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Early Help Offer

  1. What is Early Help?

Early Help’ means providing help for children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge or where it is likely that issues will impact negatively on children’s outcomes.

Early help…

  • Is for children of all ages and not just the very young,
  • Can be very effective in supporting a child, young person and/or their family to step down from statutory services as well as preventing the escalation of issues.
  • Is important because there is clear evidence that it results in better outcomes for children.

Leicester City Council recognises that Early help is a term that describes much of the everyday work of schools.  

Early Help in Leicester

The vision of all partner organisations working with children and families in Leicester is to improve children’s lives by working in partnership to raise aspirations, build achievement and protect the most vulnerable.

This is based on the belief that:

  • Children, young people and families develop resilience if there are protective factors in place such as: a positive relationship with an adult; good literacy and communication skills; good school attendance; and, parents in or actively seeking/ready for work
  • Children’s needs are best met when help is offered in a universal setting within a socially mixed group and early on when problems start to emerge
  • Children and young people’s needs are best met when addressed in the context of the whole family, meaning that parents/carers/siblings’ needs are addressed with consent as part of a holistic and integrated Early Help response

Early help services should support and strengthen families so that they can thrive.

The Role of Schools

Day to Day Support

Most families, most of the time, can get on with their lives quite happily with little or no outside help. If they need help it is usually provided by universal services, such as schools.

Focused Pastoral Support

All families can have times, however, when difficulties arise and they either may not recognise it or may not know how to start putting things right. Schools play a role in supporting families to address these difficulties through more focused pastoral support, which might include bringing in support via an external agency.

Early Help Assessment

For those children and families whose needs and circumstances make them more vulnerable, or where schools need the support of other agencies to meet the needs of the family, a co-ordinated multi-agency approach is usually best. In Leicester this is achieved through undertaking an Early Help Assessment and assigning a Lead Practitioner to work closely with the family to ensure they receive the support they require.  Schools should be a key partner in any multi-agency work to support families

2. School Commitments to the Early Help Offer

The following four commitments are the core elements to Whitehall Primary School’s Early Help Offer.

By implementing these commitments Whitehall Primary School aims to ensure:

  • Pupils, parent/carers and staff are clear on the Early Help support available through the school
  • Clarity for partners, supporting improved multi-agency working
  • Delivery approaches of early help support for more vulnerable families is up to date with local offers
  • Helps evidence commitment to the personal development and wellbeing strand of the Ofsted Framework

3. Early Help in Schools

The following lists show what Early Help Support is available at Whitehall Primary School:



Primary Offer

  • 100% attendance rewards
  • Attendance data monitored by assigned staff (School Attendance Officer, Educational Welfare Officer, Headteacher)
  • `Lates’ letters home treated as a measure of disadvantage
  • Letter home at 95% attendance
  • EWO (Educational Welfare Officers) who attend relevant meetings
  • Family Support Facilitator who works with families around attendance concerns
  • First day calling
  • Home visits for attendance concerns requiring investigation
  • Monitoring groups in high mobility or absence requests
  • Weekly Class Rewards for good attendance and punctuality
  • School nurse referrals for medical conditions that affect attendance
  • Wrap around care breakfast and after school clubs

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Overall and individual pupil attendance improves
  • Improvement in PA (Persistent Absence) data
  • Reduction in the number of leave of absence requests
  • Reduction in number of penalty notices issued
  • Whole school targets are met


Primary Offer

  • Extra visits/induction for vulnerable pupils to their new school
  • Family Support meetings with Health visitors / school nurse, EYST (Early Years Support Team) for vulnerable pupils in the Early Years
  • Induction Days
  • Open evenings
  • Pupil Passports passed from school to school
  • SALT (Speech and language therapists) reports and targets transferred between schools
  • Support for online application for parents
  • Transition programme with designated link teachers eg for pupils with special educational needs or disability
  • Visits for prospective families
  • Work with key partners
  • Induction with Family Support Worker

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Pupils obtain a place at their chosen school
  • Support for families with appeals
  • Family needs are met whilst awaiting placements


Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH)

Primary Offer

  • Bereavement counselling available to pupils
  • Referrals to Primary Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team (at New Parks House)
  • Referrals to CAMHS (Children, Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • Referrals to Educational  Psychology Service
  • Family Support Programme
  • Pastoral Support Programme
  • Access to `Drawing and Talking Therapy’ following a referral
  • Laura centre
  • Positive People Group Intervention
  • Play Intervention
  • Staff training in dyslexia, ADHD
  • Access to Virtual School Team for Looked after Children
  • Counselling service for school staff
  • Staff trained in Team Teach

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Pupil learning data shows improvement
  • Reduction in number of safeguarding disclosures
  • Reduction in number of both high and low level behaviour incidents
  • Increase in pupils self-help skills
  • Few if any fixed term exclusions
  • Assessments show that social, emotional, mental health needs are met eg through Boxall Profile

Staying Safe

Primary Offer

  • Relevant policies and procedures eg Safeguarding & Child Protection, Special Educational Needs, Anti-Bullying,  Positive Behaviour Management, E-Safety, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in place
  • `Bikeability’
  • Advice point and Early Help response through Family Support Worker
  • Anti-bullying champion and award
  • Assemblies
  • Care plans
  • DAS (Duty And advice Service) for safeguarding concerns
  • E-safety policy and procedures and filtering system
  • Home visits for families of children starting the nursery
  • Link Police Community Support Officer
  • Literacy champion (English Lead)
  • Parent workshops
  • PEP (Personal Education Plan) / LAC (Looked After Children) review meetings
  • PHSE (Personal Health Social Education)
  • Prevent issues awareness and training for concerns around radicalisation
  • FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation), Forced marriages awareness
  • School nurse drop ins and referrals
  • Tracking of incidents e.g. CPOMS
  • Whole school safeguarding training
  • School Buddy System / School Council
  • Warning Zone for Year 6 pupils

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Greater awareness of bullying within the community and a zero tolerance approach to bullying incidents
  • Welfare and neglect issues on Social Services caseload is reduced
  • All staff have signed and are adhering to the AUP (Acceptable User Policy)
  • An up-to-date rolling programme of CPD (Continued Professional Development) in relation to Safeguarding – 5 members of staff are DSLs (Designated Safeguarding Leads)


Supporting Families

Primary Offer

  • Translation for main community languages
  • Curriculum days / evenings
  • School-based Family Support Worker
  • Support for form completion including financial support and housing
  • Home visits for families with children starting nursery
  • Parents evenings
  • Pastoral support
  • SENCo support for families of children with special educational needs or disability
  • Access to SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice Support Service)
  • Signposting to external agencies and training
  • Wrap around care – Breakfast Club and After School Club
  • `Daily Dash’ for Foundation Stage and Key Stage One
  • `Stay and Play Sessions’ in Early Years

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Pupil learning data shows improvement
  • Uptake of support services increases
  • An increasing percentage of parental engagement




The local community

Primary Offer

  • Community events – school fairs, choir,
  • Donations from community for FOW (Friends of Whitehall - PTA)
  • Governors
  • Community Links such as Fire, Sports, PCSO (Police Community Support Officer)
  • Religious groups
  • Supporting charities
  • Evington Echo – community newspaper
  • Community Assemblies for parents ie Eid, Diwali, Rosh Hashanah, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Vaisakhi, Wesak
  • Evington Library

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Families have a better understanding of the wider community


The Curriculum

Primary Offer

  • Access to one-to-one support, paired and group work where needed
  • Themed Assemblies
  • Academic Coaching
  • Booster classes
  • Interventions for vulnerable pupils
  • Inter-school events
  • Subsidised school trips / visits
  • Theme Days
  • Extra-curricular activities eg computing, football, cricket, Just Dance, cooking, cross country, French, gardening

Measurable outcomes across key stages

  • Pupil learning data shows improvement
  • Increase in percentage of children attending a school club