As national volunteering week is celebrated from the 1st to 7th June, it offers everyone the chance to say ‘thank you’ to those who volunteer as well raise awareness to encourage others to consider it. In April, we saw a national call for volunteers, asking ex-teachers and retired teachers to support schools in remaining open to children of key worker staff. However, this may not be a short-term issue with the greater need lying ahead, when students return to the classroom.
Although teaching is currently experiencing probably its greatest challenge, the experience of children in early years, primary and secondary education as well as their parents/guardians, has highlighted the value of face to face learning more than ever.
Whilst some children may receive learning support at home through online facilities or family members, there will be some without either. Disadvantaged children will fall even further behind.
Once safe face to face learning has been established, teaching staff will need to meet the challenge of playing ‘catch up” for the whole class, so how are resources going to target children who are even farther behind? Volunteering may be the answer and needed more than ever. Perhaps a call for volunteers from ex-teachers to people from the caring profession could support learning and add capacity in the classroom.