Removing the statutory duty to deliver work related learning at Key Stage 4

The Government is seeking views on its intention to remove the statutory duty to deliver work related learning at key stage four. BASE has concerns about the potential impact that this change would have on young disabled pupils given the already low employment aspirations.

The following text is taken from the consultation website:

Recommendation 21 of the Wolf Review proposed that Government should "evaluate models for supplying genuine work experience to 16-18 year olds who are enrolled as full time students, not apprentices, and for reimbursing local employers in a flexible way, using core funds. Schools and colleges should be encouraged to prioritise longer internships for older students, reflecting the fact that almost no young people move into full time education at 16; and government should correspondingly move their statutory duty to provide every young person at Key Stage 4 with a standard amount of work related learning".

Local authorities are already under a duty to encourage work experience for students aged 16-19 and Government has begun working with partners to promote this. A group of local areas and training providers are also developing Work Pairings models, which offer young people training and intensive work experience with local employers. These will help to inform thinking on future work experience models for all 16-19 year olds. The review of lower attaining pupils will consider how work experience and internships can support progression for these young people. Government will consider how local employers could be reimbursed as part of the 16-19 funding formula consultation which will launch later this year.

To deliver the whole recommendation from Professor Wolf, Government is seeking to remove the statutory duty to provide every young person at Key Stage 4 (14-16 year olds) with work-related learning. However, schools will still be free to determine whether and how work experience for young people at Key Stage 4 is provided. This particular consultation is concerned with that issue.

Work related learning is defined as "planned activity designed to use the context of work to develop knowledge, skills and understanding useful in work, including learning through the experience of work, learning about work and working practices and learning skills for work".

The consultation is open to the public and responses should be submitted by 4 January 2012.

There is a further consultation on Study Programmes for 16-19 Year Olds available at