Volunteering at School

Volunteers have a special place in our school and assist in many ways. This may include interaction with individuals and small groups of students in a range of different activities.

To assist our school in providing a safe environment and a positive educational climate, volunteers are asked to comply with the Code of Conduct for Volunteers. This code of conduct has been formulated to clarify the type of conduct that is expected of volunteers when participating in programs and activities in ACT Government schools.

* Observe similar standards of behaviour and ethical conduct to that required of staff. For example you are expected to act within the law, be honest and fair, respect other people (including students), and work to the best standard of your ability.

* Appreciate that teachers have a special duty of care for students that cannot be delegated or transferred to others. Appreciate also that the principal is the spokesperson for the school.

* Appreciate that students have rights and aspirations. Treat students with dignity and respect.

* Observe confidentiality in respect of all information gained through your participation as a volunteer. All information held by schools should be handled with care. Some information is especially sensitive. Sensitive and/or personal information requires additional caution in the way it is treated. For example, volunteers should not discuss nor disclose personal information about students, staff or students’ parents/carers to others.

* Accept and follow directions from the principal/supervisor and seek guidance through clarification where you may be uncertain of tasks or requirements. You may need to familiarise yourself with the department’s policies and guidelines on particular issues.

* Observe safe work practices which avoid unnecessary risks, apply reasonable instructions given by supervisors and report to the supervising staff and school administration any hazard or hazardous practice in the workplace.

* Report any problems as they arise to your supervisor including incidents, injury or property damage.

* Avoid waste or extravagance and make proper use of the resources of the school/department.

In 2013 the Working With Vulnerable People Act came into effect to help protect children and vulnerable people.  It means that volunteers may need to register with the office of regulatory services.  There are a number of exemptions to having to register, for example, parents who are helping on excursions or changing readers in the classroom.  For more information on the Act, please visit the Office of Regulatory Service website, http://www.ors.act.gov.au/community/working_with_vulnerable_people

A fact sheet about exemptions can be found at http://www.ors.act.gov.au/publication/view/1974/title/exemptions-to-the-wwvp-act