Early Help Offer
The physical, emotional and mental well-being of our children is our first priority, and we go to great lengths to prevent problems arising or to tackle issues before they become bigger issues. For example, some of our staff are trained practitioners in Pastoral Support and our Family Support Worker has many years of experience working in a wide range of areas.
Our curriculum continually promotes healthy bodies, minds and relationships, and focuses on all aspects of safety, as well as equality, inclusion and anti-bullying. We have a rolling programme of visitors, including the NSPCC, the Fire Service and the Police, to discuss with the children the risks they might face, and how they can protect themselves, or find support.
We offer support for children suffering from anxiety and other issues affecting their well-being and our mental health anti-stigma ambassadors help us to promote a culture of openness where we seek help if we need it.
Sometimes though, this alone is not quite enough and sometimes children and families will require some additional and specific support. Our Early Help services aim to both provide advice and/or intervene where there is evidence of emerging needs with the objective of preventing escalation to higher-level services.
Early Help Offer
Simmondley Primary School works to provide Early Help to those children and families in the school community with emerging needs, which may not be appropriate for Social Services intervention. Our Early Help services may involve supporting children and families both in the home and the school setting.
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 can need support from a wide range of agencies. We recognise that other agencies will be able to support children and families based on their specialised work. Therefore, our role is often to signpost families to the resources that will best support their needs.
If you have any concerns about your child, or another child at school, please email us at:
*Please only use this email address in term time as it may not be monitored in a timely way during the holidays. Please see contact details below for urgent issues when school is closed.
How will we know when Early Help is needed?
- Staff have daily contact with children and their families throughout term time, so are well-placed to notice changes or problems as they emerge.
- All staff are trained to recognise signs that something may be wrong, and they know how to monitor, explore and record issues or concerns.
- The senior leadership team monitor attendance in school and are active in their role to ensure that families recognise the importance of their children attending school regularly.
- Families may approach the school for help themselves.
- Members of our community may report their concerns to school, however,staff are clear that acting on hearsay is not appropriate. All staff will advise ‘concerned others’ to report their safeguarding concerns to Starting Point (the county’s single point access for safeguarding referrals). Although, all reports received are logged on the school reporting system called ‘CPOM’.
- The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) - Mrs Greaves and Mrs Ellison - monitor the entries on CPOM. Where appropriate, staff will work together to assess the needs of a family and we may identify that an Early Help Assessment is required. If there are immediate Safeguarding concerns it will be taken to Starting Point (Derbyshire Children's Social Care) following consultation with the Designated Safeguarding Leads in school.
Early Help Interventions: What sort of service or help might happen?
- At Simmondley Primary School, we have a Family Support Worker who provides support for children and families when needed. Our leadership/safeguarding team is very experienced and 'hands-on' therefore may be involved with directly providing support too.
- Our school website contains information for any of our families actively seeking advice and support, but we may sign-post families to specific resources as necessary.
- In some circumstances, a home visit may be appropriate.
- We might offer sessions in school, such as domestic abuse support, sessions to help with anxiety and depression, or even parenting classes/advice. We will use the skills and resources available to provide the most appropriate support that we can.
Ultimately, support will depend on what families need and might include services they already get. We will agree it with them and make sure it all joins up. Based on the needs of each family, staff will coordinate the support of the appropriate services. Where appropriate Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings are arranged to monitor the work of all the agencies involved.
Joint working arrangements with partner agencies, such as school health, Healthy Young Minds (HYM) and with the PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers), are already in place and information is shared through meetings, email and telephone communications.
Assessing, Reporting and Referrals
The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) have case management responsibility. They identify needs based on the safeguarding thresholds e.g. low level, emerging, complex/serious (Section 17) or Child Protection concerns (Section 47).
- Low-level needs can usually be managed with some intervention and without an Early Help Assessment.
- Where emerging needs are identified, the school will make an assessment using the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (DDSCP) approved Early Help Assessment Form which will and will be reviewed under the single plan format with reference to the safety and well-being grid.
- If the concern is assessed as complex/serious in the first instance, it will by-pass Early Help Assessment and will be referred to Starting Point.
Monitoring/Escalation Beyond Early Help
The Family Support Worker and the SLT meet regularly to discuss the children and families on Early Help support, and the progress that is being made. Where there has been no improvement to the welfare of the child receiving Early Help Support, and there are escalating concerns around their safety and well-being, we will step up the Early Help Assessment to Starting Point.
Following a review of a family’s needs, or at a time of crisis, it will be appropriate to escalate the support a family requires. At the stage where early intervention attempts have not been successful and a social worker becomes involved, we will continue to support children and families. Ongoing communication with all services involved continues to be essential.
Our current safeguarding recording system, ‘CPOM’, is available online for staff to record information and concerns, and chronologies are closely monitored by the DSLs who identify patterns/frequency of concerns and the actions that have been taken.
If a vulnerable child moves school, we will ensure that information is shared with the receiving school. Depending on the level of safeguarding need, it may also be appropriate to hold a meeting or have a telephone conversation.
If you are concerned about the safety of a child or you require urgent help or advice, Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190.