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School Early Help Offer

Every family is unique with its own combination of strengths and weaknesses. All families need support from a range of agencies from time to time to get a good start in life.  Any family can get overwhelmed by what seems like endless challenge when it comes to juggling money, school, and each other’s needs. At times families can be disrupted by a change in circumstance such as a separation or relationship breakdown, bereavement, mental or physical illness, job loss, addiction or added pressure from events that can bring unexpected problems.

Being a parent is the hardest job as well as an important one and unfortunately there is no instruction manual. There is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about in asking for help and we encourage all our families to do so, even if it is just to talk things through. By sharing information school can often help to resolve situations or signpost families to agencies that will best support their needs.

All staff at The Ferrars Academy recognise their role in identifying needs of vulnerable children and their families need for Early Help. 

 

What is School Early Help?

 

Early Help means providing help to children and families as soon as needs start and to prevent issues and problems escalating. When children and families need this extra support, they often need it quickly. Children’s needs are best met when families work together in partnership with school and any agencies to achieve the best outcomes.

 

Support for pupils includes:

  •  Promoting good attendance and punctuality
  • Promoting self-esteem and confidence
  • Promoting positive behaviour and positive attitudes to learning
  • Support with bereavement, family breakdown or other trauma
  • Support with emotional regulation

 

Support for families includes:

  •  Providing information and signposting to other services in the local area
  • Liaising with a range of external services and making referrals
  • Assistance in completing paperwork and forms e.g. housing, foodbank vouchers, support at school and other agency meetings
  • Support with school attendance
  • Advice and support in promoting positive behaviour at home
  • Providing parenting advice, guidance and support
  • Guidance with personal development and access to training and workshops

 

 Who provides Early Help support in school?

 

Early Help support is provided by a variety of staff across our school. If a parent or carer approaches a staff member about Early Help support, they will discuss this with the Pastoral Team to decide on next steps.  In most cases it would be a member of the Pastoral Team that will contact you or the appropriate member of staff.

 

Here are some of the Early Help we offer:

 

Level 1 – Universal Service

Open Door Policy

We provide time to talk to families and offer various ways of communication including face to face, via the telephone, email or video call.

Class Teacher

& Teaching Assistants

Your child’s class teacher is your first point of contact for any issues regarding your child’s learning and development. There are parent consultation sessions twice a year and an annual report at the end of each academic year. Should you be concerned or wish to speak to your child’s teacher you can request an appointment with the school office.

SENDCO

& Inclusion Manager

The school has a designated SENDCO who you can speak to if you have any worries or concerns regarding your child’s development or if there is any information you do not understand regarding your child’s diagnosis or support plan. Our Inclusion Manager is also the academy’s designated teacher for Looked After Children.

Pastoral Team

The school has an experienced Pastoral Team who provide support, advice, and information to families within our school community. They can help with any worries or concerns you may have and are not just there for when times are tough.

Bright Beginnings

Stay & Play

Tuneful Stars

Bright Beginnings sessions are open to the community during term time for children aged 0-3 years old.

Stay & Play provides activities and routines that promote all areas of development and the encouragement of good social and independent skills for starting nursery.

Tuneful Stars focuses on developing communication, language, speech and listening skills through rhymes, songs, instruments and movement. These sessions are especially good for families who are learning English, due to repetition of simple songs, rhymes, actions and basic signing.

Establishing Routines

The Pastoral Team provide information and advice on establishing good home routines including getting ready for school, mealtimes and bedtime.

Behaviour Management

The Pastoral Team provide information and advice on managing behaviour and any difficulties you are experiencing with your child.

Toilet Training

The Pastoral Team provide information and advice on successful toilet training.

Independent Me

Sessions run for families and children to promote independent skills needed to thrive in a school and nursery environment.

Fussy Eaters

The Pastoral Team provide information and advice on helping your child try new foods and keeping healthy.

Healthy Lifestyles

The Pastoral Team provide information and advice on helping you provide your child with a healthy diet and activities to improve health and wellbeing and promote health living. Referrals can be made to specialist agencies for further support and guidance.

Transition Arrangements

The Pastoral Team provide information and advice on the expectations of starting school and nursery, becoming independent and discuss any attachment or individual worries. There are various transition arrangements in place for moving up year groups and going to Junior school. Support is available if required when a pupil moves school mid-way through the year.

Foodbank Referrals

The Pastoral Team can make a referral to the Foodbank for families in need of support.

Health Visitor Referral

The Pastoral Team can make a referral to the 0-19 Team Health Hub if you need support or are concerned about your child’s health.

School Nurse Referral

The Pastoral Team can make a referral to the 0-19 Team Health Hub, School Nursing Service if you need support or are concerned about your child’s health.

Dental Health

The school take part in the Dental Wellness Toothbrushing Programme. The Pastoral Team can help families access dental services to ensure their child attends regular check-ups. The school also encourage attendance at community pop-up clinics.

Uniform, school shoes and coats

The Pastoral Team can assess your family’s need for obtaining school shoes, uniform and winter coats from the Uniform Exchange.

Family Issues

 

The Pastoral Team can offer support in cases of parental separation/breakdown, family illness, bereavement, disability, wellbeing, and other home issues.

Signposting

The school will be able to signpost you and your family to other agencies such as health centres, dental services, mental health and wellbeing services, bereavement services, police community support officers, domestic abuse victim support, Young Carers, legal advice centres, support with financial worries and debt, support with substance abuse, community activities and events.

Support with Forms

The Pastoral Team can assist with completing forms and replying to letters.

Guidance with personal development

The Pastoral Team can assist you to access adult learning to improve literacy skills, learn English or other training and development courses.

Keeping Safe

Online Safety

We offer parents online safety events to ensure that children are keeping safe online at home and how to set up parental controls on devices and information on age-appropriate content and supervision.

Voice of the Child

& Emotional Wellbeing

 

The school can provide a neutral place where a child feels it is safe to talk. Staff will listen carefully to what the child is saying, take on board how the child is feeling, validate that feeling by being alert to the child’s lived experience, contain their feeling by making their distress a survivable experience, and soothing and calming them until they can regulate their own emotions. We value what a child shares with us and treat conversations sensitively.

 

The school has Drawing & Talking practitioners who are available to provide this therapy intervention when referred.

Wrap Around Care

Provision

The school has its own wraparound care provision for working parents which provides before and after school childcare.

Early Birds (Before School Care) Night Owls (After School Care).

Extra-Curricular Clubs

The school offers some extra-curricular clubs which are held after school.

Speech and Language Support

 

The school have practitioners who deliver programmes to targeted children to improve communication including Lift Off to Language and Talking Takes Off.

Mental Health

First Aiders

& Senior Mental Health

and Wellbeing Leads

The school has key staff who are trained in spotting signs and symptoms of common mental health issues. They can provide non-judgmental support and reassurance and assist in seeking professional support a person may need.

Attendance Officer

The school’s Attendance Officer carefully monitors pupil attendance, wherever possible working with the Pastoral Team where appropriate. Parents can contact the Attendance Officer to discuss any absences or concerns around attendance and punctuality.

Level 2 – Additional Universal & Targeted Services

 

 

Early Help Assessment

As a parent or carer you will have a chat with a member of the Pastoral Team about what’s going well and what’s not going well for you and your family.  Following this you will complete an Early Help Assessment (EHA) together. By completing an EHA we get a full picture about the whole family and use it to identify the areas you could do with a bit of extra support with.

 

It is your choice whether to take part in the assessment and you can choose who else should be involved.

 

An Early Help Assessment (EHA) will:

  • Ø Help you see what’s going well and not so well for your family
  • Ø Identify what support you might need
  • Ø Create a picture of your family’s circumstances, which can be shared with your permission, so you don’t have to repeat yourself to different people
  • Ø Help you to be part of a team of people working together on the same plan to get things going well again

 

What happens after the Early Help Assessment has been completed?

With your permission, the school will contact the people from different organisations working with your family and share information and work together to help support you and your children. This could be school, health visitors, nursery staff, school health, housing, etc. This may then be followed by a ‘Team Around the Family’ (TAF) meeting.

 

What is a ‘Team Around the Family’ (TAF) meeting?

The family and agencies involved come together to make a support plan. This is reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that progress is being made for your family and that the right support is in place. At these meetings a ‘lead professional’ is selected - it may be the person the family see most frequently, the one most involved or the most approachable. The lead professional arranges the review meetings and is someone you can speak to at any point about concerns or issues you or your family are facing.

Although not part of the School Early Help Offer, the following levels below can be reached if:

  • A multi-agency approach is needed, and additional services are accessed only through a Family Partnership Service referral.
  • A child is identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

 

 

Level 3 – Intensive Multi-Agency Family Partnership Service

 

 

Level 4 – Specialist Intervention involving Children’s Services

 

 

School Contacts

 

Pastoral Team:  Miss M Jennings & Mrs J Allan

SENDCO & Inclusion Manager:  Mrs S Kelly

Attendance & Welfare Officer:  Mrs S O’Connor

Senior MHW Leads:  Miss S Green & Miss M Jennings

Tel: 01582 573641