It’s me, I don’t even have an article today. I can’t even link to it because it’s only in the old-fashioned, honest to goodness proper newspaper but it’s real and I’m in it, featuring an exclusive extract from the new book , out yesterday on Amazon and in good bookshops, you know, the proper ones – none of those pretentious mainstream ones you hear about. (Why won’t they love me?)
Get the book – tinyurl.com/y8re84zo
5 thoughts on “Guess who’s got a double page spread in the i – paper?”
This sent to the editor at the I:
Edd Williams’ puff piece on Thursday about his book on school careers advice had no need to include the sidebar taking a wholly unpleasant and unjustified swipe at practitioners in this often trivialised profession. He extrapolates from his poor experience at the hands of his own careers education teacher and reaches the completely unsupported conclusion that all school careers advisers are clueless do-gooders. His antipathy towards the careers adviser profession might be a little easier to understand were it not for the fact that the advice the article delivers (and which was trailed by the paper’s front page as “Schools Careers Advice fit for 2018”) is utterly identical to the approach that I was trained to deliver when I earned my Diploma in Careers Advice in 1992.
Mike Hart DipCG
Thanks for that Mike,
I can see you’ve definitely made your mind up about me and my book, which is of course fine. That said, I think to characterize an extract as a puff piece seems a little churlish. There was no editorial to suggest my views were right or wrong, just some thoughts on what students should do to help themselves.
Yes, your profession is maligned, not because of careers professionals but for the people in schools given the title but have neither the training or practical experience to do the job. That’s the issue. If you read my blog, or the book you’ll see that the whole point of it, is that the schools aren’t taking it seriously and gifting the role to unqualified people. They are the ones you should take exception to, not me for simply iterating that which hundreds of students have said to me personally. Or that which Ofsted, the Sutton Trust or the DfE have also said to widespread disinterest.
So rubbish me in the papers if you must, deliberately misunderstand the point I’m making if that works for you – but don’t assume that because you learned your trade over 25 years ago that there is nothing else to be said on the matter and that you can speak for the credibility of everyone with your title.
Here’s the thing… letters only get published if they concisely portray the point they’re trying to make. I think your article (well, the sidebar at least) makes an unfair point about careers advisers. If I’ve been a bit brash about how I’ve gone about it then it’s because a well thought out 500 word piece from me would never see the light of day. I believe my criticisms are mainly aimed at the sidebar, not the rest of it.
In any case, your article doesn’t really make any of the points you describe in your reply above. The majority of the newspaper article gives perfectly sensible, long standing advice to anyone of school age wondering what it is that they want to do with their lives. Given that, it seems strange, to put it mildly, that the article was trailed with the “advice for 2018” line. And I know I trained as careers adviser a long time ago, but that does not necessarily make me a dinosaur on the basics. The advice you give is the same as trained careers advisers have been giving since time immemorial. My reference to the antiquity of my qualification was only to underline the fact that your advice is at least as old as 1992, not to suggest that the profession fossilised back then, never to be challenged.
I can see what you’re saying in your reply above about ‘careers teachers’, but your article doesn’t differentiate in any meaningful way between trained professionals and those (too many) careers teachers who are less equipped to handle their role than either you or I would like. The way the sidebar is written, the article conflates the two roles into one, even if that was not your intention. You talk initially quite colourfully about your bad experiences with your careers teacher and then go on to (somewhat gently) bash those that you caricature as do-gooder types who used to work for Connexions; Connexions employed careers advisers and associated professionals not careers teachers. The way the sidebar is written has your dusty old careers teacher and the Connexions people cast in exactly the same light – surely you can see that?
The reason I called it a ‘puff piece’ is that it’s really nothing more than a large advert for your book. I may be guilty of misusing the term (having seen precisely how e.g. wiktionary defines it) but you can’t deny that the principal purpose of the piece is to sell more of your books. Anyhow, I take your point, and I will resubmit my letter to the i and remove the word “puff” from it.
In fact, I decided to withdraw my letter entirely even though I still think there’s some misrepresentation going on. If your article had focussed principally on the very real problems of failing careers teachers in schools then I would have been cheering you from the sidelines, but that’s not how it comes across, for the reasons I’ve outlined above.
I hope this somewhat persuades you that I had and have not “definitely made [my] mind up about [you] and [your] book”. 🙂
No harm, no foul. Good careers people are worth their weight in gold and I fully acknowledge and support the crucial role they play in schools and in young people’s lives. The issue’s that the title is given away all too easily, undermining the hard work of the obviously dedicated people like you, who still have a passion for it.
Looking at the stats from the blog it seems like you’ve looked at some more stuff I’ve written and I hope that’s what’s persuaded you that the one chapter/intro doesn’t represent the totality of what I think. I feel like we’ve actually quite a lot of common ground, but you’ll have to buy the book to be sure! ; )