Website to support school and college staff to keep children and young people safe

The Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of East Anglia (UEA), has launched a website to support school and college staff in understanding abuse and neglect from the child or young person’s point of view. The iCAN website includes free training materials and resources for schools and colleges, and a framework to help teachers and other school and college staff to be alert to children and young people who may be experiencing abuse or neglect, and to better understand: to what extent children and young people recognise maltreatment and how they decide whether to tell someone about it; how they may show their distress, even when they can’t talk about it; and what children and young people think about the help they receive.

Source: UEA 

Further information: iCAN

Sensory garden launches on Southport promenade

A sensory garden to help educate youngsters about nature, has opened in the town. The garden has been created within the community area of King’s Gardens on the Promenade thanks to the hard work of local volunteers.

The Friends of King’s Gardens group worked with the Green Machine – made up of representatives from Holy Family, Holy Trinity, Meols Cop, and Linaker Primary School, to plan, design and plant the garden for everyone to enjoy.

As part of the project the children learnt about the five senses and how these could be applied to create a unique sensory garden. Sefton Council’s parks and greenspaces team supported the project and a detailed plan was developed.

The garden includes grasses to make gentle sounds when the wind blows, herbs that smell of coca cola, curry, peppermint, and lavender, strawberries to taste, flowers to create a stunning visual effect, and touch boards that were made with objects from Sefton’s coast.

The garden is open every day and can be easily accessed via a ramp at the end of the Lower Promenade.

Hillside Community Primary School earns top marks!

Staff and pupils at Hillside Community Primary School are celebrating after being rated ‘outstanding’ in all areas in a report by government inspectors

The Ofsted report on the school in Egerton, Tanhouse follows its inspection earlier this year.

Inspectors declared the school’s motto of ‘Together we can shine’ “could not be more appropriate” and they said leaders, staff and pupils all shined in this “outstanding” school.

The headteacher and senior leadership team were praised for providing “exceptional leadership.”

The inspectors also said that teaching is “highly effective” and added, “staff know the pupils very well and ensure that the work that they set provides each pupil with the right degree of challenge.”

Hillside’s learning environment was also noted as “exceptional.”

Headteacher, Angela Aspinwall-Livesey, said: “The report is a delight to read and praises the hard work, commitment and excellence of all our staff – teaching and non-teaching – our governing body and the absolute brilliance of our wonderful children.

“I find it hard to highlight individual sentences and paragraphs as everything is so marvellous – absolutely stunning, in fact. I don’t think it could have been any better if I had written it myself!

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic staff for all they do for the children in their care.

“I would also like to thank parents for the support that they have given to the school on a day-to-day basis. It is very much appreciated.”

Working parents in Sefton to receive further free childcare

Sefton Council is encouraging working parents in the borough to find out if they are eligible for extra free childcare before it is made available in September.

All parents in the UK are already entitled to 15 hours per week free childcare and learning for their 3 and 4 year olds, but those families where both parents are working or a sole parent is in work, can access a further 15 hours per week support, taking them up to 30 hours.

To be eligible, each parent must earn the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the national or living wage, and less than £100,000 per year.

Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding at Sefton Council, said:

“The provision of extra free childcare will pose significant challenges for some settings in Sefton, while representing an opportunity for others.

What is clear, the offer of extra free support to lessen the costly burden of childcare will be welcomed by many parents, and as a local authority we will do all that we can to signpost them to the right information, so they can make informed decisions.

It is also worth bearing in mind that you may also be eligible if you are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or cannot work due to disability”

Mike McSorley, Head of Schools and Families at Sefton Council, said:

“While the new support for working parents is not available until September, they can check their eligibility now. I advise anyone who thinks they will be eligible to take the initiative and obtain an eligibility code, which they can present at the settings they choose.

“Parents can find local providers using the Sefton Directory. They can choose to place their child or children in more than one setting, whether in nurseries, children’s centres, playgroups, pre-schools or with childminders.”

Working parents can find out if they are eligible and research providers in the Childcare pages of the Sefton Directory:

You can also find out more about the 30 hours support by contacting Sefton Council’s Family Information Service on 0345 140 0845 or by email