Becoming a volunteer
At Thameside, volunteers are an important part of our community and we warmly welcome applications to support at our school. We are luckily to work with a number of volunteer charities to support our children, for example ARCH readers.
We have spent time reviewing and refreshing our volunteer programme this year to ensure it meets our high expectations with children’s learning and of course safeguarding.
Updates to our volunteer application process
Safeguarding: 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 and we hope that you feel encouraged by our commitment to keeping our children safe. At Thameside, 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.
Supporting our children When support is offered, we will spend a little time ensuring that volunteers are best matched to the need within school. As the needs within school can change, we regularly review the support that best matches the needs of our children.
The application process
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 licence 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.
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 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 (and refreshers throughout the year). 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 Stacey Hampson, Office Manager, via our office email address.
If you have any questions at all, please do get in touch.