Volunteers at Laycock Primary School bring with them a range of skills and experience that can enhance the learning opportunities of the children at our school. We welcome and encourage volunteers from the local community.
Our volunteers include:
- Members of the Governing Body
- Parents of pupils
- Students on work experience
- University students
- Ex members of staff
- Local residents
- Friends of the school
The types of activities that volunteers are engaged in under supervision include:
- Hearing children read
- Working with small groups of children
- Working alongside individual children in the classroom
- Undertaking art and craft activities with children
- Working with children on the computers
- Accompanying school visits
- Supporting stay & play sessions
- Helping in crèches
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 or a fixed term placement, should approach the school office for a application form. A CRB application must be completed (or evidenced if placement is through a college or university).
Volunteer applicants will be asked to contribute £13 to cover the admin fee charged to schools. After at least 1 term’s regular volunteering the school will consider refunding the charge to the volunteer.
Student applicants are expected to provide evidence of a recent DBS check through a college / university. If the DBS application is made through the school; students are expected to make a non-refundable payment of £13 to cover the cost applied to the school through the HR provider.
As part of the application process the school will require the names and addresses of 2 referees. Previous contact can be no longer than 6 months.
Prior to placement volunteers / students will be required to attend a short informal interview with 2 members of staff (including either volunteer coordinator or Headteacher).
Before starting to help in school, volunteers should complete the Volunteer Confidentiality Contract (Appendix 2), which sets out the school’s expectations of volunteers and asks volunteers to confirm they have received a copy of this policy.
Please complete the application form and send it to the school office.
All volunteers and students are required to attend a half day induction training prior to placement. This induction will be an opportunity for volunteers to raise any questions they may have and will also provide a further opportunity for the volunteer coordinator to confirm the clear guidelines set out in this policy and the schools expectations.
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.
All Volunteers will have fortnightly supervision meetings with the volunteer coordinator / Headteacher.
Volunteers in school are bound by a confidentiality contract. Any concerns that Volunteers have about the children they work with / come into contact with should be voiced with the class teacher 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. Volunteers who are concerned about anything another adult in the school does or says should raise the matter with the Headteacher or Child Protection Officer) Deputy Headteacher or volunteer coordinator.
Health & Safety
The school has a Health & safety Policy and this is made available on request to Volunteers working in the school. Class Teachers ensure that volunteers are clear about emergency procedures (e.g fire alarm evacuation – displayed in each classroom) and about any safety aspects associated with a particular task (e.g. using DT equipment / PE lessons /accompanying children on visits). Volunteers need to exercise due care and attention and report any obvious hazards or concerns to the Class Teacher / Volunteer Coordinator / Headteacher.
Child Protection / Safeguarding
The Children’s Act 2004 (Section 11) places a duty on key people and bodies to make arrangements to ensure that when carrying out their functions they take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
“Laycock Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.”
The welfare of our children is paramount. We have embraced Safer Recruitment practice guidelines provided by Islington Schools HR. To ensure the safety of our children, we adopt the following procedures:
- … at all times, all of our volunteers must have been cleared by the DBS. A certificate is issued to the individual, and if applied for through the school; clearance will be advised through the HR provider. If the DBS has been applied for through the College / University the school will need to receive / evidence of recent clearance.
- All volunteers are given a copy of the Volunteers Policy and asked to sign a Confidentiality Contract.
- Where our volunteer is engaged in a “one-off” (normally a parent) activity e.g. helping supervise a group of children as part of a class visit, no formal checks are carried out on these volunteers. HOWEVER, these volunteers, who are under constant supervision of school staff, will not be allowed to carry out such duties as escorting children to the toilet or leading a small group of children without a member of the school’s staff and must read and sign our Off-site Visit agreement.
Any complaints made about a volunteer will be referred to the Headteacher / Volunteer coordinator for investigation. Any complaints made by a volunteer will be referred to the Headteacher.
The Headteacher reserves the right to take the following action:
- To speak with the volunteer about a breach of the Volunteer confidentiality contract 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 support the placement.
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 DCSF or Local Authority in accordance with the Safeguarding Children’s Act 2004 and Cambridge Education @ Islington’s safer recruitment Policy.