Work experience: guidance

Work experience isn’t statutory at Key Stage 4, but is expected at Key Stage 5. Brush up on what's expected, including for pupils with SEND, and take a look at what other schools provide.

Last reviewed on 5 December 2022
School types: All · School phases: Secondary, 16 Plus
Ref: 81
Contents
  1. KS4: there's no requirement for pupils to do it
  2. KS5: work experience is expected 
  3. What a high-quality work placement looks like
  4. What Ofsted expects
  5. Pupils with SEND: raise career aspirations
  6. Examples of work experience provision
  7. Read about statutory careers requirements and more

KS4: there's no requirement for pupils to do it

Work experience is not statutory for pupils under 16 in maintained schools or academies. The DfE told us this.

The duty to provide a standard amount of 'work-related learning' at Key Stage (KS) 4 was removed in September 2012, in line with recommendation 21 of the Wolf report (see page 8).

KS5: work experience is expected 

This is explained in the work experience section of the non-statutory guidance from the DfE on