Child protection guidance

Child protection considerations are part of the process of agreeing a work placement and Local Authorities are responsible for issuing protocols as to how schools should manage this.   Schools may not place students in any work placement which due to their profile or history includes significant “at risk” elements including medical, emotional, behavioural issues or involvement with the criminal justice system.  This type of information is considered sensitive under the Data Protection Act and can only be passed on with the consent of the learner.

In December 2004 the DfES issued new guidance on child protection and work experience, with the greatest emphasis on extended placements (more than 15 days in total).  Currently child protection legislation does not require CRB checks to be made on all people who might have contact with children if this is not part of their normal duties. This includes employers providing work experience placements of one or two weeks However additional safeguards are recommended for the following circumstances:



  • Longer than one term in any academic year
  • Involves a learner with special educational needs
  • Where the supervisor will have substantial unsupervised access to the child
  • Where there is a residential component

Any person in the workplace with a
designated responsibility for managing students should have a CRB check and basic child protection training and be aware of their responsibilities set out in “What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused” issued by the Department of Health

 A common sense approach should be adopted when considering child protection issues, the following minimum precautions are reasonable:

  • Employees are required by law to declare if they are disqualified from working with children if placed in any role where this will be required.
  • It is not advisable to structure a placement where one learner is working with one adult where this is not part of their normal duties.
  • In cases of unavoidable one to one working e.g. sole traders, schools have the responsibility to consider whether or not it is appropriate to ask for a CRB check to be carried out. 
  • The location(s) for all aspects of the programme should be agreed well in advance.  Never change the location or job role at short notice and without consent.
  • Parents/carers should be aware of travel arrangements and journey times.
  • Learners should not be left alone to work unsupervised.
  • Companies should be aware of and forbid any type of initiation ceremony or horseplay with young learners.
  • Jobs requiring unavoidable unsocial hours must be agreed with parents before the placement and included in written consent.
  • There should be no sudden changes to working hours between the interview and placement stages.
  • Learners should not be placed unsupervised in environments where there is inappropriate or confidential material.
  • Placements should not include any area of work where direct physical contact is an element of the job.
  • Learners should not have unsupervised access to the Internet.
  • Young learners may in extreme circumstances disclose personal information to a workplace supervisor or mentor and an agreed protocol should be agreed for handling this.  Schools can give further guidance.
  • Avoid being in an enclosed room with a young learner, always conduct interviews or meetings in public spaces where possible.
  • Travel between venues with one adult is accepted on work experience if necessary to the job, journeys should be notified to central staff and be direct from start to finish point. 

Child Protection Checklist

Download Checklist - word | pdf



Does your organisation have a child protection policy or procedure in place?


If there is a named supervisor with responsibility for trainees have they had any basic child protection training?


Is the named supervisor CRB checked?


Have all aspects of the job role including location, travel, access to confidential material been considered as part of risk assessment?


Have all employees been briefed on inappropriate behaviour, language, including horseplay and bullying?


Have you avoided wherever possible the need for one to one work with an adult?


Child Protection Statement

You may wish to adapt this as part of your company policy on child protection

Download Statement - word | pdf



I agree to meet legal requirements for the management of young learners under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.


No young learner will be given work which is beyond their physical or emotional capababilities, or for which they will be at risk due to a known medical condition


No young learner will be subject to inappropriate language or behaviour whilst on the premises, including bullying, language which could be deemed offensive on racial or sexual grounds, horseplay, initiation ceremonies or unnecessary physical contact


No young learner will be discriminated against on grounds of race, gender, belief or disability


Supervision will be adequate at all times, no young learner will be given unsupervised access to the internet or to confidential material pertinent to the business


I have been advised of the DfES recommendations regarding child protection and work experience, including the recommendation for staff training

I will not knowingly place a young learner with any adult known to be barred from working with children and I have taken appropriate steps to determine whether any employees are debarred from working with children in the planning of work experience  

Organisation: _________________________

Signed: _______________________________

Position in company:______________________________



Sources of Further Information

  • Five steps to risk assessment (free) (INDG 163) – HSE Books, tel 01787 881165
  • Work Experience – a Guide for Employers (ISBN 184185773), DfES publications, tel 0845 6022260
  • Be Safe – A guide to health and safety in training (free) (HSE Books)
  • The Right Start – Work Experience for Young People – Health and Safety Basics for employers (free) (INDG 364) (HSE Books)
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused – Department of health


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