Volunteers

  • Volunteers Policy

    Introduction

     

    Volunteers at West Park School bring with them a range of skills and experience that

    can enhance the learning opportunities of children at our school. We welcome

    and encourage volunteers from the local community.

     

    Our Volunteers include:

    • Members of the Governing Body
    • Parents of pupils
    • Ex-pupils
    • Students on work experience
    • University students referred to us by Student Volunteer Services
    • Ex-members of staff
    • Local residents
    • Friends of the school

     

    The types of activities that Volunteers are engaged include:

    • Hearing children read
    • Working with small groups of children
    • Working alongside individual children
    • Undertaking art & craft activities with children
    • Working with children on the computers
    • Accompanying school visits

     

    Becoming a Volunteer

     

    Anyone wishing to become a volunteer, either for a one off event such as a

    school visit or on a more regular basis, e.g. hearing children read, usually

    is advised to discuss this with the Headteacher or class teacher directly.

     

    Volunteers should complete the Volunteer Information Sheet (Appendix 1) with

    their contact details, type of activities they would like to help with, and the times

    they are available to help.

     

    Before starting to help in school, volunteers should complete the Volunteer

    Agreement (Appendix 2), which sets out the school’s expectations of volunteers

    and asks Volunteers to confirm they have received a copy of this policy.

     

    Our School Ethos and Values

    School Ethos

    “At West Park Primary School, we believe each learner should aspire to meet their potential educationally, socially and emotionally. “

    All adults who work in our school, whether a paid member of staff or a volunteer

    are expected to work and behave in such as way as to actively promote our

    school ethos and values. This is to provide a high quality education where high expectations, inclusive approaches and excellent teaching and learning form the basis of all our work. Our children are encouraged to have a positive attitude to learning

    and achieve their full potential. We aspire to create a culture of achievement for all.

    We are committed to providing stimulating learning activities that will ensure our

    children leave West Park with the skills and knowledge that will prepare them

    for lifelong learning. We will do this by encouraging enthusiasm for learning, self

    confidence and respect for others, while working in partnership with parents, and the local community.

     

    This vision is underpinned by AdAstra Multi Academy Trust values.

     

    Values

     

    • Strive for excellence in all that we do;
    • Continuously improving the pupil experience is at the heart of everything we do;
    • Value everyone in the school, treating them with dignity and respect;
    • Foster inclusivity by recognising individuals and removing barriers to success;
    • Encourage co-operation to achieve our aims;
    • Create a culture of lifelong learning for all;
    • Act with moral purpose to make a difference for all.

     

    Confidentiality

     

    Volunteers in school are bound by a code of confidentiality. Any concerns that

    volunteers have about the children they work with / come into contact with

    should be voiced with the Class Teacher/ Headteacher and NOT with the parents of the child /persons outside school. Comments regarding children’s behaviour or learning

    can be highly sensitive, and if taken out of context, can cause distress to the

    parents of a child if they hear about such issues through a third party rather than

    directly from the school. West Park School is committed to keeping children safe, volunteers who are concerned about anything a child or adult in the school does or says should raise the matter with the Headteacher or Assistant Headteacher without delay.

     

    Supervision

     

    All volunteers work under the supervision of the class teacher of the class to

    which they are assigned. Teachers retain responsibility for children at all times,

    including the children’s behaviour and the activity they are undertaking.

    Volunteers should have clear guidance from the teacher as to how an activity is

    carried out / what the expected outcome of an activity is. Volunteers are

    encouraged to seek further advice / guidance from the teacher in the event of

    any query / problem regarding children’s understanding of a task or behaviour.

     

    Health & Safety

     

    The school has a Health & Safety Policy which can be accessed through the school website or on request. Class teachers ensure that volunteers are

    clear about emergency procedures (e.g. fire alarm evacuation) and about any

    safety aspects associated with a particular task (e.g. using DT equipment /

    accompanying children on visits). Volunteers need to exercise due care and

    attention and report any obvious hazards or concerns to the class teacher /

    Headteacher.

     

    Child Protection

     

    The welfare of our children is paramount. To ensure the safety of our children,

    we adopt the following procedures:

     

    • All volunteers are given a copy of the Volunteer Policy and asked to sign a Volunteer Agreement (Appendix 2)

     

    • To ensure the safety of our pupils at all times, all of our volunteers must have been cleared by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. A certificate is issued to the individual to produce in school.

     

    • Where a volunteer is engaged in a ‘one-off’ activity e.g. helping supervise a group of children as part of a class visit, no formal checks are carried out on these volunteers. These volunteers, who are under constant supervision of school staff, must read and sign our Off-Site Visit Agreement

    (Appendix 3).

     

    All policies regarding Child Protection can be found on our website:

    • Child Protection and Safeguarding
    • Peer on Peer Abuse
    • Anti Bullying
    • School Behaviour Policy
    • E-Safety

     

    Complaints Procedure

     

    Any complaints made about a Volunteer will be referred to the Headteacher /

    Assistant Headteacher for investigation. Any complaints made by a Volunteer will

    be referred to the Headteacher / Assistant Headteacher.

     

    The Headteacher reserves the right to take the following action:

     

    • To speak with a volunteer about a breach of the Volunteer Agreement and seek reassurance that this will not happen again;
    • Offer an alternative placement for a volunteer, e.g. helping with another activity or in another class;
    • Inform the volunteer that the school no longer wishes to use them. The full Complaints Procedure is available on our website or on request, from the school office.

     

    Monitoring and Review

     

    This Policy has been approved by the Governing Body and will be reviewed

    annually and updated in the light of new guidance from either the DfE.

     

     

    West Park Primary School

    Volunteer Policy

     

    APPENDIX 1

     

    VOLUNTEER INFORMATION SHEET – FOR NEW VOLUNTEERS

     

    Name of Volunteer:

     

    Date of Birth:

     

    Other names known by (including maiden names):

     

    Address:

     

     

     

    Phone:

    What skills / areas would you like to help with in school?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Are there any particular age groups / classes you would like to work with?

     

     

     

    What days/times are you able to volunteer on?

     

     

     

    Do you have any disabilities / other needs we need to take into account when

    working as a Volunteer in school? (please give details)

     

     

     

    Thank you for taking time to complete this Volunteer Information Sheet.

    Please return this to the School Office

    Your offer of help is appreciated and we will be in touch shortly.

     

    West Park Primary School

    Volunteer Policy

    APPENDIX 2

     

    I confirm that I have read the West Park School Volunteer policy and understand and agree to the obligations that this places on me as a volunteer.

     

    Surname:

     

    Christian Name:

     

    Address:

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Telephone Number:

     

     

     

     

    Signed:

     

     

     

     

    DBS Check (for school use only)

     

    Date:

     

    Number:

     

    West Park Primary School

    Volunteer Policy

     

     

    APPENDIX 2

    VOLUNTEER AGREEMENT

     

    Thank you for offering your services as a volunteer. Your offer of help is greatly appreciated and we hope that you will gain much from your experience here.

     

    Please read and sign this Volunteer Agreement Sheet and hand it in at school.

    You will receive a copy of it for your records.

     

    • I have received a copy of the School’s Volunteer Policy
    • I agree to support the School’s aims and values
    • I agree to treat information I learn from being a volunteer in school as confidential
    • I understand that I am required to undergo a Criminal Record Bureau check to advise the school of my suitability as a volunteer.

     

     

    Signed: _____________________________

    Name: ______________________________

    Date: _______________________________

     

     

    West Park Primary School

    Volunteer Policy

     

    APPENDIX 3

     

    OFF-SITE VISITS VOLUNTEER AGREEMENT

     

    School trips are an integral part of learning at our school and afford many children opportunities which are outside their usual experiences. We are pleased that you have come forward as a volunteer helper: you will have An important role to play in the success and safety of this school trip.

    Please read and return this appendix, and sign and return the helper’s slip.

    This is part of our school’s risk assessment planning.  Volunteer will be asked to sign all Risk Assessment paperwork, declaring that it has been read and understood, before any off-site visit.

     

    Role of the Volunteer Helper

     

    • to be responsible and look after, in equal measure, all of the children in your group
    • to stay with your allocated group of children, ensuring that their well being and safety is maintained for the total duration of the school trip
    • to promote polite, respectful and courteous behaviour towards each other and members of the general public. We all go as ambassadors of our school!
    • to ensure that your group keep up with the body of the school visit party, be it walking, entering or exiting from transportation or following speakers for the trip
    • to contact your child’s class teacher/member of staff if there are issues with first aid, safety and/or behaviour

     

    Working alongside school staff

    School staff expect volunteer helpers to:

    • comply with all of the above whilst being under the direct line management of school staff
    • show a commitment to their group, an interest in the focus of the visit and assist children in their learning by helping them to read signs/labels/information, asking questions that encourage children to think about the task and help to explain areas of interest
    • follow guidance from the school staff

     

    What is not permitted

     

    • Volunteer helpers are not allowed to bring additional siblings on the school trip.
    • Volunteer helpers are not allowed to re-organise school visit groups.
    • Volunteer helpers are not allowed to smoke, drink alcohol or engage in any illegal practices.
    • Volunteer helpers are not permitted to take photographs of children.
    • Volunteer helpers are not allowed to give/buy their group treats e.g., icecreams, biscuits, sweets – before, during or after the school trip.

     

    First Aid

    For each class on the school visit, there will be at least one qualified first aider.

    You will be informed if any child in your group has medication/needs. If medicine

    needs to be administered, this will be done by a member of staff unless it is your

    child who requires medicine in which case you will be asked to administer this

    and be responsible for carrying the medicine.

    All other medicines and first aid box(es) will be carried by staff.

     

    Emergencies

    You are expected to inform a member of staff as soon as possible.

    If you have become separated from the rest of the school party, please telephone

    one of the members of staff on your contact list or telephone the school.

     

    I have read and understood the Volunteer Policy

     

    I agree to the terms and conditions as stated in the policy

     

    I will support the young people in enjoying the trip and actively contribute to the

    smooth running of the occasion.

     

     

    Signed : _____________________ Date : ____________