North West London


These may be involved in our regular support programmes or just monitored over time by regular visits. This has been our way of working for several years, responding to the growing need to provide ongoing, relaxed contact with our older past pupils and secondary children – many previous pupils of Duncombe Primary. This eases the burden on their current schools, while providing a practical solution to ongoing issues. Our programmes can involve eight or nine young people meeting weekly for six weeks’ worth of activities, such as horse riding or sailing. Our parental support team includes Renaisi community engagement advisers, home-school support staff, CAMHS, S&L practitioners, the senior leadership team, teaching staff and the administration team. We never turn people away and are proactive, welcoming and encouraging to all that seek help through our school. Our governors both promote and actively propagate our community- based ethos.

Key moments of success on the road to improvement included the return of supply staff, who previously felt unsafe coming to Duncombe. Following my personal guarantee to respond quickly to any concerns, we re-established visiting times with local libraries, swimming pools and local sports associations. It was an arduous process, but gradual progression resulted in a maintained rise in standards across the board. Many families, often new arrivals to the UK, joined us with worrying issues and concerns. As we began to meet their needs, they would bring other families to us, often travelling daily from distant parts of London. We found ourselves identified as a place of safety, where we could work towards positive outcomes collectively. Myself and other colleagues greet parents in the playground as they drop off and collect their children. Many regard us as mediators for a wide variety of issues, and feel comfortable expressing issues that they may have told us in confidence. These can range from adult education to health, challenges at home, crime, housing, immigration, the police, difficulties on our local estates, mental health, domestic violence, bereavement and finding employment. We may accompany our parents and children through support interventions, which can last beyond the time that a child is active at Duncombe. We supplement our school experience through strong working relationships with municipal authorities, such as local councillors, council managers and our local constituency MP Jeremy Corbyn. Furthermore, we work in cooperation with the excellent Islington Safeguarding Children’s Board to promote our awareness and understanding of child protection. Our work with secondary schools includes our continued interest in our leavers with particular needs.

The emphasis at Duncombe is on lifelong celebration and support

Parents having fun, with our artist in residence, at a ceramics and textiles morning


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