Booker Hill Primary and Nursery School

Booker Hill Primary and Nursery School

"Learning Without Limits"
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Related Pages

Support for Families

At Booker Hill we remain committed to supporting all of our children and their families during this difficult time. Here you can find information relating to a number of areas of life that might have been impacted by  Covid-19 factors.

Financial Support

Some families might find that their financial situation has changed. We will continue to provide updates as we receive them and here you can find the latest guidance available to us relating to help for families who need financial assistance.

Free School meals

‘Helping Hand’ – Buckinghamshire Council’s commitment to children in need over October half term

 Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 this year, Buckinghamshire Council is supporting pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals and are committed to ensure that no child in need goes hungry.

 The council with our partners in the voluntary sector have already spent over £180,000 on food for families in need.  In addition, we already have plans to develop a number of longer term programmes to assist the most vulnerable, with programmes aimed at early intervention, manage family finance and with £120,000 committed to schemes to help residents grow their own food, if they can, and learning how to cook healthy food on a low budget.

 This autumn half term we want to ensure that families across Bucks, with children eligible for free school meals, know how to access the wide range of support that is available.  Buckinghamshire has a strong voluntary and community sector which is active in supporting vulnerable families. Our ‘Helping Hand’ team can help direct people to the support that is right for them. This may be from the voluntary or community sector or direct from the council. If anyone is worried about food over half term, and not sure what help is available, please contact the council’s ‘Helping Hand’ support line on 01296 395000, and someone will be ‘on hand’ to help you. This programme is funded by joint support from the Government’s Hardship Fund provided to local councils over the summer and Buckinghamshire Council.

 Martin Tett, Leader of the Council, said “We don’t want any child in Buckinghamshire to go hungry this holiday. As a council we are committed to ensuring that does not happen. We know how fantastic our communities are with supporting each other during times of crisis, there is lots of local support available. We also know it isn’t always that easy to know where to turn, so I would encourage anyone with a child who is eligible for free school meals and is worried, to contact us so we can ensure they can get access to the support they need. We are here and can offer that practical help, including links to supermarkets if needed too.”  

Applying for Free School Meals

There is much information about applying for Free School Meals in the FSM area of our website. This includes information on who can claim, a claim form that you can use to apply for FSM vouchers and information relating to the extension of the voucher scheme to children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). Visit the page below for full information:

https://www.bookerhill.bucks.sch.uk/Free-School-meals-Information/

Grants for Families of Children with Complex Needs

Children with special educational needs and disabilities in England will benefit from £37.3 million of direct support in 2020-21, which is expected to help more than 75,000 families in England.

Families with children that have complex needs and disabilities will receive grants for vital equipment to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including computers, specialist equipment and educational toys.

Families in England can find out more and apply for grants from Family Fund directly.

Who can apply? Find out here - https://www.familyfund.org.uk/Pages/FAQs/Category/family-applications

Click the image below to find out more.

Finance, Jobs and Benefits advice and guidance

The government has published Emergency funding to support most vulnerable in society during pandemic. The funding was announced on 2nd May to support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery as well as ensuring vulnerable children and young people continue to get the help they need.  

The Bucks Family Information Service has links to resources  with information to help families with financial advice, emergency food and essential item suppliers, information and updates. Some services may not be open or have reduced capacity over this period.

This includes information on:

  • claiming benefits, including a link to how to apply for Local Emergency Support
  • housing association update - information about plans, staffing, repairs and what families can do if they are unable to work because they are self-isolating or unable to pay their rent
  • food banks and emergency items distributors for each of the three areas across Buckinghamshire: Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern South Bucks and High Wycombe

Follow the link COVID-19 Finance, Jobs and Benefits advice and guidance for more information

Family Well-being Support

COVID-19 Well-being support for pupils and families (including Bereavement Support)

Talking to children about coronavirus

The Children’s Commissioner has created a children’s guide to coronavirus which aims to answer children’s questions about coronavirus, tell children how to stay safe and protect other people and how to help them make the best of their time at home.

Children’s guide to coronavirus | Children's Commissioner for England

The below book, Coronavirus: A Book for Children has also been published by Noisy Crow books, containing child friendly information about the virus.  It has been illustrated by Axel Scheffler and presents the information in a warm, familiar and accessible format.

Coronavirus: A Book for Children

Supporting pupils’ mental health

The government has published additional mental health guidance: Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  This advice is to help adults with caring responsibilities look after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people, including those with additional needs and disabilities, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Negative experiences and distressing life events, such as the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents. 

Digital support from the DfE

Support following a bereavement

Cruse, a national bereavement charity, has a dedicated helpline manned by experienced volunteers. Call 0808 808 1677 Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they’re open until 8pm.

Cruse also has a number of easy read fact sheets on:

Resources to help with anxiety for pupils and families

Worry and anxiety are common problems at the best of times, and when it takes over it can become all-encompassing. Psychology Tools have put together this free guide to help you to manage your worry and anxiety in these uncertain times.

Living with anxiety and worry

This situation is one of extreme uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen, how long it will last or what things will be like when it’s over. One thing we do know, however, is that worrying about it won’t change the outcome. Learning how to tolerate the uncertainty is a huge part of building healthy coping skills for ourselves, which we then want to model for our children. Practicing mindfulness helps bring us back to the present.

The following websites and apps may be helpful:

NSPCC resources for families

The NSPCC has created a number of resources to support parents and carers during this difficult time. Topics include:

  • Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
  • Parents working from home
  • Children staying home alone
  • Lockdown and separated parents
  • How to cope with tantrums and other difficult behaviour

The advice can be found on the NSPCC website.

The Family Support Service

Following the latest Government advice, the Family Support Service will no longer be running drop-in sessions at the 3 Family Centre Plus sites (Mapledean, Southcourt and Newtown).  For now, all family centre sites will remain closed to help prevent the risk of spreading Covid 19. 

  • If a family needs urgent support and has a Family Worker, they can call them directly. Family Support workers will be maintaining regular contact with existing clients to offer support and advice.
  • If a family doesn’t currently have a Family Worker and needs some help or advice, they can contact the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service on 01296 383293.
  • You can make a request for support by completing the online form

Please see the webpages on

Buckinghamshire Family Information Service on Family Support Service (FSS)

COVID -19 Advice and Support families

During these challenging times, your local Family Information Service are here to assist and support families. We are pulling together resources, information, and guidance which will be updated on a regular basis.

This includes information on: