How to….make sure that support from a Christian Schools Worker or Volunteer has real educational worth

OK, you’re a teacher who has developed a sound relationship with a Christian Schools Worker, Chaplain or Volunteer. They visit fairly regularly and want to give really relevant support to your school. How can you develop a longer term relationship which helps your pupils learn?

1. Make sure that you have discussed a Protocol for their work Point them to the “Partnership with Schools Protocol” on our website, and discuss how it can be used (or adapted) for your context. Once “your” Schools Worker, Chaplain or Volunteer is happy with it, set up a meeting between them and the HT/DHT, with yourself present. Go over the contribution they are making to the school (your SMT should definitely be aware of it, but promoted staff are very busy and they may not appreciate the full worth of what is going on. Show the Protocol to the HT/DHT, who will almost certainly find it reassuring. Ask if it needs to be amended in any way for the circumstances in your school.

2. Offer to work with the Schools Worker, Chaplain or Volunteer to create a “Partnership Activity Agreement”. Look at the exampleS.3.1edit on this website, and again feel free adapt it for your own use. Schools are expected to work in partnership with their local community, and school inspections look for evidence that they are doing so. While every school is different, your suggestion of a written agreement may well be attractive to the HT. If your school would like to go down this route, you may well be delegated to work out the details alongside the Schools Worker, Chaplain or Volunteer , before the form is signed by the head teacher. Remember: keep it brief (we all hate being swamped by paper!) Evaluate the impact of the input from the the Schools Worker, Chaplain or Volunteer on the pupils’ learning. We all know as teachers that evaluation is a good idea, and are under pressure to produce evidence. But (you’ve guessed it) time is the enemy. The Self-Evaluation Form on this website keeps things very straightforward. If you offer to work with the Schools Worker, Chaplain or Volunteer on the evaluation, they may well learn a great deal! – and you will certainly have strengthened the case for their work in the school in future. The form is based on advice from Her Majesty’s Inspectors, so it should fit well with your school’s own practices – and it’s easy to use!

3. There are lots of good examples of effective partnerships between schhols and KeepschoolsChristian schools workers or chaplains across Scotland. 

For some really practical examples, dip into the "Keeping Faith in Schools" video.

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