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WPS - Early Help Offer

What is Early Help?

At Wootton Park School we understand that from time to time family life can have its complications and sometimes families may need some extra help. To support and advise you at such times, we have an Early Help Offer.

We believe that by working together we can better support our learners and their families. Sometimes families need support from a wide range of agencies or people, for example health services, housing services, parent partnership teams, social workers and local police. As a school, we may be able to signpost a range of services through the Early Help Offer to support our learners and their families beyond the educational setting.

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.

Our primary aim is to identify support early, and to make sure that appropriate plans are put into place to access this support. This will require working with the school staff and other agencies if needed. We will also use existing interventions already in place within the school setting.

What support do we offer?

Mrs Claire Woodbridge is our SENCo and co-ordinates the Early Help Assessments at school.

Within our school community we have experienced teachers and teaching assistants who can, when needed, provide additional pastoral and wellbeing support. We have a member of staff trained in Drawing and Talking, Sandplay, and Lego Therapy, and have a trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant.

Through regular contact with our families, parents and carers are able to share concerns and to maintain communication between school and home on a planned, regular basis if needed, ensuring that children and families are at the heart of our decisions and planned support.

We can offer advice on a range of concerns or can signpost parents to other sources of information, help and support.

What sort of concerns might parents/carers share with us?

A wide range of issues may be shared and could include those relating to behaviour and emotional regulation, anxiety, special educational needs, domestic abuse, mental health issues, housing concerns, financial worries and debts, mobility difficulties, parents in prison, parental separation, bereavement and loss – in fact any concerns which you are worried might be having a negative impact on your children.

How will we know when Early Help is needed?

Parents, carers, learners or staff may contact us regarding concerns and indicating that support is required. There may be external practitioners who identify that there are emerging needs and who contact school to suggest that wider services might be required to support a child or family.

We will assess the needs and this may identify that an Early Help Assessment is needed and the subsequent action that needs to be taken.

How will families be supported through our Early Help Offer?

Our learners and families will be supported through the Early Help Assessment format, which is the current assessment process used by the Local Authority. A member of our SEND Team can contact parents/carers and children in the first instance and this can be followed by completing the Early Help Assessment, should this be the appropriate action to be taken.  Engagement with Early Help is a voluntary process and any assessment is completed in agreement with the family.  Following the assessment, families may be supported by a range of professionals from within and beyond school. Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings will be held to review progress, identify what is working well, what needs to change and agree actions to help and support families.

Gaining the views, wishes and feelings of the child is central to our safeguarding policy.  Our team of staff in school also carry out direct work with learners, for example completing Voice of the Child.

When the family and any other professionals involved agree that the EHA and additional support is no longer required, a closure form is completed and submitted to the Local Authority Partnership Team. Families are able to contact the school in the future should they need further advice or support.

When will Early Help be available through the school?

The Early Help offer provided by the school will be available during term time only. A member of our SEND team may attend prearranged meetings during school holidays if the need has been identified for open cases.  In order to support families during holiday times, we will signpost agencies and activities who are available when school is closed.

How do I find out more about Early Help?

If you would like to find out more information about support for children and families through the Early Help Offer, please visit the Northamptonshire Children’s Trust Early Help webpage available on:

Alternatively, please call the school office to arrange a time to speak with Mrs Woodbridge (SENCo) on 01604 931139 or email

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