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DS1 has come home from work experience and cried.

(54 Posts)
Lawdoc Mon 12-Feb-18 21:46:46

Ds1 did two weeks work experience last March. He took it for what it was and did enjoy it although despite school insisting everyone would go and if they didn't find a placement school would find them somewhere lots didn't go and ds came back having missed two weeks of lessons and revision sessions and did poorly on the end of year exams.

Ds is currently on work experience again and has had to go to the same placement as they were given three weeks to find somewhere which imo isn't long enough.

Anyway ds actually ended up with another more suitable placement offer last minute but as the previous placement promised to keep him super busy he returned in the area that he wanted experience in and he had already accepted he's gone back. He's currently on his second week.

The biggest issue is that ds has sen and struggles massively with spelling and language and is on the sen register. He has terribly low self esteem and confidence as a result and is very sensitive about it. None of this has been passed on and senco nor the work experience teacher has passed this on.

Anyway they literally have nothing for him to do in the area they told him they would keep him busy despite what they said so they have put him on another area on office and admin duties (fair enough). Of course half of what he has done has wrong spellings and a load of work he has been asked to produce for a public notice board is a mess. He's realised some of it tonight and has absolutely balled as he is going to do the display tomorrow and he is heartbroken.

We have no printer or pc so it's not as though I can help him sort it.

They have another week of this to sort for summer so that's 5 weeks altogether.

LouHotel Mon 12-Feb-18 21:51:03

I have seen countless work experience kids bunged in a corner and given crappy admin jobs that have been left on a shelf.

He needs to be shadowing someone in the area he was promised. I would have strong words with his teacher who needs to do a drop at his work experience to to put them right.

Lawdoc Mon 12-Feb-18 21:58:03

He accepts that sometimes you boring work and he knows that work experience can be a lot worse than he has it.

I'm just bloody gutted that he knows he's going to have to hand in the work he did to go on public display when he now knows it's full of mistakes.
I'm gutted for him when he already struggles so much with confidence.

Lawdoc Mon 12-Feb-18 21:58:52

*do boring work.
Typing on an old phone and it's being a nightmare.

AjasLipstick Mon 12-Feb-18 22:01:53

I would tell him to call in sick tomorrow. It's not his fault he's been given an inappropriate placement! Then call school and tell them what's happening.

teaiseverything Mon 12-Feb-18 22:09:30

I'm 29 now and I still vividly remember my horrid, waste of time work experience when I was around 14. I was incredibly interested in entering the legal profession and my mum managed to get me a placement with her solicitor's firm. Turns out though, he was on holiday when my placement fell and I instead had to deal with his misogynistic colleague who made inappropriate comments (to a 14 year old girl) and quite literally stuck me in a corner reading title deeds for 3 whole days. I found the courage to tell my mum who phoned the school and explained that I wouldn't be going back. There were no issues at all and the school was incredibly supportive.

AjasLipstick Mon 12-Feb-18 22:16:52

Here in Oz, kids don't do work experience till' 16 which I think is better. I remember doing mine at 14 and being so anxious and shy.

NovemberWitch Mon 12-Feb-18 22:21:36

The school have failed to communicate with the placement, they need to know what reasonable accommodation is required for his disability, and it needs to be in writing, and agreed. Like a risk assessment.
You need to be very direct with the school and the SN department and make sure he gets the support. Get your big girl pants on and get going. The sn boards here are a good source of advice and support.

rosenylund Mon 12-Feb-18 22:22:26

I'm 37 now but my work experience was awful. I couldn't bear to stay the second week so told them I was having my tonsils out. They and my teacher believed me and no one ever checked blush

I do not recommend this approach in it's exact form ... blush

NovemberWitch Mon 12-Feb-18 22:23:27

Don’t be gutted, be pissed off, angry and proactive. He is being made to feel humiliated and stupid for something 5hatthat is out if his control, and you need to go and kick arse on his behalf.

Lawdoc Mon 12-Feb-18 22:29:51

Will have a look at the sn boards thank you.
The staff are utterly lovely in fairness but he's massively embarrassed and dreading them kindly asking to see his work tomorrow. It cannot be displayed its awful and he's spent ages cutting out images and other stuff to go with it to make it look nice.

NovemberWitch Mon 12-Feb-18 22:44:47

If they are lovely, then they need to support him with access to a computer, spellcheck etc and work that is appropriate to his abilities. Which the school should be advising on. He is as entitled to a positive experience as a child without additional needs, not just people being kind, babysitting him and thinking ‘ ahh bless’

PerkingFaintly Mon 12-Feb-18 22:45:05

Let me think a mo and finish something else, and I'll come back with some suggestions.

cakedup Mon 12-Feb-18 23:02:52

Aww, I really feel for your DS. My DS is only 12 but is profoundly dyslexic and this is just the type of nightmare scenario I fear for him in the future. It's really not on that his SEN was not communicated. Is there a chance he could go in tomorrow, and as part of a massive learning experience, explain them to them that he has SEN? That might feel impossible for him which is fair enough. But I do think it's important to 'own' it to a certain degree, to feel confident to communicate this and to actually feek able to ask "I have these needs, what support can you give me"? It's a great opportunity for him to do this in a safe environment as practice in the real world. The work place should appreciate his efforts anyway, regardless.

NovemberWitch Mon 12-Feb-18 23:04:52

Or you could email them. They will have a disability policy. Sometimes you have to be the advocate for your child.

Rainbowsandflowers78 Mon 12-Feb-18 23:05:26

Work experience is a waste of time. Pull him out.

TressiliansStone Mon 12-Feb-18 23:12:14

I'm afraid I'm tired and pompous-sounding, so please forgive that.

First, much sympathy to him from me: I once made a spelling mistake on the cover of a book and they printed 1000 copies.blush Not work experience – my actual job they were paying me for.blushblush I was an editor and single most important part of my job was checking everyone's spelling.blushblushblush

Then, step back a moment from this bit: "he's going to have to hand in the work he did."

He isn't "handing in" work for assessment like in school, where it has to be his own efforts alone. He's doing work experience to learn that things in the workplace can be different from school, and how to get things done in that environment.

In this case, he and the other team members are working together towards the outcome of having a nice display.

Is it rescue-able by cutting out strips of corrected text and sticking them over the old text - making a feature of it like a collage?

Would he be able to say something like, "I'm sorry, I was too shy yesterday to tell you that I'm not very good at spelling. I know I've made some mistakes and I'd like to do it again and have someone check my spelling before I print it out this time?"

Or it might well be they can come up with an alternative way to do the display.

FWIW, I've looked after work experience students and would be mortified if I'd caused one distress when I thought they were getting an enjoyable project.

TressiliansStone Mon 12-Feb-18 23:14:28

And what cakedup said better than I could.

BakedBeans47 Mon 12-Feb-18 23:15:48

Work experience is a waste of time. Pull him out.

This is my initial thoughts too. It was crap when I did it and doesn’t seem to be better nowadays from what I see.

expatinscotland Mon 12-Feb-18 23:18:49

It's an outdated waste of time, IMO. Pull him out.

Sidsreadingdiary Mon 12-Feb-18 23:26:56

It sounds like he has worked very hard, and there are some really positive aspects to what he has done.

Could you help him to practise what he will say when he hands in the work? Could he be really honest, and say that he knows that there are mistakes, but there are also good bits as well. If he speaks up as soon as possible tomorrow they may be able to help him sort it out before anything goes on display.

He seems like a fantastic young man with a good work ethic and the desire to do the best job he can. He cares about getting it right. A decent work experience will hopefully recognise this and want to encourage him.

PerkingFaintly Mon 12-Feb-18 23:29:42

I think cakedup and NovemberWitch have it.

EatSleepRantRepeat Mon 12-Feb-18 23:32:42

Its really not an outraged waste of time - a lot of my phone interviews looking for apprentices also covered questions about their work experience. Its not necessarily the experience gained, but what they learned while doing it, e.g. "tell me about a time when you have made a mistake on a piece of work; what did you do about it?". This is a great learning experience for when he's older - it's unlikely that he wouldn't be able to correct his mistakes tomorrow, I know I tend to give work exp students the 'nice to have' pieces of work rather than a project of vital importance anyway. If he doesn't go in, is it likely to affect his confidence in future, compared to him going in and getting an understanding reaction from his colleagues?

Butterymuffin Mon 12-Feb-18 23:32:45

Poor lad. The school need telling. They've let him down.

EatSleepRantRepeat Mon 12-Feb-18 23:33:57

*complete not 'outraged' - no idea where my phone got that from!

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