Do you DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) or security check your volunteers?
We do not DBS check our volunteers because no volunteer should be left unattended with students or children. We take safeguarding very seriously and are committed to providing safe and supportive environments for everyone involved in the work we do. More information on safeguarding can be found here.
What information will I see about the volunteers?
You will see a short profile, written by the volunteer with details of their experience and skills. This will include information such as their name, job title, qualifications, educational route and job description.
Does anyone vet what the volunteers say in their profile?
We take it on trust our volunteers have been honest about their skills and experience, with many of our volunteers signing up through their employers. There are also legal terms and conditions that they must agree to upon registration.
Do the volunteers sign up individually or through their employer?
About half of our volunteers have signed up as individuals, while the other half have signed up through an employer or professional body scheme. Each volunteer has their own reasons for registering and engaging with schools.
Who are your volunteers?
We have thousands of volunteers registered throughout the UK. A broad range of roles are represented from apprentices to CEOs, Archaeologists to Zoologists, from all different ages. Anyone with experience of the world of work can volunteer with Primary Futures. Schools can choose what volunteers they would like to invite in.
Will volunteers try to sell me goods, services or ask to pay for their expenses?
This is not allowed under the Terms and Conditions that volunteers must agree to upon registration. Please call us on 020 7566 4880 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do experience this.
What schools can register?
State primary and secondary schools (including SEN, all through, UTCs and PRUs) as well as colleges are all permitted to register. Secondary schools and colleges register to Inspiring the Future, whereas primary schools register to Primary Futures. Both run on the same technology and volunteer pool. Inspiring the Future and Primary Futures are not available to fee paying schools or colleges.
I’m from a trust or network of schools. How can we get involved as a group?
We are always interested to hear from groups of schools looking to run Primary Futures activities or events. In the past, we have supported school groups to run focused weeks of activities or to run activities across the academic year in different schools. Please get in touch at email@example.com to discuss the bespoke support we can offer. If you would like someone from the Primary Futures team to come to speak at a network meeting about what we do, please let us know.
I work across a number of schools. How can I register on behalf of multiple sites?
We will need to set up accounts for you on behalf of the schools that you work at. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of which schools you would like to register at and we can support. Please note that the platform is only free for people who are employed by schools, not third parties as per our Terms and Conditions.
Will I be able to connect with local volunteers?
Yes, Primary Futures works by connecting you to volunteers and employers available in your school local area. Volunteers who have selected local postcodes to your school (they can enter up to two postcodes), will be visible when you login. However, if you wanted to have a look at volunteers further afield, you can easily increase the radius of your search or tick the box ‘Virtual volunteers’ on the bottom left of the search page. You can also search for volunteers who used to attend your school or college.
Can I run an activity virtually?
Yes. In 2020 we launched virtual interactive activities enabling schools and young people to connect with volunteers remotely – wherever they are in the UK. Find out more about virtual sessions.
Can I register/ use Primary Futures on a tablet or mobile device?
You can use Primary Futures on mobiles and tablets to register, message, invite and reply to volunteers. However, the platform’s mapping system is optimised on computers and laptops, using Google Chrome and Firefox internet browsers where possible.
How do I deactivate my Primary Futures account?
If you would like to disable your Primary Futures account, please email email@example.com and someone will get in touch, confirming the deactivation of your account.
Where can I find extra support and guidance using Primary Futures?
If you have a general enquiry, problem or would just like some guidance on using the Primary Futures platform, please call the team on 020 7566 4880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will be happy to help. There are also lots of free resources that will be able to help you, on the Primary Futures platform.
Am I expected to organise my Primary Futures activities or events?
Yes – Primary Futures is a self service platform; its secure, online platform easily enables this however the team will be there to support you if needed on 020 7566 4880 or email@example.com.
How do I communicate with the volunteers?
Initial communication between you and the volunteers, will be made through the Inspiring the Future online platform. It’s then up to you and the volunteer whether you want subsequent correspondence to go through the ‘chat’ facility on Primary Futures, which comes through to both parties’ email inboxes, or directly by email/ phone.
Is there a limit to how many times you can use Primary Futures?
No, you can use Primary Futures as many times as you like. In fact, we always encourage schools and colleges to embed volunteer engagement in to the curriculum; we encourage regular and repetitive use. Just remember to complete our feedback forms, so that we can send the information to funders and partners, to ensure Primary Futures stays free for schools and colleges.
Does using Primary Futures cost anything?
No, Primary Futures is completely free for state schools and colleges.
What type of activities can my school get involved in if I register?
When both schools and volunteers register, they are asked to select what activities they would like to engage in. These include a range of ‘In School’ (Career Insights, What’s my Line? assembly) and ‘Outside School’ (Workplace visits) activities, as well as virtual adaptations of these activities. ‘Career Insights’ is the most common activity for both schools and volunteers and can include anything from assembly talks to workshops, speed networking to classroom chats.
Where is Primary Futures operating?
We have schools and volunteers registered to Primary Futures across the United Kingdom. We also work with partner organisations operating in other areas – if you would like to find out more about this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.