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Early Help

What is “Early Help”? 

Early Help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.

It is the support given to children, young people and their families where they have additional needs that aren't being met by universal services (services that are available to everyone, like health and education). These needs may relate to anything from housing and financial support to medical provision and care.

The overall purpose of Early help is stopping problems and issues from escalating. It relies on accurate early identification of difficulties and early action which is personalised, targeted and evaluated. It involves targeted activity, with specific actions being put into place to address a specific issue or combination of issues

It may involve light touch support or more intensive intervention which is outlined in a support plan. When a plan is a place it will include with identified actions, responsibilities and outcomes, which are then reviewed after an agreed period of time.

This support may be provided at a school level or by other services and organisations that operate in the local authority.

Tiers of Need – Where does Early Help fit into levels of support?

When a child or young person’s needs are identified they may fall into one of the four categories described below, taken from Lambeth’s Early Help Toolkit (2017).

Tier 1: No additional needs. These are children with no additional needs; all their health and developmental needs will be met by universal services like schools, GPs, Children’s Centres (Play Groups, courses etc). These are children who consistently receive child focused care from their parents or carers. The majority of children only require support from universal services.

Tier 2: Early help. These are children who require a lead professional to co-ordinate support and provision of additional services such as family support services, parenting programmes and financial support and guidance. These services will be provided within universal or targeted provision and do not include services from children’s social care.

Tier 3: Children with complex multiple needs. These children require specialist services in order to achieve or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development or to prevent significant impairment of their health and development and/ or who are disabled. They may require longer term intervention from specialist services

Tier 4: Children in acute need. These children are suffering or are likely to suffer significant harm. This is the threshold for child protection.

When do children and families need Early Help?

Children, young people and their families requiring support from Early Help services might be experiencing a range of difficulties including:

  • substance misuse issues
  • at risk of sexual exploitation
  • poor physical or mental health
  • At risk or involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour
  • parenting problems
  • unemployment and financial difficulties

 

Early Help support is delivered by many organisations in Lambeth including children centres, schools and local charities. Lambeth have an in-house team that consists of Early Help advisors, education welfare officers and employment advisors who can support you to tackle your problems.

You can also make a direct referral to Lambeth with contact details and instruction of how to do this on their website. Please use the direct link.

What Early Help Support do we offer in school?

At La Retraite we have an extensive and outstanding pastoral care system which was recognised and praised in our recent Section 48 Denominational Inspection ( June 2018).

‘Pastoral care is outstanding. Pupils were happy to talk about how they actively seek to support one another and about being part of a family where everyone is valued, respected and cared for. The school’s commitment to pupils, staff, families and the wider community manifestly demonstrates its central mission of service firmly based on Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church.’ Pg3

Below is an outline of the additional support and provision we may offer your child in relation to Early Help needs.

 

Early Help Intervention

Year group/ Target Group

Summary of Intervention/Support

Form Tutor

 

 

 

All

Yrs 7 - 13

All students have an allocated form tutor who they see on a daily basis in the morning and at the end of the day. This is their and the carer/parents’ first point of contact for any issues. Parents are encouraged to liaise regularly throughout the year and via the student planner with their child’s tutor, Pastoral manager or YLC. Tutors are responsible for overseeing the academic and pastoral wellbeing of their group, they liaise with other staff at La Retraite when needed to ensure that the appropriate support is in place, as soon as a need is identified.

YLC – Year Leader Co-ordinator

 

 

All

Yrs 7 - 13

All students have an allocated YLC who oversee the wellbeing and academic performance of the whole year group. YLCs work with class teachers and subject leaders to identify students who may need additional support, motivation and guidance in relation to their studies. YLCs organise and deliver interventions such as the La Retraite Learning passport. They are also play an important role in helping students access other forms of support.

 

Pastoral Manager

KS3 Ms J Gosling/ KS4 Ms L Adams

 

KS3 – KS4

Students across Year 7 – 11 are also supported by a Pastoral manager who focus on supporting students personal, social and emotional needs. For example in Year 7 Ms Haynes runs a nurture and transition group for students who may find the change from Primary to Secondary more difficult. Ms Adams runs Anti Bullying workshops from students across the age range and has recently launched her anti bullying ambassador programme which has enabled students to take a lead on supporting each other.

 

Learning Mentors

All

At La Retraite we have three Learning mentors who work with students on a range of issues which may be impacting their academic and personal progress. Students are referred to this support and parental/carer consent is requested for those in KS3.

 

School Counsellor

All

Like many schools across the country we have noticed a rising number of students who experience undue stress and anxiety for various reasons. With growing strain on outside specialist services we have a full time onsite school counsellor. Students may access support from the counsellor through referral, this may be for short term support whilst students wait for more specialist support or it may be that a student, parent or medical professional believes that accessing support in school would be beneficial.

 

School Nurse

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.

 

St Bakhita Centre provision – personalised timetable and group support

KS3 – KS4

We have recently opened our own inclusion centre where vulnerable and disengaged students who may be at risk of exclusion or other issues may access additional support on a one to one basis or through group support. Structured group sessions run for 6-7 weeks and have a specific focus e.g. managing stress and anxiety, managing anger and frustration, anti-bullying and positive decision making.

 

Bullying Workshops and student ambassadors

KS3 – KS4

Targeted workshops which dig a little deeper than PSHCE lessons, students explore types of bullying, causes and the different effects and impact that it has on victims of bullying. Students now act as ambassadors and promote positive relationships amongst the school cohort as a whole. Students may seek support and advice from ambassadors if they are being bullied or are aware of where and when it is happening.

 

Mr X Stitch

 

 

KS3 – KS4

Embroidery groups sessions run by Jamie Chalmers aka Mr X Stitch (cross stitch extraordinaire). These sessions run every other week and students have six session in total. This group gives students an opportunity to take time out and focus on something creative and to form friendships with students in different year groups.

 

Young Carer support

KS3 – KS4

Identified Young Carers are supported 1:1 and in group sessions with a Learning mentor.

 

Home learning club

 

 

All

Supervised home learning sessions run every lunch time and also Monday to Thursday after school. This is to support students and families who do not have access to the internet or computers at home. A member of staff is also available to help student with their work.

Lunch  - Social Communication Club

KS3 – KS4

Within each year group there are students who find the social communication aspect of school life more challenging than others. This supervised group supports students in developing social and conversational skills. Students eat lunch with others whilst the supervising adult facilitate conversation and games. Tutors, YLCs and Pastoral managers may refer students who may need support developing friendships.

 

External agencies

All

La Retraite works closely with external agencies and supports students and families in accessing additional support. We work with family support workers, social workers, local police and our PCSO, CAMHS, GAIA as well as the EARLY HELP teams from our local boroughs.

 

Early help signposting, assessment and referral

 

All

We may invite parents in to complete an Early help assessment in school, we also facilitate and host Team around the Child and Family meetings in school. Where we think a student or family needs more specialised help we support them by completing a referral to the borough Early Help service.

 

 

Once we have identified a student’s needs, if we feel that more bespoke or specialised support is need we may invite you in to complete an early help assessment or request your consent to make a referral to the local authority Early Help service.

For more information on accessing support for your family from the London Borough of Lambeth, please click here.

If you feel that your child or your family could benefit from additional support from the school or Lambeth at an early help level please feel free to leave your name and contact details in the Early Help contact box below.

 

 

Early Help Enquiry Form

Early Help Enquiry Form
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