VOLUNTEERS POLICY

Purpose

To outline the processes that Chum Creek Primary School will follow to recruit, screen, supervise and manage volunteers to provide a child safe environment, and to explain the legal rights of volunteers.

Scope

This policy applies to the recruitment, screening, supervision and management of all people who volunteer at our school.

Definitions

Child-related work: 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 personís duties. It does not include work that involves occasional contact with children that is incidental to the work.

Closely related family member: parent, carer, parent/carerís spouse or domestic partner, stepparent, parent/carerís 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:

         Carrying out the functions of a school council

         Any activity carried out for the welfare of a school, by the school council, any parentsí club or association or any other body organised to promote the welfare of the school

         Any activity carried out for the welfare of the school at the request of the principal or school council

         Providing assistance in the work of any school or kindergarten

         Attending meetings in relation to government schools convened by any organisation which receives government financial support

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.

Policy

Chum Creek Primary School is committed to implementing and following practices which protect the safety and wellbeing of children and our staff and volunteers. Chum Creek Primary School also recognises the valuable contribution that volunteers provide to our school community and their support for the work that we do.

The procedures set out below are designed to ensure that Chum Creek Primary Schoolís 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 approach a class room teacher. Another option would be to contact our Parent Club via the General Office. The work they do for our school is invaluable and they are always looking for helpers.

Working with students

Chum Creek Primary School values the many volunteers that assist in our classrooms/with sports events/camps/excursions/school concerts/other events and programs. To ensure that we are meeting our legal obligations under the Working With Children Act 2005 (Vic) and the Child Safe Standards, Chum Creek Primary School is required to undertake suitability checks which may include a Working With Children Check, proof of identity, work history involving children and/or reference checks.

Considering our legal obligations, and our commitment to ensuring that Chum Creek Primary School is a child safe environment, we will require volunteers to obtain a WWC Check and produce their valid card to our Office Manager for verification in the following circumstances:

         Volunteers who are not parent/family members of any student at the school are required to have a WWC Check if they are engaged in child-related work regardless of whether they are being supervised. This is a legal requirement under the Working with Children Check Act .

         Parent/family volunteers who are assisting with any classroom or school activities involving direct contact with children in circumstances where the volunteerís child is not participating, or does not ordinarily participate in, the activity. [This is a legal requirement under the Working with Children Check Act.

         Parent/family volunteers who assist with excursions (including swimming), camps and similar events, regardless of whether their own child is participating or not.

 

         Parent/family volunteers who regularly assist in school activities, regardless of whether their own child is participating or not

 

         Parent/community School Council members sitting on School Council with student School Council members, regardless of whether their own child is a student member or not

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, maintenance, working bees, parents and friends club coordination, school council, participating in sub-committees of school council, fete coordination, other fundraising groups that meet in the evenings] during which children will not be, or would not reasonably be expected to be, present.

Volunteers for this type of work are not required to have Working with Children or other suitability checks as they are not engaged in child-related work and children are not generally present during these activities. However, Chum Creek Primary School reserves the right to undertake suitability checks, including proof of identity, Working with Children Checks, at its discretion if considered necessary for any particular activities or circumstances.

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 schoolís policies, including, but not limited to our Child Safety Policy / Statement of Commitment to Child Safety, 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 Departmentís policies relating to Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying.

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 Chum Creek Primary School.

Chum Creek Primary School will provide any appropriate induction and/or training for all volunteer workers. The principal (or their nominee) will determine what induction and/or training is necessary depending on what type of work the volunteer will be engaged in.

All volunteers will be provided induction in relation to Chum Creek Primary Schoolís child safety practices, including reporting obligations and procedures. Our school has a Child Safety Reporting Obligations Policy which all staff and volunteers should be aware of.

The principal (or their nominee) will determine what supervision, if any, of volunteers is required for the type of work being performed.

Compensation

Personal injury

Volunteer workers are covered by the Department of Education and Trainingís Workers Compensation Policy if they suffer personal injury in the course of engaging in school work.

Property damage

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 Departmentís Legal Division.

Public liability insurance

The Department of Education and Trainingís public liability insurance policy applies when a volunteer worker engaged in school work is legally liable for:

         a claim for bodily injury to a third party

         damage to or the destruction of a third partyís property.

Review cycle

This policy was last approved by school council in June 2021 and is scheduled for review in June 2025.