The Priory School. Work Experience Policy

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1 The Priory School Work Experience Policy Monitoring Frame of engagement Date Member of Staff Responsible Governor Accountability Consultation Parameters Information Date of latest version Date for next review (and cycle) Uploaded to Website June 2016

2 The Priory School s work experience scheme forms an integral part of its Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) programme and is seen as a vital tool in the advancement of a young person s personal, social and vocational development during the final year of their compulsory education. Aims and Objectives Work Experience should provide all students with: The opportunity, irrespective of academic ability, gender or physical disability, to gain access to quality work experience placements. An insight into the world of work and an opportunity to examine and record their own strengths and weaknesses in employment terms. An understanding of the working conditions that prevail in a variety of occupations. An opportunity to gain experience and confidence in working with adults in unfamiliar environments. A platform to develop a range of personal, social and vocational skills. A better appreciation of the relevance of their studies in relation to their future career aspirations. An opportunity to sample real occupations and to clarify career ideas. The ability to anticipate the mechanism for transition from school into eventual employment. Responsibilities The school s Vocational Coordinator is responsible for the organisation and implementation of the work experience scheme and reports to the Assistant Principal with overall responsibility for Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) throughout the school. The Vocational Coordinator is aided in his work by the form tutors and heads of year responsible for years 10 and 11. An administrative assistant is also designated to work alongside the Coordinator. Target Group All students in year ten who are within the final calendar year of full time education will be eligible to take part in two weeks (10 working days) of full time work experience.

3 Some carefully targeted students within year eleven may be offered extended work experience of up to two days per week as part of a modified, work-related Key Stage 4 curriculum related to specifically identified inclusion issues. The school may occasionally offer specialist extended work experiences such as the week long Army Look at Life course to selected students in year 11 at the discretion of the Principal and the Vocational Coordinator. Timing The scheme will, unless otherwise stated, operate during late January and early February in any given academic year. Deadlines for the completion of individual elements of the programme will be issued to the appropriate student groups and individual staff members concerned by the Vocational Coordinator as appropriate. Funding The school will contract the Shropshire Education and Business Partnership to carry out Health and Safety, and Insurance checks on its behalf in order to ensure the suitability of placements. The details of such placements will be made available to the school by the EBP via their Website. As a result of its contract with the school the EBP will also guarantee to provide additional support to schools in the form of talks to students, staff CPD and classroom support materials. Payment of the contract is the responsibility of the D.H with line management responsibility for Careers Education and Guidance. General Operation of Scheme In general, pupils are expected to attend their placements for ten full working days, Monday to Friday during each of the two weeks of the scheme. They should, where possible, fulfill the same number of hours as worked by existing employees undertaking the same type of work. In cases where students are required to work during the evenings (e.g. restaurants) or at weekends (e.g. hairdressers) the employer, Vocational Coordinator, student and parents/carers may wish to negotiate the number of hours to be worked. Pupils may not receive any direct payment in the form of wages for the period of their work experience but may accept reimbursement of traveling and lunch expenses only if offered by the employer. All students taking part in the scheme will be issued with, and will be expected to complete, a diary of their experiences whilst on their placement. This will require them to carry out a number of research

4 tasks relating to the structure of the company, qualification requirements for particular posts, health and safety issues, trade unions matters etc. The diary will also provide students with an opportunity for self evaluation and reflection upon their own performance during the placement. Employers will be invited to record each student s progress by means of a questionnaire on the reverse of a working copy of the Certificate of Work Experience provided by the Shropshire Education and Business Partnership (EBP). Responsibility for ensuring the swift completion and return of this document rests with the student alone and failure to produce it for inspection by the Vocational Coordinator may lead to the loss of the full certificate which is normally placed within their leaving documentation in June of Year11. During their placements all employers will receive at least one courtesy phone call from a member of the school s teaching support staff. The staff member will provide feedback on the success of the placement to the Vocational Coordinator. Any problems encountered by the support staff or reported by students will be referred to the Vocational Coordinator who will make an appropriate intervention based upon his own judgment and discussions with members of SLT. A specific group of students identified as being at risk for a variety of reasons including, behaviour, SEN, disaffection, attendance problems, difficult home life etc will be afforded a face to face visit whilst on their placements. The identification of this group will be carried out using inputs from the D.H with line management responsibility for Careers Education and Guidance the Vocational Coordinator, the Senco, Form Tutors and the SLM for year 10. The visits themselves will be carried out by the Connexions Personal Adviser and the Vocational Coordinator. Following their placement every student will, under the guidance of their form tutor during LIFE sessions, be invited to review their experiences through in class discussions and to write a letter of thanks to their employer. All drafts will be checked by form tutors and amended by the student prior to posting. Completed diaries and Certificates of Work Experience will be collected by form tutors and returned to the Vocational Coordinator, he in turn will verify successful completion of the scheme by individual students and will then recommend the award of the full Work Experience Certificate for inclusion in their leaving documentation.

5 Student Welfare All work experience placements must be approved by the work experience unit of the Shropshire Education and Business Partnership (EBP). The Vocational Coordinator is responsible for providing the EBP with a summary of all placements to be used during any given academic year for their approval using the common spreadsheet format supplied by EBP for the purpose. The EBP carry out visits to employers to ensure that placements are both environmentally suitable to accept students and have the required insurances and health and safety systems in place. Approved placements are added to a register which is supplied to the school annually by the EBP. Risk assessments are frequently carried out by the EBP any on new placements. The details of these are then passed on to the appropriate parents/carers by the Vocational Coordinator. When a placement is organised outside of the county of Shropshire the local EBP will be invited by the Shropshire EBP to approve the placement of their behalf in a reciprocal arrangement. The Vocational Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all students embarking on a work experience placement are provided with information on a range health and safety matters and procedures during their LIFE programme. Students are required to report any accident at work, no matter how small, to both the employer and the Vocational Coordinator. The Vocational Coordinator is responsible for passing on this information to the EBP for statistical analysis. During their placement all employers will receive at least one phone call by a member of the schools support staff as detailed in the General Operation of the Scheme above. Work Experience in the Curriculum Work experience preparation is located firmly in the school/connexions service, partnership agreement and the schemes of work for LIFE in Year 10. It forms the bulk part of the LIFE programme for the early spring term. Students undertake a range of activities focusing mainly on health and safety at work and the responsibilities of individuals and employers. Life tutors will also lead discussion work about problems that students may encounter on work experience and how they might most successfully deal with them. Debriefing post work experience is a very important time for all students. Working through a specifically designed programme of activities, students will have the opportunity to discuss, analyse and record their individual successes and mistakes and to evaluate the experience of work as a whole and the lessons learned from it. Students will write letters of thanks to employers as one

6 of these activities. Whilst the school is prepared to supply the necessary materials for this exercise the responsibility for stamping and posting the letter lies with the individual student concerned. Information gathered by students during their placements also forms the basis of coursework activities in subjects including English, Business Studies and ICT. As part of their English GCSE coursework students will be required to plan and deliver a presentation to an audience of their peers based on their experience of work. Each student will be required to draft and refine the presentation to accommodate a set time limit and the use of visual aids will be encouraged. Students of Business Studies will use the data recorded in their work experience diaries to complete individual questionnaires about the specific nature of the business they visited. Collectively they will combine and analyse the new data and use it to identify the distribution of business types and the make up of the local labour market. In ICT lessons all students will produce a page of basic factual information and a simple personal comment about their placement, which will be made available to other students over the school s intranet service. Some students will produce items for the school s newspaper, The Priory News. Extended work experience, will be offered to selected students and will form part of an alternative curriculum designed to promote inclusion amongst a small, targeted number for whom disaffection may become a problem. Further opportunities for extended work experience such as the Army s Look at Life course will also be provided where possible for this group. Equal Opportunities All students regardless of academic ability, race, gender or physical handicap have the right to a quality work experience placement. The Vocational Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that placements are secured for all students in the target group, including those with special educational needs. Where necessary he will work closely with the SENCO, employers and the Connexions Service to secure placements with the appropriate facilities required to satisfy individual cases Evaluation The Vocational Coordinator will firstly evaluate the success of the scheme based upon the comments of employers found on the reverse of working copy of the Certificate of Work Experience issued to all students and secondly via the use of an extensive questionnaire issued to all students at the conclusion of the cycle. His findings will form the basis of an annual report that he will compile immediately following

7 work experience and pass on to the line manager with responsibility for CEG. He will further evaluate the scheme in terms of the requirements of the Shropshire EBP. The data used above will also inform part of the self evaluation documentation for Work Related Learning. Timetable of Preparation SEPT Letter distributed to parents to inform them about the work experience programme. The Vocational Coordinator speaks to Year 10 students during year assembly to remind them about the general organisation of the work experience scheme and the various routes to obtaining a placement. He uses his experience to guide students away from some of the more glamorous sounding placements that can often prove disappointing in practice. Students begin the process of finding placements with employers and passing the details to the administrative assistant to the coordinator. DEC. All students are placed by this time and individual Pupil Brief documents are sent to all employers for completion and return to the Vocational Coordinator by Mid January. The school s placement details are notified to the Work Experience unit of the Shropshire Education and Business Partnership for their approval. LATE DEC Preparation for Work Experience begins via Vocational Coordinators briefings in year assemblies and health and safety instruction during LIFE sessions. Documentation distributed to individual students and relevant staff informed of visiting and phone calling procedures. JAN/FEB Work Experience takes place. Identified members of staff carry out phone calling and visits to individual students on their placements to check on progress. Photographic records are made wherever possible for display purposes. Problems and potential problems are reported back the Vocational Coordinator for his action as appropriate. FEB H/Term Debriefing in the form of analysis, review and evaluation of the learning outcomes of work experience is carried out in LIFE lessons. Letters of thanks to employers are also written at this time. Curriculum work commences in English, Business Studies and ICT lessons. Vocational Coordinator speaks to Year 9 students during year assembly to outline the scheme for the following year.

8 JULY Vocational Coordinator speaks to Year Nine students to outline the cycle for the forthcoming academic year and to encourage their thinking over the summer holiday period about the type of placements that would be most appropriate for them as individuals.

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