Volunteering Within The School
Thinking about Volunteering ?
This guide has been devised to support anyone interested in volunteering at Balfour Infant School.
Who can be a Volunteer at Balfour Infant School?
Volunteers may include parents, governors and other members of the community including pupils attending other schools who may wish to request opportunities to carry out work experience placements in school. The recruitment of volunteers will be carried out with attention to the school’s Equal Opportunities Policy
What might I be asked to do when I volunteer?
Volunteers may be asked to support with carrying out learning activities in the classroom, support the organisation/filing of children’s work or assisting on school outings. Volunteers will not to carry out tasks which are the professional responsibility of school staff and for which conditions of service have been determined with professional organisations.
How do I apply to be a volunteer?
We take the safety of our pupils very seriously at Balfour Infant School therefore there are a number of safety checks that need to be completed before you are able to volunteer. Anyone wishing to volunteer is encouraged to email the school office firstname.lastname@example.org with their expression of interest, their experience and their availability. This will be reviewed by either the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead, or one of the Deputy Safeguarding Leads, who may call you to discuss it further.
What happens next?
If the school is able to offer you a volunteering role you will receive an email to confirm. If you are over 18 you will receive a link to complete a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and you will need to provide proof of your address and identification to be seen by the school. This is to ensure that only people deemed to be safe are allowed to have contact with the children. Once you have completed satisfactory checks you will receive important safeguarding information from the school and information about school hours and routines. If you have any questions you need to contact the school office - email@example.com
If you are under 18 you will be asked to provide a letter of support from your school, workplace or suitable adult in support of your placement.
What will happen on my first day?
You will be advised which class you are supporting and the class based staff will support you though out the time you volunteer. It is recognised that volunteers require training and support so you will be shown how to use any equipment such as laminating machines or photocopiers. You must ask if you are unsure about any tasks you are required to complete as your safety is important to us too.
What do I need to know to make sure I am working safely around the children?
All volunteers must adhere to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 and must read and understand this document as well as read and understand the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
All volunteers must sign in at the reception desk on arrival at school. You will be given a visitor’s badge, which you should wear at all times; this shows everyone that you have passed through school security procedures. If you do not wear your visitors badge a member of staff will ask you to accompany them back to the school office.
The signing-in sheet will give the date and time of your arrival. You must also sign out, stating the time you are leaving, and return the badge before you leave. This is part of our fire safety measures.
You will be asked to place your telephone in a locker. You will only be allowed to use your telephone only in agreed areas and at agreed times. Photographic and recording equipment are not allowed in the main part of the school around the children and must also be secured in a locker. This is part of our safeguarding procedure.
You will be given an overview of the school’s safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures, Health and Safety and fire procedures in school on your first day by a member of the office staff.
Volunteers will be expected to understand and work within all school policies, in particular the school’s safeguarding policies. You will receive a specific leaflet as to what to do if you worried a child is being harmed. It will be explained to you that you must not be alone with child(ren) in the school and you must always be accompanied by a member of staff.
What can I share about my experience at Balfour Infant School?
We hope you will enjoy your experience volunteering but you are reminded of the need for confidentiality. Although all efforts will be made to protect the private information of children, staff and pupil volunteers are expected to respect that all information is confidential and must not be shared with others outside of the school. The school will take legal advice should there be any breach of confidentiality.
The only exception to this falls under the Whistleblowing Policy where those with concerns should address their concerns to either the Headteacher, the Chair of Governors or the LADO in line with the policy. A copy of the policy can be obtained from the school office or is available on the school website.
Will I be able to volunteer in my child’s class?
It is the policy of this school that parent helpers do not support in their own child’s classroom.
Annual trip parent helpers are able to work in the same class as their child for the outing.
Balfour Infant School, Pattens Lane, Rochester, Kent ME1 2QT
For all general enquiries please contact our Headteacher Ms D Atkinson
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is Ms D Atkinson
For all enquiries relating to SEND please contact our LINC Mrs M Forbes
Our Data Protection Officer is Ms D Atkinson
Tel: 01634 338280