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Howitt Primary Community School

Achieve, Care, Enjoy

Early Help Offer

Howitt Primary Community School

Early Help Offer

At Howitt Primary Community School we understand that from time to time family life can have its complications and sometimes families may need some extra help. To support and advise you at such times we have an Early Help Offer.

We believe that by working together we can better support children and families. Sometimes families need support from a wide range of agencies or people, for example, health services, housing services, family support workers, social workers and local police.

As a school we may be able to signpost a range of services to support families beyond the educational setting.

Early Help services aim to both provide advice and/or intervene where there is evidence of emerging needs with the objective of preventing escalation to higher level services.

As a school we aim to identify support early and to make sure that appropriate plans are in put in place. This will require families to work with school staff and other agencies if needed. We will also use existing interventions already in place in school such as Positive Support, Nurture group etc.

If you have any questions or would just like to have a chat please contact us:

01773 713217 or














Winter Pressures

Do you need support with any of the following?


  • support with getting food (shopping/food bank)
  • collecting prescriptions
  • social isolation
  • keeping the home warm, including fuel poverty, winter fuel grants
  • home and heating maintenance issues
  • energy advice – changing suppliers or tariff
  • income maximisation and debt
  • employment support
  • eviction and homelessness support
  • reducing slips and falls – practical help
  • accessing flu vaccinations
  • health improvement services


Derbyshire County Council recognise the challenges affecting everyone during the winter, but these challenges have been intensified this year by the impact of COVID-19. People are affected in so many ways, this could be financially or it could have impacted on their health and wellbeing as they may have become lonely and isolated. The colder months can impact on everyone especially the older and vulnerable members of our community or those living with ill health or long term conditions.

If you need any support please contact Hannah Petrie on 07487844778 or Ellinor Edgeley on 01773 713217 for more help and support.   


What support do we offer?


Hannah Petrie is our Family Liaison Worker and she is able to carry out Early Help Assessments at our school (EHA). 

Hannah has worked with children and their families in various roles since 2004 in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire.  She is trained in the Solihull Approach (parent course) as well as having undertaken various courses to support working with families.  Hannah is able to support and work with children 1:1 on self-esteem, anger and anxiety and she can also support groups of children on listening skills and behaviour.


Hannah is available to contact on 07487844778.


We can offer advice on a range of concerns or we can signpost parents/carers to other sources of information, help and support (check out our school website)


As a school we offer:

  • Nurture/Positive support
  •  ‘Coffee and Chat’ session each month in the small hall where Hannah is available to chat to about any issues over a free coffee and a cake. Any parents/carers are welcome.
  • Food to take from the basket in Reception area/ food parcels
  • Breakfast Club/Evening Owls
  • Safe Speak counsellor
  • Courses/workshops for parents/carers held at Howitt Primary
  • Signposting
  • Voice of the child


What sort of concerns might parents share with us?

A wide range of issues such as boundary setting, domestic abuse, mental health issues, housing concerns, financial worries and debts, morning routines, toilet training, managing screen time, bereavement and loss, cyber bullying- in fact any concerns which you are worried about and that might be having a negative impact on your child.


How will we know when Early Help is needed?

Parents, carers, children and staff may tell us that support is required or practitioners may identify that there are emerging needs and services might be required, as there are concerns about a child.

We will assess the needs and this may identify that an Early Help Assessment is needed and the subsequent action that needs to be taken.


How will families be supported through an Early Help Offer?

Children and families will be supported and reviewed through an Early help Assessment format, which is currently the assessment process used by the Local Authority.


Early Help Support team:

Lynn Pilling

Headteacher/ Designated Safeguarding Lead

Hannah Petrie

Family Liaison Worker 

Ellinor Edgeley   

Designated Safeguarding Lead/SENDCO

Deborah McBean   

Nurture Team worker


We can meet informally with parents/carers and children in the first instance and this can be followed by completing the Early Help Assessment (EHA) if required. Following our discussion and assessment, families may be supported by a range of professionals from within school and beyond. Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings may be held in school to look at what is working well, what needs to change and to agree some action that needs to be taken to help and support families. This will always be done with parents/carers consent. The lead worker arranges review meetings and is someone that you can speak to at any point.


Gaining children’s views, wishes and feelings is central to our Safeguarding policy, and the support team may also carry out some direct work with children completing the ‘Children’s Voice’ sheet to discuss any worries, good things and dreams for the future.


In school we have a trained counsellor once a week from Safe Speak who can work directly with children on anything that is worrying children. Safe Speak work with a wide range of issues such as bereavement, self- identity, feeling low, domestic violence, stress, anger issues etc. Ellinor Edgeley (SENDCo) can give parents more information on this and make a referral if needed.

An important part of the support team’s work is to escalate concerns where there are no improvements. The school will always follow the Child Protection and Safeguarding policy in this instance. If a child makes a disclosure or if as a school we are concerned about a child’s welfare, we would seek advice from safeguarding partners. If a child is at risk of harm, this information may be shared prior to consent being gained.

The Early Help offer provided by school will be available during term time only but the Family Liaison worker will be available at certain times in the holiday for prearranged meetings and to support identified families on open cases.


Valuing safeguarding training at all levels

Our Designated Safeguarding Leads (Lynn Pilling and Ellinor Edgeley) and Deputy Safeguarding Leads (Clare Rhodes and Martyn Fearn) undergo specialist training every two years, with refresher training and updates throughout the year. All other staff members receive annual refresher training at the start of the new school year with updates and refresher training throughout the year. New staff cover safeguarding training as part of their induction.

Starting Point

If you are concerned that a child is suffering or at risk of significant harm, please contact Call Derbyshire

01629 533190


Here are some of the agencies that we work closely with:

School Health

Autism Outreach

Health Visiting Team

Educational Psychology

Behaviour Support Services

Local Police Community Support Officers

Speech Therapists 

 SSSEN service

Occupational Therapists

Children’s Centres

Domestic Abuse Services

Safe Speak (Relate)


Hearing and Vision Impaired Teams


Domestic abuse support and information services in Derbyshire: 0800 019 8668

Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Support Line has details of the provider in your area. They'll give initial advice and guidance and make referrals to these services for you. Tel: 0800 019 8668 

The support provided locally includes:

  • emergency refuge accommodation
  • outreach support in the community, including counselling, and self-esteem and confidence building sessions
  • dedicated support for children and young people affected by domestic abuse, both those in refuge and in the community
  • the ABC Project for people recognising and wanting to address their abusive behaviour, tel: 07771 379278

School Health Team:  01773 599410

Health Visiting Team: 01773 599410

Citizen’s Advice Bureau: 0300 456 8390

Derbyshire Recovery Partnership (alcohol / drugs): 0845 308 4010

 Talking Mental Health Derbyshire: 0300 123 0542


Here are some useful links: (control and click to follow link)