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Plan a student volunteer program

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This information guides teachers and leaders through the first steps of starting up a student volunteer program in a school.

Support from leaders

To develop a successful volunteer program it’s important to get support from the school leadership team, other staff, the governing council, parents and students.

This might include giving presentations highlighting the benefits of volunteering to students, the school and the wider community.

The National Student Volunteer Week website has an easy-to-adapt PowerPoint presentation to help create enthusiasm for student volunteering.

Make sure there’s a clear vision. This will help everyone understand what the program hopes to achieve.

Plan the program and link it to the curriculum

Depending on what you want to do, your school might need to plan more than a term in advance.  

You can link the volunteer program to curriculum outcomes. You should seek advice from leaders and staff. This could happen during a staff meeting. Some questions you could use for discussion are:

  • What do we want students to learn?
  • How will we know if they got it?
  • What will we do to get there?

Adapting these resources

These resources are generic but are based on a program for year 9 students. You should make changes to suit your students’ age and abilities.  Think about how you would do this as you go through the various documents and webpages.

Prepare the details

Before you get started, you’ll need to set up things like meeting agendas, parent consent letters, etc. The department has created tools you can use at each stage.

  1. Before students volunteer
  2. How to run a student volunteer program
  3. Reflect and share ­– after students volunteer

Other things to think about might include:

  • whether your students volunteer off school grounds
  • how many staff or volunteers are needed to supervise
  • transport for students 
  • meetings with volunteer organisations
  • whether ethical overseas student volunteering is an option.


Take time to think about all the possible program expenses. It could include:

  • current sources of funding
  • supplies for the program
  • costs for celebrations
  • keeping some budget aside for unexpected costs.

Student Volunteer Program – we'd like to hear from you

If you found these student volunteer resources useful or have ideas for us, please get in contact.

Phone: 8226 3795
Email: education.volunteers [at] sa.gov.au (subject: Student%20volunteer%20program%20feedback)