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VOLUNTEERING IN THE WEA

SECTION 2: INFORMATION FOR BRANCHES

Contents
FORWARD ............................................................................................................................................... 3 WEA BRANCHES ...................................................................................................................................... 4 MAIN FUNCTIONS OF A BRANCH ........................................................................................................ 4 HOW BRANCHES WORK ...................................................................................................................... 4 WHO DOES WHAT ............................................................................................................................... 5 PLANNING WEA COURSES THROUGH A BRANCH ............................................................................... 6 THE BRANCH PLANNING CALENDAR ................................................................................................... 7 PUBLICITY AND MARKETING ............................................................................................................... 8 Ideas Checklist for Marketing and Publicity .................................................................................. 10 RUNNING THE COURSES ................................................................................................................... 11 Sessional Tutors ............................................................................................................................ 11 Observation of Teaching and Learning (OTL)................................................................................ 11 Course Support ............................................................................................................................. 11 HEALTH AND SAFETY......................................................................................................................... 13 Incorporating Field Work and Trips .............................................................................................. 14 Safeguarding ................................................................................................................................. 14 Confidentiality ............................................................................................................................... 15 BRANCH ACTIVITY ............................................................................................................................. 16 Branch records .............................................................................................................................. 16 Social events ................................................................................................................................. 16 Branch Annual Returns / Accounts and Reserves ......................................................................... 17

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FORWARD
We would like to welcome you to the WEA and thank you for committing your time and energy to volunteering with us. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the WEA and we genuinely
value the skills, enthusiasm and many hours given by volunteers as you directly support a significant part of the WEA’s National, Regional, branch and local operations and activities. Without

volunteers many of our events, services and programmes would not exist and the relationships you develop with staff, tutors, students and supporters are invaluable. We hope that you will find the resources that make up this handbook a useful and accessible tool to help you, whatever your role in the WEA. It has been constructed in a number of sections to make it more user friendly and so that it can be kept fully up to date. The sections are: 1. Information for volunteers 2. Information for branches 3. Information about Region specific processes and practice 4. Information about Governance 5. WEA Policy documents 6. Useful ‘How To..’ guides These sections have been developed as a guide based on existing good practice and are intended to support you in your role not provide a regimented framework. The WEA relies on the creativity of its staff, tutors and volunteers to be responsive in local communities. Very few things in the WEA are mandatory but where necessary these are clearly identified in the handbook. If you wish to suggest improvements in terms of content or structure please contact the Membership and Volunteer Development Manager. The handbook will be regularly reviewed and updated and your comments will be taken into account. As the WEA seeks to raise its profile and speak up for adult learners we want to engage our volunteers as much as possible and we look forward to working with you for many years to come. Your work in the WEA will be increasingly important as we re-confirm our commitment to working in our local communities as well as regionally, nationally and internationally. By working together, true to the values of the WEA and with the solidarity of all involved, we will continue to achieve great things.

Colin Barnes WEA President

Ruth Spellman WEA General Secretary

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WEA BRANCHES
The WEA could not run without the enthusiasm and voluntary efforts of its members. We encourage students and part-time tutors to participate in the running of the organisation at all levels and one of the main ways they can do this is through the democratic structure of the WEA Branch. With a few people and plenty of enthusiasm it is easy to set up a new WEA branch.

MAIN FUNCTIONS OF A BRANCH
A branch can take on a wide variety of educational and social functions in its local area including: • Planning the course programme • Recruiting and supporting students • Collecting and recording students’ views on the provision • Actively contributing to the WEA voluntary movement • Helping to arrange accommodation and equipment for classes • Publicising and advertising, including press coverage to promote the WEA • Administration, including the collection of fees • Fundraising to support the branch and other local activity • Liaising with the regional office and other WEA branches • Promoting discussions on community learning This section is not intended to be prescriptive. It has been put together by looking at best practice in existing branches. The varied nature of branches will result in branches finding their own ways of organising themselves. It is hoped that the following information will help to achieve this aim.

HOW BRANCHES WORK
The happiest and most democratic Committees are those where everyone plays a part, shares the workload and enjoys contributing to the success of the Branch. Doing things together makes some jobs more fun and more of a social event. The smallest branch committee consists of  Chair  Secretary  Treasurer However it is entirely up to your branch how many additional posts you create, if any. If you wish to consider additional posts, these are ones you might consider: • Vice-chair for those occasions when the Chair is absent • Press and Publicity Representative • Class Representatives • Minutes Secretary • Venue co-ordinator These are only suggestions and constitutionally every branch only has to elect a minimum of two officers. After that it is free to create the particular posts that members think useful. Whether tasks are allocated through a formal system of designated posts, or through an informal system of dividing tasks amongst those present at a meeting, the important thing is to ensure that everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. One way of encouraging new members on to the committee is by having small contained roles for people to try before making a bigger commitment. It is a good idea to make sure that no Officer has to hold their position for too long but can rotate the responsibilities. 4

A Branch elects its Committee at the Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) and welcomes anyone who wants to come along to meetings. Only members of the WEA can serve as officers on Branch committees. Members agree with the aims and values of the Association and receive regular updates from the WEA nationally and locally, including information on courses, campaigning and fundraising and can contribute to Association democracy. Branches often invite Class Secretaries, current or prospective tutors, learners or members of collaborating organisations to join the committee as well. Any established group can seem intimidating or cliquey to a newcomer so make sure you have arrangements to welcome and explain what goes on to new Committee members. Perhaps someone on your existing Committee who is good at welcoming people, or the last person to join, would take responsibility for the new member’s induction. Liaise with the relevant member of staff to make sure you have access to the most up to date WEA Induction materials. Committee meetings should take place at regular intervals; branches vary greatly in the frequency of their meetings depending on the size of the programme they are running. Some get together monthly, others perhaps only two or three times a year. Sometimes sub-committees are formed for particular purposes, such as organising one-off events, day schools, publicity or fundraising.

WHO DOES WHAT
Each committee meeting should result in an action list of who has agreed to do what which is circulated to all members to allow for the co-ordination of activities between meetings. Don’t undertake a task and fail to carry it out without letting your colleagues know of the possible difficulties that might arise. There will be times when people cannot fulfil particular responsibilities for which they have volunteered but unnecessary problems can be avoided if colleagues are alerted in time for someone else to take on the task. Exemplar role descriptors outline the main tasks of branch committee members but in summary: Chair: supports the WEA by overseeing the planning and co-ordination of courses; chairing the branch committee, disseminating information, facilitating communication with students and reporting to the branch Annual General Meeting. The chair also needs to be aware of the WEA governing document; what the branch may do within it; national and regional issues and policies and succession planning for branch committee membership. Secretary: receives communications and passes them on appropriately; liaises with local classes directly or through class secretaries to ensure they are running smoothly; liaises with tutors, perhaps via a pre-course meeting so that the tutor is aware of venue information and facilities available; arranges accommodation and co-ordination with caretakers; responds to enquiries and provides information to students; takes enrolment information Treasurer: supports the WEA by keeping track of the branch finances within a framework of WEA financial management policies and although not constitutionally necessary, few Branches could manage without their Treasurer to ensure that their financial records are properly kept. This includes advising the branch about regional and national policy decisions; maintaining the Branch bank account; collecting and recording student fees; paying local and regional invoices; preparing the annual statement of accounts to present at the AGM. Please note: Branches are not allowed to pay tutors directly for reasons of administering tax returns, holiday & pension right accumulations. Committee member: supports the WEA by contributing to the work of the branch and taking on additional roles in support of the officers.

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Branch Committee meetings will run more smoothly if the chair and secretary liaise beforehand to ensure that current issues can be thoroughly aired and decisions made. In large branches many of the tasks of the secretary and treasurer need to be delegated and monitored for completion.

PLANNING WEA COURSES THROUGH A BRANCH
Branches vary enormously in size and also in how much provision they offer. A small Branch with just a few members in a small remote rural community may run one or two courses a year whereas large Branches may run dozens of courses a term. The WEA prides itself on being responsive so it is important that branches really know their community when planning a programme. WEA staff support the Branch in making decisions on which courses to offer and help identify tutors to teach each course. Here are some things to bear in mind when planning the programme of provision: Choosing the Subjects  Does the proposed programme offer a wide choice of subjects?  Is the proposed programme likely to appeal to a wide cross-section of your local community, especially younger age groups? Evidence of Demand  Have you canvassed current class members to see what they want?  Have you attempted to find out what other people in the community might want?  Have you done any market research to obtain clear evidence of interest in the courses you are proposing? Meeting the Needs of Your Local Community  Does your Branch have an up-to-date list of local organisations and contacts? Have you worked or liaised with any of these organisations?  Do you know where your members come from? Are there some areas (eg, a new housing estate) from which you get few members? Location of Courses  Are the proposed courses located in convenient places? Are they accessible by public transport?  Is the accommodation suitable? Is it warm? Are the acoustics good? etc.  Is there access for disabled people? Timing and Length of Courses  Does the programme have a reasonable balance of day and evening courses?  Have you thought about experimenting with the timing of courses (eg. short lunch-time courses or early evening courses) for certain target groups?  Is the course of an appropriate length for the people it is aimed at? Innovation and Development  Does your proposed programme include new subjects?  Does your proposed programme include new tutors?  Are you encouraging long-standing courses to move on to new areas? Reaching Out to All  Does your proposed programme reflect the WEA's social commitment to those who are economically, socially or culturally disadvantaged?  Has your Branch explored the possibility of providing any courses for specifically disadvantaged groups (eg, in centres for the elderly etc.)? 6

A Balanced Programme Is your programme balanced in terms of:  Subject matter: arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, etc?  Having both a reasonable number of "safe" courses and some new ones?  Mix of day and evening courses and dayschools and events?

THE BRANCH PLANNING CALENDAR
The Branch calendar is a valuable guide to the work to be done throughout the year. The Chair should ensure that items listed in the calendar are dealt with at committee meetings and at other times as required. Here is a typical example but it may need amendment from time to time, either for external reasons (eg because of Regional or National decisions) or because the branch committee itself decides to change its mode of working. Branch/Area September  Enrol new classes  Committee meeting  Is your branch representative available for the Regional AGM? If not can you find a substitute?       Publicise spring courses Branch AGM. Inform WEA Staff member of date Programme Planning; Liaise with tutors Regional AGM Committee meeting to finalise plans for next academic year End of term events

October November December

January February March

 Enrol spring term courses  Committee meeting: Finalise next year’s programme including Day Schools  Submit programme request forms      Branch meeting – evaluate autumn and spring courses Area sharing of programme plans Book and confirm accommodation for next year’s classes Complete accommodation survey form for any new venues Deadline for course information

April

 Enrol summer term courses  Identify AGM date and think about speakers etc  Adult learner’s week  Branch committee meeting to plan publicity strategy for September enrolments  Evaluate summer courses  Contribute to Self-Assessment  Publicity strategy put into action  Deal with pre-enrolments

May June

July August

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PUBLICITY AND MARKETING
Effective publicity of the programme is one of the most important, and challenging activities of a Branch. The most successful branches are those with well thought out publicity strategies. It is a good idea to have a publicity officer who can convene a sub-committee to share out the work as publicity and marketing can be labour intensive. However good our courses are, people will not come if they don't know they exist! The main responsibilities are to  devise an effective marketing strategy  co-ordinate the production of suitable publicity materials, where relevant  compile a list of suitable sites for posters, leaflets, booklets, etc.  ensure these sites are supplied at the right time and that materials are actually on display  promote courses through the local media  update mailing and contact lists  support local website and social media developments Publicity materials are produced at three levels, national, regional and in the branch. 1. National The national web site http://www.wea.org.uk carries a wide range of information about the WEA and a searchable database of all our courses. Regional Offices receive an increasing number of inquiries from people who have used the course search on the web. Branch courses are entered into the national database by Regional Office. The Marketing Department at national office liaises with national media to achieve coverage of WEA activities whenever possible. They are working with a web to print company to pilot national templates for publicity materials. 2. Regional Regional offices produce course booklets for some programmes which are usually ready for distribution in early July. These are usually distributed by the printer to students from the last two years. Regional offices can also provide printed labels with the names and addresses of your past students for distribution of branch leaflets. See the next section for details of other services provided by your region. 3. Branch Branches are encouraged to produce their own branch leaflets using appropriate templates which ensure a house style, promote the WEA branch and meet the requirements of matrix accreditation. Distribution However attractive the publicity material you produce it is only of value if it is displayed or placed in places where people can see it. Identifying the best places in your locality is something on which it is worth spending time. Leaflets and posters should be ready at least 6 -12 weeks before classes start. Distributing publicity is probably the most time consuming of Branch activities so draft in as many Branch members as you can. Ask your local library, shopping centre, council, supermarket, community centre, health centre etc. if you can book space to advertise your programme. They may have room for a poster or put out your 8

leaflets if they haven't the space for a display. Tutors can help provide visual material to illustrate their course. Most Branches have a selection of photographs - the bigger the better - showing people enjoying themselves in WEA classes but make sure permission has been obtained to use images of individuals in promotional material using the forms available from the regional centre. You may be able to borrow display and information boards from the regional centre for temporary displays. Contact your local newspapers and radio with Error! Reference source not found. and see if you can get your courses listed in other local publications such as Adult Education brochures and village or parish newsletters. Websites are increasingly being used very effectively for marketing purposes. Many branches subscribe to local community websites and Local Education Authorities mostly have lifelong learning websites. Some Branches have members with appropriate skills enabling them to set up their own web sites. If you think you would like to do this, make sure that you have someone with the time and skills to keep your pages up to date and consult with the region to ensure that the website includes all of the organisation information from the publicity templates and meets matrix standards. Set up a database of past and current learners so that you can send information to them personally. Many branches find that email communication is a really effective way of getting targeted information to potential students. Remember that you must be careful with personal information so use blind copy in group mailings. Keep a list of any enquirers over the year so that you can keep them informed about new courses. It saves effort (and money if you can get them to put a stamp on it) if you give students an envelope to address to themselves at the end of a course so that you can send them details of future ones. You can also get this information from the class registers. Build up a list of local organisations who may be in contact with people interested in WEA courses (Women’s Institute, interest groups, church groups, voluntary organisations, pressure groups etc). Members of the Branch Committee are bound to belong to other organisations and can provide a direct two-way publicity link with them. Some Branches organise enrolment sessions and invite tutors along to promote their courses. These can be fun events, either day or evening, and an excellent way of developing interest in the branch Cost Be realistic, if your Branch spends £200 to attract just a couple of new learners, your money has not been well spent. Think carefully about how to make your expenditure cost effective and carefully evaluate your publicity strategy to ensure you have value for money. You will want to monitor how your learners found out about their course so that you can see which publicity has been successful and which has not. Information and advice Students are entitled to information and advice about whether they are joining the right course and what further opportunities there may be when the course finishes. The Branch is usually the first point of contact for the students so if you are unable to answer queries or need further information don’t hesitate to contact your WEA staff member or Tutor who may be able to help. There are also contact numbers for many other Guidance services listed in the Error! Reference source not found.. 9

Ideas Checklist for Marketing and Publicity

Written Mail outs Flyers Posters Leaflets Personal letters Annual reports Newsletters Personal Contact Word of mouth Networking Local organisations - voluntary - statutory - subject related Telephone Presentations Outreach Surveys Consultation Focus groups Events Exhibitions Conferences Festivals Fetes Open evenings/mornings Drop-ins Awareness Days Adult Learners’ Week

Media Newspapers - paid for adverts - editorials - interviews - listings Local Radio Local TV Newsletters Specialist magazines Trade magazines Yellow Pages Free sheets Sponsorship Patrons Products Celebrities Internally Staff Volunteers Trustees Management committees Electronic Communication Websites Emails Links Social media

Partners

Libraries (including Mobile libraries)

Resource Centres

Community Adult Education Centres Doctors’ surgeries Dentist’s surgeries Community Centres Places of Worship Sports Centres Play Groups Schools (including staff rooms) WI

Information Shops

Politics Local Councillors MPs MEPs

Street Shops Post Offices Noticeboards Billboards Bus shelters Buses

Points of contact Office Shop fronts Reception Staff Communal areas Toilets

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RUNNING THE COURSES
Sessional Tutors Sessional tutors are important people in the WEA's work. They are the subject specialists and enthusiasts. They can sometimes feel isolated and your Branch needs to look after yours. Many Branches invite Tutors to meetings, and particularly to the AGM. Make contact with your Tutors before classes start and confirm the equipment they need, whether they need directions and how they would like the classroom arranged. Once the class starts the Class Secretary will be the person who looks after the Tutor and whom the Tutor can contact if there are any problems. You may be able to help Sessional Tutors with advice about:      the venue's Health and Safety arrangements special equipment how adaptable the room is in terms of seating and tables whether to have a half term break the arrangements for a coffee or tea break during the class.

We expect our tutors to have a qualification (usually a degree) in the subject areas that they are teaching. We ask that new tutors either have a teaching qualification or be working towards one. Observation of Teaching and Learning (OTL) Every new tutor will be visited in their first term of teaching. Experienced tutors will be visited at least once every two years. The visits are carried out either by a member of the WEA education staff team or a sessional observer. The sessional observers carrying out the OTLs are Tutors with several years' experience of teaching for the WEA. They have been interviewed, trained and accepted onto the Observer panel. They sit in on classes and write a report. The report is discussed with the Tutor, who has the opportunity to add comments, and it is then copied to the Tutor’s line manager. The Observer provides support, and ensures that teaching and learning are of a high standard. They are not the same as Inspectors, who are employed by Ofsted to conduct a formal assessment of the WEA’s provision. Branches will be notified when the WEA receives its two day notice of Inspection, likely to be early in the 2012/13 academic year. Course Support Tutors particularly need help at the first meeting as there are a number of administrative activities to be undertaken as well as settling a new group. Tutors will particularly appreciate help with completion of enrolment forms if students have not pre-enrolled on-line. The tutor is responsible for course paperwork, including checking enrolment forms are properly completed and taking the register. S/he will welcome your support though! The tutor has the prime responsibility for all aspects of the course. They will have planned the teaching and learning activities for each session and will be aware of where they may need help. As well as general help with resources they may identify particular students that need some additional help and support. Depending on the level of need this can be provided formally through WEA staff or informally through the branch. First session Someone from the branch should be prepared to welcome the tutor and the class members especially new ones. Some people may be unfamiliar with the WEA so make sure that the “welcome" gives a bit of information about who we are, what we do and the fact that you are volunteers! Take a supply of general WEA leaflets to the first session as well as copies of the course 11

outline and any other notices that you want to make people aware of. Enrolment Forms Ask students to complete all the information required and to sign the form. The Enrolment Guidance provides more detailed information. Some students may wish you to complete the form with the information they give you but they must sign the form themselves. If you are filling in a form on a student’s behalf, then you will need to ask for some quite sensitive information. Students who have pre-enrolled via the internet or by telephone via the Regional Office will be provided with a completed enrolment form which they need to check and sign. Later you can get the Tutor to sign the forms and return to the Regional Office. The student retains the tear off sheet with the learning contract and re-enrolment number. Fee waiver If someone is claiming an income related statutory benefit you must see evidence of the benefit, before completing the enrolment form. The Register and Individual Learning Plans This can be filled in beforehand if you have pre-enrolment information or after the first meeting from the information on the Enrolment Forms. The tutor may ask you to help with this task. It is very important that the register is completed accurately as it is an audited document. In addition to the administrative paperwork, the tutor will ask the students to complete an Individual learning Plan. This identifies any individual learning goals the student may have and records their starting points against the group learning goals. These records are really important as they help the tutor to plan the course to meet the needs of the group, by establishing individual’s levels of knowledge. At the last meeting At the last meeting the Tutor will hand out Learning Records and give everyone the opportunity to evaluate their learning: how far they have progressed towards the Learning Outcomes, what else they have learned and what they might study next. It is important students have the opportunity to recognise their achievements from the course. Examination of the Learning Records, by the Tutor, also enables them judge their own level of performance. The Tutor must complete the register and return it to Regional Centre, together with the Learning Records and Tutor Report. If the next term's courses are already arranged, don't let students go home without making a note of when the next course starts. If possible hand out a leaflet or flyer about the next course and ask them to encourage others to attend. Course viability We cannot run Skills Funding Agency funded courses with less than 12 students. Where preenrolments are low and there is unlikely to be a guaranteed viable class, cancellation should be made before the first session, saving the cost of tutor salary and notice. If you cancel any course contact the regional centre and your WEA staff member immediately to let them know what is happening. You must return the cancellation form if the course is cancelled. Dealing with issues Local problems with venues can occur. If you have to move to another venue, do remember to keep people informed – especially the Regional centre, your WEA staff member, your tutor and students. Occasionally a tutor disappoints. If this occurs, talk to your designated member of the education staff without delay and ask them to attend a session as soon as possible so that the problem can be evaluated and action taken if necessary. 12

HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Association has a Health and Safety Policy that covers employees of the WEA, volunteers and also our students. Branch activity is covered by the WEA’s Public Liability Insurance which indemnifies it against claims arising out of injury or damage caused during the running and organising of courses for adults and the organising of occasional social events and field trips. All students are entitled to learn in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. Our Tutors have a responsibility to ensure that students: are fully aware of the health and safety aspects of the venue(s) for the class are fully aware of any risks to do with activities in their particular subject and, where appropriate, are aware of and have taken individual measures to minimise these risks  always act in ways that minimise health and safety risk During the first session, tutors should ensure that all students are aware of the Health & Safety aspects of the course. It is wise to delegate someone to keep an eye on 'common sense' aspects of safety in your venue. If the venue is used regularly by other organisations, there may be safety/fire drills from time to time. If you are a sole user of a building you should satisfy yourself that accesses are well lit, that electrical sockets are working, that equipment/cables do not cause a hazard to students, that someone takes responsibility for closing windows, locking them and doors and generally meeting the requirements of the hiring organisation. Our Standards for Learner Induction state: Learners receive Health & Safety information and advice  All learners are informed of the Health & Safety arrangements associated with the teaching venue, to include: - fire safety and evacuation - access to first aid and emergency arrangements - location of toilets, drinking water  All learners are informed of the Health & Safety risks and precautions associated with their course (including external visits)  Tutors for courses in designated subject areas will complete a Health & Safety Risk Assessment Form prior to the course starting and in the early stages of the course log risk precaution guidance given to individual learners  

In addition you should be aware of current Health and Safety regulations which apply to all users of electrical equipment in public places. Do not assume that because tutors use their own equipment, you can leave them to it. They are advised that they have a legal liability to have their equipment checked and certified annually, but you should bring any omission to their attention. Regional Offices organise regular PAT testing sessions. If you have any concerns about an issue related to Health and Safety in any of the venues you use, or an item of equipment you are using, please contact your WEA staff member or Regional office immediately.

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Incorporating Field Work and Trips The following points should be taken into account when considering the inclusion of field work: It is important that the proportion of the course to be devoted to field trips is clearly defined before the course starts.  Student views should be accommodated as far as possible concerning the timing of field excursions. In cases where the dates of field excursions have to be arranged prior to the course, potential students should be informed of this before committing themselves to the course.  Publicity prepared for the course or event should indicate as clearly as possible the arrangements for field trips. Tutors are required to complete an Outdoor Activities Assessment form for field trips. Students can find it useful to share transport on field trips. Lack of transport can be a severe social problem so encourage members to share lifts and, if appropriate, mention the possibility in publicity. However, if you offer or accept lifts from other students or WEA staff you should be aware of the following:    Do not have an expectation that lifts will be available for the field trips The course tutor, or other students, may suggest sharing transport but this does not imply that there is any pressure on anyone to offer or accept lifts Before you offer a lift, check your car insurance. Most policies, both comprehensive and third party, cover liability for injuries to other people, including passengers. However, you should check with your company as terms and conditions may vary between insurance providers over time When it comes to travelling, you are responsible for your own safety. We recommend that you tell a friend or family member (whether you are giving or receiving a lift) the following: o who you are travelling with o the date and time(s) you are travelling with another learner o where you are travelling to o the time you expect to return back home You should take a mobile phone with you if you can If you give a lift it is best to arrange to pick up your passenger(s) in a public place, close to public transport if possible, so that alternative transport options are available for them should the arrangement fall through. The WEA advises its learners not to meet at a home address initially, for safety and security reasons 

 

This guidance is not intended to discourage you from travelling with another person, but it is to help you consider appropriate measures to ensure your personal safety. Safeguarding Creating a Safe Learner environment includes being aware of issues around Safeguarding. This covers the full range of preventative measures in place to protect young people and vulnerable adults from potential danger, including sexual, physical, emotional and financial abuse, neglect and acts of omission and discriminatory abuse. All students and staff (including tutors, crèche and support workers, volunteers and trustees) are responsible for creating an environment that promotes wellbeing and ensures personal safety. 14

‘Error! Reference source not found.’ includes a safeguarding statement which states WEA policy: The WEA is committed to providing a welcoming environment where everyone is respected, valued, and can feel safe and secure. If you feel that you or other learners are unsafe for any reason at all, including discrimination, abuse, harassment or bullying, speak to a member of staff. If you do not feel you can talk to your tutor, ring your Regional Office and ask to speak to a member of the safeguarding staff, or contact WEA's national safeguarding contact who is, Claire Illingworth, HR and Development Manager (Tel: 0113 2001178 Email:cillingworth@wea.org.uk.) Most policies are on our website www.wea.org.uk/policies or can be obtained on request from your Regional Office. In each region there is a designated safeguarding person(s). An up to date list can be found on the WEA website http://www.wea.org.uk/policies/safeguarding/ . Tutors and volunteers should make it clear to students that they can raise concerns directly with their tutor or with the designated WEA person in their region if they prefer. The designated person will normally take the decision whether to refer an incident to Statutory Agencies or the Safeguarding Authority unless local partnership agreements advise that a partner’s referral process is to be followed Accidents, incidents and near misses It is the Tutor’s responsibility immediately to report any Health and Safety incident in a class. Branches should also inform the WEA designated member of staff as soon as possible. The Regional Director has overall responsibility for Health and Safety issues and can be contacted if there are any issues of real concern. YOUR SECURITY It is important that you feel secure while you are volunteering with the WEA. If you would prefer not to give your home address or telephone number you could use Regional Office as the contact number/address on your publicity material and messages will be passed on to you. Email addresses and mobile phone numbers are secure as a caller will not easily be able to identify your name or your location until you choose to give it. It is also worth considering setting up a branch specific email address rather than using a personal one.

Confidentiality It is important that all information about students or potential students is treated confidentially. Where there is a request for help please assure them that this will be treated confidentially except where there is a legal requirement of disclosure, e.g. where a criminal offence has been committed or where child abuse is suspected. If you are passing on details to a member of WEA staff you should get the student’s permission and give them the option of contacting the WEA staff member directly if they prefer. The same principle must be applied to the registration process, particularly with regard to a student’s financial situation. All this information is confidential and should be dealt with in a sensitive way. Care should always be taken to ensure that information about an individual’s circumstance is not shared with other members of the group. 15

BRANCH ACTIVITY
Branch records The Branch will need to decide who keeps each of these records:          a database of learners' names and addresses perhaps for two or three years, for mailing information about new courses, AGM etc minutes of committee meetings financial records details of accommodation crèche information – registration regulations and procedures, names and addresses of crèche workers and related organisations e.g. playgroups details of other organisations who may want to work jointly with your branch or who have similar interests, or resources to share previous courses as well as lists of people and places contacted for publicity purposes previous course publicity material, including leaflets, flyers, newsletters/ newspaper copy newspaper, newsletter and local radio contact names, telephone numbers, addresses, and copy dates.

Administrative and storage equipment It's vital to keep abreast of the paperwork and to find somewhere to file all the publications and papers that flow in from Association and Regional Offices. Basic office equipment makes good Branch administration a lot easier. Branch Officers will need to find out where they can obtain cheap photocopies near to their homes or where to buy bargain stationery. It helps if the person taking enrolment enquiries has access to an answering system; a word processing facility is equally important for those members producing publicity or minutes. Branches will need to use a proportion of their funds to buy basic items such as box files, ring binders, plastic envelopes as well as envelopes, calculator, coloured paper, and a record book for the accounts. Software such as Microsoft Office can be bought at a discounted rate through the WEA IT Support. Expenses Remember that any of the Branch Committee should be paid out-of-pocket expenses for stationery, postage, telephone calls, photocopying, travelling, etc from Branch funds. Social events Many Branches organise regular social events, which make working for the WEA fun. They can also serve a useful function in encouraging new people to get involved in the Branch, and in fostering public relations generally. Linking social events with the Branch Annual General Meeting may be a good idea. Other possibilities include:  an autumn event, partly social and partly a chance for learners to contribute ideas for future courses  public lectures with refreshments  parties (particularly at Christmas)  outings - perhaps linked to a particular course or just for its own sake. Picnics and walks are popular.  a launch event for the forthcoming academic year 16

Fundraising Some Branches fundraise so that they can offer free or low cost courses. Some ideas for raising money are:  applications to local funds and charities  book sales, raffles, sponsored events, car boot sales  selling tea and coffee at meetings.

Branch Annual Returns / Accounts and Reserves The Regional Office will send you a Branch Annual Accounts form to be returned at the end of the financial year (31 July). Branches are also required to follow the regional branch reserve policy, which may include information about regional support for developing specific projects. See the Regional Handbook for information on local processes.

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