Support for Parents/Carers of Secondary Students in Reading - Self Harm Support - 27 February

The Reading Young Peoples’ Emotional Wellbeing Partnership is delighted to offer a series of opportunities for parents/carers to find out more about a range of difficulties that young people may be facing, and how they can best support their child. The team of Educational Psychologists and Primary Mental Health Workers who work closely with school staff to improve outcomes for young people across Reading, will deliver these sessions. We will be delighted to welcome parents/carers from students attending any secondary school in Reading.

The sessions will be delivered twice on the same day on 27 February, 2019:
- Reading Girls’ School (RG2 7PY) at 9.30am
- Kendrick School (RG1 5BN) at 6.00pm

Please use this link if you would like to reserve a place for the session on Self Harm:

Fostering Information Service Event Tonight

Fostering Information Service Event 21 February, 2019
Reading Civic Centre,
Bridge Street, RG1 2LU
Committee Room 3
17:00 - 19:00

Have you ever considered fostering? Would you like to know more about the process? Our Fostering Information Service Events are run by experienced fostering social workers to help explain the fostering process.

We regularly have foster carers in attendance who look after our children and our happy to share their experiences with you. Please arrive at reception and explain you are interested in the Fostering Information Service Event and a member of the fostering team will direct you to the event.

Kicking off half term at Reading Football Club

A big thank you to Reading Football Club Community Trust which has given our children in care the opportunity to train at their fantastic facilities. Everyone had an amazing time playing football at one of the country's best training grounds.

'We enjoyed our session. I loved playing at Reading Stadium and the football match with the big kids and being in goal,' said one of the children.

Catie, our Children in Care Participation Officer said: 'It was a wonderful experience for the children. It was lovely to see boys and girls of all abilities training together. 

'Both Reading Football Club Commuity Trust and Brighter Futures for Children joined in to support and encourage the children.

'Our sincere thanks to all involved.'

Reading Youth Cabinet Conference 1st March

Reading Youth Cabinet are holding a conference by young people for young people on the 1st of March at St Laurence’s Church.

The conference starts at 9.30am and will include workshops which explore their three chosen campaigns for the year, 'Putting an End to Knife Crime', 'Mental Health Awareness and Reducing Homelessness'. They will also bring to debate the topic of Votes at 16 and the very current topic of the People’s Vote.

Antony Kildare, Managing Director for Brighter Futures for Children, and an elected member of Reading Borough Council will join the young people in the days activities and there will be an opportunity for you to meet the current youth cabinet members and Readings elected Member of Youth Parliament.

The conference is for young people aged 11 to 18 to attend, it is during a school day and if your school are not attending you will need permission to come.

Zarah Khan, Readings elected Member of Youth Parliament for 2019 says; “This is a great opportunity to see how you can campaign on issues which are important for young people. Also, you will be able to meet famous local politicians and councillors. Finally, it's lots of fun to talk to others who share the same passion as you!”

BFfC to take part in restorative approach project

A new programme that involves children and professionals from a range of public bodies who have contact with children and young people is being rolled out across the South of England in a drive to improve children’s mental health services, NHS England (South East) has announced.

Around 6,000 members of staff working in the NHS, police, schools, and local authority children’s services will take part in the programme over the next 12 months. Brighter Futures for Children is taking part in the programme.

Importantly, children and young people will also take part, as part of an approach known as restorative practice which brings different groups of people together. They will work with the professionals to continue to improve, or in some cases, re-design, children’s mental health services across the South of England.

Antony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said: 'We're delighted to be part of this initiative. Listening to children and young people and, more importantly, hearing what they say is essential if we're going to improve what we offer. Co-designing this service is a  great start.'

Designed as a way to bring different parties to work together, the restorative approach is based on research carried out it New Zealand and has been imported to the UK with great success. It is thought to be the first time that it is being deployed at such a scale in England.

Sally Rickard, Deputy Director Clinical Networks and Senate said: “The restorative approach has proven to be highly successful in the past and is already being used nationally to tackle other issues. We believe it has great potential to improve children’s mental health which has been set as one of the priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan. This collaborative approach to work can bring us together and make tremendous improvements in the way we help our younger population.”


Make your voice heard

The Reading Youth Cabinet elections are being held in March 2019 and we are looking for young people to put themselves forward to stand for election.

Reading Youth Cabinet is an elected group of young people from all across Reading who run campaigns and work on a wide range of issues with different people. They are all about ensuring that the voice of young people in Reading is powerful, influential and results in change to better things for young people.

In the past, members of the Youth Cabinet have produced leaflets promoting better mental health for young people, developed magazines raising awareness of equal rights and lobbied schools to improve how they deliver PSHE.

We are looking for young people who are aged between 11 and 18 and who live or go to school in Reading, to nominate themselves to stand for election and represent the voice of young people.

The deadline for nomination is 15 February (that's Friday!) and elections are held from the 18 -28 March.  We will support you every step of the way to make sure your campaign is heard by your peers and to give you the chance to be elected.

Riya Jamthe, current RYC Chair says: ''Just go for it! We need strong and talented individuals such as you to join our team! It also looks good on your personal statement and CV."


It's Children's Mental Health Week

Calling all parents, carers, schools and workplaces - this week is Children's Mental Health Week and Brighter Futures for Children is encouraging you to join in and spread the word.

By combining our efforts we have the potential to reach thousands more children, young people and families.

You can start supporting Children’s Mental Health Week right now by spreading the word in your school or organisation – and shouting about it on social media! Use the hashtag #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek.

For free resources, useful information and details on how to get involved, visit  where children's charity Place2Be is shining a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.

The theme for the week is Healthy: Inside and Out. You can read about the activities, organised by Place2Be here.

Norcot Early Years Centre 'Outstanding'

A Tilehurst nursery school has been judged ‘Outstanding’ following a recent Ofsted inspection. Norcot Early Years Centre has maintained the outstanding quality of education since the first Ofsted inspection in 2005.

Inspectors commented that the school in Lyndhurst Road has continued to provide an exciting and stimulating curriculum alongside the exceptional care that was identified in the previous inspection report in 2014. As a result, children love learning and make outstanding progress from their starting points.

The Ofsted letter to Head of Centre Diana Heath says: “Leaders, including the governing body, have continued to improve quality of education and care. You have refined the school’s monitoring and support systems to ensure that children’s skills, knowledge and understanding develop well in every area of the curriculum. Consequently, children, including children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), make rapid progress from starting points that are below those typical at this age.”

Governors are also praised for having a breadth of educational and social-care expertise which they utilise to challenge and support the school in equal measure.

The report adds: “Children behave extremely well at Norcot. They are attentive, kind and empathetic. Children play very well together and share their toys and books happily. Children also respond very well to instructions and attentively follow the school rules.”

Inspectors found that safeguarding at the nursery school was effective and leaders were highly vigilant and alert to the importance of ensuring strong safeguarding arrangements were in place.

One parent echoed the view of many when they said: “Norcot provides us with the best, safest and most inspiring environment for our children.”

Leaders and staff are said to provide exceptional care for families that goes beyond their statutory duty and the family worker also provides support regarding housing, finance and medical issues.

The inspector said: “This helps to ensure that children are well cared for both at school and at home. Many parents told me how the school had transformed their lives and the lives of their children through this additional care and support.”

The nursery school was also praised for providing effective activities for children at lunchtime and establishing a ‘learning through nature approach’ which includes regular visits to local parks and woods.

Other positives were that the nursery ensures children acquire and develop strong language skills, activities extend children’s physical and emotional engagement and individual pupil’s strengths and weaknesses are identified with precision.

Antony Kildare, Managing Director of Brighter Futures for Children, said: “We are thrilled with the ‘Outstanding’ judgement for Norcot Early Years Centre and congratulate all leaders and staff at the nursery school. It is heart-warming to read the comments of the inspector but also of the parents who use the centre. Everybody involved in Norcot Nursery should be very proud of their achievements and with the glowing feedback from the inspector, parents and children.”

Cllr Ashley Pearce, Lead Councillor for Education, said: “Norcot Early Years Centre has a long track record of delivering outstanding education to young children. I congratulate everyone involved in achieving their latest Ofsted judgement.”

Full Report

The full Ofsted report, following the Inspector’s visit on 12th December 2018, can be found at: