At Buckland we are fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children & young people. All volunteers will have an enhanced DBS check undertaken.
VOLUNTEERS IN SCHOOL
There are two main ways of helping: –
Occasional support e.g. sports events or school trips. These are individual events and generally parents/volunteers only commit themselves to one or two occasions.
Regular support. This is when parents or helpers offer regular weekly support to the school for a period of time. Usually the commitment will be for a term and will consist of one or two timetabled weekly sessions. This would require a simple form to be completed with your details and we require a copy of your passport and a utility bill – please liaise with the school office regarding regular support in school.
KEEPING SAFE – Good Practice for Volunteers & Parent Helpers
Thank you for your interest in volunteering in school. Volunteering can take many forms and we appreciate the help that our volunteers give us to support the work of the school.
We value our volunteers and we hope that you will enjoy working with us. We have produced this guide to help you feel comfortable working in school and we hope that you will also feel able to ask any questions as they arise.
The points of contact for volunteers in school are as follows:
- The Class Teacher
- The School Office to sign in and out
- The Business Manager for DBS Check
It is important for school security and fire regulations that all staff, visitors and volunteers to the school can be identified and located at all times and we ask you to follow the simple routine of:
Signing in and out when coming into and leaving the premises
Wearing the Visitor badge we give you at all times whilst in school
WHERE CAN I WORK?
Please let us know if you have a strong preference about the age group with which you would like to work or if there is a particular task on which you would like to focus. You might even have a preference for which class you would like to volunteer. If you would like to share your time between several classes or if you find you do not enjoy the volunteering opportunity we offer, please let us know. We want you to be happy and we want you to know that we value your time and energy!
HOW MUCH TIME MUST I GIVE?
We appreciate all the time you choose to offer. Some volunteers prefer to have a timetable. Some prefer to arrange single visits when they can spare some time.
All we ask is that you let us know if you have made an arrangement with the school but find that you can’t come. Your work in school is valuable and the teacher may have been counting on you to help with an activity that cannot go ahead without your help. Let us know if you cannot come – just give us a call or send a message in your child’s contact book so that we can avoid disappointing the children.
School is a work place and you will be supporting children’s learning and joining a committed team of staff and volunteers.
WHERE CAN I GO IN THE SCHOOL?
As a volunteer you will be expected to work with the teacher/s whom you have decided to help. For most of the school day, therefore, you will be sharing the classroom with the teacher/s concerned. The teacher will be responsible for you and if you are in any doubt about your role, where you should be working or questions about the school please ask your teacher. Apart from moving about the school in the normal course of the day, we would expect you to stay with the teacher who will supervise your activities.
If you are with us during break times, you can join your teacher in the staff room. You can leave your personal belongings in the staffroom or school office. Please use the staff toilets, not the children’s toilets.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A PROBLEM WHILST WORKING IN SCHOOL?
We expect all members of the school community to be polite, courteous and self-disciplined. Pupils watch us and follow our example. The same rules apply to staff, children and volunteers working in school. Please discuss problems with the teacher or head teacher. The teachers in school are expected to act “in loco parentis” — this means in place of the parents. They are responsible for the children whilst they are at school.
Never get into an argument with children or adults. Teachers are trained to deal with problem situations and they are paid to take responsibility
Never tell off a child. The school has a code of discipline which children are expected to follow. As a volunteer you are not expected to discipline children. If there is a problem tell the teacher straight away.
The only time we would expect any adult to intervene is to prevent a child hurting themselves or another child. Do this by telling them quietly and firmly to stop. Avoid physically restraining a child unless they will damage another child or themselves and do this with great care.
Never threaten, shout, hit or manhandle a child
Never be left in sole charge of a child
AM I INSURED WHILST WORKING AT THE SCHOOL?
You will be insured for the same activities as teachers.
If you transport children either in your own transport or in school transport you will need to be certain that your insurance policy or that of the school covers you. Please check with the school office or your teacher.
IF I AM CLAIMING STATE BENEFITS SUCH AS JOB SEEKERS ALLOWANCE OR SICKNESS BENEFIT WILL I BE ABLE TO WORK AS A VOLUNTEER AT SCHOOL?
The rules change sometimes and your local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS – number in local telephone directory) will be able to offer you straightforward advice if you have any doubts. The CVS is not government department.
WHAT WORK SHOULD I NOT UNDERTAKE?
Some activities would bring volunteers into conflict with employed persons and may strain industrial relations. The school will know which these are and you can ask to see the guidance notes if you wish.
Health and Safety Regulations will prevent you undertaking some activities. These Regulations are available for you to read if you wish.
Some activities will expose you to unnecessary risks and teachers supervising your work should ensure that this does not happen. For example, never be left alone with a child or children. You should be clear about your responsibilities and your role at the school.
DO I NEED TO FILL IN ANY FORMS?
For legal reasons all adults with substantial and long-term contact with children in the school must undergo a simple check, as mention above. This is for the safety of the children which you will agree is of prime importance.
We will also ask you to nominate a teacher as a contact in school and there is a form at the end of this leaflet for you to fill in. Whilst you are working in the school, please tell this teacher where you will be if you are not working with them. If there is a fire drill or an emergency we will contact that teacher first. This is very important for your safety.
WHAT ABOUT CONFIDENTIALITY?
We expect our volunteers to abide by the same code of confidentiality as teachers. Please ask your teacher about this.
WHAT IF I AM NOT HAPPY?
We will ensure that you have an opportunity each half term to discuss how you feel about your volunteering with the teacher responsible for you but if you are unhappy in the meantime please tell us!
Please do not just leave. If it is work or other problems one of us will be pleased to listen and help if we can. It’s the least we can do in return for your valuable time and commitment!
We would like to thank you for offering to volunteer to help at our school. We regard you as a friend and member of our team. We have a professional duty to you – just as we have to all members of staff— to make your time with us happy and fulfilling.
Together we make a great team!