Inspectorate offers a special experience

2nd April 2010 at 01:00

The schools inspectorate has begun offering work experience placements to young people with complex additional support needs.

HMIE last year praised Newhills School in Glasgow for its links with a wide range of businesses willing to provide supported work experience for pupils.

Now, the inspectorate has joined the ranks of those offering placements and hopes to set up similar experiences for pupils in all its offices.

All Newhills pupils, whose abilities allow it, take part in work experience, beginning with job shadowing in S4. In the final two years of school they take part in two work placements each year.

Each placement spans six weeks, with the youngsters working every Thursday for two hours. Pupils are accompanied by a member of staff but support eases as they become more familiar with the environment.

"If you asked any pupil in the school what class they would like to be in, they would say post-16," said Alison Lochrie, acting headteacher at Newhills. "If you asked them why, they would say because `You go on work experience and you get to go to college'. It's a big thing because it's very grown-up."

Earlier this year, 17-year-old Ryan Linn became the first pupil to carry out his work experience at HMIE's Glasgow office. His numeracy skills are limited, but he can read and write with support.

HM inspector David Watt said: "Ryan was very competent in carrying out work on various bits of office equipment and he worked well on tasks that linked directly to schools being inspected.

"We are considering offering this type of placement in all our offices across Scotland and would be keen to offer a placement to another Newhills student in the future."

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