Volunteering

First post on the new platform

I spoke with someone this week about the potential of volunteering in education. One of the reasons I’m a bit hesitant about this post is that I know some people will just read it as a manager’s way of getting something for nothing – and if that’s how people want to see it then I can’t do much about it.

However, there is a changing demographic in our country which is going to lead to huge numbers of retired people living in our communities looking for something worthwhile to do with their time. I picked up this infromation from a quick search on the web:

 The Age Shift describes how the whole of society in the UK, as well as elsewhere in the world, will gradually become ‘older’ in future.  While this undoubtedly affects the retired population most directly, it is not only about older people; the age shift affects us all.  While significant demographic shifts are anticipated by 2030 the effects of the ageing population are being felt in the medium term also (since most of the future population has already been born).  By 2008, for example, the number of people aged 45-64 in the UK will for the first time exceed those aged 20-39 years Ref

All of them will have different skill sets and life experiences which could benefit the younger generation. I currently know of one retired person who helps works in one of our nurseries. She is a valued member of staff and greatly enhances the qulaity of the provision.

My own mother works as a volunteer at the Scottish Seabird Centre. Along with many others she gives up one morning a week to help out the centre. Why can’t we set up opportunities for such people to help out in our schools? They would not count towards any pupil/adult ratio so there could be no fear of them replacing paid employees.

I’m convinced that if we provided suitable training, support and encouragement the quality of the education system in East Lothian would be greatly enhanced. Any takers out there?

5 thoughts on “Volunteering

  1. Had a conversation last week with a recently retired primary teacher [East Lothian] about this very subject! She starts in our school two mornings a week fron this Tuesday!

  2. I agree with David about the potential of others, but I think that for some teachers retirement may not be all it’s cracked up to be – the possibility of still supporting in education, perhaps in schools would appeal to many people. The lady I spoke with made a very clear point -she has taught all her life, has no direct family [ not that I think that would be an adverse factor for those who did have family] and was now at a bit of a loss as to how to productively use her time. She was very excited about how she could still contribute to the life of a school. I am delighted that she has made contact with us. This could be a positive working relationship. Back to your original question – should this be something we are developing – I think in the first instance it is something we are encouraging within our own establishments – retirement need not be the end of the association.

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