Making the most of the DofE in schools

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Approach governors for extra support

Consider approaching governors to become volunteers too – they could support as Assessors, Verifiers or even as mentors for participants to ensure they keep on track of their programmes.

- By The DofE

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Create a DofE calendar

Create a calendar (online or printed) recording all of your important DofE activities. It could include dates for information evenings, meetings and drop-in sessions, training courses and expedition dates. Share it with volunteers and key staff so that they are informed and can avoid clashes with other activities. This will demonstrate to senior staff the time and resources required to support DofE delivery.

- By The DofE

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Recruit subject teachers as sectional assessors

General subject teachers could be recruited as a Supervisor or an Assessor, depending on their discipline or hobbies. Create a list of those who are happy to volunteer their time for this purpose and advertise it to your participants who are choosing their sectional activities.

- By The DofE

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Category: Volunteers

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Set up a resource hub for volunteers

Set up a hub (online or in school) of DofE support resources, such as leaflets and activity sheets, that can be used by your volunteers. This could be located on your online shared folder system or even in a private Facebook group, which could also work well as a central place for discussions, arranging expedition dates and sharing best practice.

- By The DofE

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Category: Volunteers

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Try thinking outside the box to recruit volunteers

Consider recruiting extra support outside of the school. Take a look at the Volunteer Management Toolkit for more support with recruitment or use the DofE’s Do-it.org account to advertise (email [email protected] to request a login). External funders or supporters (including school governors) might consider ‘donating their time’ to support your groups. Try approaching them with smaller roles/tasks to engage them initially.

- By The DofE

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Providing teachers with incentives

Remind teachers that DofE activities will help them build better relationships with their students and can also support CPD. It will help them gain new skills and training (e.g. first aid) and provide leadership opportunities. New teachers are a great group to engage – they will have less responsibilities and it can be a great way for them to integrate into school life.

- By The DofE

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Category: Volunteers

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Engage volunteers by inviting them to a DofE meeting

Invite potential volunteers along to a DofE meeting so that they can see what’s involved, and give them the opportunity to speak to some of your existing volunteers and participants. Put up a list of roles in the staff room so that teachers can put their names down. Break them up into easy, manageable tasks so that they can identify where their strengths would lie, e.g. an IT teacher could supervise an eDofE session and a PE teacher might consider becoming an accredited Assessor. Don’t forget to approach retired staff too.

- By The DofE

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Category: Volunteers

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Audit your support needs

Carry out an audit of your existing volunteers, and then list all the roles/tasks you need to support your DofE delivery. Fill in names under the roles and identify any gaps that need filling; you can target volunteer recruitment to these gaps.

- By The DofE

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Category: Volunteers

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Review staffing support

Use your DofE calendar to map out how much support you will require for each activity. Ensure all involved add the dates to their diaries and consider recruiting more volunteers where needed. For expeditions, you could think about using an AAP.

- By The DofE

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