Early Help

Early Help for Children and Families at Ridgeway Academy

Providing early help to our pupils and families at Ridgeway Academy means we are more effective in promoting support as soon as we can. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to teenage years.

At Ridgeway Academy, our Pastoral and Safeguarding team meet once a week to discuss any concerns. This team includes:

Mr Bennett – Head teacher – Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Mrs Bishop – Deputy Head teacher – Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Mr Clarkson – Assistant Head teacher – Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

Mrs Trevethick – Assistant Head teacher – SENCo

Mrs McNamee – Teacher assistant – Deputy Safeguarding Lead

Mrs Gibbs – Pastoral support

Mrs Cuscito – Pastoral support

At these meetings we discuss:

How the child presents Behaviour Attitudes to learning
Friendships Family issues Additional needs
Any support they receive General progress Other agencies involved


This allows us to identify any pupils and families that would benefit from early help and allows us to help them access the services in the school and beyond the school.

PREVENT TRAINING – Radicalisation.

Mr Clarkson has received PREVENT training and has trained the team on how to identify the early stages of radicalisation and what to do. We follow the mantra;




All staff have completed the Channel online training.

Child Sexual Exploitation

All staff at Ridgeway Academy have been trained to identify early cases of child sexual exploitation. At school we use the CSE Screening tool if we have concerns.

Female Genital Mutilation

All staff have received training on FGM. Teachers know how to identify if a child may be at risk. They know the signs to look for and most importantly how to refer, following the schools safeguarding procedures.



At Ridgeway Academy we meet the needs of our children through a variety of ways:

Pupil Voice – pupils are actively encouraged to speak about any concerns they have to a member of staff or to our pastoral team. In lessons children are taught to speak openly about their emotions. Pupils know the staff take all their concerns very seriously. .

  • Children’s questionnaires ascertain if they feel happy and safe
  • E-safety assembly delivered to all pupils
  • E-safety presentation offered to parents
  • Our local PCSO conducts assemblies for E-Safety, SEXTING and other relevant topics
  • The ‘Lodge’ is available throughout the day for arranged appointments and also for unexpected issues
  • Our school council have a huge role is pupil voice and they meet with Mr Clarkson every fortnight
  • Staff CPD around pupil self-esteem and how to give ‘poker chips’.
  • Senior Leadership Team presence during unstructured times
  • School nurse offers fortnightly drop in appointments and has delivered an assembly to pupils.
  • The DSL meets the community police officer, PC Downes on a half termly basis


Mrs Bishop is the lead on attendance. She monitors this weekly and follows our attendance policy to support pupils and families with attendance below 90%. The aim is to offer help and solutions to any problems. Parents can access their child’s attendance live via Go4Schools.

The school operates a first day response system.


  • All teachers and staff know precisely how to identify and report concerns, via staff training on induction and our regular updates on safeguarding.
  • Child protection files are kept by the DSL.
  • ATTENDANCE team follow missing from education guidance.
  • All new staff complete safeguarding inductions.
  • We have a designated teacher for children in care.

We have a record of annual recording that all staff have read Keeping Children Safe in Education (Sep 2018).

Behaviour for Learning at Ridgeway Academy

The school encourages and rewards pupils for being Champions on a lesson by lesson basis

Pupils are rewarded by end of term treats and other entitlements for meeting certain targets. Our school behaviour policy is followed for pupils displaying unwanted behaviours. Parents can access their child’s behaviour for learning record via Go4Schools.


Pastoral Support

Mrs Cusito and Mrs Gibbs work with pupils and families to support their needs whilst also signposting them to relevant agencies. With families consent, we can refer families for further family support.



Mrs Trevethick works with children and families with additional needs and can signpost parents to many different agencies.

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

The DSL (Mr Clarkson) ensures rigorous and robust systems are in place within the school to ensure the safety of all of our children.

We also liaise with other agencies and people within the local community;