Safeguarding and Pastoral Support


Pastoral and Family Support

Pencombe CofE Primary and Hereford Marches Federation of Academies have a pastoral team, led by Mrs McColl, who are always happy to speak to you regarding any concerns you may have.

From time to time, families may benefit from extra pastoral support which schools are now able to provide in a variety of ways. If you feel that your child might benefit, please speak to the Head of School or your child’s class teacher. Alternatively, you may wish to contact Mrs McColl directly at Lord Scudamore Academy.

At Pencombe, we have a trained ELSA*, Mrs Kate Willis, who provides bespoke pastoral support to address any emotional needs that children may have.

The HMFA also has a Family Support Worker who can visit you at home if you wish, and can offer support with behaviour, routines and boundaries, accessing other services, financial worries, housing concerns, etc.

Lastly, all staff are committed to supporting you with all issues regarding attendance. Our aim is to promote good attendance so that children can take full advantage of all of the opportunities on offer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have concerns about your child’s attendance.

*ELSA – Emotional Literacy Support Assistant

Introducing Mrs Willis....

You may feel that your child would benefit from extra pastoral support in school in the form of group work or 1:1 sessions.

The ELSA initiative was founded by educational psychologist Sheila Burton, who recognised the need for effective preventative work with children and young people in all phases of education. There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges, and we are fortunate to have a qualified ELSA, Mrs Kate Willis, at Pencombe.

There are many different life events and challenges that can impact on a child or young person’s mental health and wellbeing. Mrs Willis has been trained by educational psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing additional emotional needs, including:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Self-regulation
  • Social skills
  • Listening and communication
  • Anger management
  • Coping with anxiety
  • Self-esteem
  • Friendship skills
  • Loss and bereavement

All ELSAs are provided with regular supervision sessions by educational psychologists, and are supported to understand how all behaviours are a form of communication. ELSAs are trained to deliver individualised programmes of support to increase children’s emotional literacy skills and give them the tools they need to develop their own problem-solving and coping strategies.

ELSA support may be delivered through group work or individual sessions, whichever is the more appropriate for your child. Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher or senior leader, while sometimes a parent will ask for extra support for their child. Sessions are fun and use a range of activities such as games, arts and crafts, work sheets, puppets, toys, gardening and sand play.

At Pencombe, our sessions take place in The Nest – a quiet, safe space where your child can feel supported and nurtured (we may go outside if the weather is nice). An ELSA will aim to establish a warm and mutually respectful relationship with your child, through active listening and providing a reflective space where they feel able to share thoughts and feelings if they want to. For children with long-term or complex needs, it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties. Support will be designed to target and support specific areas of need, and the ELSA will recognise when issues exceed the level of expertise that could be reasonably expected of them.


Resources for families

At Pencombe, we see Mental Health as an absolute priority, and not only for the children within our care. There are a number of useful websites online that are there to support parents, carers and the wider family, as well as children and young people. Here are a few useful links:

You’re never too young to talk mental health:

Support and self-care for parents and carers:

Explains different mental health problems, causes and different kinds of help available. Also includes tips for friends and family:

Prevention of young suicide:


Early Help

Early Help means providing the Right Help at the Right Time to help children and families work through any difficulties they may have in their life.

As a family or young person, there may be times when you need some extra support. If you can, talk to a professional you feel comfortable sharing this information with. It’s really important to talk…

Click on the following links for more information:

Safeguarding Information

We would also like to reassure you that we rarely share information with other agencies about your child without first speaking to you.

Even if we make the difficult decision that we need to speak to Social Care about your child we will always undertake to share our intention to do so with you unless we deem that to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation.

We fully understand that this can be a very distressing set of circumstances but we can only reassure you that we follow the procedures required by Herefordshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Mrs McColl is the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Safeguarding Manager for the federation. All Heads of School are also trained to deal with any child protection issues. Please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Goodman or Mrs McColl should you have a worry or concern regarding a child protection or safeguarding issue.

Safeguarding Team

Mrs J McColl/Mrs V Goodman

Designated Safeguarding Leads

Mrs C Ryder
Family Support Worker
Working together

Our most serious responsibility is to keep children safe from harm when they are in our care. All visitors including parents must report to the main office before coming into school.

Accidents in school

Within our team we have a trained first aiders who can treat minor injuries. If we are seriously concerned about your child in any way, we will contact you and may ask you to collect them from school or we call 999 if immediate medical attention is required. Whenever there is an accident, we consider whether it could have been avoided and whether anything can be done to prevent it happening again.

Medicine in school

The school will assist pupils who need medication during school hours, particularly where this will help a child maintain regular attendance. Parents or carers will need to complete a form at the school office for this assistance to take place. However, the following points should be noted:

Parents/carers are requested to inform the Head of School of any relevant medical history that may affect the child’s general development or performance in school. If a child becomes ill or has an accident at school, parents/carers will be contacted so that arrangements can be made for getting the child home or for seeking medical attention, should this be necessary.

School premises, security and safety

The premises sub-committee of the governing body meets regularly to discuss on-going maintenance, repairs and development of the school building. Health & Safety Audits of the School building and grounds are carried out on a regular basis.

In line with Council policy and in the interests of pupil safety, we ask people to refrain from bringing dogs onto the school site. The school also operates a non-smoking policy. For child protection and fire safety purposes, the school has a visitors’ book, situated at the school entrance to record all those people visiting the site.

In order that parents can easily be contacted, we request that they inform the school office if telephone contact numbers or address details change. We would also request that the class teacher be informed if the arrangements for collection of pupils will be different from the usual stated routine.

Pastoral care & child protection

Members of staff are responsible for the well-being of the child during the school day, as the parent or carer is at all other times. Our designated Child Protection Officer and Pastoral and Safeguarding Manager is Mrs Jan McColl. Regular discussions between all staff and parents or carers are encouraged, to ensure as full and accurate a picture as possible of all aspects of the children’s pastoral care.

Contact Information

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