Guidance on Work Experience Policy
Independent schools vary widely in terms of their size, pupil population, location, provision
and practice. The attached document is offered as guidance to help schools to prepare their
own policy in a way that suits their own circumstances and reflects the needs of their own
community. Remember, the following information is for guidance only. Before using it, and
particularly after adapting it, schools should consult their own professional advisers.
Please note that, where an insertion is required, square brackets are used without text or with
suggested text. Other square brackets indicate optional or alternative clauses.
The ISBA acknowledges the assistance provided by guidance documents prepared by the
following public bodies, charities and not for profit organisations:
The Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF)
The Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI)
The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)
The National Council for Work Experience ( www.work-experience.org),
Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
The ISBA is grateful to:
Farrer & Co for the ISBA Briefing Documents: “School Liability, Where Does it
HSBC Insurance Brokers Ltd (www.insurancebrokers.hsbc.com) for“Work
Experience –Safety and Insurance Considerations” and for Chapter K of the Bursars’
ISBA November 2009
GUIDANCE ON WORK EXPERIENCE POLICY
A Legal Requirement & an ISI Reporting Standard,
A: Reference Guide to the key standards in each type of social care service inspected by
Ofsted (Reference 080117) www.ofsted.gov.uk
B. The Revised Handbook for the Inspection of Independent Schools: Part 3: The Regulatory
Requirements of Independent Schools, September –December 2009. (www.isi.net).
C. “Work Experience: A Guide for Employers” DCSF Guidance (www.teachernet.gov.uk)
D. “The Right Start: Work Experience for Young People”HSE Guidance
E. “School Liability: Where Does it Stop?” by Farrer & Co (www.farrer.co.uk)
F. “Insurance” Chapter K of the Bursar‟s Guide by HSBC Insurance Brokers
G. HSBC Insurance Brokers‟ Guide Notes: “Work Experience – Safety and Insurance
ISI Standard 3(2) (c) requires schools to “safeguard and promote the health and safety of
pupils outside the school”. Standard 3(4) requires schools to be able to produce sample risk
CONTENTS OF POLICY
The DCSF defines work experience as “a placement on an employer’s premises in which a
student carries out a particular task or duty, or range of tasks or duties, more or less as
would an employee; but with the emphasis on the learning aspects of the experience.” Reality
may be not always match this goal; but the majority of senior schools do encourage their
pupils to undertake a week or two of work experience before the time that they leave school.
According to the National Council for Work Experience (www.work-experience.org), many
employers find work experience to be a useful way of promoting awareness of their
company‟s opportunities, and of their sector as a whole.
The policy refers the variety of work experience undertaken by pupils and refers school to
potential sources of guidance.
HEALTH AND SAFETY IMPLICATIONS
The DCSF„s guidance: “Work Experience Guide for Employers” poses an extensive checklist
of health and safety issues for Employers, covering workplace hazards, safety precautions and
emergency procedures (all of which apply to adult employees). Additionally, they are
expected to conduct risk assessments that take account of the pupil‟s age. Similarly, schools
are expected to carry out pre-placement vetting and subsequent monitoring, to check that
appropriate child protection controls are in place that suitable risk assessments have been
conducted, that adequate liability insurance is in place and that everything is properly
documented. This is a time-consuming task for independent schools, who have to organise
ISBA November 2009
everything themselves, (in contrast to their counterparts in the maintained sector), and
explains why some schools prefer to allow pupils to make their own arrangements.
RELATED POLICIES THAT ARE REQUIRED OF SCHOOLS
Guidance on the Management of Health and Safety in Schools
At [ ] school, we believe that short periods of work experience for pupils in [Years 10 / 11]
can provide an invaluable help for our pupils in deciding upon the course of study that they
wish to study at university. It enables them to gain an insight into the qualities which are
useful to employers and to understand the value of inter-personal and communication skills as
well as experiencing team-working in the work place.
ORGANISING WORK PLACEMENTS
(There is considerable variety in the extent to which schools become involved in finding
placements for their pupils).
EITHER [At [ ] school, we have a well-resourced Careers Department that is practised at
finding annual placements for an entire year group]. OR [At [ ] school, we believe that it is
important for our pupils to develop the initiative and to make the arrangements for
themselves, although we are able to provide a helping hand, and maintain a library of
previous pupils‟ reports on their work experiences.] OR [At [ ] school, we have a database
of parents and former pupils who are prepared to offer work experience to pupils from the
school. Equally, we encourage pupils to make use of their own, and their families‟, contacts.
Now that work experience is no longer confined to the UK, or even to the EU, and the variety
and complexity is so extensive, the school recognises the limits to its contacts and expertise in
[For schools making the arrangements] We have developed a close relationship with the
employers with whom we place our pupils on work experience, and have visited all the sites
and seen copies of their insurance and risk assessments.
Schools should download and use the excellent HSBC Insurance Brokers‟ Guide Notes:
“Work Experience – Safety and Insurance Considerations”
ISBA November 2009