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Volunteer Policy

VOLUNTEER POLICY

 

Our school is:

a safe, supportive stimulating learning environment;

a team of respectful, tolerant ,open minded citizens;

a community where everyone aspires to be the very best they can be;

a community of resilient lifelong learners;

a centre of excellence where all achieve success.

 

PURPOSE

 

This policy sets out the principles, practices and procedures, which Arboretum Primary School will follow in the appointment, management and supervision of volunteers.

 

Review Date

September 2019

Reviewed By

Clare Fryer

Summary of changes

 

Added requirement to carry out a risk assessment for enhanced DBS check

 

Approved By:

 

Head Teacher …………………………………………….……… Date …………………………….

 

Chair of Governors …………………………………….……….. Date …………………………….
CONTENTS

 

1.      Introduction  - 2 -

2.      Becoming a volunteer - 3 -

3.      School Aims and Objectives  - 3 -

4.      Confidentiality  - 4 -

5.      Supervision  - 4 -

6.      Health & Safety  - 4 -

7.      Child Protection  - 4 -

8.      Complaints Procedure  - 5 -

Appendix 1  - 6 -

Appendix 2  Risk Assessment for Volunteers  - 7 -

 

  1. Introduction

Volunteers at Arboretum Primary School bring with them a range of skills and experiences that can enhance the learning opportunities of all the pupils. The school therefore welcomes and encourages volunteers and visitors from the local and wider community.

Volunteers could include any of the following (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Members of the Governing Body
  • Parents, carers, guardians, elder siblings or Grandparents of Pupils
  • Students on Work Experience or Placement
  • University Students
  • Ex-members of staff
  • Local residents
  • Staff family members

 

Activities in which volunteers may be engaged in could include any of the following or similar activities:

  • Hearing children read
  • Working with small groups of children
  • Working alongside individual children
  • Undertaking art and craft activities with small groups of children
  • Working with children on computers
  • Preparing resources for a future lesson
  • Accompanying school visits
  • Escorting children on local walks

 

  1. Becoming a volunteer

Anyone wishing to become a volunteer on a regular basis may either approach a teacher directly, or send in a CV and covering letter explaining why they wish to volunteer in the school, what help they can offer and when they are available.  If a suitable volunteering opportunity can be identified, then the following process will be carried out:

1. The person will be invited to attend the school for an informal discussion with an appropriate member of staff to ensure they are suitable for the role. The school reserves the right to refuse an approach at any time and not give a reason for this.

2. If suitable the volunteer will be asked to complete a “Registration Form for Voluntary Helpers at Arboretum Primary School”.

3. Two professional references will be sought from the referees provided on the registration form.  It is the volunteer’s responsibility to contact their referees to ensure that references are received by the school in a timely manner.

4. A Risk Assessment for Volunteers (Appendix 2) will be carried out to determine whether an Enhanced DBS check needs to be carried out, and whether this will also include a Barred list check.  Generally, most volunteers will be asked to undergo an Enhanced DBS check, unless they are classified as low risk. A Barred List check will be requested for any volunteer who is in regulated activity (see Appendix 1).

5. The volunteer will be given appropriate school policies, procedures, health and safety information and safeguarding information to read.  They must sign to say they have read and understood this information.

6. The volunteer will be linked to a designated teacher, whose responsibility it is to make them aware of the role and responsibilities they will be undertaking.

7. Volunteer records will be kept in the school office.

8. A specific member of staff will be allocated to oversee volunteer. 

Before starting to volunteer in a school, the above steps must be completed.  No volunteer may start regular volunteering without the appropriate checks, unless with the written permission of the Head Teacher.  

This is not required where a volunteer is engaged in a one-off activity, for example a parent helping on a school trip, or coming into class for a specific activity.  However, these volunteers must be supervised at all times, and never left alone with a child.

 

  1. School Aims and Objectives

All volunteers are expected to observe the aims and objectives of Arboretum Primary School.

Our school aims that all our children:

  • Are literate and numerate with high aspirations
  • Have a positive attitude and the ambition to succeed
  • Love learning and are innovative and creative
  • Are independent learners who show resilience and perseverance
  • Show respect to all
  • Embrace diversity
  • Are adaptable to change and well balanced

 

Our school objectives are:

  • To respect everyone equally, celebrating diversity and individualism
  • To provide a safe, happy and nurturing environment where each individual can succeed by attending punctually every day
  • To ensure all our children have access to quality teaching of a broad, enriched and challenging curriculum
  • To engender a positive attitude and celebrate success

 

  1. 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 and NOT parents/carers 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/carers 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 senior leaders in school (a whistleblowing policy is part of the induction pack).

 

  1. Supervision

All volunteers work under the supervision of a teacher or full time member of staff. Teachers retain ultimate responsibility for pupils at all times, including the pupils’ behaviour and the activity they are undertaking.

Volunteers should have clear guidance from the designated supervisor as to how an activity is carried out/what the expected outcome of an activity is. In the event of any query/problem regarding the pupil’s understanding of a task, behaviour or their welfare, volunteers must seek further advice/guidance from their designated supervisor.

Teachers will be made aware of this policy and of their responsibilities within it.

 

  1. Health & Safety

The school has a Health & Safety Policy and this is made available to volunteers working in the school. The member of staff responsible for the volunteer will ensure that they are clear about emergency procedures (e.g. Fire Alarm Evacuation) and about any safety aspects associated with particular tasks (e.g. using D T equipment/accompanying pupils on visits). Volunteers need to exercise due care and attention and report any obvious hazards or concerns to the designated Supervisor/Head Teacher. Volunteers are covered by the DDAT Health and Safety Policy and the academy’s RPA Insurance.

 

  1. Child Protection

The welfare of our pupils is paramount. To ensure the safety of our pupils, we adopt the following procedures:

  • All volunteers are given safeguarding information as part of their induction process
  • All of our volunteers must have been cleared by an Enhanced DBS check if appropriate to role.
  • Where a volunteer is engaged in a one-off activity e.g. supervision of group as part of class visit, no formal checks are required. However, such volunteers will be under the constant supervision of school staff.
  • Any concerns a volunteer has, about child safeguarding or protection issues, should be referred to the designated supervisor or one of the Safeguarding team..
  • The school reserves the right to request a volunteer leaves the school site at any time.
  •  
  1. Complaints Procedure

Any complaints made about a volunteer will be referred to the Head Teacher or appropriate senior member of staff, for investigation. Any complaints made by a volunteer will be dealt with in the same way.

The Head Teacher or designated member of staff reserves the right to take the following action:

  • To speak with a volunteer about a breach of this policy 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;
  • Based upon the facts identified in the investigation it may be necessary for the School to inform the volunteer that the school no longer wishes to use them;
  • Report the person to an appropriate authority e.g. police, social services etc.;
  • Provide the volunteer with a copy of the school’s full Complaints Procedure.

 

Appendix 1

 

Regulated Activity Relating to Children

 

The new definition of regulated activity relating to children comprises only:

 

1.         Unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children. This is only regulated activity if done regularly

 

2.         Work for a limited range of establishments with opportunity for contact: for example, schools, children’s homes, childcare premises. Not work by supervised volunteers. This is only regulated activity if done regularly

 

3.         Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional;

 

4.         Registered child minding; and foster-carers.

 

Appendix 2  Risk Assessment for Volunteers

 

See form on following pages

 

 

Risk Assessment for Volunteers

 

This risk assessment should be completed when considering whether a person working as a volunteer at the school should be asked to apply for an enhanced DBS certificate.

 

Name of Person........................................................................................................................

 

Is the volunteer in ‘Regulated’ Activity? Yes ¨ No ¨

 

If ‘yes’, an enhanced DBS with Barred list check is required.

If ‘no’, an enhanced DBS without a Barred list check may be obtained

 

Areas to consider

 

What is the age group of the pupils that the volunteer will work with?

 

 

Are these pupils regarded as particularly vulnerable?

 

 

How frequently will the volunteer be in school?

 

 

What is the connection of the volunteer to the school?

 

 

What motivates the volunteer to want to work in the school?

 

 

Is the volunteer in paid employment or do they work in a voluntary capacity elsewhere with children?

 

 

Can the volunteer provide at least one reference from someone other than a family member, including a senior person at the employment or voluntary service named above?

 

 

What information does the school already know about the person?

 

 

Has the person’s identity been verified?

 

 

Is the person signed up to the DBS Update Service?

 

 

Has a check been completed on the DBS Update Service?

 

 

Is the person aware of any reason why they should not volunteer to work with children?

 

 

Is the school aware of any reason that the person should not work with children?

 

 

Is this volunteer with children between the hours of 2am and 6am

 

This is regulated activity and the person must have an Enhanced DBS check

 

Decision

 

¨        High Risk – the person has no previous connection with the school AND cannot provide references from elsewhere.

There is no statutory reason why this person needs to apply for an enhanced DBS Certificate. However, the school should consider whether the person’s uncorroborated background would raise an unacceptable risk.

 

¨        Medium Risk – The person can provide suitable references for other work with children (either paid or unpaid), they have a connection to the school, and no issues have come to light that would mean they would be unsuitable.

There is no statutory reason why this person needs to apply for an enhanced DBS Certificate. However, the school may wish to do so, as no enhanced DBS has be seen.

 

¨        Low Risk – The person is signed up to the DBS Update Service and the checks reveal no negative information OR The person is employed or volunteers elsewhere and has a recent enhanced DBS and can provide references OR the school knows the person well (eg. may be a former employee)

            There is no statutory reason why this person needs to apply for an enhanced DBS Certificate. However, unless the person uses the DBS Update service, the school may decide to obtain a new enhanced DBS.

 

Decision

 

o      Application for enhanced DBS check is not needed. State reason(s) below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

o      Application for an enhanced DBS check is needed. State reason(s) below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

o      Application for an enhanced DBS check and a Barred List check is needed because the person is in Regulated Activity

 

Headteacher (Print Name).......................................................................................................

 

Headteacher (Signature).........................................................................................................

 

Date.............................................................................................................................................

 

Chair of Governors (Print Name)............................................................................................

 

Chair of Governors (Signature)...............................................................................................

 

Date   

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