Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)
Taking care of our children's well-being and making sure they are alright - even before they are born - helps us ensure the most positive outcomes for them later in life. It gives them the potential to grow up ready to succeed and play their part in society.
Getting it Right for Every Children (GIRFEC) is the Scottish Government’s approach to improve children’s services. The wellbeing of all children and young people is at the heart of GIRFEC. Services must work together with children, young people and their families to provide quick and effective support when it is needed The children and Young People Act (Scotland) 2014 will mean key parts of GIRFEC become law in 2016.
To read more about GIFREC visit the Scottish Government's dedicated GIRFEC page.
The Getting it Right approach looks at eight areas of 'well-being'. These are recognised as areas in which children and young people need to progress in order to do well now and in the future. They allow those responsible for the care and support of children - including members of their own families - to look at a situation in a structured way that will help them identify any needs and concerns and plan with the child and family any action they need to take. The eight well-being indicators are:
The approach gives them a common language and a way to gather information about a child's world, making sure the child is growing and developing, and has everything they need from the people who look after them both at home and in the wider community. It also encourages practitioners to think about who else might need to be involved (for example a teacher might need to contact other professionals to make sure that an education plan with the child and family is meeting all the child's needs).
All children have a right to be protected from harm, abuse and neglect. Children’s Services have an important role in identifying children who have been abused or are at risk of being abused.
Falkirk Council has clear procedures for all staff to follow. Headteachers or designated member of staff are instructed to notify Falkirk Council and Social Work Services when a member of staff has a suspicion that a child might have been abused or be at risk of abuse.
Social Work Services will make a decision on whether or not an investigation is necessary and will advise accordingly. In every situation, the welfare of the child overrides other considerations.
Our child protection policy can is available to download here.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected at school. The school is committed to its anti-bullying strategy. Information on our anti-bullying policy can be found here, including the Falkirk Council Anti-Bullying Policy.
We also have our Respect Me anti-bullying campaign and area of the website which allows pupils to reach a member of staff with any concerns they may have.
Falkirk Council has a responsibility to provide an education for all pupils and to challenge and address bullying behaviour. Whilst appropriate action will be taken by the school, it is also important that all parents involved work with the school to resolve any issues in the best interests of their child or young person.
As a result of the recommendations made by the Bailey Gwynne Death Inquiry, Falkirk Council and all of its Secondary Schools follow a strict protocol for the very rare occasion where a pupil may be found to be in possession of a weapon. A zero tolerance approach is adopted and full involvement of the relevant agencies, including Police Scotland, will immediately be sought.
Pupil Support Teacher and Year Teams
Each pupil is assigned a pupil support teacher (formerly a guidance teacher) who will, in almost all cases, be the key adult with the overall picture of the pupil's progress. Pupil Support Teachers can be contacted via the school through the appropriate channels listed in our contact section.
Pupil Support Teachers work within a Year Team who have overall responsibility for the pastoral care of pupils within their year group. See our staff page for more information on Pupil Support Teachers and year teams.
English as an Additional Language
The Council provides a support service of teachers of English as an additional language. The teachers visit schools to work with those bilingual pupils who require assistance in developing English language skills. For more information please visit the Falkirk Council - English as an Additional Language page.
Additional Support Needs
As with all local authority schools in Scotland, this school operates under the terms of the Additional Support for Learning Act (2009) and its accompanying Code of Practice. Further details of the policies and procedures can be found on the Falkirk Council website: http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/services/schools-education/additional-support-needs/ These procedures have been strengthened through the Children and Young People Act (2014).
Working with other agencies and professionals – for example, Social Work Services, Educational Psychology Service, National Health Service and parents – decisions are made jointly with parents, children and young people with regards to the best possible education to meet the needs of the child within the resources available.
Support for Pupils
Pupils’ additional support needs will be identified and addressed through the Getting It Right For Every Child processes. This involves close co-operation between the parent or carer, the child and the staff in school – they are the core part of the Team Around the Child. Others involved in your child’s education and well-being will also be part of the Team, and will help to complete a rounded picture of assessment where appropriate. The Team will also draw up and review plans to meet the needs identified. Their activities are co-ordinated by the Named Person, who is responsible for ensuring plans are implemented and has an overall picture of the pupil’s progress. You will be told who the Named Person is for your child when they start school. If you believe your child may have unrecognised additional support needs, your first point of contact should be the child’s EYO class teacher or guidance teacher.
The school makes provision for pupils with additional support needs throughout their education:
- each teacher differentiates the Curriculum for Excellence within their class to provide educational targets and objectives suited to their age and stage of development
- the school has a Support for Learning Teacher to co-ordinate and organise support for children
- the school can allocate s Support for Learning Assistant on a basis of need exceptional cases
Disputes and Resolution in Additional Support Needs
Schools and Early Years facilities do their best to support pupils, and are responsive to the needs of parents, carers and pupils. Nevertheless, problems may arise, and it is important to deal with these as soon as possible.
In the first instant it is usually wise to contact the school or nursery directly, and if the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved, they may call on the services of some of centrally-based staff – the Additional Support for Learning Adviser, the Educational Psychologist or the school’s attached Team Manager. Children’s Services also commission independent mediation through Children in Scotland. Their services, called Resolve, may be arranged by the Additional Support for Learning Adviser, or accessed directly by parents on 0131?222?2456.
Parents, carers and children with additional support needs can also seek independent advice and support through:
- Enquire – the Scottish advice and information Service for additional support for learning: www.enquire.org.uk, 0345 123 2303
- Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance; www.siaa.org.uk, 0131?260?5380
- Take Note: National Advocacy Service for Additional Support Needs (Barnados in association with the Scottish Child Law Centre) www.sclc.org.uk, 0131?667?6633.
- Let’s Talk ASN, c/o Govan Law Centre, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0141-445-1955.
Educational Psychology Service
Educational Psychologists work in collaboration with teachers, parents and other professionals to support children and young people with their learning and general development, and to make the most of their lives, particularly in educational settings.
Every school and pre-five establishment has a link Educational Psychologist who provides consultation, assessment intervention, training and project work.
The school must obtain the agreement of parents and, where appropriate, the pupil before involving the Educational Psychology Service. To find out more visit the Falkirk Council webpage on Educational Psychology.