Work Experience and Volunteering Policy
Work Experience and Volunteering:
The National Space Academy often receives requests for work experience and volunteering opportunities, from individuals, schools, and other organisatios. The following summarises the reasons why the Academy does not currently offer work experience.
1. The National Space Academy is a small scale employer, with a core team of only 7 people and a wider network of 25 seconded Lead Educators, who are all full time teachers in UK schools. The National Space Academy is not currently recruiting but when it does it recruits qualified and experienced teachers, or project managers with links to science communication. The Academy is also supported by project scientists whose employers allow their time to be counted as an in-kind contribution. There are no paid vacancies at the Academy for scientists and researchers nor is there capacity for any long term volunteer posts.
2. The National Space Academy's core team is employed to deliver: project management and administration, administration and support of the Lead Educator network, delivery of teaching on the Space Engineering course, delivery of student masterclasses and teacher CPD, delivery of careers conferences for the UK space sector, development of classroom ready educational resources, and delivery of international education projects. The Academy's resources and teacher guides are written by experienced teachers with input from scientists or engineers to ensure that quality and relevance are maintained.
3. The National Space Academy is a not-for-profit arm of the National Space Centre, which is a charity. The Academy is required by its funders to work towards the aim of being self-funding for as much of its programme as possible. The support from these funders covers the salaries of the core team, the secondment fees for Lead Educators' schools, and the overheads of running the office and online assets of the Academy.
4. The Academy has Key Performance Indicators set by its funders, including a number of students and teachers that it needs to reach each academic year – however these interactions must meet certain criteria in order to be counted. For both students and teachers this requires a minimum workshop time of 1 hour, and must include the Academy's curriculum-linked activities. These sessions must be educational with clear links to the science or maths curricula at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, and they must be delivered by the Academy's Lead Educators or core team members with the relevant experience.
5. The Academy requires that all of its core team and Lead Educators have up-to-date DBS checks in order to comply with its safeguarding responsibilities and guidelines for working with young people. The Academy does bring in speakers who may not have had DBS checks, but they are always supervised by appropriate team members.
For the reasons above, the National Space Academy is not currently able to:
- Offer work experience placements for students of any age
- Offer science or engineering work placements of any kind
- Broker work experience placements with other organisations on behalf of students
- Offer full- or part-time volunteer or unpaid roles
A list of existing external schemes for work experience and volunteering opportunities can be seen here (this list is not exhaustive nor does inclusion on the list indicate endorsement by the National Space Academy).
Policy updated July 2016.