Why is it so difficult to get school experience? Watch

Elorajaneamos
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For the last two years I have contacted every school within a 90 min travel radius and the only ones who reply to me are the ones on the very end of that. I also keep being messed around. Where I live, the schools are under an umbrella and so therefore all DBS enquiries go through the umbrella company. Over the last two years they have seemed to change their story everytime I ring up. First of all, go back to 2 and a half years ago...they wouldn't let me send a DBS form off until a school allowed me to volunteer. So I found one and then set up a meeting only to be told that for them to send off the form, I would need 2 references. The city I lived in during uni never once asked for references. They then told me that one of the references needed to come from a school setting in which I have worked (I couldn't ask for this as the school only allows the teacher the volunteer works with to write a reference. The teacher I worked with was on a secondment). I told them this and they said I could use a uni one. Anyway long story short, I somehow managed to get them to "send it" while waiting for my reference to get back to me. I waited 7 weeks and phoned them only to be told that they hadn't sent it due to lack of evidence of identity, despite them saying I had enough documents. In the same phone call, I got really annoyed and they then said "oh yes, you do have enough, it's just been put through". They never once phoned me during those seven weeks to tell me I apparently didn't have sufficient evidence. So i got into a school (without references) however by this point it was the last two weeks of term. Some things happened in my life so I didn't return in September. Fast forward to now and I need a new DBS and they are telling me that in order to have one I need to have worked/volunteered for a minimum of 3 months in a school during the last 18 months (because they need that for one of the references) which is ridiculous. I can't get a dbs because I don't have references from a school and this is because I can't get a dbs in the first place. They are also saying that the evidence I have is not sufficent yet when I contact the schools in the city my uni was in, they say that the evidence is fine. It seems like they are making it up as they go along. So at the moment I am trying to get a school placement but not hearing anything back apart from one school who asked that I have at least a months experience in a secondary school. I'd like to add that I don't find it difficult to get primary experience, however I'd rather not do a pgce at all than do Primary. Has anyone else had this trouble?
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04MR17
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(Original post by Elorajaneamos)
For the last two years I have contacted every school within a 90 min travel radius and the only ones who reply to me are the ones on the very end of that. I also keep being messed around. Where I live, the schools are under an umbrella and so therefore all DBS enquiries go through the umbrella company. Over the last two years they have seemed to change their story everytime I ring up. First of all, go back to 2 and a half years ago...they wouldn't let me send a DBS form off until a school allowed me to volunteer. So I found one and then set up a meeting only to be told that for them to send off the form, I would need 2 references. The city I lived in during uni never once asked for references. They then told me that one of the references needed to come from a school setting in which I have worked (I couldn't ask for this as the school only allows the teacher the volunteer works with to write a reference. The teacher I worked with was on a secondment). I told them this and they said I could use a uni one. Anyway long story short, I somehow managed to get them to "send it" while waiting for my reference to get back to me. I waited 7 weeks and phoned them only to be told that they hadn't sent it due to lack of evidence of identity, despite them saying I had enough documents. In the same phone call, I got really annoyed and they then said "oh yes, you do have enough, it's just been put through". They never once phoned me during those seven weeks to tell me I apparently didn't have sufficient evidence. So i got into a school (without references) however by this point it was the last two weeks of term. Some things happened in my life so I didn't return in September. Fast forward to now and I need a new DBS and they are telling me that in order to have one I need to have worked/volunteered for a minimum of 3 months in a school during the last 18 months (because they need that for one of the references) which is ridiculous. I can't get a dbs because I don't have references from a school and this is because I can't get a dbs in the first place. They are also saying that the evidence I have is not sufficent yet when I contact the schools in the city my uni was in, they say that the evidence is fine. It seems like they are making it up as they go along. So at the moment I am trying to get a school placement but not hearing anything back apart from one school who asked that I have at least a months experience in a secondary school. I'd like to add that I don't find it difficult to get primary experience, however I'd rather not do a pgce at all than do Primary. Has anyone else had this trouble?
Oh dear.

That sounds horrible.

I'm currently acquiring a DBS for my work experience but the school (which is down the road from my house) hasn't been quick at all, but at least they're letting me volunteer.

I think it's utterly ridiculous that in order to get work experience, you're supposed to have work experience already. If you had that, you wouldn't be doing it in the first place. :facepalm:

It might be worth getting some Primary school experience. It doesn't mean you have to do a primary pgce, but it does mean you will have some school experience with which to put onto your application.
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Mr M
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School Experience Programme? https://getintoteaching.education.go...ool-experience
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Elorajaneamos)
For the last two years I have contacted every school within a 90 min travel radius and the only ones who reply to me are the ones on the very end of that. I also keep being messed around. Where I live, the schools are under an umbrella and so therefore all DBS enquiries go through the umbrella company.
I'm confused - once you have an enhanced DBS you shouldn't need another one for 3 years if you register online for updates. I do quite a few voluteer roles but they can access my DBS and I don't need to get a separate one done. It's free

https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service
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04MR17
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(Original post by Muttley79)
I'm confused - once you have an enhanced DBS you shouldn't need another one for 3 years if you register online for updates. I do quite a few voluteer roles but they can access my DBS and I don't need to get a separate one done. It's free

https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service
That's certainly not the experience I've had. I must have had about 4 DBSs done over the last 3 years. Every new organisation I've worked with has expected a new one.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by 04MR17)
That's certainly not the experience I've had. I must have had about 4 DBSs done over the last 3 years. Every new organisation I've worked with has expected a new one.
Many people still don't know about this update service which is why I've added the link. I used to have several CRBs but now I just have the one enhanced DBS

You need to register within a few days of getting your DBS but it's all free for unpaid roles.
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ByEeek
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Agreed - this ---^

Also, most schools aren't interested in DBS for an experience day. They will just ensure you are accompanied around the school. I found that the best way to get into a school as to find someone works at a school (they are all over the place) and then ask them. You must have friends whose parents are teachers or who know someone that work in a school. Ask them!

Good luck!

PS and use the schools experience programme. It is free, online and easy.
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Elorajaneamos
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Agreed - this ---^

Also, most schools aren't interested in DBS for an experience day. They will just ensure you are accompanied around the school. I found that the best way to get into a school as to find someone works at a school (they are all over the place) and then ask them. You must have friends whose parents are teachers or who know someone that work in a school. Ask them!

Good luck!

PS and use the schools experience programme. It is free, online and easy.
Unfortunatley I can't use this as I live in Wales I don't know anyone who works in a secondary school-only Primary and even then they require a DBS which I can't have because the umbrella company requires one of my references to be from a school I've worked in within the last 18 months and even then they require me to have at least 3 months of experience alltogether. Sounds stupid I know, It's what I've been up against for the last 2 years. We are looking at moving now though, we don't see any way around it. My university city which is 2 hours away has schools which have said I can come in and volunteer and as you said, if I come in for less than 3 days I don't need a DBS. I'm just so confused why it's so hard here considering what area it is. It's like the back end of nowhere and it seems they don't want you to improve your life -_- thank you for your reply!
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Elorajaneamos
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Oh dear.

That sounds horrible.

I'm currently acquiring a DBS for my work experience but the school (which is down the road from my house) hasn't been quick at all, but at least they're letting me volunteer.

I think it's utterly ridiculous that in order to get work experience, you're supposed to have work experience already. If you had that, you wouldn't be doing it in the first place. :facepalm:

It might be worth getting some Primary school experience. It doesn't mean you have to do a primary pgce, but it does mean you will have some school experience with which to put onto your application.
I had the same idea with Primary, schools reply and say I can volunteer however even then they require a DBS which I can't have because the umbrella company requires one of my references to be from a school I've worked in within the last 18 months and even then they require me to have at least 3 months of experience alltogether. They refuse to even send the DBS off until they have references, a CV and a medical health questionnaire. We are looking at moving now though, we don't see any way around it. My university city which is 2 hours away has schools which have said I can come in and volunteer and if I come in for less than 3 days I don't even need a DBS. What annoys me is the entry requirements for some uni's is at least a day (to get on a PGCE) and a friend of a friend actually got on with one days experience. However to volunteer here you need 3 months experience and a dbs and etc. Therefore you need less experience to apply for a PGCE. It's so stupid I hope things go well for you with your volunteering!
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Elorajaneamos
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Unfortunatley I can't use this as I live in Wales
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Elorajaneamos
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(Original post by Muttley79)
I'm confused - once you have an enhanced DBS you shouldn't need another one for 3 years if you register online for updates. I do quite a few voluteer roles but they can access my DBS and I don't need to get a separate one done. It's free

https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service
The umbrella company told me numerous times that this was only for paid DBS and not voluntary and I was so stressed at the time I didn't check for myself
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airfixfighter
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(Original post by Elorajaneamos)
Unfortunatley I can't use this as I live in Wales I don't know anyone who works in a secondary school-only Primary and even then they require a DBS which I can't have because the umbrella company requires one of my references to be from a school I've worked in within the last 18 months and even then they require me to have at least 3 months of experience alltogether. Sounds stupid I know, It's what I've been up against for the last 2 years. We are looking at moving now though, we don't see any way around it. My university city which is 2 hours away has schools which have said I can come in and volunteer and as you said, if I come in for less than 3 days I don't need a DBS. I'm just so confused why it's so hard here considering what area it is. It's like the back end of nowhere and it seems they don't want you to improve your life -_- thank you for your reply!
Where are you in Wales and what do you want to do? I'm doing Physics and got a place through the Institute of Physics School Experience Scheme - maybe there's something similar for your subject?

I'm in Cardiff and I emailed every secondary school and got responses from 3 and went to one for a couple of days - so if you're by Cardiff at all, you should get some responses to come in.
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Elorajaneamos
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(Original post by airfixfighter)
Where are you in Wales and what do you want to do? I'm doing Physics and got a place through the Institute of Physics School Experience Scheme - maybe there's something similar for your subject?

I'm in Cardiff and I emailed every secondary school and got responses from 3 and went to one for a couple of days - so if you're by Cardiff at all, you should get some responses to come in.
I want to do secondary English We're considering moving to either Cardiff or somewhere in England. As you in Cardiff, can I ask if you need references before you volunteer in a school or do you just need a DBS? I've been trying to contact referees for weeks. Three from my uni have left, one is on maternity leave and the other is out of office until January 2020. The teacher I worked with in the school I was in last has emigrated to Australia so I can't use a reference from that school as it has to be from him. I'm happy for you that you got responses and experience, I wish you well for your PGCE
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airfixfighter
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(Original post by Elorajaneamos)
I want to do secondary English We're considering moving to either Cardiff or somewhere in England. As you in Cardiff, can I ask if you need references before you volunteer in a school or do you just need a DBS? I've been trying to contact referees for weeks. Three from my uni have left, one is on maternity leave and the other is out of office until January 2020. The teacher I worked with in the school I was in last has emigrated to Australia so I can't use a reference from that school as it has to be from him. I'm happy for you that you got responses and experience, I wish you well for your PGCE
I didn't need a DBS as I wasn't left alone with any of the children at any time. And both schools were fine with that. 😊

If you're after experience in Cardiff, PM me and I'll tell you the two schools I was able to go to.
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