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Work Experience

The SEND Code of Practice makes explicit the government’s desire for young people with SEND to “achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood” (paragraph 1.1), going on to state that “the vast majority of young people with SEN are capable of sustainable paid employment with the right preparation and support” (paragraph 8.31).

In accord with this ambition, young people with SEND are expected to follow a study programme. 

The SEND Code of Practice says that a young person with SEND should be on a study programme which “provides stretch and progression and enables them to achieve the best possible outcomes in adult life” and which includes meaningful work experience with students matched to placements based on a “thorough understanding of the student’s potential, abilities, interests and areas they want to develop”.

Bringing young people closer to the world of work is believed to be an important factor in smoothing their transition into employment, as well as helping them to identify career paths which they may be interested in, experiencing jobs and work settings can help young people to develop the ‘soft’ employability skills, which are required in the workplace and which employers currently claim are absent when young people first enter their employ.

Benefits and expectations of work experience

We believe work experience should give our students;

  • an understanding of the work environment and what employers expect of their workers
  • an opportunity to explore possible career options
  • increased self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence
  • increased motivation to continue study and/or undertake further training
  • a better understanding of how the school curriculum can help prepare young people for work
  • an introduction to workplace recruitment practices
  • enhanced opportunities for part-time and casual employment
  • the opportunity to include the employer's work experience evaluation in future job and course applications
  • opportunities to develop work-related competencies and acquire skills
  • the chance to 'try out' a workplace.