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Early Help:

At West Row Academy, we understand that from time to time family life can have its complications. These maybe the times when you need some extra help and support. To support and advise you at such times, we have an Early Help Offer.

What is Early Help?

Early help means taking action to support a child, young person or their family early on in the life of a problem, as soon as it emerges.  Being a parent is one of the most important jobs there is, and the most difficult.  At West Row Academy, we want to support and empower parents when things are tough.

Our Early Help Offer:

We pride ourselves on knowing our children and families well.  We are alert to the welfare of our children and families and are vigilant regarding any situation in which we can provide support and guidance. We have a number of systems in place to identify unmet needs. We seek to work in collaboration with families, with openness, integrity and understanding. The needs of the whole child is always at the centre of all we do.

If things are not right at home, please feel free to come and talk to us. We have what we call an offer of Early Help, and we are able to offer help in many ways.  Early help is the responsibility of everyone. As such, you can speak to any member of staff within the school team who will be happy to work with you and, if needed, pass your concerns on to one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads

What support do we offer?

Our Pastoral Lead is Rebecca Buckle. She can offer advice on a range of concerns or can signpost parents to other sources of information, help and support. Miss Buckle is also our SENDco and a Designated Safeguarding Lead. This means she is able to support with educational concerns, regarding children who have additional physical, emotional and educational needs.

West Row Academy is a THRIVE* accredited school and all staff are trained to evaluate the needs of the whole child in order to provide nurture and social and emotional support throughout the school day and throughout the curriculum.

There are times when we offer a Nurture Club environment to pupils who benefit from a more structured or quieter lunchtime.

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*THRIVE is an approach that supports the development of the whole child through creative activities, which seek to fill interruptions in a child’s social and emotional development that would otherwise impact on their ability to thrive.  This approach is usually carried out in partnership with parents in order to empower them to continue with the support at home.

What sort of concerns might parents share with our pastoral team?

A wide range of issues such as:

  • Behaviour management,
  • Financial worries and debts,
  • Domestic abuse,
  • Housing concerns,
  • Mobility difficulties,
  • Parents in prison,
  • Bereavement and loss,
  • Cyberbullying,
  • Wetting,
  • Anxiety and other mental health difficulties

In fact, any concerns which you are worried could be having a negative impact on your child/ren. Our team will aim to empower you to feel in control and provide you with the best support for your family.

What might we offer in response to your concerns?

Our pastoral team are experienced in working within the community including the School Nursing Teams. She has a good knowledge and understanding of children and adult mental health and wellbeing and is able to use this to help support parents/carers and children.

We also have access to a child counsellor.  Access to the counsellor is achieved via referrals from school staff following consultations with parents. There is a waiting list.

Our pastoral team are also able to signpost parents and to a variety of parenting courses such as ‘EPIC Dads’ and ‘Raising Children’. This may allow parents time to share strategies and gain confidence.

For attendance concerns support through school will be offered and if required the Educational Welfare Officer will be brought in for further help.

Outside counsellors are referred to for additional support.

How might the support be managed?

There are a range of ways of delivering support.

  • Informal pastoral support meetings with a record of conversation might be all that is required.
  • Individual Consistent Management Plans can support individuals. 
  • Risk Assessments can be used to support pupils.
  • For pupils at risk of exclusion, Suffolk Pupils Support Frameworks may be initiated. This involves frequent meetings between school and home. A family, the pupil(s) and school work together on agreed targets.
  • Individual or group nurture assessments can support us in generating action plans for further interventions.
  • Children at risk of exclusion, will be referred to the In Year Fair Access Panel (IYFAP).
  • We might meet with families to seek permission to carry out a THRIVE* assessment and tailored support. 
  • Referral to the The Early Help Team with the possibility of setting up a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) to plan and action specific support.
  • Support through a multi-agency team.

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*THRIVE is an approach that supports the development of the whole child through creative activities, which seek to fill interruptions in a child’s social and emotional development that would otherwise impact on their ability to thrive.  This approach is usually carried out in partnership with parents in order to empower them to continue with the support at home.

How will safeguarding procedures be effective in supporting families?

West Row Academy has four trained Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) who lead other staff in all safeguarding matters. All staff and volunteers at West Row Academy are trained to identify and report safeguarding concerns.

Where there are concerns raised, the school has to follow reporting procedures. This may mean the DSL team work with families and outside agencies. Sometimes this is part of a Child in Need or Child Protection team. The aim of these teams is to reduce and remove any identified risks to children.

Support will be given to families by social workers and other relevant agencies including school.

How will our pupils learn to keep themselves safe?

Our pastoral team has reviewed and altered our curriculum provision to ensure it is supporting our children in learning how to keep themselves safe.

In addition to onsite staff we sometimes work with colleagues from outside agencies. For example: the NSPCC, the police and CEOP.

Children are made aware of the role of the pastoral team and may access these adults independently. Class teachers use a whole class THRIVE assessment to gain an overall picture of their class and then plan activities to support the social and emotional development of a specific cohort through their tailored curriculum provision.

Who might the school refer to?

Signposting: agencies the school might suggest as sources of further support

When should I contact the pastoral support team?

Contact us when you have a concern which is affecting your child(ren). We will always try to see you quickly or to give you a call to find out what the problem is and arrange to meet and discuss it with you.