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Work experience for school children - advice needed

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  • SingleSue
    SingleSue Posts: 11,699 Forumite
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    I'm 47 and the school mandated work experience was after O levels, before the summer holiday. Nominally term time, but when there was no teaching going on for students of in that year - the exams were done, A level teaching started in Spetember, for those that were staying on.

    No way the school would take a fortnight of actual teaching time out for kids to do filing / tea making etc! (after all, it is the END OF THE WORLD if a child has but a day off for a holiday in term time and it will blight there entire education and ruin their lives, the teaching unions and politicians tell us)

    For those talking about insurance and local authority visits, times must have changed. I turned 16 while on the two weeks placement and that was working at an aerospace and defence contractor (not BAe) with a large factory floor with the usual lathes / mills / drills etc. So whatever insurance they had in place must have covered 15 year olds wandering around the factory floor, and the council weren't mentioned once by anyone ...

    I'm 46 and honestly can't remember if my school wanted us to do the same...I would have refused anyway, I was in a full time job and taking time off to go back for exams.

    I was feisty back then and would have pointed out the stupidity of insisting on me doing it when I had already secured employment (my part time weekend job became full time)

    My experience with the boys

    Eldest - I 'organised' (as in sweet talked my previous boss) a contact for him and he then had to do all the work proving he was the right person to take on for work experience. Unfortunately, they then lost the paperwork for the second year due to a change in management and he was left with no placement on the day he was due to start. He did check in with them but it was a case of one hand not knowing what the other was doing and he was assured everything was fine but as it turned out, it wasn't.

    A hastily arranged placement was then organised by eldest going through the school's contacts and he ended up shadowing court officials and watching the crown court processes....he loved that more than the boring office placement he had had the first year.

    Middle - The school were supposed to be organising for him to work in their sound/music department but completely forgot. He ended up going out with the council for a week doing something he will never do in a million years. A complete waste of his and everyone elses time to be honest.

    Youngest - The school decided to do away with work experience.
    We made it! All three boys have graduated, it's been hard work but it shows there is a possibility of a chance of normal (ish) life after a diagnosis (or two) of ASD. It's not been the easiest route but I am so glad I ignored everything and everyone and did my own therapies with them.
    Eldests' EDS diagnosis 4.5.10, mine 13.1.11 eekk - now having fun and games as a wheelchair user.
  • summersmile
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    My brother works in the film industry and took my daughter into work with him whilst in year 10.
    She had an amazing time working in the art department and the director was so impressed with her work that he paid her at the end of the week. He also encouraged her to do well in her GCSE which she did and to do her A levels then university and he will guarantee her a job when she finishes. He also got in touch with her over the summer offering her more work experience which sadly she couldn't take up.
    Her teachers couldn't wait to visit her on set and she made quite a few kids jealous. The teacher phoned my brother up asking if he would be willing to take other kids on.
  • rocketqueen
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    I ended up doing 3 different work experience placements in my teens -

    Aged 13 ish I spent a week in New Look - I hated every minute of it!

    Aged 17 whilst doing a levels I had a 2 week placement in my local vets (this was entirely down to me to sort out - I wrote letters to all the local animal places as I was DEFINATELY going to be a vet.)

    Aged 19 (after not getting accepted to vet college) I had to do 1 day a week placement for a whole year as part of my college course. I did this in a solicitors office and at the end of the year was employed as a legal secretary (my college course was secretarial) again I had to sort this out entirely myself and wrote to several firms.
  • Jojo_the_Tightfisted
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    I've seen some of the paperwork involved in work experience just before work decided to stop allowing it.

    The potential placement had to provide evidence of insurance, DBS checks if the kid is under 16, come up with a plan/scheme of training, accept visits from the experience co-ordinator at short notice, be on site at all times, write full reports and about a million other things, only to then have a kid who isn't allowed to do anything 'dangerous' like make the tea, just hanging around the place all week. Oh, and it's made abundantly clear that any attempts to pay the kid would be illegal.

    It's no surprise the school stopped doing it - nobody wanted to take anyone after that level of interference.


    Offspring #2 (who wasn't at the same school) went and did hers at a garage, permitted because they were used to having 16 year old apprentices starting, so they were insured and treated her like one of them. She got stuck in.

    Just as well her school decided not to visit. They'd have found her working underneath a 4 x 4 doing the brakes, balancing wheels, being picked up and put on the top of the inspection platform and experiencing all the usual sort of things they did to apprentices that weighed about 7 stone wringing wet. Mind you, staff visiting would have saved her being told off afterwards when the school demanded that all kids attended school in the clothes they wore. The majority who went and sat in their Mum's offices or shops, had suits. She wore shorts, a vest top, overalls and protective footwear (the latter two having been given to her by the garage). They seemed surprised; maybe they assumed a girl would be sat in an office answering the phone?
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
    colinw wrote: »
    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll :D
  • owen_money
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    I wanted to do work experience as a plane driver, but it never happened
    One man's folly is another man's wife. Helen Roland (1876 - 1950)
  • athensgeorgia
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    DD1 has just left Year 11 and didn't do work experience at all. She did already have a paper round though and was experienced at working albeit just for a few hours a week. After her GCSE's she took part in NCS for a number of weeks, came on our family holiday for a week and then started her own paid job. She only works Saturdays but she does go to college 5 days a week. She has quite a number of friends who started paid jobs after their exams too.

    DD2 has just started Year 11 and goes to the same school so I know she won't be doing work experience either. One of the local schools does though as one of my friends whose daughter is the same age as DD2 did hers at her mother's workplace which was organised by the parents when she was still in Year 10.

    DD2 however came home from college very excited to say that as she's taking French A Level she'd be expected to go to France for 2 weeks work/exchange experience.

    I think each establishment must make their own decisions. When I was in Year 10 in 1996 I did work experience for 2 weeks in a school. I did quite enjoy it even though it wasn't and still isn't my chosen career. I already had a job at that age though so already 'experienced work'.

    What 'experience' is it they're supposed to be getting though? Getting a job on your own merit and holding it down in the real world is totally different to filling in for 2 weeks.
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