Work experience: guidance

Work experience isn’t statutory at Key Stage 4, but is expected at Key Stage 5. Brush up on your expectations, including during the coronavirus period and for pupils with SEND, and take a look at what some schools do.

Last reviewed on 21 December 2021
School types: All · School phases: Secondary, 16 Plus
Ref: 81
  1. COVID-19: impact on your requirements 
  2. KS4: there's no requirement for pupils to do it 
  3. KS5: work experience is expected 
  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

COVID-19: impact on your requirements 

You should plan work experience placements where it's safe to do so, and prioritise students that:

  • Have work experience as the core aim of their study programme
  • Would benefit most from developing their employability skills in a physical workplace

You can also use other forms of employer contact, on-site work experience and work-related activities which don't require the same commitment from employers as having a student on a placement.

If you're unable to organise and deliver work placements, because of coronavirus: 

This is explained in the DfE's guidance on