Karen Lewis, Bernadetta Brzyska
10 August 2012
In the April 2012 Teacher Voice Omnibus survey, 1555 teachers (869 primary, 693 secondary) completed a question on volunteering in their schools. The NFER wanted to find out who currently volunteers in schools and in what capacity the volunteers are utilised. The report contains comparisons between school phases as well as highlighting the contrast between the use of parental and community volunteering. Further analyses on whether volunteering is reaching those most in need was also carried out.
- Volunteering by parents is commonplace in primary schools but declines once pupils enter secondary education
- In primary schools the top three roles undertaken by parental volunteers were: ‘helping on school trips’, ‘listening to reading’ and ‘school governor’. For community volunteers, ‘listening to reading’ and ‘school governor’ were also among the top three roles along with ‘coaching a sport’
- In secondary schools ‘school governor’ was the main role for both parental and community volunteers. Among community volunteers, other roles such as ‘developing employment skills’, ‘coaching a sport’ and ‘mentoring’, where these volunteers bring valuable skills and experience, also featured
- Further analysis using data on eligibility for Free School Meals (FSM) indicated that parental volunteering decreased as FSM eligibility increased, suggesting schools in more challenging circumstances generally have less access to help/support from their parents.