Work placements are anything but a waste of time
Am I right in assuming Mr Brookes is the work experience co-ordinator for his school? Having read his article I am more than faintly concerned that his morale seems so low.
I am in the process of receiving from our employers their programmes for our students who will be going on work experience this summer and fully appreciate the work and thought that goes into this. While I would not pretend that all of our employers provide full detailed programmes, a great many do.
I also would not be naive enough to suggest that every single placement is a resounding success, but I would definitely say that the vast majority of our students benefit enormously from their two weeks in work placements. Feedback from our employers, from parents, from the team of visitors and, most importantly, from students themselves leads me to be confident in this assertion.
Had Mr Brookes' son been one of my students he would have been able to contact me at any time to discuss the tedium of endless photocopying, and I would have been in touch with the employer to negotiate some sort of variation.
Of course, we are all aware that there are tedious and menial aspects to just about every job we can think of, and we are also aware that there are clockwatchers, too, but the article seemed to suggest that we don't actually let students in on this in order to allow them "to be children" as "work will embrace them all too soon". I don't personally subscribe to this philosophy - we should let them out there to see for themselves.
Julia Barker, Subject leader, Careers Work Related LearningCitizenship, South Dartmoor Community College, Devon.