SAFEGUARDING ALERT – CHAT AVENUE
A Walsall primary has shared a concern regarding the above site where it appears that indecent pictures were sent to children, please be vigilant.
GUIDANCE RE NOROVIRUS
As a result of the increase in Norovirus cases, the following guidance has been issued to assist Schools with this outbreak.
The school will be taking part in a jointly run operation between Walsall Council, and West Midlands Police, it is called Operation Encompass. Encompass has been set-up to help schools to provide support to children who have been present at incidents of domestic violence. We know that children can be significantly physically or emotionally harmed when they are involved in, present or witness to domestic violence. Lee Cross and Bev Bailey are our key named staff.
CONCERNS AROUND A “YOU TUBER”
Parents and Carers are advised of the following safeguarding concern raised by a local Primary School.
A Youtuber called Chad Wild Clay posts Youtube videos that look and sound very child friendly but when you watch them they are actually about weapons – knives, knuckle gloves that can have blades attached, concealed knives in everyday objects. The most concerning thing is that these videos are targeting younger children and there is no age restriction attached. The most concerning thing is that if parents glanced at the youtube video they would think it is suitable for their children to watch as it is just like the videos where children are opening surprise toys.
INFORMATION AROUD MENTAL HEALTH
Parents/Carers may find the following posters helpful which identifies 10 ways to help your child look after their mental health, 8 ways a child’s anxiety shows up as something else and self regulation coping strategies.
NEWS FROM THE BEACON
We will post monthly any articles from The Beacon which we feel parents and carers will find useful (a copy of the previous report from the Beacon is below).
School holiday program has been finalised
The Beacon YP service is based at 30 Station Street and is open every Monday. We have decided on a set school holiday programme that is available to young people who require support and guidance. Please see attached poster to promote to young people and distribute in your services. Young people can be encouraged to drop in at any time during school term time for a tea, coffee, game of pool or table tennis, whilst enquiring about drugs or alcohol.
1st Solihull Approach – Understanding your child 10 week group programme completed
In December we completed our 1st Solihull Approach group programme. The group programme is made of Solihull Approach modules but has been tailored for parents of young people that use drugs and/or alcohol.
Excellent feedback was received and our facilitators Jacquie and Louisa plan to start the next course some time in April. If you are supporting parents that would benefit from attending the next course. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Supporting young people at risk from parental drug or alcohol use
More and more we are supporting young people as young as 8 years old, to understand addiction, build resilience, keep safe and recognise hazards as a result of parental drug and/or alcohol use. If you have any young people that may benefit from this support, please get in touch and complete our referral form.
The Beacon YP resources and drug leaflets
Please get in touch if you need young person’s drug and alcohol related leaflets or information. This email also contains two versions of our poster that can be printed.
Drug Use Screening Tool (DUST) and Substance Misuse Awareness training is available at request.
Please get in touch if you would like to request some professionals training for your service.
Research, Policy & Guidance
More than two thirds of the 338,000 children referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in 2017/18 (69 per cent) did not receive treatment within a year, research has found.
This survey series provides England’s best source of data on trends in child mental health. [Includes data on alcohol and drug use in the chapter on Behaviours, lifestyles and identities (PDF) ] | NHS Digital, UK
In the UK it can seem that the harm reduction resources on offer mainly utilise scaremongering tactics, using pictures of a people bleeding through their eyes as the word PARANOIA flashes across the screen | VICE, UK
Issues around children and young people’s drinking (CYP) are never far from the headlines, and certainly well-publicised declines in CYP’s drinking have continued to attract media attention. However efforts to further protect CYP from alcohol harms appear to remain a policy priority despite challenges over evidence gaps and communication challenges | Alcohol Policy UK, UK
Local agencies still don’t fully understand the scale of and risks posed by “county lines” drug running and other forms of child criminal exploitation, and must learn lessons from past child sexual exploitation (CSE) cases if they are to tackle the issue, a report has found | CYPNow, UK
Children will be recruited as young inspectors as part of a government initiative to give them a say over how national youth initiatives are run
£10.5 million funding awarded to local projects to support adults and children impacted by alcohol | PHE, UK
A guide for local authorities and substance misuse services to help them work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children | PHE, UK
The Health Survey for England (HSE) monitors trends in the nation’s health and care. It provides information about adults aged 16 and over, and children aged 0 to 15, living in private households in England. The survey is used to monitor overweight and obesity and to estimate the proportion of people in England who have certain health conditions and the prevalence of risk factors and health related behaviours, such as smoking and drinking alcohol | NHS Digital, UK
Usage of apps that help cope with anxiety, self-harm and depression has soared recently| Guardian, UK
Some 80% of young people will experience a traumatic event by the time they become an adult. Here’s how teachers and parents can support them | Conversation, Australia
Rose describes how she collapsed after smoking a ‘legal high’ at a music festival. She reflects honestly about her experience. At 16, Rose attended a music festival with some friends, and was offered a ‘legal high’ called ‘Pandora’s Box’ | BBC Teach, UK
Between 2013/14 and 2016/17 specialist drug and alcohol misuse services for children and young people spending reduced by 25%, while expenditure for treatment for drug misuse in adults was cut by 21% | ITV, UK
The number of young people who are ruining their livers – and their lives – is on the rise | BBC THree, UK
Campaign dispels myth that introducing alcohol earlier encourages adult moderation | Guardian, UK
Young drivers need more education about how long it takes the body to process alcohol, a district judge has said | BBC, UK
Everyone is buying drugs via Snapchat, WhatsApp and Kik. But what are the benefits and pitfalls? | VICE, UK
Suggested Homework activity from Mr Hubbard
We all like to be told when something has gone well. Last year was our best ever and we have by far the best staff team it has been my pleasure to work with. As a school leadership team we try and give our staff as much praise as we can but research show that the most powerful praise for staff comes from the young people themselves.
It would be much appreciated if you could get your child to write a brief ‘thank you’ note to the staff that have made the most difference to them over the past year. How and why has this member of staff improved their experiences at Elmwood?
FRIENDS OF ELMWOOD
All parents and carers are warmly welcomed to Elmwood School and are invited to join the ‘Friends of Elmwood’ group. Regular coffee mornings and invitations to other events are made throughout the year. Our work with parents and carers was recognised with the the Leading Parent Partnership Award in 2013 which was reconfirmed following reassessment in November 2016.
The School was recognised for its range of involvement with external agencies, the regular and varied sessions for parents to come together, how parental engagements forms a key part of the School’s Raising Achievement Plan and the celebration of achievement for both pupils and parents.
Three parents met with the Assessor and stated how pleased they were with the level of support they receive, the high level of confidence in staff and the supportive environment the School offers. Parents appreciated the termly attainment and progress meetings and feel well informed about their child’s academic achievements. The new technological methods of communicating such as the use of ‘MarvellousMe’ was praised and parents felt that their views and feedback were taken into consideration when making decisions.
Our certificate is now proudly displayed in reception for all to see Parents can access can access the LPPA website by clicking on the link below in addition to reading our final report: http://www.lppa.co.uk/
We employ two Family Welfare Officers who are there to help support any parent or carer who needs help and guidance.
The School have subscribed to a fun and motivational tool that supercharges family conversations about school and facilitates better at home support. It helps families to celebrate their child’s good work and reinforces positive behaviours. All parents and carers who have access to a smartphone, tablet or computer are provided with individual log ins enabling them to be kept informed of their child’s activities and achievements at school.
The link to the site is: www.marvellousme.com.
A quick reference guide answering common questions like joining up, logging back in and seeing a child’s history can be found below.
THE PREVENT STRATEGY
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. An information leaflet explaining what this entails is on the leaflet below. If you have any questions or concerns about the Prevent strategy and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school. Our Single Point of Contact (Prevent Lead) is Mr Simon Hubbard with Bev Bailey, Family Welfare Officer as Deputy SPOC.
LAUNCH OF EDUCATE AGAINST HATE
The Government has launched the above website http://educateagainsthate.com – which is designed to equip parents as well as schools with the information, tools and resources needed to recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people.
CHILDREN AND SEXTING
Sharing information online is now part of everyday life. Digital devices can capture, store and share personal information in an instant. We are all at risk of oversharing personal and private information but none more so than children. Children are at risk of sharing too much personal information with strangers and with other children. Most children use the internet to explore social and personal relationships safely, but it is all too easy to be put at risk. Keeping children safe on line is of paramount importance; further details on becoming a ‘Gooseberry Guru’ can be found on our safeguarding page.
Sexual exploitation is a crime that parents and carers should be aware of. Support can be found by clicking here.
COPING WITH SELF HARM
Below is a useful document that parents and carers may find useful in coping with self harm.
FREE ONLINE RESOURCE FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
MindEd for Families is a vital online resource providing evidence-based advice and information for family members concerned abut their child’s mental health. The site has been developed in partnership with YoungMinds and co-written with parents and carers. The resources are engaging, ineractive and accessible on all mobile and tablet devices. Find out more – www.minded.org.uk/families.
All parents and carers are warmly invited to come along to coffee mornings. A number of parents/carers and outside organisations have previously enjoyed coffee mornings as you can see from the pictures below.
Our Family Welfare Officers have tried to incorporate an event or a speaker at the coffee mornings but the preferred option from parents and carers is for a more relaxed informal event where they can speak to each other about their day to day lives, offer each other advice and use the time to catch up. Events held during the year have included Contact a Family (stress management), Safer Internet Day, Fund Raising and Sports Day.
PACE training was delivered at our coffee morning being held on 9th October at 9.30. Parents/carers were encouraged to attend as many children are online and they may not be aware of who they are speaking with. Parents against child exploitation was an informative workshop aimed at supporting families to keep their children safe.
Our School Nurse attended our latest coffee morning on Wednesday 6th February 2019 at 9.30 am and was able to advise on services that were available for both parents and students.
SCHOOL MEAL MENU
Please be aware that new guidance has been introduced with regards to non payment of school meals. Details are contained within the letter from Walsall Council below.
FREE BOILERS – the Free School Meals Team have been working in partnership with British Gas who want to help families who need help with their heating by saving money on utility bills and free boilers for FSM eligible households. If you want more information about this scheme please contact Scott Southall on 01922 658373.
CONTACT A FAMILY BULLETIN
Inside the latest newsletter from Contact are details about £2 Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime tickets, a free Kids to Adultz event at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Universal Credit campagin and Kids Short Breaks.
Any parent or carer who needs advice or information on any issue can call the helpline number 0808 808 3555.
FRANK F HARRISON BIKE LIGHT PROJECT
The above is a positive early intervention engagement project which is available to any of our young people. Frank F Harrison Community Association manages the MotoX facility which has a good size main scrambling track as well as a small training track for developing riding skills. The programme runs for 10 weeks and the aim is to provide positive activities, improve confidence and self esteem, increase learning opportunities, enable young people to take on roles of responsibility and inspire them to achieve. Please complete the application form and return to School if you wish to apply for the project. Bike Light Project Referral Form
SUCCESSFUL COMPUTER BID
Our Family Welfare Officer, Bev Bailey, was successful in securing six laptops through the Area Partnership funding for Walsall. The laptops are available for use by parents and carers when needed for such things as writing a CV, searching for jobs, housing etc. Parents and carers can either phone and book an appointment slot or use them during coffee mornings.
HEAD’S TOXIC CHILDHOOD PRESENTATION
Mr Hubbard, Headteacher, has produced a presentation for parents/carers around the Toxic Child book by Sue Palmer. A copy of this presentation is available below and Mr Hubbard will happily speak to any parent or carer who has any questions raised from the presentation.
REFERRAL TO WALSALL PSYCHOLOGY HUB (WPH)
If a child in School is displaying negative behaviours at home and does not fit the CAMHS remit or has a diagnosis of autism/extreme behaviour, our Family Welfare Officers are able to speak and pass details onto WPH. Parents are always contacted in the first instance for their consent and given an explanation as to the role of WPH. WPH will then contact the parents to arrange a suitable appointment.
If a parent is struggling with some form of low level mental health, anxiety, depression, worries or bereavement, our Family Welfare Officers can recommend the parent to the WPH. The parent has to phone and make an appointment. If School feel that the appointment needs to be more urgent we can consult with WPH. A number of sessions are usually offered to parents.
Case study a) – one family on long term child protection, parents needs not met, a counselling service was offered to mom. Due to the relationship with Family Welfare Officer and parent, WPH was offered. Mom was supported with making the appointment. Support given to attend appointment. Mom is able to talk about trauma from the past going back to when she was a young girl. Mom is enjoying attending sessions and feels it is benefitting her.
Case study b) – a Year 10 puil was showing some signs of anxiety which was manifesting in negative behaviours at home. The anxiety was around difficulties he was having outside of School and he was bottling this up continuously and resulting in Children’s Services being contacted and Police involvement. Several visits were made to WPH to discuss and talk through these anxieties. This has resulted in an improvement in his emotional state. Parent accompanied the pupil to all of the appointments.
WPH are based at The Haven, 55 Upper Forster Street, Walsall WS4 2AB. Telephone 01922 649000 from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
All pupils have access in School to a staff mentor – do you know who your child’s is? Check out our new mentoring form on the Letters and Forms page.
All staff have been allocated an attendance buddy who is responsible to verbally welcome back that pupil after a period of absence. This way pupils feel valued upon their return and helps to generate a greater sense of belonging within Elmwood’s Learning Community.
Is a new and exciting project offering support, advice and guidance to help improve your life. Please see attached leaflet from Manor Farm Community Association for more information. Manor Farm leaflet
LOCAL YOUTH CLUBS
Parents and Carers may be interested in finding out more about youth clubs in the local area – details of which can be accessed by clicking here.