Our School Pupil and Family Support Team

Mrs Felicity Hope – Head of School

Mrs Rachel Bowen – SENDCo

Mrs Claire Furness – Assistant Head of School

Mrs Emma Rotheram – Pastoral Support Assistant

Andrea Bell – Independent Parent Support Adviser

Mrs Emma Rotheram – Pastoral Support Worker

Mrs Emma Rotheram is our Pastoral Support Worker, helping children throughout the school with any social, emotional and behavioural difficulties

In addition, we have a dedicated Wellness Team of seven adults who have been specifically trained to support both children and staff with their mental well-being. ‘Drop-In’ sessions are available for two lunchtimes a week, and all children know that they can make individual appointments when needed.

Andrea Bell – Independent Parent Support Adviser

Hello, my name is Andrea Bell. I am the new Parent Support Advisor (PSA) here at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School. I for the last decade I previously worked in the field of Neurodiversity and have extensive experience, working with families, children & young people.

Who am I?

I am the mother to two boys, who are now 15 and 17. As a parent myself, I know only too well that our own wellbeing is paramount. I had always thought that reaching out for support was a sign of weakness, a sign that people would believe I was not a good parent. Parenting hasn’t come naturally to me and has been a struggle at times. My children could be challenging on occasions, pushing the boundaries and I often doubted my own parenting skills. I also found it hard to communicate with their school at the time because I felt I was doing such an awful job. I often felt isolated because I didn’t want to worry my family. Whilst they were at their primary school, I found out there was an independent Parent Support Advisor, who I could talk to confidentially about any concerns I had.

Initially, I thought that my worries were silly compared to others and that I should be grateful for everything. However, something made me reach out and I am so glad that I did.  I initially met the PSA at a ‘chat and cuppa’ drop in session and from there I arranged to see her one to one. I discovered that what I was feeling was perfectly ok, and she informed me that many parents can struggle to communicate with school because of feeling like they are not coping. I realised I had a lack of confidence and had assumed I was doing it all wrong when in fact I was doing a good job! I was exhausted so being able to talk to someone confidentially about things, gave me the reassurance and positive feedback that I needed.  I also learned from other parents some parenting tips that worked brilliantly!

I am lucky be in a position where I can offer my support  to parents/carers. Being a parent/carer can be very hard work at times, so my role is to support parents with their own wellbeing and offer guidance, even if it is just to take ‘time for yourself’, have a cuppa and say ‘Hello’ and to ask any questions that you may have.   

Our first drop in will be on Thursday 26th September @ 9am – 10:30am in the Multi-Purpose, previously known as the Art & DT Room with brown double doors that open straight onto the playground near the Year 2 classrooms.

If you are unable to make this but would like to come along and meet me or ask a question please do contact me on andrea.bell@benjaminfoundation.co.uk.