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Safeguarding Support

Police

Holte has a very positive relationship with West Midlands Police. Holte’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is chairperson of the Police-School Panel in the Ladywood District and Holte has always been at the forefront of combined Police-School initiatives (with the SHARP system being a prime example). We work proactively with our Link Police Officer who is extremely helpful when called upon and has assisted us in a variety of cases. Holte was also a pilot school in 2014-2015 for a scheme training Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to deliver sessions in schools. This programme runs in conjunction with Newman University and leads to a qualification for PCSOs.

The PCSO linked to Holte delivered numerous sessions to our pupils, all designed to make them safer and more aware of potential dangers to themselves. He was mentored by the DSL and passed his course with flying colours. The team of PCSOs is now available to deliver their sessions in all of the schools in the district.

Student Social Worker

In 2014-2015, Holte took part in an initiative placing student social workers from local universities in schools as part of their course. We had two students during the year (one Masters student and one first Degree student) who contributed greatly to our safeguarding work. They were able to provide one-to-one sessions; complete fCAF (family Common Assessment Framework) and TAF (Team Around the Family) referrals with support, and follow the cases through; link with outside agencies such as Barnardo’s; support parents where necessary; and gain excellent experience in a range of safeguarding cases. In 2015-2016, Holte will be taking on another student social worker to help to ensure that this successful partnership continues.

Counselling Service

In 2014-2015, Holte employed a part-time graduate psychologist who filled the role of student counsellor successfully. She worked with 38 pupils across the year for a variety of reasons, including anxiety, stress, anger, self-harm and self-esteem issues. She had a positive and marked impact on many of these pupils.

In 2015-2016, we will be following a slightly different route by working in conjunction with Malachi (a specialist family support service) for one day a week who will offer one-to-one sessions with parents and pupils, group sessions, and an all-round therapeutic package for families who need it. We look forward to establishing this partnership in the weeks and months ahead.

School Nurse

Holte employs a school nurse for one day a week. She has built up a good knowledge of our school, pupils and families. In 2014-2015, the school nurse worked with 45 pupils who had health-related needs from weight issues to asthma and from potential ‘Child and Adult Mental Health Services’ (CAMHS) referrals to pupils acknowledging a need to give up smoking.

The school nurse is an excellent resource who also works in conjunction with the school’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) team looking at care plans. She also works with the DSL, ensuring that all pupils on the Child Protection radar are checked regularly.

Walsall Education Welfare Service

Cuts to funding in 2014-2015 meant that no Educational Social Worker (ESW) was available to us in Birmingham, so we sought assistance from elsewhere and established a relationship with Walsall Education Welfare Service. We purchase the services of an ESW for one day a week, which ensures that our hard to reach attendance cases are dealt with effectively and efficiently. This has been a big factor in our Persistent Absence data consistently remaining below national averages. Through communication with our ESW (whether it is through phone call, letter, home visit or school meeting), we are confident that where attendance issues exist, they will be addressed and solved quickly.

Holte still maintains some contact with the Birmingham Education Welfare Service through the annual running of the ‘Spotlight’ scheme, which targets persistent absentees and can lead to fines for cases where there is no improvement.

Mental Health

Holte is currently one of four schools in Birmingham taking part in the Headstart scheme. This pilot project is targeting mental health issues in 11-14 year olds and is funded by a Big Lottery grant. During 2014-2015, the scheme involved a taught element for our Year 7 pupils called ‘PATHS+’; a link up with the Barnardos ‘ARCH’ project to assist families where there are difficulties; the setting up of a community network around Holte of 60 partners/agencies who can offer an element of support to families and the setting up the FAST (Families and Schools Together) programme. It is hoped that this scheme will be rolled out city-wide in the future, so Holte has a large part to play in shaping the success of the project.

Holte is also part of a join pilot project between the DfE/NHS/CAMHS that seeks to champion mental health issues in schools and create a better and quicker link between schools and the CAMHS service. There are only 10 schools in Birmingham that are taking part, so again, Holte is at the forefront of developing work in this field.

iPeace project

Holte School is a lead school in the United Kingdom for iPeace, an innovative school and community restorative programme being developed by Dr Hilary Cremin, a Senior Lecturer at Cambridge University, and the charity Alternative Resolution to Conflict (ARC). Dr Cremin researches and teaches in the areas of peace education and conflict resolution in schools and communities internationally.

The unique selling point of the restorative approach of the iPeace project is that it offers an alternative way of thinking about addressing discipline and behavioural issues and establishes a consistent framework for responding to these issues, founded on our core values of collaboration, aspiration, respect, equality and responsibility. Schools that work restoratively find that relationships are stronger and learning is more effective, and there is less need to resort to sanctions and punishments to try and manage behaviour.

 The iPeace project involves a working group of 17 staff (including teachers, middle and senior leaders and support staff from both Holte and Lozells Schools) and involves training in aspects of restorative approaches to conflict and mediation, peer mediation, a positive parenting programme and a community mediation service. The programme is run in conjunction with the Lighthouse Young People’s Centre.

The working group will seek to embed restorative practices within the school and local community and it will also seek to establish links with schools in Australia and South America, whose members are also part of the iPeace project. A peer mediation service will also be offered during the new academic year that has been accredited by the College of Mediators. Specifically, 14 pupils have been trained as ‘professional’ mediators, and this represents a significant opportunity for our young people. It has given them ‘industry standard’ mediation and counselling skills for life. The programme is also a significant accolade for Holte School.

   
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© Holte School 2017-2018