Frequently asked questions
Membership places are limited as we only accept schools if we are confident we are able to deliver a high standard of service in a sustainable manner in your community.
We would love to be able to help every school in every community across Australia in order to realise our vision of ‘Every community helping young people to succeed’. We currently operate in Western Australia, and select locations in Victoria and NSW and in 2015 supported 260 school communities.
Give us a call to discuss.
Yes. In 2014 we merged SVP and Timehelp to create a new national inter-generational charity. As part of our joining forces we chose EdConnect Australia as our new national identity.
On some documents you may continue to see The School Volunteer Program Ltd which remains the legal name of our charity.
Most importantly, the reason we exist has not and will not change. We are proud of our heritage.
Government schools’ pay $350+ GST per annum. Non-government school pay$600 + GST per annum.
We ask schools to commit for two school years, as this allows us to better plan and engage with your community in securing a sustainable pool of volunteers. Fees are pro-rata, subject to when your school commences with us.
It is worth noting that the membership fees do not come close to covering the cost of our services in member schools. The majority of costs are covered through service contracts such as with the Department of Education and Training in Western Australia, or through fundraising, grants and sponsorships.
Membership is essentially a partnership between EdConnect Australia and the school with the shared intent to support the school and contribute towards achieving positive student outcomes.
Our partnership is outlined in an agreement so that we are both clear on our respective roles and responsibilities. Having a good relationship with our member schools is a priority for us, as we have found that this is the key to getting the program working well in the school.
To ensure that only the best volunteers are selected for your school our team of committed professionals make sure that our volunteers have all been screened and trained to the highest standard and understand their duty of care to young people – all before they come to you.
This means that volunteers have to be recruited, interviewed, reference checked, assessed, are subject to Working With Children checks, police checks, and are then trained and supported and insured thereafter. We do this so you don’t have to.
Throughout the year we provide additional training opportunities for volunteers to continue to develop their skills. Volunteers also receive regular communication and ongoing support from us as well as invitations to events.
We need to ensure that young people receiving our services are safeguarded and supported. Our screening processes are in keeping with current legislation and best practice standards in our industry.
Working with children is an important role and not suitable for everyone. Only those with the necessary aptitude, communication skills and ability to work with young people and who come to us with high quality references are considered after we undertake Working With Children Checks and police checks.
Member schools receive a partnership agreement which outlines the services and/or programs our volunteers are there to help with.
Our volunteers are trained for the agreed role and commit their time accordingly. We want to get the best outcomes possible for your school and students, which mean that we have to be clear on the roles the volunteers have agreed to take on.
We understand your needs can change in school, if that is the case please contact us, you will find we are accommodating and will do our utmost to assist.
No. As charity, EdConnect is unable to reimburse our volunteers for out-of-pocket expenses. If volunteers require any materials to help them in their volunteering role they will need to speak with their School Coordinator. There is no expectation on our part that a volunteer should provide materials for their chosen and agreed volunteering role.
Yes we’d be happy to present to your staff team and encourage it as part of our engagement process with your school. Normally this can be at a staff meeting or a team development day for example.
From experience, where school staff are clear about our programs and services, our volunteers integrate quickly into school, and themselves feel supported and valued which helps providing positive outcomes for your students.
Any volunteers that join EdConnect Australia must meet our stringent standards and be suitably screened and assessed before we embark on training them.
We would be open to existing volunteers applying to us and then taking them through our processes. However, there is no guarantee that we would accept a volunteer who has been at your school. If this was the case, you would be advised accordingly.
Yes. We have public liability and volunteer insurance in place for approved EdConnect Australia volunteers and approved volunteering activities.