Florence Melly Community Primary School
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Our ‘Safe and Well’ Calls and ‘Home Visits’!

Good afternoon. I hope that this message reaches you all safe and well. I appreciate the immense pressure that you are all under, trying to juggle your own work commitments, looking after children, running a household and home schooling – that is certainly no mean feat! I just want to say that you are all doing an amazing job and we cannot thank you enough for taking the advice on board, staying at home and staying safe. You are all superstars! I am keeping everything crossed and hope that we can safely reopen in the near future. I want nothing more than to have the children back in school. I know that many of you are finding it hard, it is tough for us all at the moment but if we stick together, support each other, we will soon be through this and we can try to get some normality back into our lives.

I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why some you have been receiving ‘safe and well’ telephone calls or even ‘home visits’ from our dedicated team. I would like to clarify why this is.

We have a brilliant remote learning platform where our staff post a whole host of exciting tasks and lessons for the children to tackle each and every day. Our staff spend all day replying, encouraging and providing feedback on this platform. We can see who has viewed our posts and we monitor who is engaging and interacting. When we notice a lack of engagement, this triggers a response from our staff and they start to monitor those individuals more closely. By posting and engaging every day on Dojo, you provide us with a daily attendance register for your child – it shows us that everything is ok and that no further safeguarding work is required. It is when this doesn’t happen, we start to worry!

If you do not interact, we wait a day (unless we have significant concerns) and we then give you a call. This is a ‘safe and well’ call. These are just us checking in to see if everything is ok and to discuss whether you have any concerns that we can help with. We normally have a chat with both you (the parent/carer) and the child. During this call, we will encourage you to interact with our Class Dojo platform. Most of the time, we do not need to escalate our concerns any further. We appreciate that many of you may have busy jobs, you may be having a little break from the demands of home schooling or may be unwell and cannot get to what has been set that day. If this is the case, just let us know. Communication is key and I cannot emphasise how important it is. If we do not see you interacting, we worry and our safeguarding procedures begin. For example, I work all week and do the remote learning with my own children of an evening and over the weekend. If that is the same for you, that is fine, we just need to know.

If we cannot reach you on the phone, we will try again (and again) over the next day or two – at this point we really start to worry. Our Senior Leadership Team will be informed by the class teachers that they have been unable to make contact with you and either me, Mr Baillie, Miss Bear or Mr Doyle will conduct a ‘home visit’. This is another way of us checking that you are ok. We will come out to your house, knock, stand back and socially distance and check that everything is ok. We spend a few minutes catching up and will always ask for ‘eyes-on’ the children. We want to see that they are safe and well. If at this point, we do not get an answer we may need to take our concerns to the next level and seek support from the police and/or children’s services. This is not something that we want to do or do unnecessarily but we have a duty of care to make sure that your child/children are ok. The systems we have in place for safeguarding our pupils are excellent and safeguarding is always our number one priority. Most of the time though, it doesn’t have to result is us seeking external support and our concerns are resolved well before. We want to work with you, not against you!

I hope that clarifies the situation. What is important is that your child is interacting with our remote learning and if you encounter any problems, you let a member of our team know. Every now and then, our staff may call you because they are particularly impressed with the work your child/children are doing at home (these are our WOW calls) or they may pop over to your home to drop off work packs or new reading books. These visits are different to those mentioned above.

Thank you for taking the time to read this (rather long) message. I appreciate your continued support and cooperation.

Take care and stay safe!

Mr Leach
Headteacher