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The Academy and Merton Early Help Offer - How do I get support?
Academy Early Help Offer:
Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life.
The Academy recognises that early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children, than reacting later and therefore is central to the Academy’s safeguarding ethos. Examples of early help available to students are below.
Although, Early Help is led by the DSL, the Academy has an Early Help Team, who work full time to support vulnerable children and parents at the Academy. This team enables us to work more closely with external agencies and provide support to families and strengthens contextual safeguarding.
Meet the Early Help Team:
The Academy offers a wide range of Early Help support to ensure that students are equipped with the information and advice to help safeguard themselves and overcome any challenges that they may face either in the Academy or outside of the Academy. Our Early help strategy and offer outlined below mirrors Merton’s new Safeguarding Children Partnership Early Help Strategy.
Academy Early Help Strategy:
Some of the support offered by our Early Help Team include peer mentoring, 1:1 support, self-esteem and resilience programmes, lunchtime clubs and safeguarding workshops to raise awareness of topics such as knife crime, healthy relationships, and child sexual and criminal exploitation. Our aim is to give students the confidence needed to make good choices in life. If you are interested in your child having a specific intervention, then please get in touch with the DSL, Mrs Simpson.
The Learning Zone:
The Learning Zone has been designed to support the educational needs of vulnerable students in the Academy. It provides a quiet, safe working space at lunch time and after school enrichment activities and is required throughout the day for SEND support and intervention.
The Intervention Zone:
The intervention zone is a designated room in the Academy for workshops, intervention sessions and 1:1 support and advice sessions. It serves all students but also provide targeted intervention for the most vulnerable students. It is open at KS3 and 4 lunch times for students to seek support and advice about anything that is worrying them. Students can also spend lunchtimes in the Intervention Zone socialising with their peers and taking part in structured activities or attend drop in sessions organised by Free2be, Catch22, Off the record.
Local Safeguarding Partnership:
Please visit Merton’s Safeguarding Partnership for further information on how the Local Authority are working towards keeping residents and students who attend Merton Schools safe.
Priorities for 2019-2021 business year are:
1. Early Help
This work is part of a whole system approach and is based on a clear understanding of local need. The Partnership’s priority is to ensure that there is clear coordination and quality assurance of early help; with effective integration between the front door with a shared focus on the journey and experience of the child and family.
2. Think family: Domestic Abuse and Neglect
The Safeguarding Partnership actively monitors, promotes, coordinates and evaluates the work of partner agencies to help, protect children at risk of domestic abuse, including working effectively with other multi-agency groups that have responsibility for responding to domestic abuse.
The Partnership actively monitors, promotes, coordinates and evaluates the work of the all agencies to ensure the help and protect children at risk of neglect, this includes working effectively with other multi-agency groups that have responsibility for responding to neglect.
3. Contextual Safeguarding
The Partnership will work with all agencies to ensure that there is a highly coordinated multi-agency and whole-council approach to a range of adolescent risks that occur in contexts beyond the family home (e.g. neighbourhood, schools, local shopping centres, youth venues etc.). These risks include child criminal exploitation, child sexual exploitation, serious youth violence, peer on peer abuse, harmful sexual behaviour and other overlapping form of harm. The Partnership is aware of the risks of exploitation in their local area.