Pastoral Care

If you have any questions regarding the Pastoral Team within The Heights than please do not hesitate to contact one of the team who will help you further.

You will find a list of staff roles within the ‘Meet The Team’ section along with their email address. If you prefer, you can also contact the school directly on 01254-261655


Meet The Team




Special Educational Needs (SEN)


Careers Information Advice and Guidance


School Nurse


Meet the Team:

Helen Morris

Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral)

My name is Helen and I work as the Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral) at The Heights. I have worked at the school for over ten years working with our students to ensure their behaviour and conduct reflects the high standards we set. I am a qualified teacher and have previous experience of working in EBD schools whereby students have emotional and behavioural difficulties. I have vast experience of supporting pupils and helping them to engage in education whereby they might have struggled in previous schools. My role is to create a safe, inclusive learning environment that helps students overcome barriers, negative influences, frustrations and difficulties whilst promoting positive attitudes, relationships and behaviour.


Rob Kershaw

Designated Safeguard Lead

My name is Rob and I have worked at The Heights since 2014 and I am the the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Behaviour Manager. Within school I am also responsible for the planning and delivery of PSHCE ensuring our students develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. I have past experience of working within Pupil Referral Units (PRU) working with students who have struggled within a mainstream environment. I am also a qualified Team Teach trainer which staff should be trained within as it is proven to reduce incidents and improve safety within an educational setting when working with behavioural incidents.


Nikki Normanton

Safeguarding Officer

My name is Nikki and I currently work on the Pastoral Team as well as being the lead tutor of Food Technology. My duties within the team include safeguarding, behaviour management and ensuring the general well being needs of the the students are met. I attend meetings with external agencies such as social care and other organisations within the wider community to ensure that the pastoral needs of the students are met. I have worked in alternate provisions for over 10 years both in the teaching and learning environment as well as pastoral and nurture care.


Nicola Graves

Assistant Headteacher (SENCO)

My name is Nicola and I have been in the teaching profession for 30 years and I am the SENCO of the school, holding the NASC award. I have worked in the area of Special Educational Needs for a number of years and before that as a teacher of English and Maths at Secondary Schools in Staffordshire, Merseyside and Lancashire teaching from Year 7 to ‘A’ level and with some experience of Early Years and Primary. I have also worked in an SEMH environment. My aim is to assist the young people in our establishment to have the best experience of education that they can in order to make progress and fulfil their potential.


Joanne Brierley

Attendance Officer

My name is Joanne and I work at The Heights both within the Pastoral Team and I am also a qualified HLTA. I have worked at the school for over 3 years and prior to this I worked within education as a teaching assistant within a mainstream setting accumulating over five years experience. I  am also First Aid trained. I am hugely driven to helping our students and engaging young people. I have a great skill in forging relationships which I feel is a fundamental part of the role and paramount to ensuing our students well being is maintained.


Anne Wolstenholme

Inclusion Worker

My name is Anne and I work here at The Heights on the Pastoral Team but also as a teaching assistant in maths. I have past experience of working with young people who have displayed difficult behaviours both within pupil referral units and also in specialist behavioural schools. I have also worked as an Appropriate Adult within a Police Station helping with young offenders.  I am passionate about my work and dedicated to my roles here within the school.


Amber Morris

EPraise Coordinator

My name is Amber and I work within the Pastoral Team and I am a qualified HLTA. I have been employed at The Heights for almost 3 years and I am currently an EPraise co-ordinator which helps to set rewards and targets for the pupils. I am currently responsible for student behaviour reports which analyses students behaviour within our school and looks to implement positive changes when there has been concerns. I build and maintain excellent relationships with our students and always looking to improve behaviour within the school. I am driven in the pursuit of helping all students and I am passionate about my role within the school.


Cathi Sherratt

Careers Information Advice and Guidance Officer

My name is Cathi and I work as the Careers Information and Guidance Officer at The Heights. Since 1994 i have worked in Post 16 provision managing and delivering a wide range of apprenticeships. This previous job has given me the experience to be able to give sound career advice to year 10 and 11’s and their options available to them within East Lancashire. I am committed to ensuring our students have the best opportunities afforded to them after leaving education and I work tirelessly with colleges, training providers and employers.


David Morris


My name is David and I am the school counsellor here at The Heights 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 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 3 targets:

  1. Use appropriate language
  2. Follow staff instruction
  3. Stay on task within lessons

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.


The Heights 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.

The Heights 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 The Heights 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.


The Heights is proud to be a Stonewall School Champion, committed to making school a place where all pupils, parents and staff- including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans people and those questioning- are accepted without exception.



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.

Safeguarding Policy

Concerns About A Child:

If there are concerns about the welfare of a student within the school, then please contact Rob Kershaw 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.


Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

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.

School Transport:

For pupils who are collected by school transport, a register will be taken every day on their bus. If a pupil is not present at their stop when the bus arrives the member of staff will upon immediate return to school, deliver the transport register to the attendance officer, who will them contact home to ascertain the reason for the absence/failure to be collected at the transport stop.

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 Advice and Guidance

Careers Information Advice and Guidance:

Here at The Heights 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 The Heights.

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.


Work Experience

Pupils can also access work experience which is available to them every Friday morning for a period of 10 weeks up to the whole of year 11. These work placements are usually sorted through school but pupils are also encouraged to source their own. We believe work experience is valuable for our students to give them a taste of employment which will also teach them real life skills and give them excellent experience when applying for future jobs.



Counselling Service:

Here at The Heights, 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.