2.1 How are the reading helpers recruited?

We recruit reading helpers in all sorts of ways - through traditional media, social media, leaflets, posters and through local community groups and volunteer centres. We will ask you to support with this recruitment by tapping into your own local communities and sharing the opportunity on your own social media or in newsletters. We ask applicants to provide us with two references, satisfy the DBS requirements, attend our training and commit to delivering the Coram Beanstalk approach, reliably, with dedication, positivity and commitment. Our rigorous training and on-going support ensures that we maintain a high quality community of reading helpers who often give far more than we expect in terms of their dedication to the role.

2.2 Do they have the enhanced DBS with the children's barred list?

Yes, we cover this, ask them to subscribe to the update service and manage renewals if required.

2.3 Who manages the reading helpers? 

We have a team of support representatives who will be the first port of call for the reading helpers if they have any queries and we keep in touch with them regularly through email, text, social media and through our dedicated volunteer portal. We offer them the opportunity to attend peer-to-peer support events and ongoing learning and development sessions.

However, we do need someone in school to co-ordinate the service from your side and if you ever have any questions or concerns about the service being deliveredwe are on hand to support. You will have a dedicated support representative as your lead contact and they will conduct an annual review to ensure everyone is happy with how things are going.

On a day to day basis, if a reading helper can't attend a session for any one-off reason, it's often easier if they let the school know directly and we like to encourage a good relationship between the reading helper and staff at the school so that there can be a mutual exchange of feedback. 

2.4 Who is responsible for the ongoing support & training of the reading helpers?

We are! As mentioned above, we have a dedicated team of support representatives and trainers who will ensure that our reading helpers are kept up to date and that they are given the support they need to carry out their reading helper role professionally and in accordance with the Coram Beanstalk approach.

2.5 How many children does a reading helper work with and for how long? 

Each reading helper will support a minimum of 3 children, seeing them each for at least one session a week lasting between 15 to 30 minutes. We'd recommend keeping support in place for an absolute minimum of a term with a lot of schools pairing the volunteer and child for the full year. We would expect reading helpers to attend for at least 30 weeks of the school year. 

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