École européenne de Strasbourg

Career Guidance in the European School System

Historical Perspective

For many years, Career Guidance was carried out by teachers on a voluntary basis.

In an evolving school system and a changing world, a more professional approach became necessary. Furthermore, the complex European School system requires specific knowledge. Recently, this is made even more apparent with the opening of the accredited schools.

During the 1980’s some schools (Munich, Bergen, Varese) developed their own provision of career guidance.

In 1989, an in-service training was organised, in conjunction with a parents evening in Bergen, by the Danish Inspector, John Bernth, for teachers interested in developing professional careers guidance in the European Schools.

It was the birth of the Career Guidance Working Party of the European Schools. An official Career Guidance Programme was slowly put in place piece by piece.

The stages were:

  • General programme
  • S5 programme
  • S6-S7 programme
  • New syllabus covering all cycles
  • Work Experience

Nowadays, Career Guidance is an official subject like any other, no longer an extracurricular activity and takes place in official school time.

The Role of Career Advisers

  • Counselling role. Support for students.
  • Essential role in explaining complex curriculum and European Baccalaureate.
  • Guidance in choice of Higher Education and future careers. Application support.
  • Liaison with parents. Inform colleagues.
  • Important role in school. Influence school and system policy.

Official Careers Syllabus

Cycle 1: S2-S3: Established as a Pilot Project in September 2015

Cycle 2: S5

  • 16 school periods
  • Main content is Decision Making and Option Choices
  • Group work and individual interviews
  • Work Experience

Cycle 3: S6-S7 

  • 8 periods (S6) + 8 periods (S7)
  • Includes European Baccalaureate structure, choices and EB calculation
  • Higher education and career choices
  • UCAS Personal Statement workshops
  • Study skills

Work Experience

  • Compulsory in some schools and voluntary in others. In Strasbourg, work experience in S5 is organised for all pupils after exams and accompanied by a written report and an oral presentation at the start of S6, offering students the opportunity to reflect and present themselves and their experience in front of a jury.
  • Organised in conjunction with the S5 class tutor in our school.
  • Very valuable for students and mandatory for certain post-secondary studies.

List of Official Documents

  • 2014-01-D-36 Official Careers Guidance Programme secondary
  • 2014-09-D-54 Pilot Programme for Cycle 1 (S2 and S3)
  • 2016-02-D-6 Document on Work Experience

Careers Advisers at the European School of Strasbourg

English section: Rebecca GARDINER – Rebecca-Lynn.Gardiner@ac-strasbourg.fr

French section: Damien FRANÇOIS – Damien.Francois@ac-strasbourg.fr

German section: Birgit RITTER – Birigt.Ritter@ac-strasbourg.fr