Woodlands School

Support and Training for Families

Early Help Support

At Woodlands School staff are trained in recognising the signs of Child Abuse and Extremism and are committed to and know the benefit of Early Help as a way of supporting families and young people before their needs become acute and Social Care or other specialist intervention may be necessary.

The school has a range of robust safeguarding procedures in place which puts the safety and protection of children at the heart of any decisions. The school’s safeguarding team is made up of the following school personnel:

  • Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) – Mrs Karen Haworth
  • Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) – Mrs Sarah Peachey
  • Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL) – Miss Charlotte Weber

The DSL and all DDSLs complete inter-agency safeguarding training on a two yearly programme. All other school staff complete safeguarding training on a three yearly basis and are updated regularly to any changes in legislation.

Reporting Concerns

The school uses CPOMS (Child Protection Online Management System) to record, monitor and report all safeguarding and pastoral concerns. 

It is school policy that at a member of the safeguarding team will be on site at any one time and that one of these must be the DSL or a DDSL. This enables all concerns to be reviewed by at least two members of the team at any one time and an appropriate course of action decided upon. 

The primary aim of the school’s Early Help systems is to try to intervene early with families before it gets to the stage when a child may be at risk of harm.

Involvement of Families

The school will always involve the family in all Early Help strategies and most will only be put in place with their permission. The school will aim to work with families in a supportive, non-judgemental way so that trust is built up and the best possible outcomes achieved. 

There are occasions, however, when the school’s safeguarding team or member of school staff may believe that a child may be at immediate risk of significant harm and that by informing the parents/carers of the concern may put the child at further risk. In these cases the school will implement section 47 procedures. This will involve an immediate referral to social care without the parents/carers knowledge. 

School Indicators for Children or Families That May Require Early Help

The following list provides examples of areas where, without intervention a family may break down or a child may be put a risk of neglect, emotional, physical or sexual harm. This also includes the risk of extremism. The school has no pre-prescribed criteria for supporting children and families. Each case is assessed according to needs and a bespoke programme put in place for that child and/or family: 

  • Low parenting skills
  • Poor diet – obesity, malnourished
  • Low income or poverty
  • Transport
  • Limited community integration
  • Young carer
  • Substance/alcohol abuse
  • Breakdown in family relationships
  • Domestic abuse
  • Breakdown in community relationships
  • Special Educational Needs (refer to local and school offer)
  • Child mental health
  • Isolation
  • Adult mental health
  • Disability of a child
  • Disability of an adult
  • Bereavement
  • Poor attendance and punctuality
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Poor behaviour and risk of exclusion
  • Child unaware of how to keep themselves safe online
  • Child unaware of danger and how to keep themselves safe
  • Child demonstrates sexualised behaviours
  • Frequent house or school moves
  • Extremist views
  • Involved in anti-social or criminal activity
  • Is associated with gangs
  • Frequently goes missing from care of from home
  • At risk of modern slavery, trafficking or exploitation
  • Has returned home to their family from care
  • Is privately fostered

Following the identification of a family who may require Early Help the school will seek to gain consent from the family to engage with the services who may be best placed to support them.

The levels of needs for each family is assessed on an individual basis and different levels of services can be accessed as a result.

Universal – All children

  • Family
  • Friends
  • School Staff
  • Governors
  • Community Clubs (i.e. sports, arts etc.)

Community - Child or family need extra support

  • Family Support Worker
  • School Safeguarding Team
  • Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
  • Police
  • GP
  • Health Visitor
  • Midwife
  • School Nurse
  • Food Bank
  • School Staff
  • LA SEN Team
  • LA Transport Team
  • Churches and Religious Leaders
  • Housing
  • Landlords
  • Young Carers
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Job Centre
  • Traveller Support Services
  • Army Support Services
  • Interpreters
  • Children’s Centres
  • Communication with Previous Settings
  • Channel Programme

Specific - Child or family need specialist support

  • School Safeguarding Team
  • Social Care (Initial/Core Assessment)
  • Parenting Courses 
  • Paediatrician
  • Counselling
  • 1:1 Therapy from specialist therapists
  • Children and Young People’s Services (CYPS)
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Education Psychologist
  • The Samaritans
  • Child Online Protection and Exploitation Centre (CEOP)
  • Channel Programme 

Acute - Child or family need a high level of support to prevent harm

  • Social Care – Child Protection (CP), Child in Need (CIN)
  • School Safeguarding Team
  • Social Worker
  • Police – Police Protection Order (PPO)
  • Courts – Care Proceedings
  • Counselling
  • Therapy

Please contact school if you require any help or support from school staff.