avoid you landing in trouble later.

Of course there are ways to avoid this situation altogether and we have put together a guide to help you out:

Keep track
Most banks now have a mobile app, where you can manage and check your accounts on the move, so download one of thesebefore you pack up your things and head to University.

Cancel any unnecessary subscriptions or Direct Debits. If you are subscribed to a magazine or a subscription box, do you really need it delivered to your door every month?

Write up a budget every month and calculate what money is due to go out and predict what you might spend. Include absolutely everything, bills, petrol, nights out, clothes, food shopping etc. if you account for everything that could be spent, then you won't get a shock when you check your bank account.

You can find some really good budget calculators online to help you out.

Cheaper options
When you go food shopping, try to avoid big name brands, unless they have an amazing offer on them, own label products are just as good and a lot friendlier on the wallet.

There really isn't much difference between branded and own label products. Most stores are copycats when it comes to packaging their own ranges but their quality is very much the same. In fact, in a taste test carried out by the Daily Mail, Aldi was crowned the winner the majority of the time when it came up against major brands.

Ditch the Wheels
Taking the car to University can be expensive business; you might have to pay for parking, insurance is costly and the price of petrol is ever rising. Leave the car in a safe location near your parents and pay a month at a time when you return home in the summer.

Resist Temptation
A take away might seem like the easy option when it rolls around to dinnertime, but ordering out can make things tight for both your bank account and your wasitline. Look online for some cheap and easy recipes you can try at home. Trust us, the more you practice the better you will get when it comes to cooking.

Savvy Student Spender
By taking charge of your finances you can avoid ever having to ask the Bank of Mum and Dad for help, as well as feeling proud of yourself for managing your money and having a little extra cash in the bank!

ophie is a freelance writer and recent graduate of Kingston University, where she studied creative writing and drama.

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