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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

Work Experience Policy

(to be read alongside Middlesbrough Council’s Work Experience Policy &  ‘Be Safe – An Introductory Guide to Health and Safety’ -

Work Experience Placements

This document details the health and safety responsibilities for Priory Woods and external organisations who are involved in work experience placements.

Priory Woods accepts work experience students from a range of secondary schools and we also support, where appropriate, for our students to attend work experience opportunities. This exposure to work is a significant step in preparing young people for adult and working life by developing their personal and social skills as well as the key skills they will need for the world of work.

Although work placement is the generally used term, it is important to recognise that it is not the same as a temporary job, as by definition it is a period of unpaid work.    It is an arranged opportunity for a student to gain an insight into the variety of work carried out in any given enterprise, to see the way the enterprise is managed and ideally to participate in some aspects of the work.

When we accept work experience students they will be inducted, supervised and safeguarded whilst on their work placements.

What are the aims of Work Placements?

 Work experience should be an integral part of a young person’s development and should prepare them for the transition from life at school to work, where appropriate and adult life.   It will enable the pupils to experience the demands and expectations of the adult world of work and provide the opportunity to put into practice and see the relevance of skills learned at school.

 It will promote the development of the ‘whole person’ by providing an insight into the nature and discipline associated with the work environment, which revolves around the product or service offered and not the individual.   It will stimulate a more mature and positive attitude to learning and education and enhance academic achievement. It will build confidence by enabling pupils to experience success in an environment other than that at school. It will enable the pupils to make more realistic and enlightened job choices by allowing them to try out a vocational preference before committing themselves to it.  

 What are the objectives of Work Placements?   

Priory Woods students/ Placement Pupils will be provided with the opportunity to focus on and to improve in the following areas: Decision‐making: to make realistic, informed choices about future education opportunities and possible career pathways based on the skills, knowledge and experience gained at the placement. Self‐confidence: in mock interviews, pre‐placement interview, letters of application, writing a CV where applicable, communication skills and dealing with adults.

 Students attending Priory Woods School & Arts College will be given a handbook informing them about the school, expectations, confidentiality, safeguarding and health and safety.

 ‘Be Safe – An Introductory Guide to Health and Safety’ (   

The student must agree to observe all safety, security, safeguarding and any other instructions given by the school/employer, and also not to disclose any information confidential to the employer obtained during the placement.  The employer will be asked to return the form to the School with: Employer and Public Liability insurance details, confirmation of Health and Safety Policy and Risk Assessment and other information.  Copies will then be made and given to the student and sent to his/her parents

Legal Requirements and Recommended Best Practices

There are certain legal requirements and recommended best practices that are in place to ensure the safety of all parties involved in a work placement. The main areas to be aware of are: 1. “Health and Safety at Work” The Health and Safety (Training and Employment) Regulations 1990 state that all those receiving training or work experience from an employer in the workplace are deemed to be ‘employees’ for the purposes of Health and Safety legislation. This legislation imposes responsibilities on the employer but also on the student as an ‘employee’:

  • to take responsibility for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by what they do or do not do.
  • to co‐operate with the employer and to follow instructions on Health and Safety.
  • not to interfere with or misuse anything provided for their health, safety or welfare.

The employer should be asked to confirm that they have a current Health and Safety Policy and that they will go through the relevant sections with the student at the start of the placement.  It is important that this is confirmed

 Working Time Regulations

 Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 there are stringent daily and weekly working time limits for young workers (those that are over compulsory school age but under 18). Young workers may not work for more than 8 hours in any one day and 40 hours in any one week.  Young workers are also entitled to a daily rest of 12 consecutive hours, a weekly rest of 48 hours and a rest break of 30 minutes where daily work time is more than 4½ hours. The employer should comply with the Working Time Regulations and should not require the student to work in excess of the limits set out above.

 Risk Assessment

The employer should be asked to confirm that a risk assessment will be completed for the duties being undertaken by the student, taking into account the age and limited experience of the young person and that the key findings will be communicated to the student before the commencement of the placement.   The employer should be informed of any medical conditions the student has, which could result in an increased risk to the student or an employee’s health and safety during the placement.    The employer will then be able to identify any significant risk and the necessary control measures put in place to ensure the safety of the student.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

 A DBS check is required where a student will have substantial unsupervised contact with an employee or supervisor on a 1:1 basis, particularly if located in an isolated environment, whilst travelling or where the placement has a residential element.    The employer is responsible for identifying if a DBS check is required (currently students under the age of 16 do not require one) and for organising it.

Priory Woods School & Arts College is also responsible to ensure that any establishments that our students attend have followed the appropriate procedures and requirements.

Employer’s and Public Liability Insurance

Employer’s Liability Insurance covers the firm’s legal ability for injuries sustained by employees (including students on work experience) whilst at work.  Confirmation should be requested and received that the prospective ‘employer’ does have both Employer’s and Public Liability Insurance in force and that the latter does not exclude abuse.  The employer must notify their insurers that they participate in work experience placements.    If the employer does not confirm that these Insurances are in place, students should not attend such establishments. It should be noted that Sole Traders have no requirement for Employers’ Liability Insurance and a student would not have the protection available under such insurance.  Placements with Sole Traders should therefore be avoided unless such insurance was confirmed as being in place.

Motor Vehicle Insurance

If the student will travel with an employee or their supervisor during the placement, it is essential that the vehicle is insured appropriately to cover the work experience student for business travel.   

Work Placement Duties

Students will carry out meaningful work in accordance with the agreed duties for their placement.  A responsible person will plan the work and be designated for the welfare and supervision of the student during the period of the placement.

Students will not receive any payment for this work.  Students will not be allowed to work hours which are considered unreasonable.  In any event the employer confirms they will comply with the relevant provisions of the Working Time Regulations.  The employer will take into account any relevant information relating to the student’s medical condition, or any physical and learning disabilities, details of which may have been provided, in formulating appropriate risk controls to protect both students and/or employees.

All tasks asked of the student will conform to the laws governing the Employment of Young Persons and Work Experience (as defined in the Education Act 1996) and any other statutory obligations to the student will be observed.  The company is registered with the Health and Safety Executive or Local Authority, as applicable.

Health, Safety, Welfare and Security

The employer recognises that a student on work placement is to be regarded as an employee for the purposes of Health and Safety legislation and the associated duty of care.  A current health and safety policy will be maintained and there will be compliance with the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and its relevant statutory provisions.

The employer will undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment in relation to the health and safety of the student while on the placement, taking into account the student’s inexperience, immaturity and lack of awareness of risks. At the start of the work placement, the employer will provide students with a health and safety induction, which will include workplace hazards and their control, fire, emergencies, first aid, accident reporting and security arrangements. 

Students will not do work prohibited by law, operate dangerous machinery, carry out any manual handling asks identified as being a risk to the student’s health and safety, or be exposed to dangerous substances, radiation, extreme heat or cold, noise or vibration or any other work environment that may endanger their health and safety.

Where appropriate, students will be provided with and instructed on the correct use of personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE) and its use will be enforced.

The employer will notify the parents/guardian and School, by telephone and as soon as practicable, of any accident, of any case of ill health or any other incident which relates to the student’s work placement.  When appropriate, the employer will comply with the provisions of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.  The employer will have access to adequate first aid facilities as required under the Health and Safety (First Aid Regulations 1981).


 The employer will arrange for Employer’s Liability Insurance, Public Liability and Motor Vehicle Insurance (where applicable) and will confirm that the student is covered by each policy. The employer will accept, or insure against liability for loss, damage or injury caused to or by the student, whilst on work placement, to the employer’s property (material damage), other employees or third parties, in the same way as for paid employees.  The employer will notify their insurer of student participation in work experience.

Child Protection

The employer is responsible for the welfare of the student during a work placement and is aware of child protection issues, particularly responsibility under the Criminal Justice and Court Service Act 2000 to disclose the names of individuals who are disqualified from working with children, where known to them.

Placement Monitoring

 Priory Woods School & Arts College staff will monitor the placement progress of our students. Students attending their placement within our school are the responsibility of their establishment and they will follow their own procedures to monitor the progress of the placement.

 Statutory  Obligations

Priory Woods School & Arts College agrees to observe all relevant current legislation, in particular that relating to Health and Safety, and legislation in respect of Sex Discrimination, Equality and Discrimination, Race Relations, Disability and the Children Act & Safeguarding .


Reviewed; March 2018

Next review; March 2019