What is “Early Help”? The definition of Early Help on the Suffolk Local Children Safeguarding Board Website is;
Effective early help relies upon us all working together, providing local support as soon as a problem arises at any point in a child’s life, from early years through to the teenage years and into early adulthood. Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. By identifying emerging problems, sharing information with other professionals and targeting assessed need, positive outcomes for children, young people and their families are increased.
What we mean by Early Help
Early help is about stopping problems escalating. It relies on accurate early identification of difficulties and early action which is targeted and evaluated. It can involve intensive intervention or lighter touch support and is usually based on a clear support plan, with identified actions, responsibilities and outcomes, which is then reviewed.
Early help is a form of targeted activity, with a specific action or actions being put in place to address a defined issue or combination of issues. It therefore forms part of a continuum of activity in supporting families.
We recognise the importance of Early Help at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, to offer support to meet the needs of students.
It is everybody’s responsibility. Staff, outside agencies and parents working together will make sure that children, young people and their families are safe, happy and ready for school, work and life’s challenges.
Implementing effective Early Help can resolve problems before they become overwhelming and require high cost, reactive services. Early Help enables children to be ready for school and more likely to achieve their full potential. Early Help can mean better outcomes for children and families.
Ofsted (March 2018) recognised that we are committed to ensuring that pupils are well cared for, that there is a wide range of support and most importantly that all pupils are to be known as individuals. Safeguarding is effective and staff are well trained. Students are taught well how to be safe regarding a variety of topics and students know that the Academy is a safe place where they are well looked after and know who to talk to.
Here is a range of the Early Help we can offer;
|Early Help Intervention||Year Group/ Target Group||Summary of intervention|
|Form Tutor||All||All students have an allocated form tutor who they see on a daily basis. This is their and the carer/parents’ first point of contact for any issues. parents have email access to their child’s tutor. There is a “meet the tutor” evening early in the Autumn term. Parents are encouraged to liaise regularly throughout the year and via the student planner as required. Tutors are responsible for overseeing the academic and pastoral wellbeing of their group, and liaising with other staff within the Academy as required to ensure that the appropriate support is in place as soon as a need is identified.|
|Head of Year||All||All students have an allocated Head of Year who can work with students on prioritising academic subjects, working on mapping revision and ensuring that provision is in place to make the best academic progress, including supporting the student to access other help if needed.|
|House Managers||All||The House Managers are available to talk to students about any issues they may have, whether related to issues with others, specific concerns or general wellbeing. They will offer support such as talking to students who are grieving, suffering from worries or struggling with friendship issues. They will signpost to other help systems within the Academy where appropriate. All of OSA’s House Managers are Alternate Designated Safeguarding Leads and are fully trained in all aspect of Child Protection and Safeguarding. Within the team are staff trained in Mental Health First Aid and also Suicide First Aid.|
|Fire Liaison Officer||All||When a student presents with perhaps anger or anxiety issues we might refer them to our Fire Liaison Officer. S/he will meet with students weekly as a mentor. This is a step prior to referring to our Academy Counsellor and we often find that one:one mentoring from the Fire Liaison Officer is enough to help some students manage their issues, gain resilience and be able to engage fully with their academy life once more after a few sessions.|
|Academy Counsellor||All||Initially students are referred for six sessions with our fully trained Academy Counsellor who is a permanent member of staff at the Academy four days a week.|
|School Nursing Team||All||School nurses available on a weekly basis at one lunchtime, with both referrals and drop-in appointments to see students with medical or wellbeing needs who either self-refer or are referred by the student support team.|
|Zumos||All||All students have a personal log-on to the Zumos website. This is a fully interactive self-help site whereby a huge amount of information, in very student friendly format, is available to browse. Students can log-on daily to play games, watch videos, read information, read daily “feel-good” messages and look up issues that might be concerning them or their friends or family. There is a wealth of support here and plenty of signposting to further help.|
|CISS (County Inclusion Support Service)||Yr 7-11||This service is for schools and academies seeking additional support for pupils with: a diagnosis of ASD, traits of ASD but no diagnosis, social and communication difficulties, social, emotional and mental health difficulties and all associated behaviours.|
|Personalised Timetable||All||Students who have particular medical needs, whether this is linked to physical or mental health, may be offered a bespoke timetable in conjunction with advice from their hospital consultant. In addition, some students are offered a bespoke timetable to meet their particular needs, whether on a temporary basis, or a permanent basis, on a case-by-case basis.|
|Awake club||all||Lunch club on Mondays and Fridays for those students struggling with anxiety or self-image. An opportunity to get together with others and talk things through.|
A safe space within the Academy where students can come to have their lunch away from main areas on the ground floor, some of the students that attend benefit from social interaction, reduced sensory stimulation and adult support with eating and communicating.
|Young Carer support||All years||Working in partnership with Suffolk Young carers we offer one to one sessions and a drop in with our ‘schools’ worker’. Our House Managers work closely with this colleague, as often they are already providing pastoral support to young carers. The Academy was awarded the Young Carers Award; Bronze and Silver level in recognition of our work with Young Carers with Gold award pending.|
|Homework club||All years||Homework support Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday in Inclusion until 4pm. Staff are on hand to support with guidance and resources.|
|External Agency Support||All years||The Academy works closely with external agencies to access additional support where appropriate, for example, behaviour support, CAF/TAC, family support workers, social workers, Triple P Parenting programme, local police and PCSO, and Diversion Programme, Turning Point, KERNOS, CAMHS, ACCORD,|