Your Pastoral Care
The School Nurse is available throughout the day, but during lesson times should only be used for medical emergencies. The Nurse is supported by a Health Practitioner during breaktime and lunchtime. Sixth Formers feeling ill during the school day must follow the same procedures as all students and report to the Nurse or, in the Nurse’s absence, to School Reception. If the Nurse feels a student is not well enough to be in school they will contact the student’s parents.
Sixth Formers should never leave school without following this procedure.
Medication (including paracetamol) should not be carried by any student in school (owing to the risk to younger students on site should it be misplaced). Any required medication should be given to the Nurse for safekeeping during the school day who will facilitate access to this.
Our pastoral support system is critical to Sixth Form. It is clear from national figures that reported mental health instances in teenagers has more than doubled since 2017. In 2017 in young people aged 17-19 years rates of a probable mental health issue rose from 10.1% in 2017 to 25.7% in 2022 (Newlove-Delgado et al., 2022). These rates are slightly higher than those seen in 7-16 year olds, and rates in young women between the ages of 17 and 24 are higher (31.2%) than young men (13.3%). It is important to bear this in mind as the transition to Sixth Form, which can be a hugely positive experience for many, but others will find it more challenging. There may also be external incidents and factors outside of your control which may exist prior to entry into Sixth Form or come to light during your time here. We have a hugely experienced pastoral team who are ready to support you with Sixth Form life, from relationship disagreements all the way through to mental health challenges. Hopefully your time in Sixth Form will be enjoyable but if you do have need of help, we feel it is useful for you to know what will happen in various different scenarios.
Newlove-Delgado T, Marcheselli F, Williams T, Mandalia D, Davis J, McManus S, Savic M, Treloar W, Ford T. (2022) Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2022. NHS Digital, Leeds. Accessible on digital.nhs.uk - find out more information here.
Tier 1: Universal Pastoral Support - Our Pastoral Team
The Head of Key Stage (Ms Tedd) and Heads of Year work as part of a wider team overseen by the Deputy Head Pastoral (Mrs Watson). As Designated Safeguarding Leads and Mental Health First Aiders they are well placed to spot students in need of additional support.
Form Tutors meet their tutees at the start of every morning and afternoon to cater for their pastoral needs and throughout the day students can drop into, or arrange, one-to-one meetings with their Head of Year or Head of Key Stage.
Students can also arrange a meeting with the Mental Health Lead (Charlotte Smith) or drop in to see our Wellbeing mentor (Molly Lane).
Tier 2: Targeted Intervention
Where a student would benefit from more specialist support, mentoring, counselling, advice from a dietitian or the expertise of an educational psychologist can be provided during the school day. Parents are usually notified, but as discussed above, students can choose to do this independently. Any student wishing to explore these avenues of support should talk to a member of the pastoral team.
Jo Hart : School Counsellor
Emma Rendle: School Counsellor
Dr Craig Joyce: Educational Psychologist PhD, DEdCPsy, MA (Hons)
Tier 3: External Referral
If you are experiencing some serious mental health issues, for example suicidal feelings, disordered eating or self-harm, and we feel that you are at risk of immediate harm, we may suggest you, with the support of a parent, present to a GP or A&E. Afterwards, before you return to school, we will meet to complete a safety plan to help you to keep yourself safe in school. This is not a punishment: we will be doing all we can to assess and mitigate the level of risk with the aim of enabling you to return to school as safely as possible.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis outside of school hours we recommend contacting 111/999 or contacting one of the charities below.
We can provide help with making referrals to specialist mental health providers and Sixth Form students over the age of 16 can self-refer to IAPT in their local area online (see useful links below). This process is often relatively quick, and can provide external NHS-funded CBT and counselling support. Students referred to external agencies continue to receive bespoke pastoral support within school.
In Partnership with Parents
Parents are encouraged to contact Heads of Year to talk through any wellbeing concern, and we value strong relationships with parents throughout a student’s time at King’s High. In sixth form, as part of allowing students more independence we will often speak directly to the students themselves to understand an issue, in addition to speaking to parents. We find, just as it is rarely best for parents not to be told about an issue, it is also rarely best for students to not know parents have been in touch!
Parents are warmly encouraged to attend our regular Parent Pastoral Forums, led by external specialist speakers and the school’s pastoral staff, delivered either online or in person on a range of relevant topics. Dates of upcoming pastoral forums are posted on the school website. We love talking about our wellbeing provision so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more.
One of the first questions students often ask us, when discussing a personal issue is, “Will you tell my parents?” School staff and volunteers cannot keep serious concerns, (where there is a serious risk of harm to you or others) confidential and are obliged to report them on, including to our DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead), Mrs Watson, parents and external agencies (such as the police or social care) if necessary. We feel it is right that you know about our obligations. In school, we only inform other staff strictly on a ‘need to know‘ basis. Staff are very good at keeping your business as confidential as they can.
However, in Sixth Form, students are over the age of 16, and if they have something called Gillick Competency (which is often used to help assess whether a child has the maturity to make their own decisions and to understand the implications of those decisions) then, depending on severity and context, we will not always automatically inform your parents of incidents. We will, however, always encourage you to communicate with your parents and offer to have those conversations together, and it is our experience that parents usually know when things are not right, and students need the support of parents at these times. In most instances students will in time choose to tell their parents themselves, but we are here to help if that is your wish. If we feel we must contact parents, we would usually speak to the student before doing this.
At school, we always want to support you and believe that, although you may not see it at the time, these procedures (including helping your parents to support you) are the best way of getting you the help you need. We have lots of people in school who can help you on a daily basis so would always encourage you to talk to someone. If you do not feel this is possible, please seek help from external helplines, some of which can offer support anonymously if that is what you would prefer.
There are occasions where we may need to report incidents to external agencies or ask you to report to external providers for support.
Early Help: A referral to Children’s Social Services Early Help may be made if we feel that there is something that you or your family need support with, for example building stronger attendance patterns, developing mental health support or maybe the need to recognise positives already in place at difficult times. (Also see ‘Mental Health’.)
Children’s Social Care: A referral has to be made where any student is considered to be at risk of serious harm
Crimes including Sexual Assault: If you report criminal activity including sexual assault we will first and foremost be here for you and suggest wellbeing support and counselling, including via external charities like Safeline. We know the distress an assault causes, and we will believe you and support you without passing any form of judgement.
It is very likely that if you report an assault or other crime, it will need to be referred to the police and usually this will be in tandem with a report to Children’s Social Care (unless you are over 18). It is always better if the report comes from you, but in many circumstances we will need to report this ourselves even if you do not. This is because we have a legal duty to report serious criminal activity, and we also have to think about keeping other people in our community safe. We always aim, where possible, to allow you time to think about and process this decision. We are always happy to support you if you report to the police, by helping you complete reports, providing space for meetings and accompanying you to them if needed. If an assault or other serious crime occurred on school premises, we will always need to report this to the police. We will almost always need to help with letting your parents know what has happened as you are going to need their support and external agencies may need parental permission before they become involved.
It is important for you to know that we cannot guarantee how, and how quickly, these agencies will respond to any report. We will support you in making the report and in the follow up, and will always keep you informed of any developments we are aware of where this is possible.
What to expect if you report a serious incident
It takes courage to report a serious incident, and we want to be as transparent as we can about how the school will respond. Supporting you and listening to your wishes will always be our top priority, so we strongly encourage you to come and talk, but the school is obliged to follow certain procedures and we want you to be aware of these.
There are many places you can go to for support in school, and you should choose someone to talk to who you feel comfortable with. This can be any member of teaching or non-teaching staff including our dedicated pastoral team. These are some of the ways we will support you:
We will listen to you and take your concerns seriously;
We will not dismiss inappropriate behaviour as “just a joke”, “banter” or “part of growing up” or “boys being boys”;
We will recognise that it takes courage to come forward and report an unpleasant incident;
We will be honest and clear with you about what will happen next;
We will take into account your wishes when deciding what action to take, in as far as is possible;
We will keep you informed about the progress of your case;
We will nominate a specific member of staff to support you as your case progresses, and afterwards, including making referrals for specialist help where appropriate;
We will take appropriate action and explain this to you and we also let you know why we are not carrying out certain actions;
We will challenge and take appropriate action against anyone who attempts to adversely impact anyone for reporting an incident.
We will with your help, assess the level of risk to you and others in school and where necessary, take steps to reduce the risk including helping you to draw up a safety plan.
Whisper is an anonymous reporting tool for students who want to alert staff about something that is happening to them or to others, but are worried about doing so. It is externally hosted, so unless you choose to tell us your name we will not know. We can, however, send messages back to you via email (without knowing who we are sending the reply to), so please do check your email and continue the conversation.
To access Whisper, there is a link on the Classlink homepage. Whisper is checked in term time between 8am – 5pm on weekdays by members of the pastoral team.
Kooth (Mental Health Support)- https://www.kooth.com/
Compass (Mental Health Support including Addiction) - https://www.compass-uk.org/services/compass-coventry-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-service/
NHS Talking Therapies Coventry and Warwickshire - https://www.talkingtherapies.covwarkpt.nhs.uk/
NHS Talking Therapies Oxfordshire - https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/talkingspaceplus/
Samaritans (Suicide Support) - https://www.samaritans.org/
Papyrus (Suicide Support) - https://www.papyrus-uk.org/ including HOPELINE 0800 068 41 41
Alumina (Self-Harm support) - https://www.selfharm.co.uk/alumina-online-support-for-mental-health-and-wellbeing
Children and Families Service - https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies
Safeline (Sexual Assault Support) - https://safeline.org.uk/