What is Early Help?

Early Help means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge or where it is likely that issues will impact negatively on children’s outcomes.

Early Help…

  • is for children of all ages and not just the very young,
  • can be very effective in supporting a child, young person and/or their family to step down from statutory services as well as preventing the escalation of issues.
  • is important because there is clear evidence that it results in better outcomes for children.

Leicester City Council recognises that Early Help is a term that describes much of the everyday work of schools.

Early Help in Leicester

The vision of all partner organisations working with children and families in Leicester is to improve children’s lives by working in partnership to raise aspirations, build achievement and protect the most vulnerable.

This is based on the belief that:

  • Children, young people and families develop resilience if there are protective factors in place such as: a positive relationship with an adult; good literacy and communication skills; good school attendance; and, parents in or actively seeking/ready for work
  • Children’s needs are best met when help is offered in a universal setting within a socially mixed group and early on when problems start to emerge
  • Children and young people’s needs are best met when addressed in the context of the whole family, meaning that parents/carers/siblings’ needs are addressed with consent as part of a holistic and integrated Early Help response

Early Help services should support and strengthen families so that they can thrive.

For a quick guide to Early Help see here Early Help at a glance

For more information see our Early Help offer Fosse Mead Early Help Policy 23-24

The different roles in our removing barriers to learning team can be found here Removing barriers to learning team at Fosse Mead

Day to Day Support

Most families, most of the time, can get on with their lives quite happily with little or no outside help. If they need help it is usually provided by universal services, such as schools.

Focused Pastoral Support

All families can have times, however, when difficulties arise and they either may not recognise it or may not know how to start putting things right. Schools play a role in supporting families to address these difficulties through more focused pastoral support, which might include bringing in support via an external agency.

Early Help Assessment

For those children and families whose needs and circumstances make them more vulnerable, or where schools need the support of other agencies to meet the needs of the family, a coordinated multi-agency approach is usually best. In Leicester this is achieved through undertaking an Early Help Assessment and assigning a Lead Practitioner to work closely with the family to ensure they receive the support they require. Schools should be a key partner in any multi-agency work to support families.

The following four commitments are the core elements to Fosse Mead Primary Academy’s Early Help Offer. Through these, we aim to ensure:

  • Pupils, parent/carers and staff are clear on the Early Help support available through the school
  • Clarity for partners, supporting improved multi-agency working
  • Delivery approaches of Early Help support for more vulnerable families are up to date with local offers
  • Commitment to the personal development and well-being strand of the Ofsted Framework

Our Offer

  • Attendance data is monitored by the Headteacher, Inclusion Manager and Educational Welfare Officer
  • EWO (Educational Welfare Officer) attends regular threshold meetings
  • First day texting and calling
  • Home visits for attendance concerns requiring investigation carried out by Education Welfare Officer at the school’s request
  • Weekly Class Rewards for good attendance and punctuality
  • School nurse referrals for medical conditions that affect attendance.
  • 2020 – support for children self-isolating due to Covid-19

Measurable outcomes across key stages:

  • Overall and individual pupil attendance improves
  • Improvement in PA (Persistent Absence) data
  • Reduction in number of leave of absence requests
  • Reduction in number of penalty notices issued
  • Improvement in punctuality
  • Whole school targets are met

Our Offer

  • Extra visits / induction for vulnerable students to their new school
  • SENCo meetings with Health visitors / school nurse, EYST (Early Years Support Team) for vulnerable pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage before entry to school
  • Induction Days
  • Support for online application for parents
  • Transition programme with designated link teachers e.g. for pupils with special educational needs or disability
  • Visits for prospective families
  • Work with key partners

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Pupils obtain a place at their chosen school
  • Support for families with appeals
  • Family needs are met whilst awaiting placements

Our Offer

  • Referrals to Primary Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team (at New Parks House)
  • Referrals to CAMHS (Children, Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • Referrals to Educational Psychology Service
  • Family Support worker support
  • Pastoral Support Programme for individuals and small groups
  • Nurture provision for pupils with specific difficulties
  • Access to Virtual School Team for Looked after Children
  • Counselling service for school staff

Measurable outcomes across key stages:

  • Pupil learning data shows improvement
  • Reduction in number of safeguarding disclosures
  • Reduction in number of both high and low level behaviour incidents
  • Increase in pupils self-help skills
  • Reduction in fixed term exclusions

Our Offer

  • Relevant policies and procedures e.g. Safeguarding, Child Protection, Special Educational Needs, Anti-Bullying,  GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in place
  • Advice point and Early Help response through SENCo
  • Commitment to anti-bullying champion
  • Assemblies on themes around staying safe e.g. ‘Stranger Danger’ ‘Anti-bullying’
  • Care plans for vulnerable pupils and individual healthcare plans for pupils with medical needs regularly monitored and reviewed with SENDCo
  • ‘Bikeability’ programme for road safety
  • EVOLVE system to ensure safety on school trips
  • DAS (Duty and Advice Service) for safeguarding concerns
  • E-safety policy and procedures and filtering system
  • Home visits for families of children starting nursery and reception
  • PEP (Personal Education Plan) and LAC (Looked After Children) review meetings led by designated safeguarding teacher
  • Prevent issues awareness and training for concerns around radicalisation
  • FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), CSE (Child Sexual exploitation), Forced marriages awareness and training
  • School nurse drop-ins and referrals
  • Tracking, recording and analysis of incidents e.g. through CPOMS
  • Annual whole school safeguarding training

Measurable outcomes across key stages:

  • Increase in turn-over of families accessing Social Services / Family Support Worker
  • Welfare and neglect issues on Social Services caseload is reduced
  • An up-to-date rolling programme of CPD (Continued Professional Development) in relation to Safeguarding / Training for all staff

Our Offer

  • Open door policy from school leaders
  • Support for form completion including financial support and housing
  • Home visits for families with children starting nursery and reception
  • Parents meetings twice an academic year
  • Daily contact with parents
  • Pastoral support from Inclusion Manager
  • SENCO support for families of children with special educational needs or disability
  • Access to SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice Support Service)
  • Signposting to external agencies and training
  • Family Support Workshops led by Family Support Worker

Measurable outcomes across key stages:

  • Pupil learning data shows improvement
  • Uptake of support services increases
  • An increasing percentage of parental engagement

Free Online Parenting/Support Courses

The courses include the same content as you would receive in a typical face-to-face parenting group run by health visitors. They are available in 108 languages, with voiceovers in English and Urdu. Each course has a number of different components, and they can be accessed at any time and any place.

Leicestershire Single Sided Interactive.pdf

The courses include:

  • Understanding pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby
  • Understanding your baby
  • Understanding your child – 0-19 years
  • Understanding your child with additional needs
  • Understanding the impact of the pandemic on your teenager
  • Understanding your teenager’s brain
  • Understanding your brain
  • Understanding your child’s feelings
  • Understanding your child’s mental health and wellbeing
  • Understanding your relationships
  • Further courses are currently in development, including a specific course for supporting children and young people with possible neurodevelopmental conditions.

Our Offer

  • Access to one-to-one support, paired and group work where needed
  • Themed Assemblies
  • Academic coaching
  • Interventions for vulnerable pupils
  • Citizenship and PSHE delivery
  • Votes for Schools to develop pupils understanding of social issues while developing oracy skills
  • Commitment to No Outsiders program to meet all the requirements of the Equality Act.

Measurable outcomes across key stages:

  • Pupil learning data shows improvement
  • Improved behaviour outcomes