At the beginning of this year my son brought home from school information about work experience. This gives each child in year 10 & 11 the opportunity to spend a period of time outside the classroom, learning about a particular job or area of work. It enables pupils to find out what skills employers look for when they're hiring someone to fill a job vacancy. It also gives them the chance to develop self-confidence and communication skills, this helps them to work better with other people in further or higher education, as well as in a future career.
My son had indicated he would like to see if he could gain a placement at Riddings Pool so armed with the relevent paperwork from the school we set off to see the manager there. She politely informed us that they only take work placements on through Connexions and we would have to go and see them on Oswald Road. Off we set heading to Oswald Road only to find the Connexions Office building empty and under convertion in to another business. Back at home and surfing the net I find a Connexions contact in Hull to whom I send an e-mail asking for guidence, a few days later I received an e-mail from Connexions based at Brigg Youth Centre explaining the usual procedure is that information is sent home from School about when work experience will be taking place and how placements are allocated, Connexions are not involved with the process and if I contact the school they will be able to give me more information. So I made contact with the school via e-mail, a few more days went by before the reply came. This told me I needed to take the relevant paperwork to his choice of placement, which we did once again to be told by the duty manager of Riddings pool that we need to go through Connexions on Oswald Road, After explaining that Connexions are no longer on Oswald Road and that having made contact with them through Hull & Brigg they are not involved with the process only to be told by the duty manager of the pool that that’s how they usually receive work placements.
After over two weeks of frustration, going around in circles and banging my head against a wall I decided to contact, via e-mail, Councillor Tony Gosling, the then North Lincolnshire Cabinet Member for Children’s Service for help, explaining the predicament we were in. A reply was received the same day and within two days we had received conformation and all the relevant information regarding my sons work placement at Riddings Pool and for that I personally thanked him.
This Cabinet Portfolio no longer exists on its own; it now incorporates Adult Services and is known as Adult and Children Services, headed by Councillor Rob Waltham, Pictured below.
I had cause to contact Councillor Waltham by e-mail regarding another matter about my sons schooling. This time it concerned a stolen netbook charger which went missing in class at school. After numerous weeks of both phoning and e-mail the school about a replacement charger the school either fails to reply or drag their heels.
Again in sheer frustration I fired off an e-mail to the school and Cllr Rob Waltham explaining the saga. Unfortunately Cllr Waltham doesn’t seem to be as efficient as his predecessor as I still await a reply nearly a week later. Could it be that these once two separate portfolios now being under one councillors leadership is too much to ask of one person and will we see services suffer because of it.
I certainly think my sons’ education is suffering because of it.
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