The health, welfare and well being of the young people in our care is of the utmost importance to us and the school has a range of expertise to ensure students feel secure, well-supported and looked after. Ofsted judged us ‘outstanding’ in this area.
The primary point of contact is always the student’s form tutor, who knows each student in their tutor group well. More serious pastoral issues are dealt with by the student’s Learning Coordinator (Head of Year) or by the Assistant Head of Year. The pastoral system at Oakgrove is overseen by Mr Ian Boon, Deputy Headteacher.
Our Life Studies programme is a highly structured and comprehensive course covering, not only the traditional personal, social and health education, but it also embraces environmental awareness, theories on learning, citizenship education and much more. The weekly themes in the Life Studies lessons are echoed in the school’s assembly topics.
As a school we recognise and understand that some students may be taking on caring roles at home. We strive to create a safe and nurturing environment to support our students to achieve the best they can. In accordance with this, we have developed systems in order to support young carers at the school.
Oakgrove was presented with the Bronze Young Carers in Schools Award in 2021, in acknowledgement of the school's work to ensure that students do not miss out on an education because they are young carers.
A young carer is someone who is under the age of 18 who helps to look after someone in their family, a friend, who is ill, disabled, has a mental health condition or misuses drugs or alcohol. Young carers are at particular risk of underperforming in education and so it is important that we support young carers in order to fulfil their potential whilst allowing them to manage their responsibilities or get the support they require.
There are a number of ways in which we support the young carers who require the extra support. School can play an important role in supporting young carers as we recognise that it can be a place to forget responsibilities and socialise with their peers; on the other hand it can be a place of additional pressures. As a school we aim to alleviate these pressures in a variety of ways, we offer homework clubs after school, peer mentors and have members of staff trained to support those who feel they need help to manage their responsibilities. The school also uses Pupil Premium funding as a way to minimise any barriers to education and learning experience for eligible young carers; we have a team of Achievement Leads who work specifically with individuals to ensure this is being used in the most effective way.
We are able to refer students to Young Carers MK, who specifically work with young carers across Milton Keynes to ensure they have access to the resources they require and respite when needed.
Whilst we have systems in place, we also know that every student is unique and has individual needs. Therefore, if you are aware of any young carers, or are a young carer yourself, please speak to Mrs G Shepherd who is available to talk about what steps can be taken in order to support your unique situation.
The school actively seeks feedback from young carers and families to shape and improve support. The school has designated leads for young carers and their families:
The Young Carers Support Coordinator is Mrs G Shepherd
Senior Leadership Team Safeguarding Lead is Mrs R Cooke
If you would like to find out more information or access support for young carers then some of the websites and organisations below may be able to help:
- Young Carers
- NHS Social Care and Support Guide
- Carers UK
- Children’s Society
- Young Minds - This includes access to messengers and phone lines for direct support
- Action for Children
Young carers may also use Kooth which can be accessed by all young people in order to help promote positive mental health.
Please note that the school will only share information about young carers with professionals and agencies on a need to know basis in order to support young people and their families.
Mental Health & Support
The week beginning 1st February 2021 was Children’s Mental Health week. As part of this, students were sent information as part of their life studies lessons and assemblies. The PowerPoint from the assembly can be accessed below.
If you are concerned or worried about your child’s mental health and/or wellbeing, there are lots of ways to get guidance and support. Please click on the links below if you wish to find out more.
If you do want to contact us about any concerns you may have in regards to your child’s wellbeing, please get in touch with the relevant form tutor or Heads of Year. You can also email the main school via firstname.lastname@example.org.