Parents volunteering in Madrassahs

Parents who volunteer their time to help out at their child’s Madrassah on a regular basis are known as classroom or parent helpers. They are not the same as classroom assistants, who are paid staff.

Parent helpers are a great asset to teachers and children at a Madrassah. They can make a big difference to the quality and experience of learning and teaching. Depending on their expertise and capability, they may assist in listening to pupils read, correct writing, or encourage and guide students in hands on activities or team work.

Studies show that parents involvement in their child’s school -even if it does not involve direct contact with their own child- improves children’s experience at school. Additionally, it is often observed that the more parents and guardians are involved in their child’s Madrassah, the better the child’s behaviour, the more focused they are and the quicker progress they make.

So, if a parent offers to help at your Madrassah, thank them very much and express appreciation and gratefulness for the offer, for it was reported that the prophet peace be upon him said: “Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book 27, Hadith 61]

As for safeguarding matters, parent helpers need to be made aware of the guidelines below:

Legal Requirements and Recommendations

  1. Before they begin helping, they are legally required to submit a DBS certificate. Here is how you can help them apply for one.
  1. It is also a legal requirement for them to undergo Level 1 Safeguarding and Child Protection Training as soon as possible within the first 6 months of their work at your Madrassah.
  1. Complete a ‘Volunteer Registration Form’. The form can be obtained from Firdaus Level Accreditation.
  1. Complete a ‘Volunteer Agreement Form’. The form can be obtained from Firdaus Level Accreditation.
  1. Parent Helper should be given a volunteer’s badge so they can be distinguished from other parents by staff and children.
  1. Parent helpers have to be given a Health & Safety induction where they are taught about Health & safety and Fire Safety in the context of the Madrassah, Mosque or school where the teaching takes place.

Day to day guidelines for Parent Helpers:

  1. Madrassahs may choose to ask you to assist in a classroom other than your child’s. This is entirely their choice as they might feel your presence with your child may be disruptive for them or unfair for children whose parents are not volunteering.
  1. You may see children struggling with work, be upset or misbehaving or hear/see other information concerning a child while you are with us in school. It is vital that you do not share anything about specific children with friends or family or a child’s parent if you know them.
  1. Volunteers working in classrooms should do so on the understanding that they support the teaching staff and will not pass opinion on such matters as discipline or teaching styles outside the school.
  1. Volunteers in school are asked not to use the time to deal with issues regarding their own children. If you wish to speak to the class teacher or another member of staff, you should make an appointment in the usual way.
  1. Volunteers are respectfully asked that they dress appropriately for being in school.
  1. Volunteers are asked to respect the confidentiality guideline as the information about the Masjid or about children attending the Madrassah are confidential.
  1. Please don’t have favourites – as humans we are drawn to certain individuals but it is important that all children in school are given equal time and attention.
  1. Please encourage the children to be independent – we expect children to try everything themselves before we help them.
  1. Please do not lift, carry or move a child in any way.
  1. If you are unable to be in school, please let the class teacher know either in person or by telephoning the office.
  1. Parents in Madrassah working as volunteers in the office and classrooms will report cases of poor behaviour or pupil discipline to the child’s teacher, not other parents in the Masjid. This allows the teachers to deal with such matters in line with the Madrassah behaviour policy and on occasions allow children to put the matter right without the direct involvement of their parents.

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References:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/classroom_helpers/

http://www.madrassah.co.uk/madrassah-accreditation-standards/