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Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility.

‘Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play.  In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred.  This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child.’

Keeping Children safe In Education

At West Row Academy we take the safety and wellbeing of all children very seriously.  We aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment underpinned by a culture of openness where both children and adults feel secure enough to raise concerns, feel listened to and trust that appropriate action will be taken to keep them safe.

In addition, we also aim to embed safeguarding across our curriculum as we believe it is essential that children know how to be safe and what to do if they are worried about their safety.

Our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy applies to all staff, parents, governors, volunteers, visitors and pupils.  A copy of our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is available to download here and from our policy download page:  

The aims of our policy are to:

  • Provide staff with a framework to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people and ensure and they understand and meet their statutory responsibilities.
  • Ensure consistent good practice across the school.

If you have a concern regarding safeguarding you can speak to our designated safeguarding leads:

Miss A Back

Deputy Principal, Designated Safeguard and Prevent lead, Alps Class Teacher.

Tel: 01638 715680




Miss R Buckle

Senco, Alternate DSL

Tel: 01638 715680



Mrs Becky Dring 

Alternate DSL

Tel: 01638 715680


Early Help

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 and we seek at all times 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 right at home, please feel free to come and talk to us.  We have what we call an offer if 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 would be happy to work with you and to pass your concerns on to one of the Safeguarding Leads if needs’ be. 

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 support do we offer?

Our Family & Pastoral Support Practitioner, Genine Harrison. She can offer advice on a range of concerns or can signpost parents to other sources of information, help and support. We also have a strong SENCO who can support with any educational concerns, regarding children who have additional physical, emotional and educational needs.

West Row Academy is also 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.

In addition, we offer a Nurture Club to children who benefit from a more structured or quieter lunchtime.

What sort of concerns might parents share with our Family & Pastoral Support Practitioner?

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, cyber bullying, wetting, anxiety and other mental health difficulties – in fact any concerns which you are worried might be having a negative impact on your children. Genine’s approach will aim to empower you to feel in control and able to provide and access the best support for your families.

What might we offer in response to your concerns?

Our Family and Pastoral Support Practitioner has over 14 years of experience working within the community working with Health Visiting and School Nursing Teams helping to support families and children. 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.

As a school we can offer nurture sessions with our Family and Pastoral Support Practitioner. We also buy in an outside child counsellor who we can refer the children to if additional support is required. Access to the counsellor is achieved via referrals from school staff following consultations with parents. There will be a waiting list.

Our Family and Pastoral Support Practitioner works with ‘EPIC Dads’ and ‘Raising Children’ to offer a variety of parenting courses, which allows parents time to share 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 and Risk Assessments can be used to support individual pupils. For pupils at risk of exclusion Suffolk Pupils Support Frameworks will be initiated which involve frequent meetings between school, home and pupils to work together on agreed targets. Individual or group nurture assessments will generate action plans for further interventions. In addition, children at risk of exclusion will be referred to the In Year Fair Access Panel (IYFAP)

We might meet with parents and seek permission to carry out a THRIVE assessment.  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.

If referral to the Early Help team is requested the school will work draw up the documents with the parents and if accepted there will be a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) set up to plan and action the support required through a multi- agency team.

How will safeguarding procedures be effective in supporting families?

West Row Academy has three trained Designated Safeguarding Leads who lead all other staff in safeguarding matters. All staff at West Row Academy are trained to identify and report safeguarding concerns. Where there are concerns raised the school will follow the reporting procedures. The team will work with families and all relevant agencies through Child in Need or Child Protection teams to reduce and remove 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?

Curriculum provision and additional work from outside agencies including NSPCC and the police support our children in learning how to keep themselves safe. Children are also made aware of the role of the Family & Pastoral Support Practitioner in supporting them and they may access her independently.  Class Teachers use their THRIVE assessments of their classes in order to plan activities that support the social and emotional development of their children throughout their curriculum provision.

The Family and Pastoral Support Practitioner offers parents regular appointment slots in order to support them and is available for children three times a week on a drop-in basis over lunchtimes.  In addition Genine provides half termly social and emotional development sessions with Upper Key Stage 2 pupils, which are delivered alongside the school’s Counsellor.

Child-line posters are displayed in school.

Who might the school refer to?

  • The Early Help Team
  • Children and Young People’s Services
  • The In Year Fair Access Panel (IYFAP)
  • County Inclusive Support Service
  • Counselling
  • School Nurse
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Suffolk Young Carers
  • Sendias – formerly known as parent partnership
  • Educational Welfare Officer
  • Schools SENCO
  • Suffolk Wellbeing Service
  • MASH Team (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub)

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

  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • GPs
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Paediatricians
  • Children and Young People’s Services
  • The Early Help Team
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • School Nurse
  • Suffolk Young Carers
  • One Life
  • Freedom Project
  • Housing Associations
  • Food Bank
  • Sendias – formerly known as parent partnership
  • Children’s Centre
  • Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service

When should I contact the Family & Pastoral Support?

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.