At Eckington School, students in Year 10 and Year 12 are able to take part in one full week of work experience. Year 10 work experience takes place for one full week, whereas, Year 12 work experience is five days split over two different weeks.
Work experience offers many benefits and opportunities. In particular, it helps students to:
- Start to develop, and to see in action, the key employability skills of leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication.
- Improve self-reliance, flexibility and the ability to work with others.
- Learn about the world of work and gain an insight into the skills and attitudes required by employers.
Work experience can be incredibly rewarding and has, in past years, been shown to:
- Help students make informed career decisions.
- Provide evidence for personal goals.
- Develop students' key skills.
- Lead to employers writing references for future applications and even offering part-time employment.
The specific dates for Year 10 and Year 12 work experience vary each year. Dates, and full information, will be emailed to parents and carers. This email is usually sent in September of the work experience year.
Finding a placement
At Eckington School we encourage students to find their own work experience placements and to begin their search as soon as the work experience programme is launched. This is because employers can usually only take one work experience student at a time, and many operate on a 'first come, first served' basis. So, you need to get in quickly. Some ideas how you can help your child find a work experience placement:
- Our school careers site, Unifrog, has lots of helpful information and tips on how to find a work experience placement. Students can log in using their school email address, and click into the ‘Know-How Library’ box.
- Talk to your child about what type of company or organisation they might like to work in and then find out if there are any in your area. This can be done on the internet, or on social media. Don’t forget the importance of asking people you know to help them find a placement too.
- Encourage your child to either email or telephone the company to politely enquire if they could accommodate them for work experience. Help them prepare by thinking about why they are interested in spending a week at the company and also what skills they might be able to bring to the company. Your child can find templates to help with these emails and conversations in the 'Know-How Guides' on Unifrog (For students > A guide to work experience).
- It's important to think about how they will travel to and from the placement. Will they take a bus/tram or walk? Will they make alternative travel arrangements?
- Once the employer has said yes, students then need to fill in the initial student form, within the placements tool on Unifrog. To find this, they should log in to Unifrog, then scroll down to the grey 'Placements Tool' box.
- Once signed in to Unifrog, you can access a helpful guide on how to use the placement tool.
- You can also access this guide on how to fill in the initial student form.
Like some help?
If your child is unsure where they would like to spend their work experience week, there are lots of people and resources available to help them. They can:
- Come to the Work Experience Lunchtime Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays in ML1. Mrs Warren-Armes will help them to identify some companies and also support them in getting in touch.
- Drop in to see the school's Independent Careers Advisor, Mr Holloway, on Tuesdays at lunchtime in the Information Centre.
- Talk to Mrs Moor, Eckington School's Careers Leader.
- Talk to their form tutor, who they see every morning.
- Ask their subject teachers for ideas on work experience related to their favourite subjects in school.
- Students can also access lots of help in the Unifrog ‘Know-How’ Library.
Found your own placement?
When an employer has said "yes", you must tell us all about the placement you have secured. We then contact the employer for further details, obtain your consent and then check and sign off the placement. All this has to happen BEFORE the student can start the placement.
… all work experience is useful, even if it isn’t directly related to what your child wants to do as a career. Students should see their work experience not in isolation but as part of their overall education and preparation for adult life. They should use their experiences positively to enhance their studies in school, broaden their knowledge of the world of work and start them on their way to planning a successful future.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Can my child go on work experience with a family member?
A: Yes, please fill in the initial student form on Unfrog to get the placement approval underway.
Q: I am self employed, can my child work with me for the week?
A: Yes, however please know that as it’s during school time, you (or the person working with the child) must have current Employers Liability Insurance (ELI) which is valid for the full period of the work experience placement. You may be able to purchase ELI for the duration of work experience, but we must see a valid certificate to get the placement approved.
Q: I work from home. Can my child spend their work experience week with me?
A: We would prefer that a student went into a work place. In addition to experiencing a job, work experience is also about becoming more independent, thinking for themselves, and meeting new people.
Q: My child’s friend is going to a placement, if the company agrees, can my child go too?
A: This will be reviewed on an individual basis. Please email Mrs Warren-Armes to give her the information for discussion with your child’s head of year.
Q: The placement can only offer my child two/three/four days of work experience during the allocated week. Can they still go?
A: Yes. Please fill in the initial student form on Unifrog and also let Mrs Warren-Armes know the details. We will work with your child to find an additional placement for the remaining days (Year 10 lessons will be cancelled that week, so your child will need to have a work experience placement for every day).
Q: My older child had their placement approved by Derbyshire County Council (DCC), why aren’t you using DCC any more?
A: DCC withdrew their work experience traded service in July 2023. This means that we are no longer able to use them to approve placements. Beginning in September 2023, we will use Unifrog to manage the administration of work experience placements.
Q: Will Unifrog visit placements?
A: No. Unifrog is a method of capturing information from the student, the employer, the parent and our school. Instead of a visit, employers have to answer all the same questions online. This means that school and parents will be able to see all the information that the employer has given.
Q: What are the advantages of using Unifrog?
A: Students can log in to Unifrog at any time (e.g. at home on their smartphone) and see the status of their placement. There are also accessible guides and helpful articles on Unifrog to help them throughout the process. As it is also our school's careers platform, students can do some careers research at the same time.
Q: How important is work experience?
A: The websites below give some useful information about work experience but if you would like to get in touch regarding your child’s placement, or have any questions about a placement you would like to set up for your child, please email us at email@example.com.
- Is work experience important? A blog from UCAS
- The importance of work experience. Article from the Careers Writers Association.
- How to find work experience. Advice and helpful links from Pearson.
- Work experience and internships. Work experience ideas and advice from Prospects, experts in graduate careers.
- How does work experience help? Advice from GetMyFirstJob.
If you have a question that’s not covered here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key contacts at Eckington School for work experience:
- Mrs S Warren-Armes (Employer Engagement Manager)
- Mrs L Moor (Careers Leader)
You can also read further information in our Work Experience Entitlement Statement below (updated August 2023).