To bridge the gap: voluntary action in primary education

Research report


Holman, K., Body, A. and Hogg, E. 2016. To bridge the gap: voluntary action in primary education. Canterbury
AuthorsHolman, K., Body, A. and Hogg, E.
TypeResearch report
Abstract

Voluntary action has had a long history in the education of our children, bringing a wide range of positive benefits to schools, children, staff, the local community and volunteers alike. Voluntary action enables schools to draw upon a wide range of additional skills and resources, can strengthen a school community and engage children in philanthropic activity from an early age. Schools continuously highlight how much they value the commitment, passion, skills and expertise brought into their community by volunteers, and recognise the advantages of fundraising in terms of community engagement, fostering philanthropic activity in children and providing additional income for the school. Unsurprisingly voluntary action in education tends to be viewed as a positive and good thing, and is increasingly encouraged within policy and practice. This research suggests that voluntary action in primary schools is indeed becoming progressively central to school activities, with many primary schools keenly seeking to strategically engage and grow this area of activity. Schools report purposefully fostering engagement of volunteers to help increase teacher capacity, support children through one-to-one activities and provide additional resources for both core and extra-curricular activities. Furthermore, schools highlight increasing focus on their fundraising activities to help support depleting budgets and growing demands.

There is however very little research in the UK which explores voluntary action in education. The limited research that is available suggests significant disparities in how additional resources from voluntary action are dispersed within the UK context. This is supported by research from across Europe and the United States.

Therefore this project sets out to be an exploratory study of this area to ascertain how actively schools engage with this voluntary action and what barriers they may face. The local authority of Kent was chosen as a focus for this study. Through analysis of financial data of over 600 primary schools, questionnaires completed by 114 of these and interviews with 4 case study schools this research presents initial findings and trends in activity under the separate headings of volunteering and philanthropic activity (fundraising).

KeywordsVolunteering; Primary schools; Voluntary action; Kent
Year2016
Place of publicationCanterbury
Output statusPublished
File
File Access Level
Open
Publication dates
PrintNov 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Jul 2020
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8vwz1/to-bridge-the-gap-voluntary-action-in-primary-education

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