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What’s happening with school work experience?

March 18, 2012

For years now students have gone out on 2 weeks work experience when they were about 15.

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The present government withdrew funding for this work experience last year and commissioned a review into the whole area of vocational learning.  The outcome was The Wolf Report.

Amongst other things this report has recommended that students go out on work experience when they are over 16.  The reason being that one of the main aims of work experience is to help prepare the young person for the transition from education to work.  In the present climate very few young people have the opportunity to leave school at 16 and start work and there are plans to raise the school leaving age.

So we are presently in limbo.  The Government is aiming to remove the statutory duty to provide work related learning (which doesn’t have to be work experience by the way) and has already withdrawn the funding that supported it  Schools  are free to carry on sending younger students out on work placements, but are strongly encouraged to provide work experience for students over 16 and for under-achievers.

Teachers tells us that work experience is really helpful at that earlier age because it increases the students’ motivation.  Further benefits are outlined in the ATL submission at the end of this blog.  We will have to wait and see what schools want and do our best to deliver it.   One thing that will remain unchanged is the fact that we are totally dependent on the goodwill of  the kind business people who provide the placements.

So to end we would like to give credit and say a big thank you to the many small local businesses who help so many young people year in, year out.  They are the backbone of our service and make a great contribution to the local community.

ATL’s (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) submission to the Government outlining the benefits of work related learning at KS4

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