Samlesbury CE Primary School Early Help Offer
Headteacher – Lucy Sutton (01772 877200)
School Office Manager – Sandra Hill (01772877200)
Designated safeguarding lead: Lucy Sutton
Deputy designated safeguarding leads: Louise Quayle (Assistant Headteacher), Laura Greenbank
We have approximately 70 pupils on roll. We have strong links with our neighbouring schools, and with our local community. All members of staff have annually updated first aid and safeguarding training.
What is Early Help?
(Please remember that Early Help is an approach we use and not a service.)
Our primary aim is to identify needs early and to make sure that appropriate support is put into place. ALL staff recognise their role in ensuring safeguarding practices to ALL children at ALL times. We believe that information sharing and timely effective support can ensure that ALL children and families get a good start in life.
Families need support from a wide range of agencies. We recognise that other agencies will be able to support families based on their specialised work. Therefore our role is often to signpost families to the resources that will best support their needs. Samlebsury CE Primary School understands their responsibilities and as a school we will carry out our duties in ensuring the effectiveness of Early Help Services for pupils in accordance with the requirements of the Children Act 2004 and within the statutory guidance “Working Together 2015”.
In summary, these are to:
- identify children and their families who would benefit from Early Help
- undertake an assessment of the need for Early Help using the CSAP guidance where this is appropriate (CSAP - Children's Safeguarding Assurance Partnership)
- ensure signposting of targeted Early Help services to address the assessed needs of a child and family which focuses on activity to significantly improve the outcomes for the child. This involves the use of evidence based interventions as set out by the Early Intervention Foundation (www.eif.org.uk/how-do-we-know-early-intervention-works/)
- share information on that provision which is consistent with the child’s welfare and with due regard to confidentiality.
Staff have daily contact with children and their families throughout term time. All staff recognise their role in identifying needs of vulnerable children and their families need for early help. Staff are clear that acting on hearsay is not appropriate. However, all reports of concern are logged . The Headteacher, in liaison with the relevant class teacher monitors any logs which are made. A secure record is maintained as a chronology of concerns. Where appropriate the Headteacher will assess the needs of a family and this may identify that an early help assessment is required. The Headteacher also monitors attendance in school.
Our Early Help Approach
- Hearing what children have to say and using the voice of the child.
- The school can provide a neutral place where the child feels it is safe to talk.
- Sensitivity to the child’s conversation is vital.
- Staff listen carefully to what the child is saying, attune themselves (take on board how the child is feeling), validate that feeling (being alert to the child’s lived experience), contain their feeling (making their distress a survivable experience), and soothing and calming them until they can regulate their own emotions.
- We treat what the children share with us seriously, and value what they say.
- Hearing what parents/carers have to say and signposting to support agencies.
- Remember being a parent is hard work and there are no instructions.
- Sometimes you or your children may need extra support. This may be before your children are born, when they are very young, or throughout their school years. There is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for help.
- The school may be able to help you or signpost you and your family to other partner agencies such as CAMHS (Child and adult mental health service), PCSOs (police community support officers), school health etc.
- The Children’s Safeguarding Assurance Partnership provides a range of support that families can be signposted to.
Using Early Help Assessment
This starts with a conversation. As a parent or carer you will chat with the Headteacher or a member of the school staff about what’s going well and what’s not going well for you and your family, and they will let you know what sort of help is available. This is how we get a full picture about the whole family. It‘s your choice to take part in these discussions and you can choose who else should be involved. Every person and family is different, but by following these strategies it will:
- help you see what’s going well and not so well for your family
- help you and others to see what support you might need
- 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 workers
- help you to be part of a team of people working together on the same plan to get things going well again.
With your permission, people from different organisations working with your family will share information and work together to help support you and your children. This could be school, health visitors, nursery staff, school health, etc. This may then be followed by a ‘Team Around the Family’ meeting. You need to give your consent as your personal information belongs to you. Agencies can’t share your information unless you agree because your information is protected by law under the Data Protection Regulations.
You may feel your family would benefit from help from a particular service to help solve an issue. School can refer to outside agencies to help you access the service and get the support you need. This can sometimes be done without completing an Early Help Assessment but still allows your family to access early help support.
What is a ‘Team Around the Family’ meeting?
The family and workers 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 worker’ is selected- it may be the person the family see most frequently, the one most involved or the most approachable. The lead worker arranges the review meetings and is someone you can speak to at any point about concerns or issues you or your family are facing.
Valuing safeguarding training at all levels
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mrs Sutton) and our Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (Mrs Quayle and Mrs Greenbank) undergo training every two years. All other staff members receive annual refresher training at the start of the new school year. New staff cover safeguarding training as part of their induction.
All staff are provided with the following information:
- Keeping Children Safe in Education
- Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
- Pupil Behaviour Policies
- Staff Code of Conduct
- The identity of the DSL and any deputies.
Seeking advice from credible sources
The DSL or deputy DSL (or other members of staff if necessary) readily seek advice from the safeguarding partners in the event of a disclosure or if they are concerned about a pupil’s wellbeing. If a child is at risk of harm this information may be shared prior to consent being gained.
Being knowledgeable and aware
The DSL and the deputy DSLs receive alerts from the safeguarding partners, attend safeguarding briefings and keep their knowledge and awareness of safeguarding up to-date and at the heart of their practice.
Staff understand the correlation between domestic abuse and child protection – staff are vigilant, listening to the child and making referrals as required.
Sharing risk management practice
The school is fully engaged with the multi-agency risk assessment conference process (child in need and child protection), where necessary.
The school raises parents’ awareness of reasons for out of character behaviours such as becoming withdrawn, anxious, continually tired etc. to increase their understanding of the correlation between behaviour and safeguarding risks such as grooming, internet safety, bullying, aiming for early identification of pupils at risk.
Identifying risks at the earliest opportunity
All staff are aware of the risks which may indicate the need for early help – this includes children who:
- are disabled or have a specific additional need/needs
- have SEND
- are young carers
- are showing signs of being drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour, including gang involvement and association with organised crime groups
- are frequently missing or go missing from care or from home
- are at risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation
- are at risk of being radicalised or exploited
- are in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as drug and alcohol misuse, adult mental health issues and domestic abuse
- are misusing drugs or alcohol themselves
- are privately fostered
- have returned home to their family from care.
Recognising where early help is effective
Staff understand that, where a statutory intervention is not required, early help may be used to address non-violent harmful sexual behaviour to prevent escalation of sexual violence.
Understanding legal responsibilities
Staff are aware of the extent of FGM and forced marriages and understand how to fulfill their legal responsibilities.
This information should be read in conjunction with our Safeguarding Policy.