Parent and Carer Information
East Coast College firmly believes that working together with parents and carers is very important, even after the age of 16.
Parents and carers of new students are invited to a special introductory evening in October and another is held in the early spring/summer term to enable you to meet subject staff and discuss progress. You will also receive two reports on your young person’s.
We encourage all parents, carers and guardians to join us as we support our young learners with their studies.
Parental involvement is crucial. The interest and continuing support you offer, along with our input, ensures they enjoy their time at the college and get the very best experience from their chosen learning programme.
We look forward to working with you to ensure your young person maximises every opportunity and completes their course successfully, moving on to their planned next step, be it an apprenticeship, employment, university or a further course.
We welcome parents visiting us at any time to find out what college is like, to discuss their young person’s progress or any concerns you might have.
Safeguarding and Safety
East Coast College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
The college has measures in place to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults. If you have any concerns please contact Student Services (Great Yarmouth campus) or the Advice Centre (Lowestoft campus).
East Coast College is committed to providing a supportive, friendly, safe and positive environment free from offensive behaviour. Bullying of any kind is therefore not tolerated and disciplinary action will follow.
Careers and Wellbeing Programme
The programme is designed to bring together topics that help students develop a greater understanding of how to be healthy, happy and make a positive contribution to their immediate and wider communities. The programme complements vocational studies by focusing on wellbeing and careers progression. We welcome any ideas from parents and carers of areas we could cover in the programme, or if you have expertise in this area and would like to help us deliver some of the programme. To discuss the programme please get in touch with Maria Watson at our Great Yarmouth campus at firstname.lastname@example.org or Karen Lawless at our Lowestoft campus at email@example.com.
Operation Encompass notification
East Coast College is part of a jointly run operation with Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Police called Operation Encompass. Encompass has been set-up to help schools and colleges to provide support to children and young people who have been present at incidents of domestic violence. We know that children and young people can be significantly physically or emotionally harmed when they are involved in, present or witness to domestic violence.
East Coast College will receive a confidential phone call from the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub before 9am on the morning after any domestic incident where a student at East Coast College has been involved in, present or witness to domestic violence.
East Coast College have designated the Safeguarding and Wellbeing team as key adults. They have received training from Norfolk County Council to allow them to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, to make sure that the right support is available for children and their families, who have been involved in or witnessed a domestic violence incident.
We are keen to offer the best support possible to our pupils and we believe this is going to be extremely beneficial for all those involved.
If you have any concerns or questions then please contact one of the Safeguarding and Wellbeing team and we will be happy to discuss this further.
Wellbeing and Counselling
We are able to offer some evening and daytime wellbeing sessions for parents and carers. These include group and 1:2:1 counselling, supported by University of Suffolk counselling degree students, information sessions and support groups around mental health and wellbeing topics.
We also hold parent and carer forums that give the chance to voice ideas, give feedback and take part in discussions.
For more information about the wellbeing programme for parents and carers and counselling bookings, please contact Maria Watson, Student Wellbeing and Tutorial Co-ordinator at our Great Yarmouth campus, on 07747037852 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Karen Lawless, Student Wellbeing and Tutorial Co-ordinator at our Lowestoft campus on 07823349327 or email@example.com or Laura Hawkins, Alternative Safeguarding Lead for Lowestoft Sixth Form, on 07823349300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Child Criminal Exploitation and County Lines
What is Child Criminal Exploitation?
Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) is where an individual or group uses their position of power to take advantage of a child or young person under the age of 18 and coerces, controls, manipulates or deceives them into criminal activity.
This could be:
- In exchange for something the victim needs or wants such as money, clothes, mobile phones
- For the financial gain or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator
- Through violence or the threat of violence
CCE involves children and young people being exposed to, and/or being a victim of: physical and emotional violence, going missing, sexual abuse, sexual grooming and exploitation, modern day slavery and human trafficking.
Even if the activity appears to be consensual, the victim may have been criminally exploited. CCE does not always involve physical contact, it can also happen through use of technology. This could include making contact through social media and posting videos on YouTube which glamorise gang violence, drug taking and knife crime, as well as using and making music videos to make threats to other young people.
What is County Lines?
Crimestoppers describe County Lines as a term used for organised illegal drug-dealing networks, usually controlled by a person using a single telephone number, or ‘deal line’.
Serious organised criminals, often from big cities, recruit vulnerable children and adults, often in rural and suburban areas, as ‘runners’ to transport drugs and cash all over the country, often using the rail network or taxis and other private hire vehicles, so that the criminals behind it can remain detached and less likely to be detected.
Most victims end up feeling ‘trapped’ in this criminal underworld, experiencing violence, intimidations, and threats. Visit the Crimestoppers website for more information.
The young people used in County Lines to move and sell the drugs are being criminally exploited by others.
Signs of exploitation are:
- Presenting with physical injuries and or refusal to seek/receive medical treatment
- In possession of large amounts of unexplained money
- Expressing aggressive or intimidating views towards other groups of young people (some of whom may have been friends in the past)
- Multiple mobile phones/frequent change of phone number
- Frequently missing or missing for periods of time
- New clothes/trainers
- Travelling around a lot – train tickets/seen in taxis regularly/being seen in cars (often hire cars), possibly with unknown adults, on a regular basis
- Associating with peers who are involved/suspected to be involved in gang related activity
- Refuses/scared to enter certain areas
- Drug related or violent offending involving weapons
- Being subject to threats, blackmail, violence, rape and sexual abuse
- Being forced to commit crimes
The Slang Dictionary
The Slang Dictionary seeks to support parents and carers to better understand the language young people may be using and support them to safeguard young people. Further information can be found in the Slang Dictionary booklet.
If you have concerns
- Stay calm
- Talk to your child and LISTEN to them. Let them know your concerns, but allow them to answer freely. Do not lecture.
- Make time for one to one conversations away from distractions.
- Be aware of what your child is doing and who their friends are.
- Highlight the reality of county lines, using news stories and social media.
- Monitor the use of their phone and internet, discourage regular use and reduce ‘screen time’.
- Encourage them to get involved with positive activities. Consider local organisations such as sports clubs, cadets and youth groups.
- Establish and encourage core ‘family time’, such as eating meals together.
- Speak with the College and other parents to share your experience and seek guidance
- Seek advice and assistance from local organisations
Further Advice and Support:
- Call 999 – if there is immediate danger to someone, crime is in progress, you need police help immediately, someone is using violence or threatening violence, serious damage is or could be caused to property, a potential criminal has been disturbed or stopped
- Call 101 – to report a crime that has already happened, seek crime prevention advice or make the police aware of any policing issues in your area.
- Online reporting form on police website to include reporting non-urgent crimes including making the police aware of any policing issues in your area. Visit the Suffolk Police reporting page. Visit the Norfolk Police reporting page.
- Suffolk Constabulary – A – Z of crime prevention advice | Gangs, Information and Advice – for parents, young people, further help (links to other agencies) and leaving a gang.
- Crime Stoppers 0800 555 111 anonymous 24/7 phone number, that people can call to pass on information about crime; alternatively people can send information anonymously via the Giving Information Form. You don’t have to give your name or any of your personal details. Calls are not traced, IP addresses are not tracked crimestoppers-uk.org
- fearless.org – www.fearless.org/en – use the secure online form to give provide information about crime 100% anonymously. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – 365 days a year.
- Missing People SafeCall service – Missing People is the only charity in the UK which is dedicated to bringing missing children and adults back together with their families – www.missingpeople.org.uk| SafeCall Phone: 020 8392 5710 | SafeCall Email: SafeCall@missingpeople.org.uk | 24/7 Helpline: 116 000 | 24/7 Helpline Email: email@example.com
- The Children’s Society – if you’re a parent worried about your child being criminally exploited, you can read The Children’s Society guidance.
- NSPCC – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0808 800 5000
- Family Lives – confidential helpline: 0808 800 2222
- The Parent Hub on Suffolk County Council’s website, is a source of parenting advice and support for parents and carers to help with their child’s development.
- Norfolk County Council Early help website.
- Look closer poster – Exploited young people don’t always look and act vulnerable
- Victim Support is an independent charity in England and Wales that provides specialist practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime.
- #LookCloser is a partnership campaign between The Children’s Society, the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre and the British Transport Police, encouraging everyone to learn the signs of child exploitation and how to report it if worried, including on their anonymous online form. The campaign also seeks to highlight that child exploitation can happen anywhere, and any young person can be a victim.
- TheSafeCall service, run by charity Missing People, offers confidential, non-judgemental support to young people and their families.
- For more advice on drugs, their effects and the law, visit talk to Frank.
Useful Links for Parents
Online safety applies to all areas of life – how we live, learn, and interact with others. The Safeguarding and Wellbeing team can offer support during office hours to anyone worried about the safety of themselves or others. In emergency situations, please call 999. The college has Smoothwall Firewall protection to help keep students using college devices and wifi safe. This is checked regularly and searches that raise concern are shared with the students and parents/carers.
The websites below can help you keep yourself and others safe, as well as provide advice and support if things go wrong.
The Matthew Project has been helping people live fuller lives, free from drug and alcohol misuse for more than 35 years. They provide support to young people, veterans, professionals, people in recovery, and the family and carers affected by substance misuse.
Rethink improve the lives of people severely affected by mental illness through their network of local groups and services, expert information and successful campaigning. Their goal is to make sure everyone affected by severe mental illness has a good quality of life.
The Wellbeing Service offer help and support to improve wellbeing and manage stress, low mood and anxiety. They aim to reduce the onset of mental ill health, prevent deterioration and promote recovery by offering a range of flexible services tailored to meet your specific needs.
Victim Support is an independent charity, they work towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve. They help people feel safer and find the strength to move beyond crime. Their support is free, confidential and tailored to your needs.
SEND and Education Healthcare Plans
Suffolk SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) is a confidential and impartial information, advice and support service on issues related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).
The Terrence Higgins Trust are the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity. They support people living with HIV and amplify their voices, and help the people using their services to achieve good sexual health.
iCaSH (integrated Contraception and Sexual Health) service provides all aspects of sexual and reproductive health, including contraception, sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV testing and treatment.