Work Experience

To have a well-balanced careers education every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace. Work experience is an integral part of school life and an opportunity for students to gain invaluable experience linked to their future career aspirations, current subjects they are studying and expand their networks.

– By the age of 16, every pupil should have had at least one experience of a workplace, additional to any part-time jobs they may have.
– By the age of 18, every pupil should have had one further such experience, additional to any part-time jobs they may have.

We launch work experience in the second half of the autumn term to both Year 10 and Year 12 pupils with work experience week taking place in July.

Your child approaches a place of employment and asks if they can provide a work experience placement. It is important that your child is responsible for this initial contact with employers. We want them to learn the skills to apply for positions and develop their communication skills. To support students in finding and contacting a suitable placement provider, Cumbria WEX have a database which your child can access independently and contact companies. Once the employer has confirmed a placement please fully complete and return the work experience form with an employer email or signature to confirm the placement. We will forward the details to Cumbria WEX. Cumbria WEX will complete all appropriate risk assessments and insurance checks on our behalf and once complete send copies to us. Just before the placement we will send you the risk assessment form which you both should check through and retain. Pupils will be given support by their tutors in the run up to taking up their work experience placement.

Occasionally students may ask about taking part in a work experience visit outside of Cumbria. This is possible but we as a school cannot carry out health and safety checks for a place of employment outside the county. If this is the case, please arrange to have a conversation with the Senior Leader for Personal Development. We will check that you know what to ask the employer to ensure that the appropriate risk assessments and insurances are in place but then ask you to write to us to say you take full responsibility for your child whilst on the placement.

Students who are unable to find a placement must discuss this with their tutors and Heads of Year.
Occasionally we are asked if we allow students to independently organise work experience placements outside the United Kingdom.

There can be no expectation outside the UK that health and safety legislation will offer work experience participants the same protections they are entitled to under UK law.
The HSE publishes a comparative statistical analysis of UK and European health and safety data which students and parents may want to make themselves aware of in case it might influence their decision about, or consent to work experience outside the UK. Find out more at:

If your child is considering organising a placement abroad, please contact the Senior Leader for Personal Development.

You will be invited in for a discussion to consider:

• That students will be subject to the health and safety regulations of the country in question; you will need to find out in advance what rules apply.
• There may be differences in insurance requirements.
• Any language development needs.
• Assessment of the risks involved in travel including health and vaccination requirements.
• Provision of contacts if the students have problems or worries, and who to contact in an emergency.
• The additional preparation required, so students know what to expect and what is required of them.

Parents or carers who organise or allow their child to organise their own work experience placement abroad will have taken on the role of the placement organiser by their actions. Once the school is satisfied that the points above have been satisfactorily addressed, the parents / carers will be asked to confirm that they take full responsibility for their child whilst on the placement so that we can provide the authorisation to be absent from school to go and complete their placement.