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This policy applies to the recruitment, screening, supervision and management of all people who volunteer at our school.
Child-connected work: work authorised by the school governing authority/provider of a school boarding services and performed by an adult in a school or school boarding premises environment while children are present or reasonably expected to be present.
Child-related work: As defined by the Worker Screening Act 2020 (Vic), child-related work is work that usually involves direct contact (including in person, over the phone, written and online communication) with a child that is a central part of that person’s duties. It does not include work that involves occasional direct contact with children that is incidental to the work.
Closely related family member: parent, carer, parent/carer’s spouse or domestic partner, stepparent, parent/carer’s mother or father in-law, grandparent, uncle or aunt, brother or sister, including step or half siblings.
Volunteer worker: A volunteer school worker is a person who voluntarily engages in school work or approved community work without payment or reward.
School work: School work means:
This is a broad definition and means that volunteers who participate in school community activities, such as fundraising and assisting with excursions, are legally protected (ie indemnified) from action by others in the event of an injury or accident whilst they are performing volunteer school work in good faith.
Preston South Primary School is committed to implementing and following practices which protect the safety and wellbeing of children and our staff and volunteers. Preston South Primary School recognises the valuable contribution that volunteers provide to our school community and the work that we do.
The procedures set out below are designed to ensure that Preston South Primary School’s volunteers are suitable to work with children and are well-placed to make a positive contribution to our school community.
Becoming a volunteer
Members of our school community who would like to volunteer are encouraged to contact 9484 1544, email email@example.com approach your child’s teacher or the school office.
COVID-19 vaccination information
Our school follows Department of Education and Training policy with respect to the requirements relating to attendance on school sites and COVID-19 vaccinations.
For further information, refer to: COVID-19 Vaccinations – Visitors and Volunteers on School Sites
Suitability checks including Working with Children Clearances
Working with students
Preston South Primary School values the many volunteers that assist with sports events/ camps/ excursions/ other events and programs. To ensure that we are meeting our legal obligations under the Worker Screening Act and the Child Safe Standards, Preston South Primary School is required to undertake suitability checks which in most cases will involve asking for evidence of a Working with Children (WWC) Clearance. Additional suitability checks may also be required depending on the volunteer role, such as reference, proof of identity, qualification and work history involving children checks.
Considering our legal obligations, and our commitment to ensuring that Preston South Primary School is a child safe environment, we will require volunteers to obtain a WWC Clearance and produce their valid card to the school office for verification in the following circumstances:
In addition, depending on the nature of the volunteer work, our school may ask the volunteer to provide other suitability checks at its discretion (for example, references, work history involving children and/or qualifications). Proof of identity may also be required in some circumstances.
Non child-related work
On some occasions, parents and other members of the school community may volunteer to do work that is not child-related. For example, volunteering on the weekend for gardening/ working bees, parents and friends club coordination, school council, participating in sub-committees of school council, fete coordination and other fundraising groups that meet in the evenings during which children will not be, or would not reasonably be expected to be, present.
At Preston South Primary School, volunteers for this type of work are not required to have WWC Clearances or other suitability checks as they are not engaged in child-related work and children are not generally present during these activities. However, Preston South Primary School reserves the right to undertake suitability checks, including requiring proof of identity and WWC Clearance, at its discretion if considered necessary for any particular activities or circumstances. If not deemed necessary, volunteers can undertake the non-child related work under the supervision of a staff member.
School council members and volunteers on any sub-committee of School Council will be asked to provide evidence of a valid WWC Clearance. Whilst we acknowledge that these volunteers will not be engaging in child-related work as part of their role, even when there is a student sitting on the School Council, we believe that it is important that our volunteers who are involved in making important decisions about our school which will have an impact on students do have a valid WWC Clearance.
Training and Induction
Under the Child Safe Standards volunteers must have an appropriate induction and training in child safety and wellbeing.
To support us to maintain a child safe environment, before engaging in any work where children are present or reasonable likely to be present, volunteers must familiarise themselves with the policies, procedures and code of conduct referred to in our Child Safety Induction Pack and ensure the actions and requirements in these documents are followed when volunteering for our school.
Depending on the nature and responsibilities of their role, Preston South Primary School may also require volunteers to complete additional child safety training.
Management and Supervision
Volunteer workers will be expected to comply with any reasonable direction of the principal (or their nominee). This will include the requirement to follow our school’s policies, including, but not limited to our Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy, our Child Safety Code of Conduct and our Statement of Values and School Philosophy.
Volunteer workers will also be expected to act consistently with Department of Education and Training policies, to the extent that they apply to volunteer workers, including the Department’s policies relating to Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying.
The Principal (or their nominee) will determine the level of school staff supervisionrequired for volunteers, depending on the type of work being performed, and with a focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students.
The principal has the discretion to make a decision about the ongoing suitability of a volunteer worker and may determine at any time whether or not a person is suitable to volunteer at Preston South Primary School.
Privacy and information-sharing
Under these policies, student information can and should be shared with relevant school staff to:
Volunteers must immediately report any child safety concerns that they become aware of to a member of staff to ensure appropriate action. There are some circumstances where volunteers may also be obliged to disclose information to authorities outside of the school such as to Victoria Police. For further information on child safety responding and reporting obligations refer to Child Safety Responding and Reporting
Obligations Policy and Procedures.
While it is unlikely volunteers will be responsible for any school records during their volunteer work, any school records that volunteers are responsible for must be provided to Dianne Wells (Business Manager) to ensure they are managed in accordance with the Department’s policy: Records Management – Schools.
Volunteer workers are covered by the Department of Education and Training’s Workers’ Compensation Policy if they suffer personal injury in the course of engaging in school work.
If a volunteer worker suffers damage to their property in the course of carrying out school work, the Minister (or delegate) may authorise such compensation as they consider reasonable in the circumstances. Claims of this nature should be directed to the principal who will direct them to the Department’s Legal Division.
Public liability insurance
The Department of Education and Training’s public liability insurance policy applies when a volunteer worker engaged in school work is legally liable for:
This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following ways:
Policy Review and Approval
Policy last reviewed: 03/08/2022
Consultation with: School Council
Approved by: Principal
Next scheduled review date: August 2024
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