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Guidance Notes for Schools/Departments regarding Cardiff University's school placement scheme

This guidance has been developed to assist Schools/Departments within Cardiff University who offer or are considering offering school placements to assist in the administration involved and ensure that a worthwhile and enjoyable placement is made available.

1. If a request comes into the University directly, what is the procedure?

You should inform the person making the enquiry that all placements under Cardiff University’s school placement scheme need to contact the School / Department directly.  It is up to the School / Department to decide whether they are able to make the placement.

2. If the School/Department is able to accommodate the pupil what happens next?

When a School/Department is able to accommodate a placement the School/Department will contact the person making the enquiry to confirm the placement. The pupil will be asked to send a CV to include the following: name, contact details, School contact details, emergency contact details, the subjects he/she is studying and any relevant transferable skills he/she has. 

Once a School/Department has agreed to accommodate a school placement then they will need to identify/designate a named person to the placement to act as a point of contact.

3. Who will be responsible for the pupil while on placement?

The person within the School/Department who has been designated as the supervisor for the pupil will be primarily responsible for the individual. They will not necessarily provide all of the work-related learning during the placement, although it may be that they will provide some of the work-related learning. The supervisor will act as a point of contact for the pupil. For example the supervisor will meet the pupil on their first day, provide them with an induction which will include health and safety and ensure that the pupil is made aware of basic information such as working hours and facilities available etc.

4. What is the maximum duration of a placement?

It is expected that the majority of placements will normally be for two weeks or less, however this is something that can be agreed at a local level. The Education Act 1996, advises that pre -16 year old placements should last for two weeks, but post -16 year old placements can be more varied in length. 

5. How many hours will the pupil be expected to work?

It is advisable that a pupil should attend a full day’s work (no more than 7 hours) in order to gain the maximum experience from their placement and the exact hours should be agreed at a local level with all parties involved. If for any reason it is not possible for a school pupil to work seven hours a day then the pupil should discuss this with the School/Department when they make their initial request.

6. What information will the pupil receive?

Approximately two weeks prior to the placement, the School/Department should write to the individual confirming the placement. The letter should inform them of the following:-

  • Who they need to report to on their first day;
  • Who their supervisor will be;
  • Where they need to report to;
  • What time they are expected to work from and to;
  • If there is a certain dress code;
  • The exact dates of the placement.
  • A map of the Universities locations should also be included in the pack that is sent out to the individual.
  • The School representative will also been informed in writing of the confirmation of the placement.

7. Will the School/Department have to put together a programme/timetable of events for the pupil?

It is advisable that a School/Department should plan for the arrival of the pupil and consider what areas of the working environment the pupil will be able to get involved in and what duties they will be able to carry out. This will aid both the pupil and the employer and ensure that a varied placement is given. It may be useful for the School/Department to put together a programme/timetable for the pupil so they are aware of what exactly they will be doing and when.

For step by step guidelines on how to ensure quality placements please click here

8. Are school placements covered by the University’s insurance?

Yes, Cardiff University is a member of U.M. Association Limited which covers the University for Employer’s Liability Insurance. This contract is renewed on a yearly basis.

9. Who is responsible for the Health and Safety of the pupil?

The University as a whole is responsible for the Health and Safety of the pupil, however it would be the responsibility of each School/Department to ensure that the pupil is given a Health and Safety briefing on their first day.

For further information on the points that need to be covered when addressing health and safety please click here

10. Are there any restrictions regarding the age of a pupil?

If the pupil is under the age of 16, the University is governed by the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure that those dealing with pupils under this age complete a DBS check. These checks can take up to a period of 5 weeks to be returned, therefore, in order to abide by this requirement, HR ask that no member of staff is left alone with just one pupil at any time during their placement , should this not prove feasible a DBS check will be required. For further information regarding this please contact your Local HR point of contact.

11. Will the pupil have to go through an Induction Programme?

It is advisable that when the pupil arrives on their placement they should be taken through a local induction. In addition to general information on the organisation and the School/Department, the induction should cover "who is who " within the School/Department, health and safety regulations and any other specific rules and regulations that the School/Department needs to inform the pupil about. It will also be necessary for the supervisor to obtain essential information from the individual such as their School’s representative details and the pupil’s emergency contact details.

12. Confidentiality

Some Schools/Departments may express concern with regard to confidentiality especially when they are working with sensitive data or on sensitive research. In this situation if the School/Department in question believes that it is of major concern then they may decide that a placement in their area is not practical. In most cases, it is enough to emphasise to the pupil the need for confidentiality. This is a decision for the School/Department to make at a local level.

13. Will a representative from the pupil’s school be visiting while the pupil is on their placement?

You may wish to consider offering an opportunity for the pupil and his/her teacher to visit the University before the placement commences to discuss the placement and any queries or concerns that they may have.

Often during a pupil’s placement a school representative may want to visit the pupil during the placement. If this is the case then the School representative should contact the supervisor of the placement to arrange this. These visits can be used to monitor and review the placement and to check on a pupil’s progress.

14. Will the School/Department offering the placement be expected to monitor the pupil’s progress?

This will depend entirely on which school the pupil attends as each school works differently. However it is more than likely that the pupil will have to complete paperwork while on their placement or keep a record or summary of their achievements.  For further details please click here


Last updated July 2015