How the ‘Students in Schools’ scheme works

The Students in Schools scheme is a long standing programme in which our students volunteer to spend time helping out in local schools.  Typically they will make 10 weekly visits of 1 or 2 hours although many students do  stay longer.   Our volunteers may be undergraduate or postgraduate, from any discipline and often help in subjects outside their area of study such as art, music, sport or general literacy.

Many overseas students also offer native language support to children whose first language is not English as well as bringing a different cultural perspective to the classroom.  Recent students have provided support in a wide range of languages including Mandarin, Greek, Arabic, Romanian, Thai, Hungarian, Spanish, Urdu and Russian.

When your school decides to participate in the ‘Students in School ‘ scheme you will be asked nominate to a ‘link’ teacher who will be the main point of contact between the University and your school.   Your link teacher will co-ordinate and submit your school’s requests for volunteers and you are welcome to submit as many requests as you like for any subject or activity including EAL language support as well as after school and lunchtime clubs.  While we cannot guarantee to meet all your requests we will do our very best to find you as many suitable volunteers as possible.

DBS Checks

All our volunteers attend a mandatory training course which includes a section on safeguarding.    Unless they already have a recent DBS certificate we will then submit DBS checks for all students before they start in a school.   Many schools are happy to accept students under their ‘Visitors policy’ once their application has been submitted and pending their certificate being issued.  You will need to tell us your school policy regarding this.

How we notify you of  your volunteers

After students have provided us with their preferences,  submitted their DBS application, or shown us an existing DBS certificate they will be allocated to an appropriate school and a specific lesson or time block.  At this point you will be provided with a detailed list of your volunteers and a proposed start date.   We do ask you to confirm or decline your volunteers within 5 working days so that we can find an alternative school for any volunteer you are unable to host.

When the scheme operates

Most students volunteer to participate in the Autumn and Spring terms.   We do not recruit students for the summer term because of exams however some volunteers will still be in schools during the summer term.  If your school would like to participate next year or you are considering it please register your interest here and we be in touch.

Register your Interest for 2019- 20

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More Information

If you have any questions or would like any more information we would be happy to visit you or to have a phone or email conversation. Please contact Judy MacDevitt on 0118 378 6144 or at
j.macdevitt@reading.ac.uk