Pastoral Support

Meet the Team:

Chris Ford

Behaviour Manager/Designated Safeguard Lead

Marvin Francis

Intervention Manager

David Morris


My name is David and I am the school counsellor here at The Heights Free School, Eden School and a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). My degree was obtained within the field of Cognitive Science and after university I decided to become a therapeutic counsellor. I spent over 3 years training as a counsellor and spent my student placement working at Cedar House in Preston. My career then took me to work within the fields of Adoption and then Youth Offending, working with some of the most at risk and vulnerable children in Lancashire, before taking up my post here at The Heights Free School and Eden School in June 2016.


Behaviour Policy


The school uses the EPraise System to monitor and track all pupils’ behaviour in class throughout the school day. Pupils are set 4 targets:

  1. Completion of work
  2. Individual target
  3. Group target
  4. Behaviour – use of appropriate language

EPraise enables the school to develop a positive classroom culture by allowing pupils to develop in areas in which they struggle and gives staff and overview of where pupils might need support.


Eden School expects that students attend in full uniform with no exceptions unless being advised differently by staff such in cases of students attending outdoor education. If a students does not attend the school in designated uniform, then the student will be sent home to change into appropriate attire.


No smoking is allowed on school premises and students are not allowed to smoke during the school day.

Eden School Respect Charter:

We expect all students to respect the school charter. The principles of this charter include:

Respect Yourself

  • by taking pride in your appearance and your vocational uniform
  • by taking pride in the  work you complete
  • by accepting responsibility for your own behaviour

Respect Others

  • by treating others with consideration and politeness
  • by caring for others and their property
  • by being welcoming and friendly
  • by moving around the school in a safe and sensible manner

Respect Learning

  • by arriving at lessons on time
  • by having all the correct equipment, resources needed
  • by listening carefully and following instructions
  • by working to the best of your ability

Respect the Environment

  • by respecting equipment,  resources, and the school in general
  • by using the litter bins provided



Supporting Pupils:

Our referral system identifies difficulties and needs before admission so that pastoral staff can produce a Pupil Passport of each pupil so that staff are aware of developmental and social issues which may impact upon a young persons education. This Pupil Passport will allow staff to ensure the child is support within their learning environment and also be supported through the pastoral team.


If students can not behave within the school environment, then sanctions will be taken so that the learning of other pupils is not impacted further. If a student is continually not engaging with their education or their behaviour is unacceptable as per the Respect Charter (see Behaviour) then the following consequences might occur:

  • Individualised programme of work in Eden Plus for a set period of time
  • Educated off site
  • Part time timetable
  • Reduced timetable
  • Exclusion

Working with external services:

We promote working with external agencies such as Social Care, Youth Offending, Mental Health teams, the NHS and Police to ensure pupils can access services of support during the school day. External appointments to see students by agencies must be booked through the school reception and they are generally by prior appointment only.


Our Commitment To Safeguarding:

We recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all pupils. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice. Where it is believed that a child is at risk of or is suffering significant harm, the school will follow the procedures set out in the Blackburn with Darwen Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) Procedures.

Concerns About A Child:

If there are concerns about the welfare of a student within the school, then please contact Chris Ford who is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). We ensure that all issues raised by students which could potentially be a safeguarding issue are addressed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead who can then liaise with necessary external agencies.

Working With External Agencies:

We have a statutory obligation to share information where necessary with other external agencies such as Social Care, the Police, NHS, Education Providers and other organisation where appropriate in the interest of safeguarding and keeping children from harm. The sharing of information between agencies is vital in keeping children safe and providing other organisations with necessary information regarding a child. No information would be shared unless vital to the interests of safeguarding a young person.


What is SEND?:

Children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. Some need specialist interventions or may hold an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) which outlines the needs of the student. When possible, all needs are met by reasonable adjustments made in class. When reasonable adjustments are not enough, further interventions and support may be necessary.


All our students are baseline tested on arrival using a WRAT test and referral forms studied carefully. There is a discussion between school, the student and parents/carers to ascertain how we can best help the student to maximise their learning ability whilst in our care.


To support students, interventions may include differentiation in class, medical support, more intensive 1:1 work or short term interventions. Nicola Graves is an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association and can assess Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia). Access arrangements can be put in place for public examinations if appropriate to support young people depending on their level of need.

Children In Our Care (CIOC) Policy:

The Policy sets out the ethos of the school in its approach to meeting the needs of Children in Our Care and the associated procedures. We ensure that looked after children are prioritised in learning and we establish and maintain good home-school links so that information can be relayed. The school aims to ensure differentiated teaching to support the learning needs of all looked after children.  We aim to listen to our children in care and in turn develop an appropriate Personal Education Plans(PEP) so we can track their progress within education and support them to achieve and be aspirational.



If the pupil is unfit for school, parents are asked to contact the school on the first day of absence by 9.00am. Absences will not be authorised without this procedure. In exceptional circumstances, further evidence of a child’s illness, such as a doctor’s note, may be requested. Other reasons for absence must be discussed with the school each time; notes will not necessarily be accepted as providing valid reasons. If a student is off school and there is no contact from home then letters will be issued and home visits undertaken once the trigger period is reached. A referral to the CME (Children missing from education) team or Lawrence Warburton (Learning Access Manager) will also be implemented where necessary.


It is not appropriate for the school to authorise absences for shopping, looking after younger children, day trips, birthdays, or so forth. Leave may be granted in an emergency (such as a bereavement) or for medical appointments which take place during school time. However, medical appointments should be made for out of school hours whenever possible.

Holiday Permission:

As a general rule, holiday permission will not be granted during term time unless in exceptional circumstances. If a holiday permission needs to be requested, we ask you to write a letter into the school addressed to the Head.


Improving Attendance:

We are committed to improving all students attendance at striving to maximise the amount of time a student is within school. Every pupil will be set a realistic target to achieve and pupils who improve their attendance, even if they do not achieve their target, will be rewarded. Every member of the Pastoral Team will look after a caseload of students to help them improve their attendance and offer support where needed.

Careers Information and Guidance

Careers Information Advice and Guidance:

Here at Eden School we offer individual one to ones to assist with application forms to colleges and Training Providers and Apprenticeships. The school is also committed to following up application forms with these organisation to chase up interviews. We also offer students the support by attending the interview with them if needed. Prior to the interview we will carry out interview techniques and assist to compose a CV so that the student feels prepared and confident.

We also invite colleges to deliver presentations about the provision they can offer to our Year 11 students once they complete their education here at Eden School.

We are also linked to The Mall in Blackburn where all pupils have an employer visit, and all pupils attend the careers events organised by BwD.

We also offer ensure our students are engaging in education or employment as in September after the pupils have left school, we will follow up that they have gone to their destination.  If this has not happened we will work with New Directions team (ex careers) to chase these pupils up.


Counselling Service:

Here at Eden School, we are committed to ensuring students can receive counselling and support from a professional counsellor to help with any issue they may be facing. Our school ethos is to support students both academically and emotionally and can provide counselling appointments during the school day no matter what the issue may be.

Sometimes life can be tough, and people growing up can be under pressure. Having someone that you can talk to may be of help to discuss issues going on at home, school or in the community. At times, everyone feels worried or has problems that they may struggle to talk about with the people closest to them due to embarrassment, fear, or feeling that they might disappoint people by sharing what they are going through. There may be issues about not being able to trust opening up to people for fear of being blamed or ignored. This is may be when you want to think about speaking to the school counsellor.

How are counsellors different?:

  • You won’t be blamed or judged
  • You won’t be told what to do
  • We will support you no matter how big or small the problem is to you
  • You can be seen during school time

Will what I talk about in counselling be confidential?:

We will not ordinary discuss your issues with anyone else but there might be times if you are at a risk of serious harm to yourself or others that information might have to be shared with the school Safeguarding Lead as well as other agencies depending on the disclosure.

What can I get help with in counselling?:

Anything can be discussed in counselling and it could be that you are having issues with school, making friends, being bullied, relationships, drugs, alcohol, sex, sexual identity, health worries, exam pressures, or losing someone special from your life. Or it might be that you have other issues you would like to discuss.

How can I access counselling?:

Seeing a counsellor might be your idea and you could either speak with a teacher to start seeing the counsellor or speak with the counsellor directly. Your teacher or parent may also suggest that you see the counsellor but this would be your choice and you will never be forced to have counselling if you don’t want to.

Any other questions?

If you have any questions or would like to see the counsellor for a initial chat to get more information and see if they can help you, then you could attend a drop in sessions during your tutorial or break time or just come along to the counselling room when convenient.

School Nurse

What do they do?:

School nurses work across education and health, providing a link between school, home and the community. Their aim is improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.


Our school nurse attends on a fortnightly basis for half a day and students will be advised when she is attending school so that they can speak about any issue in which they might need advice or support including emotional and physical well being and sexual health. Students are welcome to either book an appointment or attend via a drop service which takes places during the school day.