Letters for Early Years and Education Leads re: Flu
Flu is beginning to circulate in the UK. Most indicators are still below baseline but the national hospital admission rate has just risen above the baseline threshold.
The North East has seen a large number of outbreaks in schools over the last couple of weeks and in this past week there have been several outbreaks (one confirmed as Flu A so far) with a particularly high number in North Somerset and Somerset.
Public Health England have therefore written letters for early years settings and for schools for circulation through local networks.
Please see attached letters for circulation to staff and to make parents aware.
Please also see NHS children’s flu vaccines which explains about the nasal sprays that 2 and 3 year olds are eligible for instead of injections.
Further information is at Public Health England.
Have your say on school counselling services - take the survey!
FAO Headteachers and Designated Safeguarding Leads
Survey - pastoral care and counselling services provided in school
This short online survey, co-ordinated by Public Health Dorset, is designed to help us understand the provision of services and the needs that exist. Responses from the survey will help shape and build the future provision of this vital service.
Pastoral and Counselling services provided in the school environment have grown and use many approaches to suit various and ever-changing needs in a school community. It is important that schools providing emotional and mental health support have the best and most effective methods in place. This requires adequate and appropriate support, signposting and resourcing within the school as well as from those who make up the supporting workforce around a school. Staff capacity or budgets will influence the provision but may leave a gap in meeting growing needs.
This survey will help us understand both the counselling or pastoral support service provision as well as the emotional and mental health needs that are currently being experienced by schools across Dorset.
We appreciate this is a very busy time in the school calendar and would be very grateful if you could complete the survey before Friday 6th December 2019. We are only expecting one response per school.
If you have any questions before completing the survey, or have any comments you wish to make, please contact Lucy Johns on lucy.johns@dorset council.gov.uk.
With many thanks and kind regards,
Principal Educational Psychologist
Educational Psychology Service
HLTA ..... your next step??
Professional Development and Career Progression opportunity for TAs
The Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) role was introduced in 2003 to raise standards and tackle teacher workload. Gaining HLTA status is verification that TAs meet the highest level nationally agreed standards for adults supporting teaching and learning, allowing schools to deploy HLTAs to cover absences, planning, preparation and assessment times.
HLTA Community SW have been delivering the assessment preparation programme since its inception and have a strong team of expert trainers. Past participants have subsequently received national recognition of their expertise at the HLTA of the year awards.
Benefits of HLTA Status:
Positive impact on pupil performance resulting from the HLTA role
Helps reduce teacher workload
A rise in confidence and self-esteem of the HLTAs
Good quality career progression for teaching assistants (TAs)
Verification that TAs meet the highest level of nationally agreed standards for supporting teaching and learning
Recognised by Ofsted as a positive tool for the effective deployment of support staff.
(NFER research, 2007)
We are now recruiting our next cohorts for the 3 day preparation training.
Dorchester—20 January, 22 January and 16 March 2020
Dorchester—28 April, 5 May and 16 June 2020
and in Devon:
Buckfast—24 January, 31 January and 20 March 2020
Exminster—24 April, 1 May and 19 June 2020
For more details and application forms please visit our website http://hltacommunitysw.co.uk
We are also happy to consider requests for bespoke training. Please contact us to discuss your requirements:
For further information please contact TADSS on email@example.com or tel. 01305 833518.
With thanks from
The TADSS Team
The Dorchester Coat Bank - Free Coats for Children 4 -12yrs
People from our local community have been kindly donating children's coats to Dorchester Family Partnership Zone!!
If you or anyone you know could benefit from a warm winter children's coat, please come along to Poundbury Children's Centre.
We can also organise deliveries to local schools if this helps.
Please call us on 01305 221348 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW: Children's Advice and Duty Service
We have made some improvements here at Dorset Council that we hope will improve the lives of children and families and provide better support to you as the professionals working with them.
We want to make sure that every child receives the right help - regardless of whether social care involvement is needed or not. We know you'll all agree that it is important to help families before they reach crisis point, as that's ultimately better for our children and young people.
Sometimes families need the support of social workers and when this is the case, we need to ensure that this is provided without delay. However, we also know that very often early support from other agencies can prevent concerns escalating.
Children and families have told us that, wherever it is safe, they would prefer this support to be provided by professionals they know and trust. We want to work more closely with you and your staff to agree together what support children and families need and who is best placed to meet the need.
On 2 October we launched our new Children's Advice and Duty Service. If you are concerned about a child and need support or advice from Children’s Services, you will be able to call a professionals-only number to discuss your concerns rather than complete a referral form. You will immediately speak with one of our consultant social workers who will go through these concerns with you. We'll continue to make the same safeguarding checks with partners in health and police as we do now within the current Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), but you will not need to complete a referral form. The intention will be to agree together what should happen next - whether this is allocating a social worker, family worker or supporting you in meeting the need through an early help assessment and team around the family approach. Our ethos is 'never doing nothing' so that families are supported as soon as they need help.
This has been designed with renowned safeguarding expert, Professor David Thorpe. He has worked with over 20 children’s services teams to create a single point of contact that provides better support for families and partner professionals to improve the lives of children and families by ensuring the right support is provided, at the right time. Our colleagues in Norfolk implemented Professor Thorpe’s model nearly a year ago and they have already seen an improvement in services offered to children and their families. We have visited their team and have seen for ourselves the benefits and how valued the support to partners is.
We’re really excited about launching the new service and are confident that it will help us work together to ensure that children and families in Dorset are supported at the right time, first time.
Answers to some frequently asked questions are attached to this article along with a flowchart and small and large format posters to help you publicise the service to colleagues. There is also a link to information on the Dorset Council website for the public to refer to.
If you have any other queries, please contact Service Manager, Maggie Aldwell at email@example.com or on 01305 225829. Or Susan Blizzard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director, People – Children