Skip to content ↓

Vocational work placement policy

Adopted: October 2015

General introduction

Following the introduction of the Level 3 child development course it has become necessary to develop a specific policy around work experience and placements due to the variety of need and type.

Thetford Academy is committed to helping our students to:

  • Gain greater understanding of the requirements of the world of work.
  • Identify their strengths and areas for development.
  • Establish linkage to their chosen career or employment in general.
  • Recognise and understand the health and safety implications of the workplace.
  • Be reflective about their experience and contribution.
  • Provide a work-related context to support and enhance the curriculum and key skills.
  • Provide a more holistic learning environment for those with particular needs.
  • Explore apprenticeship opportunities in local industries, to support employment opportunities for The Thetford Academy students.

Principles

  • Work placements are compulsory for some post-16 courses and are entirely at the discretion of the curriculum leader or head of sixth form for when they take place.
  • The head of sixth form should approve any placements that are not part of a particular course or programme.
  • For ongoing placements students need to keep a regular record of activities and transferrable skills that have been acquired.
  • Ongoing placements should be reviewed with the student, employer and school regularly (see guidance notes).
  • Students seeking work experience in their own time need to agree this with the employer directly. The employer should notify the Child Employment Team at Norfolk County Council by completing an ‘Employer’s Notification Form’ which includes guidance on employment law and the employers responsibilities.  The Child Employment Team will carry out a visit if they feel it is necessary.
  • Some courses that are delivered in partnership with vocational institutions require work placements as part of the qualification. These placements should be arranged via and follow the policy and procedures of the college/provider concerned, unless previously agreed otherwise by the head of vocational education.

Responsibilities

  • Schools have a duty of care for all students on work placement and there is a need to check the suitability of all placements in advance.  All placements should be checked via Norfolk County Council for validity of employer liability insurance, health and safety checks and any relevant risk assessments.
  • A ‘Self Generated Placement’ (appendix 2) form must be completed by all parties (student, parent and employer) and returned to the nominated work placement coordinator in school to ensure relevant health and safety checks are undertaken by NCC prior to the start of the placement.

No placement can commence until the details have been entered on I-Connex – the NCC database for employers that have been approved.

  • Schools have responsibility for ensuring that work placements are appropriate to the needs of their students.
  • Pupils should be fully briefed before, during and after the experience.
  • Safety clothing and equipment must be provided where there is any risk to students. The work related learning mentor or named other should discuss this in advance. Any need for support with costs needs to be approved by KS4 progress leader and/or other senior staff member, or parents where appropriate.
  • The school should monitor placements through staff visits and telephone consultation with particular emphasis on the higher risk placements – this should be identified by NCC when undertaking the original visit and checks (frequency of checks below).
  • There should be appropriate guidance notes to cover vetting, monitoring, induction and supervision arrangements (appendix 3, 4 and 5 – NCC guidance to Parents, Employers and on Child Protection Procedures).
  • Prohibited activities should be clearly delineated.
  • Students on work placement should not receive payment.
  • Placements that are undertaken outside of normal school hours need to have a named worker/contact for emergency situations/child protection disclosures – this should be arranged and contact details given to the work place before the placement commences.
  • The school needs to have a member of staff who is a point of contact at the Academy and it is recommended that this is the member of staff for the appropriate subject.

Frequency of checks on Work Placements

  • Work placement visit: termly
  • Telephone contact with employer (class teacher): half termly, or as appropriate
  • Face-to-face review with student (class teacher): termly, or as required  
  • Review of placement with curriculum leader: annually

Students should receive a ‘work placement diary’ when commencing any placement and this should be completed regularly and reviewed with the work-related learning mentor or named staff member with this responsibility.

Where possible, for longer-term placements, the class teacher should accompany the student on the first day of placement to ensure all parties are aware of the procedure for notifying of any absence, issues etc. (in front cover of ‘work placement diary’ as well as ensuring that both parties are aware of health and safety, legal requirements from both sides and having a designated point of contact.