The Governors, teachers and young people in our school all appreciate the special support that adult helpers give both in and outside the classroom. Adult helpers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and bring with them a range of experience and knowledge that enriches and supports the work of the school.
Adult helpers may assist in one or more ways:
- In the classroom;
- Back-up support tasks;
- On school trips
Adult helpers regularly assist with one or two classes. However, they may from time to time be asked to assist around the school in different capacities. Other adult helpers may assist only on specific occasions, such as school trips or sports days.
Supervision and support
The person in immediate charge of a volunteer is the class teacher the adult helper is with. Overall responsibility lies with the Headteacher, supported by the Deputy Head. As part of initial planning, the teacher should provide the adult helper with information to enable them give the appropriate support to the pupil group or activity. Such information would include some or all of the following:
- where the task will be done
- the names of the pupils involved
- the main educational objectives of the activity
- what equipment is needed, where and how it is stored
- the length of time the activity should take
- where and to whom do the pupils go afterwards
- what the Adult Helper is required to do and what the pupils should be doing
- any special circumstances relating to health and safety
After the activity information the adult helper may share with the Teacher is:
- what was achieved by the pupils and how
- what was not achieved by the pupils and why
On commencing your adult helper role you can expect to receive an induction covering aspects such as the role itself, school culture and ethos, confidentiality, evacuation procedures, health and safety, first aid, no smoking policy, etc.
Attendance and availability
The assistance that adult helpers give is greatly valued and the class teacher will have planned helper activities into the structure of the day and week.
Please let the school know at the earliest opportunities if you are unable to make a planned session so that other arrangements can be made.
Disclosure and Barring Check
Disclosure and Barring Checks are carried out to identify whether or not individuals working with children are suitable to do so. This is because it is known that a small minority of people use this route to gain the confidence of children before causing them harm. These checks are done to protect the children and also to protect the individuals themselves.
Having a criminal record does not automatically prevent an individual from being a helper. The Headteacher and Governing Body would consider the details of the criminal record and balance this against the activities the individual is to undertake. Should you have been or become convicted of a criminal offence that may have a bearing on your acting as an Adult Helper you should tell the Headteacher. This will allow the Headteacher to assess whether it is acceptable for you to continue with your helper role, whether the activities you assist with should be changed, or whether it is the best interests for all concerned for you to no longer act in this capacity.
All discussions and paperwork relating to Disclosure and Barring clearance are entirely confidential.
Confidentiality - Adult Helpers may, in the course of their role, be made aware of or become aware of, confidential issues/details about pupils or staff. Such information must be maintained as confidential and is not to be discussed with third parties.
Standards Of Behaviour And Disciplinary - Adult Helpers will be expected to act as good role models for young people and support the school's culture and ethos through appropriate behaviour. There is no formal disciplinary procedure for school volunteers. However, the Headteacher may need to draw the attention of any volunteer helper to behaviour which is not appropriate. In some rare cases the Headteacher may cease their involvement with school activities.
Equal Opportunities And Diversity - All Poole schools believe that equality or opportunity should be given to all sections of the school community. We work to recognise discrimination and inequalities of opportunity that people suffer and take action to reduce them. Our Equalities Statement and Action Plan are available on the school website.
Problems or Grievances - If you have any problems or grievances that you need or wish to raise with the school please raise them, in the first instance, with the class teacher to whom you report. If for any reason you are unable to, or do not wish to speak to the class teacher, please raise your concerns with the Headteacher or Assistant Headteachers.
Health And Safety - Volunteers must comply with the School Health & Safety Policy & Procedures which includes the reporting of accidents and incidents of violent and/or threatening behaviour. If, in the course of your voluntary activities, you become aware of any dangerous practices or situations please also report these to the class teacher, or Assistant Headteachers.
Insurance - Schools must have insurance cover for individuals providing help and assistance as volunteers, providing cover whilst the volunteer is actively engaged in the role. This is usually encompassed under the employer's liability and personal accident policies, recognising that helpers are assisting with the usual day to day school activities. Such insurance allows for eventualities that may lead to liability claims. The Borough's insurance does not cover loss or damage to volunteers property.
Status - In providing these guidance notes we do not intend to create a formal contract or enter into an employment relationship. The school is not obliged to offer you volunteer duties and if offered you are not obliged to accept it.