FAQs

Employers
Speakers for Schools Student

General Experience FAQs

The Speakers for Schools Experience service is primarily an advertising and application portal where state school students can apply for work experience and similar opportunities at leading organisations who have advertised via the portal.

Employers, schools and students can all access the portal to advertise/apply for placements and access best practice guidance to assist with the running of placement.

Experience facilitates much-needed work experience and engagement opportunities between esteemed organisations and students who need these opportunities the most.

Employers: We work with leading firms and organisations across the UK.

Schools/Colleges/Academies: Any UK state secondary school, college or academy can apply, but please note we only have placements available in limited locations as we grow the programme.

Students: This programme targets students who are lacking access to top professions but are enthusiastic about taking up a placement with a leading employer. As a minimum criteria you must attend a state school/college/academy and be 14-19 years of age.

For more information about who we work with and how, please visit our About page here.

This programme is free of charge, as an extension of the focused work of Speakers for Schools with state schools/colleges/academies and leading figures. There are basic user agreements and requirements however for using the service to ensure quality and safeguarding.

In order to take part you will need to register for the Experience portal.

Click the ‘Sign Up’ button above and follow the simple application process, it takes just a couple of minutes to complete your full registration.

The Experience service was set up in 2017 (originally under the name ‘S4SNextGen’) and is continually growing. We have so far had placements across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and are working hard to broaden our reach further into different parts of the country.

If you would like to know if we have placements in your area, please register for the portal and click ”search for opportunities.”

Experience is a programme run by the charity Speakers for Schools, a UK education charity that helps level the playing field by breaking down barriers between state school students and the leading figures of today through free engagement opportunities. Please see our main site and Our People for more details.

The charity is kindly funded in full by the Law Family Charitable Foundation.

Our charity is made up of network of leading figures committed to giving their time each year to state schools, and helping level the playing field for young people of all backgrounds. Our ‘schools network’ is made up of nearly 50% of all UK state secondary schools, colleges and academies, all who have applied directly to our charity for the opportunity to host our speakers.

We work across the year to organise events during the term time, now offering over 1,200 school talks a year and over 1000 work experience and insight day placements with top companies linked to our esteemed speakers.

Employer FAQs

The Experience programme from Speakers for Schools works with UK employers of all sizes who are leaders in their industry.

We cater for employers with differing experience of hosting work experience, ranging from smaller organisations with no experience of hosting, those who host ad-hoc placements for family and friends and larger companies with existing programmes who want to engage with new schools and students.

No matter your previous experience of hosting or priorities, please get in touch at experience@speakersforschools.org to see how we can help.

Our standard level of support and access to our work experience programme and platform are free to use.

In return we require employers to confirm they have:

  • An Equal Opportunities policy in place and Data Protection policy that aligns with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679
  • Carried out necessary conversations with insurers and managerial teams as required to meet liability and safeguarding requirements
  • Provisions in place to feedback after placements and for students
  • Willingness to share best-practice case studies and use the logo where agreed and appropriate to help in encouraging further organisations to take part

If you have any questions, please contact us directly via experience@speakersforschools.org

We do encourage employers to pay expenses for travelling to and from the workplace and lunch where possible, as this allows more students to access the opportunities.

If you require a higher level of service than our standard offering, please contact us and we will put together a costed proposal for you. Speakers for Schools is a registered charity and only charges employers to cover our costs. We do not make a profit.

You can register for the portal via the ‘Sign Up’ button above. Registration takes just a few minutes. We will then verify your account and grant you access to the portal.

Employers manage their account and processes directly. Most organisations will have an a main user (often in the HR, CSR or D&I teams) but can also have additional colleagues registered to help manage other sites and/or review applications.

Experience is primarily an advertising and application portal for Speakers for Schools affiliated organisations to engage with state secondary students through high-quality workplace experiences. We are looking for employers interested in opening up 1 to 2 week work experience placements or insight days. If there is another activity you would like to advertise through the Experience portal, please do let us know and we would be happy to discuss.

We know organisations need to find a programme that works for their industry, size and team. Importantly there is no required programme formats as it will be essential that you can shape work experience as suited for your organisation. However there are basic guidelines on the elements of a stellar Experience placement that help create a high-quality, high-impact experience in addition to specific industry/job insights.

Speakers for Schools Experience placements should:

  • Be in a leading, reputable organisation for insights to a high-standard work environment
  • Enable students to gain and identify transferable skills
  • Encourage students to grow in areas such as confidence and leadership
  • Provide practical insights into opportunities and pathways into work
  • Set expectations for a work environment and professional etiquette

For work experience – we advise that the length be at least one week to give the student a real feel for the environment and a chance to see how your organisation works day-to-day.

If you would like to discuss this at all, please contact us directly via experience@speakersforschools.org

Although we do not manage the full process for employers, we support by advertising placements, offering guidance on selection and shortlisting as well as sharing advice and examples for placement programmes.

All affiliated organisations can also access a wealth of resources and case studies including guidance on age, duration, time of year, what models and activities are best, checklists, manager guidance, guidance for HR and example schedules. We also offer an initial consultation call for employers who are interested but unsure how to get started.

Ensuring sufficient safeguarding and health and safety policies are in place is incredibly important.

However, this is often simpler than than you might think. It is incredibly rare to need DBS checks for staff and usually requires common-sense policies you would expect from workplace health and safety.

When a student is selected, it is the responsibility of a school user (teacher) to check that the relevant processes are in place and you will be introduced directly, following selection.

If you still have a question that hasn’t been answered or require further assistance, please contact us at experience@speakersforschools.org