Info for Volunteer Handbook by jqlq3K



Dear Volunteer

Volunteer Handbook

Welcome to our volunteer team!

We have designed this Handbook for you so that you can be clear as to what
you can expect from volunteering in a Southend School (your rights) and
what we, the school and - most importantly - the children and young people
we work with expect from you (your responsibilities).

Becoming a volunteer is based on the information within this Handbook. As a
result of attending the induction session and reading this Handbook we hope
that you will better understand what we do and how we aim to do it with your

Once you start volunteering it is our school policies and procedures (e.g. Child
Protection, Health and Safety) that will be relevant for you. We are
responsible for giving you copies of policies and procedures that relate to your
volunteering role here. We hope that you will sign the Volunteer Agreement
(Appendix 1 of this Handbook) as a way of underpinning your volunteering
role here.

If you have any questions, or comments to help us improve the information we
give you, please do let us know. We are delighted that you want to be part of
our team!

Yours sincerely

Head teacher

               Volunteer Handbook
                Table of Contents
Volunteers in Southend Schools placement    page 4
Volunteers in Southend Schools aims and     5
Volunteers in Southend Schools principles   6
Volunteers’ responsibilities
Equal opportunities and diversity           7
Recruitment of volunteers                   7
Matching volunteers to opportunities        7
Training, development and support           8
Monitoring and evaluation                   8
Personal details                            8-9
Personal presentation                       9
Confidential information                    9
Health and Safety and Insurance             9
Issues, concerns, problems                  9
Expenses                                    9
Appendix 1
Volunteer Agreement                         10 - 11

                Volunteer placement process
   Volunteer details added to volunteer database on receipt of two
   satisfactory references, enhanced CRB disclosure and
   attendance at Induction training.

   Potential volunteering opportunities discussed with volunteer by
   If none are available the volunteer’s details will be kept on
   database until a suitable opportunity arises.

   Meeting* between school and volunteer to agree:
      Volunteering role
      Start date and induction needs
      Volunteer   Agreement between volunteer and school
       including when volunteer will be available – how often and
       for how long.

Volunteer completes Induction and Safeguarding training.

Volunteers will receive a school newsletter and will be invited to
share ideas, good practice and to raise any issues. Your feedback
is vital to the development of volunteering in our school.

                         Volunteers in Southend Schools
                              Aims and Objectives

Volunteers in Southend Schools (ViSS) believes that volunteers have
rights and responsibilities. This Handbook details these and is your
reference document.


Volunteers in Southend Schools (ViSS) was established in April 2010 as a
pilot project funded by Southend Education Trust (SET)1. It finished in July

ViSS was created to build on good practice recruiting and involving volunteers
to support children and young people in Southend schools. Our aim is to
provide enthusiastic adults and young adults (including students) to use their
skills, interests and talents to encourage development and learning for all.

The schools themselves define volunteer opportunities choosing children and
young people who would benefit from additional input in order to bridge any
gap in between their actual and potential progress.

The volunteers’ role is additional to that played by parents and families at
home and by teachers and support staff at school.

School Volunteer Coordinators play a vital role working in partnership with
ViSS to define volunteering opportunities, place, welcome and value
volunteers so that they feel part of the school community and know that their
involvement is important and appreciated.

  Southend Education Trust is a partnership of 55 schools and the Local Authority. It is a social
enterprise business with charitable status formed to achieve the vision for Southend to be a “learning

The Volunteers in Southend Schools project was underpinned by the
following principles:
 ViSS is committed to equal opportunities in relation to the recruitment,
    selection, training/development and involvement of volunteers
 ViSS expects that all staff in schools will work positively with volunteers
    and, where appropriate, will actively seek to involve them in their work
 ViSS develops volunteer roles to complement existing paid roles in
 ViSS recognises that volunteers should feel valued and fulfilled via their
    involvement with the project and in schools and will seek to ensure that
    volunteers needs are met, as well as providing any appropriate training for
    them to undertake their role effectively
 Volunteers have the right to express their views; we will ensure that
    mechanisms are in place for volunteers to contribute to the project’s
 All volunteers and a representative of the school in which they are placed
    are asked to sign a Volunteer Agreement (see Appendix 1 for an

Responsibilities of volunteers

Volunteers agree to:
 Operate in accordance with school principles
 Show respect to others and treat people equally
 Be reliable, trustworthy and consistent
 Maintain confidentiality
 Only make commitments you can fulfil
 Arrive when expected, or give as much notice as possible if unable to fulfil
   a commitment
 Participate and contribute, making project or school staff aware of any
   ideas, issues or concerns at the earliest possible opportunity
 Maintain a volunteering activity log and take part in monitoring and
   evaluation in order to assess the benefits of volunteering activity for pupils
   (and for yourself!)
 Attend training and development opportunities as relevant to your role

The information in this Handbook is intended to make clear the detail of these
principles and responsibilities.

Equal Opportunities and Diversity


The school Equal Opportunities and Diversity or equivalent policy is applicable to all
volunteers. …School is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-
discrimination that ensures equality of opportunity and diversity where those with a
diverse range of experience, skills, interests, background and availability are able to
participate and contribute. The school will not tolerate action or behaviour that is
contrary to this policy.

Breaches of the school Equal Opportunities and Diversity or equivalent policy by
volunteers may be grounds for the school to withdraw volunteering opportunities.

An ‘Issues, concerns or problems’ procedure has also been included (page 8) to
allow any volunteer to raise concerns including those about discrimination or
harassment, in order that any such complaint may be addressed quickly and

Policy Statement

At all times we aim to:
   Recruit and develop the very best volunteers, basing judgement solely on
    suitability for the role as described by the school
   Ensure that all volunteers receive fair and equal treatment irrespective of gender,
    marital status, hours they volunteer, ethnicity, age, religion, belief, sexual
    orientation or disability
   Maintain a volunteering environment that welcomes diversity and is free from
    harassment and intimidation
   Ensure that existing and new legislative Acts based on statutory rights to equal
    treatment are adhered to
   Deal speedily and effectively with any complaints of alleged discrimination and/or
    harassment, ensuring all complaints are fully investigated and that remedial
    action is taken where necessary.

Recruitment of volunteers and matching volunteers to opportunities in schools

We recruit volunteers in line with the approach to equalities and diversity outlined
above. We gather data on an Equal Opportunities monitoring form when volunteers
first register and seek to ensure that our group of volunteers is representative of the
local community in Southend.

We invite all of our volunteers to an interview to find out what you would like to do in
schools, your skills, interests, experience and availability. Volunteers are provided
with a role description once you are matched to a specific school volunteering
opportunity. We will signpost volunteers to other opportunities in Southend if these
seem to the volunteer and to us to be more appropriate.

In order to keep children and young people safe, all volunteers must receive an
acceptable Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure. Two character
references are required from every volunteer and are taken up prior to interview.

Volunteers are treated fairly and consistently according to the information they have
provided to ViSS as to their skills, interests, experience and availability.

Training, development and support

Induction Training

When volunteers join us you are invited to attend an induction programme. This is
designed to familiarise you with your role as a volunteer and information about the
school. The induction also provides volunteers with important information regarding
volunteering in Southend schools and will include details about the welfare of
children, the local community, confidentiality and data protection and about health
and safety. All volunteers are expected to attend Safeguarding training.

Further training related to your specific volunteering role

We aim to make sure that you are provided with every opportunity to start your
volunteering role with the information and resources you need. Schools often run
workshops that help parents/carers and volunteers to support children and young
people with mental maths, communication and other related skills. If at any time you
wish to access training or development to help you carry out your volunteering role
we encourage you to speak to school staff to discuss this.


We aim to ensure that all our volunteers are appropriately supported to carry out their
role. Schools play a vital role in supporting volunteers through the opportunities they
create. Once you are matched with an opportunity in a school your week-by-week
support and supervision are our responsibility.

Monitoring and Evaluation

As well as monitoring recruitment, we monitor access to volunteering opportunities to
demonstrate that these are administered fairly in line with our Equal Opportunities
and Diversity policy.

We would appreciate evaluation feedback from volunteers about your involvement so
that we can measure the impact of volunteering, celebrate achievements and deal
speedily with any issues or concerns. We will also seek feedback from children and
young people with whom a volunteer is involved.

Personal Details

When volunteers first join us you will be asked to provide personal details that we
need for our records. Volunteers should advise us, in writing (by e mail is fine), of
any changes to your details. Periodically we may ask volunteers to confirm your
details to ensure our records are up-to-date and complete. It is expected that
volunteers have given correct details.
Generally the information that we request is your name, address, e mail and
telephone number.

We should also hold details of your next of kin and/or emergency contact names and
numbers – for this reason this requirement is included in Appendix 1 to this
Handbook, the model Volunteer Agreement.

Volunteers will be asked to apply for enhanced Criminal Record Bureau (CRB)
Disclosure, to provide further information required for our records. This must be
satisfactorily completed before we can match you to an opportunity in our school.

All of the information volunteers provide is held by the school on a password-
protected database. Information and files are kept confidentially and in line with the
Data Protection Act 1998. Volunteers may ask to see the content of their file; any
such requests should be put in writing to the School Volunteer Coordinator.

Personal Presentation - Appearance and Dress
Please make sure that your appearance and dress is appropriate for the school
environment. You are a role model for the children and young people we match you
with. If you are unsure what to wear please ask us.

Confidential Information
As a volunteer you will be provided with, and will have access to, information relating
to our school which is considered to be confidential. Examples include data about
the school, details about pupils, parents/carers and staff, working methods,
documentation, financial information, business practice etc. (this list is not
exhaustive). Volunteers must not disclose any such information, either verbally or in
writing, to any person or company, or make use of such information without the
written authorisation of the School Volunteer Coordinator. This restriction applies
both during and after your period as a volunteer.

Health and Safety and Insurance
The school’s own Health and Safety and insurance policies are relevant to
volunteers. Please familiarise yourself with the school’s procedures in relation to
health and safety, including fire safety (schools have regular fire alarm tests),
accidents and first aid.

It is important to know that we are all responsible for Health and Safety so if you are
asked to do something make sure that you are happy to do it or share your concerns

Issues, concerns, problems
We hope that you find your volunteering interesting and enjoyable and we are
confident that the school will value your contribution. Realistically, there may be
occasions when either the volunteer or the school feels that there is an issue or
concern. If this is the case please see the School Volunteer Coordinator and speak
to each other with a view to resolving any problem as soon as the concern arises and
in accordance with relevant school policies and procedures.

Schools need to indicate here if they are willing to give volunteers travel expenses –
some ViSS volunteers have been on benefits or, in some cases, had no recourse to
public funds and volunteering has been an opportunity for them to use and enhance
their skills and to bring different life experiences into schools – they have achieved
places on training course and been offered jobs as a result. It is good practice to
offer volunteers travel expenses if at all possible; in our experience if volunteers don’t
need the money for fares they won’t claim it.

Appendix 1                                                       School logo

                             Volunteer Agreement

This agreement is between:
(Volunteer name) …………………………………………………………………….
(School name)……………………………………………………………………….

I agree to offer my services as a volunteer to the school and will do this
(date).………………………………………………until either I or the school end
this agreement.
I am willing to volunteer to (attach role description or describe):

I will discuss my availability for volunteering with the School Volunteer
Coordinator or Class teacher.

I agree to provide the school with:
 Name, address, e mail (if appropriate) and telephone number
 Next of kin and/or emergency contact names and contact details
   and I will advise the school if these details change.

I have read and agree to follow school policies and procedures relevant to my
volunteering opportunity:
I agree to follow the schools’ safeguarding/child protection, behaviour,
inclusion/equal opportunities and health and safety policies.
I agree to maintain confidentiality as per the school’s policy and to keep to the
confidentiality statement in the Volunteer Handbook.
I will give the school as much notice as possible if I cannot be available for
one of my sessions.
I agree to let the School Volunteer Coordinator or Class teacher know if I
need any resources or support for my volunteering opportunity.

School Volunteer Coordinator

On behalf of the school I agree to:

1.    Advise the volunteer of their named contact for all of their dealings with
      the school and provide them with contact details including in case of
      emergency (e.g. if they are unwell and cannot fulfil a commitment).
2.    Organise orientation for volunteers: welcome, tour of school, advice re:
      signing in/out and access to facilities, provision of school policies and
      procedures relevant to the volunteering role and location (e.g. fire
      procedures and exits).
3.    Ensure that volunteers are introduced to office staff and to classroom
      staff and pupils with whom they will be involved as part of carrying out
      their volunteering role.
4.    Ensure that volunteering opportunities and roles are clearly defined,
      explained and supported e.g. ensuring that resources and materials
      are made available as appropriate.
5.    Advise the volunteer how, and with whom, they can raise enquiries
      about carrying out the volunteering role to which they have been
6.    Lead on recognition throughout the school of the value added by
      involving volunteers, including benefits to the pupils, the school and the

Signed by:



Position: ……………………………………………………………………………..



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