Be a Volunteer at Charlton
Volunteers at Charlton Primary School have always been a valuable addition to the school community and we have missed the support during the turbulent time of Covid
I am very pleased to share with you that we are now in a position to welcome volunteers back into school again and we hope you wish to be part of the team.
If you have previously volunteered with us, we sincerely hope you wish to continue. If you are thinking of becoming a volunteer, thank you for your interest.
Charlton is a happy, safe, inclusive and values-based learning community, facilitated by committed and caring staff; volunteers are an important part of this community.
There are some changes to the programme. As a result, we will be ‘starting again’ and asking everyone to follow the same process, whether you have worked with us before or not. We have spent time reviewing and refreshing our volunteer programme to ensure it meets our high expectations with children’s learning and of course safeguarding.
Changes to the programme include:
Safeguarding - as always this is a top priority. When employing a member of staff, or welcoming volunteers, we are obliged to follow the same statutory guidance. We will be asking you to follow the same process we follow for employees (without the interview part!). We are aware that this may feel a little strange/intense or even frustrating due to the time it takes and questions asked, but we hope you feel encouraged by how rigorous we are when it comes to keeping our children safe. At Charlton Primary School, we all work together to safeguard children and it’s essential that everyone in a school, whether in paid employment or working as a volunteer, understands their safeguarding responsibilities.
The Right Kind of Support - When support is offered, we will spend a little time ensuring that volunteers are best matched to the need within school. Better for the volunteer, better for the children. As the need within school changes; due to variations within the curriculum for example, so will the need for volunteer support. With this in mind, there may be a delay between you offering help and actually starting. This is NOT a reflection on how we value the offer of support. We absolutely DO value it and want to make is as valuable experience for everyone involved.
What happens now?
If you decide you would like to be, or continue to be, part of the team and volunteer on a regular basis, you will be asked to complete an online volunteer form.
Part of this form asks you to share your reasons for wanting to be a volunteer, if you have a preference on what you would like to offer, and if you have any skills or experience that would help us to best place you within our school community.
You will need DBS clearance, which is a criminal records check used to protect vulnerable children and adults – this will need to include a barred list check as you will be working with children in what is called regulated activity; meaning at times, you could be working with a child unsupervised. We will arrange this for you and will ask you to produce three original forms of identification such as a passport, driving license and birth certificate. If you have lived or worked overseas, you may be asked to provide a DBS equivalent from that particular country. We will need to have received this clearance before you can start with us. If you currently hold a DBS arranged by Charlton, we will be asking you to ‘refresh’ your DBS and follow this new volunteer process. Thank you!
Based on the information you share in your volunteer form, we will liaise with staff and get back to you regarding starting arrangements, confirming dates, times and where you will be based. Continuity is always best for the children but, we totally understand that your availability may change and respect the voluntary aspect to the role.
You will then be asked to take part in general safeguarding training. This will be carried out at school and will support you to understand your role in safeguarding and protecting children. It will help you to recognise the differing types of abuse and neglect. It will bring to your attention various safeguarding policies and share information on what to do if you have concerns about a child (or adult) in school.
We really do value the time and support our volunteers give. If you would like to be part of the team, please email Maggie Davis, Office Manager, via the office email, firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you the link to the volunteer form and work with you throughout the process.
If you have any questions at all, please do get in touch.