My daughter got a letter through late last month about going on work experience. She is in her penultimate year at secondary school. Work experience is a bit of a ritual in British schools, the chance for people in their mid-teens to get a week or two’s experience in a workplace.

On the reverse side of letter was a form to fill in.

Here is the front and the back.

The letter and the form

Three things stood out for me.

The letter and the form with the three things highlighted - do not worry, I am going to spell them out shortly

One of those was in the letter from the school, two on the form provided by our local council.

The three things on their own - they are coming next

The first, from the school:

For these reasons students will only go on work experience if they find a company to take them.

The second, on the form provided by the local council, this bit to be filled in by someone on behalf of the organisation or business offering the work placement:

Will this company take future students in addition to the one below? Y / N

The third, on the form provided by the local council, this bit to be filled in by someone at the school the child attends:

I understand there will be a charge of £35 to the school for companies unwilling to go on the database and offer future placements.

That is the school having to pay £35, if the organisation/business offering a placement this year feels it is unable to offer a future place, after a 14 or 15-year-old has found that placement. That is the school having to pay £35 so some other organisation or business does not go on a database. Nothing to opt in. £35 to opt out.

Add in the crowd-sourcing of this database through young people’s efforts to find their own work experience placement?

This is really bad design.


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