Work experience: guidance

Work experience isn't statutory at Key Stages 4 and 5, although it is expected. Brush up on the requirements for a high-quality placement, including for pupils with SEND, and take a look at what other schools provide.

Last reviewed on 27 February 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: Secondary, 16 PlusRef: 81
  1. Work experience isn't a statutory requirement at KS4, but is expected 
  2. KS5: work experience is expected 
  3. What a high-quality work placement looks like
  4. What Ofsted expects
  5. Safeguarding considerations
  6. Pupils with SEND: raise career aspirations
  7. Examples of work experience provision
  8. Read about statutory careers requirements and more

Work experience isn't a statutory requirement at KS4, but is expected 

The Gatsby Benchmarks state that every pupil should have at least 1 first-hand experience of a workplace by the time they're 16. This could be through:

  • Work experience
  • Work visits
  • Work shadowing

The Gatsby Benchmarks aren't statutory, but are a useful framework to use to develop your careers programme in line with the statutory requirements

KS5: work experience is expected 

This is explained in the DfE's non-statutory guidance for 16 to 19 study programmes (see section

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