Offer of Early Help to Families

OFFER OF EARLY HELP

DEFINITION:

‘Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later.  Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.’

Working Together to Safeguard Children, DfE, March 2015

RATIONALE

  • The Children and Families Act 2014 means changes to the law to give greater protection to vulnerable children, better support for children whose parents are separating, a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities and help for parents to balance work and family life.
  • At Berry Hill Primary School we believe that Early Help is important because it ensures vulnerable children and their families receive the help they need when they need it. It can prevent problems getting worse and requiring specialist intervention from social care, health and the youth justice system.
  • It is imperative that all children receive appropriate welfare; The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides a child-centred framework within which services to children are located. It spells out the basic human rights that all children have, including ‘the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life’.

 

OUR COMMITMENT

  • Berry Hill Primary School is committed to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare at all levels.

PUPIL VOICE  - We are committed to using the voice of the child and we are proud to be a UNICEF Rights Respecting school.  We also use Gloucestershire’s Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) on-line survey.  Results are monitored and interventions put in place where appropriate. 

  • Our children are actively encouraged to speak about any concerns they have to a member of staff or to our Family Support Worker. In lessons children are taught to speak openly about their emotions (SEAL).  Our children know the staff take all their concerns very seriously.
  • At the start of the year each child completes a pupil information sheet (profile sheets) which can be used to identify any issues very early.
  • Pupil voice is monitored every term by a member of the Senior Leadership Team who will find out children’s views regarding their learning and experience of school.
  • Berry Hill Primary uses GHLL’s on-line planning tool (the PINK Curriculum) to ensure that opportunities for keeping children safe through discussion on key issues is carefully planned into the curriculum.

 

  • SAFEGUARDING - The school has a range of robust safeguarding procedures in place which puts the safety and protection of children at the heart of any decisions.  The school’s safeguarding team is made up of the following school personnel:
    • Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) – Mrs Sally Hunt (Headteacher), Mrs Lucy Stevens (SENDco)
    • Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSL) – Mrs R Boiling, Mrs J Reddan
  • The DSL and all DDSLs complete inter-agency safeguarding training on a two yearly programme.  All other school staff complete safeguarding training on a three yearly basis and are updated regularly to any changes in legislation.
  • Staff are encouraged to sign up for Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children’s Boards’ alerts keeping their knowledge and awareness of Safeguarding up to date and at the heart of their practice.
  • We have a designated teacher for Children in Care.

 

FAMILY SUPPORT WORKER -  Mrs Jacqui Reddan is our Family Support Worker.  Her role is to listen and appreciate parent issues and offer suggestions and advice for individuals and families. She also can sign post to other services available within Gloucestershire.

  • In terms of working with children Mrs Reddan will support on a 1:1 basis, listening and working with them in different ways, eg:
    • Anger management and control
    • Family issues: bereavement, new baby in the family, parent’s separation / divorce.  
        • Key transitions, including moving between schools/classes
        • Development of pupil self-esteem and confidence
        • Friendship issues / bullying, including social networking

 

  • SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS CO-ORDINATOR (SENDco) – Mrs Lucy Stevens is our SENDco.  Her role is to work with children and families with additional needs and can signpost parents to many different agencies including, for example, speech and language therapists, Educational Psychologist, Advisory Teachers and occupational health services.

 

  • ATTENDANCE - We closely monitor attendance and where it falls below 90% we would make further investigations to identify any patterns or trends.
  • Parents can now use their individual logins on the school website E-portal option to check their child’s attendance record.
  •  The school operates a first day response system.

 

  • OUTSIDE AGENCIES - We ensure that children who are at risk are identified as soon as possible and that we work with them, their families and any necessary outside agencies to try to ensure that the situation does not reach a crisis point.
  • The school works with the local Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to support families.
  • We have established good links with the Families First Plus team and can seek advice from the local Early Help Co-ordinator as needed.
  • Staff understand the correlation between Domestic Abuse and Child Protection; staff are vigilant, listening to the child and making referrals as required.
  • The school uses the Child Sexual Exploitation Tool for early identification and makes referrals as necessary.
  • Staff are aware about the extent of Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriages and understand how to fulfil their legal responsibilities.
  • All staff have completed the online Prevent Duty training and they are aware of their responsibilities, recognising signs of potential radicalisation and knowing how to make a referral if necessary.
  • As stated earlier, the aim of Early Help is to identify which level of help is needed and how we can ensure that the children are safeguarded and that their needs are met. We are fully aware of the importance placed on bespoke care and support being offered to individuals.                       
  • Please come and speak to SENCO Mrs Lucy Stevens, or Family Support Worker Mrs Jacqui Reddan for further information or support.