Kooth – An Online Counselling and Wellbeing Support Service

KOOTH is a free online counselling and wellbeing support service for 11-19 year olds in Westminster, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea.

Brief Outline of the service at  KOOTH.com:

  • Providing online only, anonymous, confidential counselling and support service, for 11-19 year olds.
  • The site can be accessed 24-7, for information, self-help tools, topics pages, news articles and static forums (message boards).
  • Counsellors, wellbeing advisors, and support professionals are available FREE from 12-10pm Monday to Friday and 6-10pm Saturday & Sunday 365 days a year.
  • There are live peer lead discussion forums Monday, Wednesday and Friday 19.30-21.00. All of which are moderated by a practitioner, to ensure best practice.
  • All Counsellors are registered accredited by BACP or equivalent, have professional experienced and are young person focused.
  • There is no waiting time, or referal for professional support.
  • It can be accessed FREE through mobile phone, tablet, or laptop/computer.
  • Young people can be linked to specialist local services for blended care where required.
  • Safeguarding is paramount, and all staff are dedicated to ensuring best practice.
  • Young people can access the site for structured therapeutic counselling, or drop in. Support does not end after counselling or if/when connected to other support.

Access https://kooth.com/ to register.

Kooth Live Discussion Forums:

  • July 2018 Monday 2nd July – Kooth Summer Songs & Beach Books
  • Wednesday 4th July – Festival Safety
  • Friday 6th July – Student Hangout: Preparing for University
  • Monday 9th July – Confidence & Body Image
  • Wednesday 11th July – VOC: Drugs & Alcohol
  • Friday 13th July – Summer Holiday Activities
  • Monday 16th July – LGBT: In the Media
  • Wednesday 18th July – Kooth Explorers
  • Australia Friday 20th July – Looking After Your Mental Health
  • Monday 23rd July – Waiting for Exam Results
  • Wednesday 25th July – Summer Food & Drink
  • Friday 27th July – Kooth Job Fair
  • Monday 30th July – Social Takeover: Friendship

Kooth also have a short YouTube video, the link to which is:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VovtBleDdUY&t=111s.

There is also a Kooth Sign Up sheet attached.kooth sign up

Celebrating Achievement at the End of the School Year

As you approach the end of another busy school year, it can be easy to forget how far you’ve come. But it’s important to reflect and celebrate achievements with your pupils and staff.

When you look back over this academic year, what went particularly well? What are you proud of?It might be a breakthrough with a student, or finding a new way to support pupil and staff wellbeing. Whatever these achievements, big or small, remember to celebrate.

Young Minds have put together some resources and activities to help you end your year on a positive note:

  • Class Activity: Here’s an activity you can do in class to get your pupils talking about their achievements this year.
  • Encourage the same among staff with this printable staffroom poster.

Gender Separation in Mixed Schools

The DfE has recently published non-statutory guidance on gender separation in mixed schools here.

This guidance, which applies to publicly funded and independent schools, follows the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the Al-Hijrah School case and will support schools on what is expected of mixed schools. Schools should not generally separate pupils by reference to protected characteristics such as sex, race or faith while at school. Any separation by reference to a protected characteristic is likely to give rise to unlawful discrimination unless permitted by the specified exceptions in the Equality Act 2010. Details are set out in the guidance.

Any school that continues to separate pupils against the guidance is in breach of the law, and this will be reported where these schools are inspected.

Safeguarding Concerns about Children absent from School

The Ofsted School Inspection update July 2018 reports on safeguarding concerns about children absent from school.

In March 2018, City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board published a serious case review of the tragic case of Chadrack Mbala-Mulo, a four-year-old boy who had learning difficulties and lived alone with his mother, who suffered from epilepsy. His mother died unexpectedly at home in early October 2016 and Chadrack did not know how to call for help or feed himself properly. He died a fortnight later of dehydration and starvation.

The review report has important messages for schools and other local agencies about thinking safeguarding and acting promptly when a child is unexpectedly absent from school.

The report is available here: www.chscb.org.uk/?s=chadrack.
As a result of this review, the DfE guidance, ‘Keeping children safe in education’4 has been updated from September 2018 as follows:

Where reasonably possible, schools and colleges should hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil or student. This goes beyond the legal minimum and is good practice to give the school or college additional options to make contact with a responsible adult when a child missing education is also identified as a welfare and/or safeguarding concern.’

Guidance: Health Protection in Schools and other Childcare Facilities

Public Health England (PHE) have published this practical guide for staff on managing cases of infectious diseases in schools and other childcare settings.

This updated guide published in 2017 provides advice on:

  • preventing the spread of infections,
  • which diseases to vaccinate for,
  • how long to keep children away from school,
  • managing infectious diseases
  • and cleaning the environment.

Click on the link to read the guide: Health Protection in Schools and other Childcare Facilities

Helping Schools deliver Relationship and Sex Education

The NSPCC’s Impact and Evidence insights series features a blog introducing a new resource to help schools teach relationships and sex education (RSE).

The resource – Making sense of relationships – includes lesson plans for teachers spanning Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 (age 10-16).

Age-appropriate lessons cover topics including:

  • transition to secondary school;
  • online safety and online friendships;
  • consent;
  • sexualised behaviour;
  • unhealthy relationships;
  • and sharing sexual images.

The resource includes a guide for teachers on creating a safe learning environment for the lessons, what to do if they receive a disclosure and where young people can go for further help.