Tower Hamlets

1st June 2021

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FM E-Bulletin

Welcome to your monthly bitesize e-bulletin from the Parent and Family Support Service.

We offer early help, targeted services and family support in partnership with schools and community venues and most recently due to the Coronavirus our services are available online through webinars, virtual meetings and forums.

Here you’ll find regular updates, information, advice, and opportunities for you to join one of our virtual networks, support groups or attend a virtual parenting session to meet other parents and carers, share your experiences and learn from each other.

For more information about the service, visit our website

If you like this e-bulletin please share on social media, through community networks or your school website using the following share button, or you can click the hyperlink in the top right corner of this email.

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Important information Tower Hamlets Local Area SEND inspection: parents and carers views

The inspection of London Borough of Tower Hamlets local area’s effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of, and improving outcomes for, children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) will take place between 28 June and 2 July 2021.

More details can be found on the Local Offer and SEND IASS websites, including a letter from the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspector inviting parents to complete a survey to share their views. 

The survey closes at 11.59pm on Tuesday 29 June.

Have your say >

Summer Activities

Help towards the cost of children’s summer activities

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding working families that they can use Tax-Free Childcare to help pay for their childcare costs over the summer.

Tax-Free Childcare – a childcare top-up of 20 per cent for working parents – can be used to help pay for accredited holiday clubs, childminders, or sports activities. It’s available for children aged up to 11, or 17 if the child has a disability.  For every £8 deposited into an account, families will receive an additional £2 in government top-up.

Find out more >

Summer Childcare

Childcare for the Summer Holidays

The Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme will take place at St Mary & St Michael Primary School, Sutton St, E1 from Monday 26 July to Friday 20 August. 

Places are limited. Bookings for the scheme opened this week for working parents.  Bookings for non-working parents will open on 6 July at 12 noon.

More information >

Debt Advice Service

What should debt advice services look like?

Toynbee Hall is working on a research project with Debt Free London, to create accessible debt advice services that support people who may be struggling financially. They are recruiting people with experience of debt to participate in workshops that will help shape the project.

The workshops are two hours long and are scheduled for July 2021. Participants will receive a ‘thank you’ of £25 for their time.


Register your interest >

Secondary School Transfer

Have you got a child in Year 5? Get information on their move to secondary school

Attend a virtual workshop for parents to find out about the secondary transfer process, delivered through Zoom by Tower Hamlets Transition Officers.

These interactive sessions will provide key information and explore how to support your child’s next steps on their learning journey. 

Upcoming sessions

  • Monday 28 June, 1-2pm
  • Wednesday 30 June, 10-11am

Book your place >

Platform to talk

Platform to Talk - Change and New Beginnings

Platform to Talk - the discussion based virtual sessions from the Parental Engagement Team continues to provide a safe space for parents to come together, share their experiences and get reliable information.

The next Platform to Talk is on the theme of change and new beginnings. The session will explore the concept of change and reframe it as an opportunity for growth and personal development.

Platform to Talk - Change and New Beginnings

Friday 9 July, 10am-11am

Book your place >

Somali Parents Network

The Somali Parents and Carers Network

The Parent and Family Support Service have a support group for Somali parents and carers.

The Somali Parents and Carers Network meet once a month either virtually or at different locations in the borough. The network provides a safe space for parents to share experiences relating to education, parenting and safeguarding.  

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 13 July, 11am-1pm, delivered via Zoom.

Booking details here >


Volunteer with Praxis

Praxis is a human rights charity, based in Bethnal Green that supports migrants in crisis or at-risk, ensuring that their basic human needs are met and that they are supported to overcome the barriers they face.

By volunteering with Praxis, you will be helping deliver much needed services.

The charity is looking for dedicated individuals to volunteer in a variety of interesting roles.

Learn more >

Online sessions for parents

Online drop-in sessions for parents

Now more than ever, parents need a safe space to come together, share their experiences and get support. That’s why the Parental Engagement Parenting Team have created handy lunchtime drop in sessions for parents and carers.

Join these sessions to pick up useful parenting tips, connect with others and form a network of support. You’ll also find out about local support services available.

Next session

Monday 19 July, 1.30-2.30pm

Delivered online, through Zoom

Register here > 

Covid-19 Vaccine

Q&A with experts on COVID19 vaccine

Tower Hamlets council will be hosting a free online event on Thursday 24 June, 6-8pm. The event is open to all residents, particularly those from Black African and Black Caribbean communities.

A panel of Public Health professionals, senior clinicians and faith leaders will discuss vaccine hesitancy, misconceptions and provide accurate information.

You can register to submit questions to the panel in advance here.

Zoom Meeting ID:726 6621 6639

Zoom Passcode: 68ELwU

Zoom link here > 

Parent sessions

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities online taster session

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (in Bengali) is an evidence-based parenting programme that explores child development, the causes of conflict, community involvement and family values.  

The full programme is normally delivered over 13 weeks, but now parents have a chance to gain an overview of the programme, meet the facilitators and ask questions with this online taster session. Tower Hamlets parents with children aged between three and 18-years are welcome to attend.

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities Taster Session

Thursday 15 July, 10.30am–12noon

Delivered in Bengali through Zoom

For more details and to book your place email,

Include - your name - email address - and, contact telephone number.

National Week of Play

National Week of Play

The Early Years Alliance has launched its National Week of Play (21 - 27 June) aimed at encouraging professionals to put play at the heart of their practice and supporting parents to explore new play ideas.

As part of the week, there will be engaging online sessions as well as a play panel featuring experts in the field of play.

Register here >

Emotional First Aid

Emotional First Aid taster session

Emotional First Aid, delivered by the Parental Engagement Team, is an emotional wellbeing programme that helps parents identify early warning signs of anxiety and equips them with effective coping strategies - leading to better emotional health and resilience.

The full programme will take place over five sessions in September, but parents now have a chance to gain an overview of the course, meet the facilitators and ask questions with this online taster session.

Tower Hamlets parents with children from birth to 18-years are welcome to attend.

Emotional First Aid Taster Session

Wednesday 14 July, 10am–12.30pm

Delivered through Zoom

For more details and joining information email

Families Matter

Families Matter Magazine – Summer 2021

Alongside the monthly Families Matter e-bulletin, the Parent and Family Support Service also produces a termly magazine full of local and national information on services to support families.  

The latest edition is out now. 

Read now >

Did you know that Tower Hamlets offers other email newsletters to keep you up to date on a variety of topics?

  See the list and sign up!


Healthy Lives - Banner 1 May 2020 - FINAL

The Healthy Lives Team Families update contains helpful information and activities for your whole school community


This is the FAMILIES newsletter from The Healthy Lives Team. Each Friday we share relevant information, activities and resources to support your ongoing health and wellbeing.

The HEALTHY LIVES TEAM supports schools, pupils and families with everything to do with health and wellbeing. We want to help you to live fitter, healthier and happier lives.

We now have a Healthy Lives Team webpage where you can find out more about the team and access Healthy Schools resources and all our archived newsletters.


18 or over? Get your Covid-19 vaccine now

Everyone aged 18 and over is now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine and should book an appointment to get their jab.

Locally there are a number of clinics that offer vaccination including the Arts Pavilion, Cable Street Surgery and Lincoln and Lansbury pharmacies. Appointments are also available at mass vaccination sites such as Westfield.

Anyone aged 40 and under will be offered the Pfizer vaccine and two doses, eight-weeks apart, are needed. Vaccines are highly effective against the Delta Covid variant, which is now making up the vast majority of cases in the UK. Those who are vaccinated are unlikely to get serious Covid-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it.

More information on the vaccine and how to book, including walk-in options, is available on the council website. Protect yourself, your loved ones and our community and take up the offer of free Covdi-19 vaccination.

Find out more here >


Raising Happy Babies: Free 6 week psychology course

Raising Happy Babies group is still running with the next one due to start Wednesday the 14th July at 10am.

This course will help you to:

  • Learn about your baby's emotional development/bonding
  • Look after yourself as a new mother
  • Adjust to the transition to life with your baby

To register for this group you must be a resident or have a GP in Tower Hamlets, be a first time mother and have a baby under 6 months.

Self refer here >


Supporting children's transitions to secondary school

The Anna Freud Centre have launched their Moving up! transition animation and toolkit which is accompanied by the Supporting children's transitions to secondary school booklet for parents and carers. 

The animation aims to support pupils to:

  • Identify potential worries associated with starting secondary school
  • Know they're not alone if they are feeling worried
  • Talk to a trusted adult or friend if they have any concerns
  • Identify solutions and strategies for looking after their mental health, including self-care

The booklet  provides tips about how children preparing for, or going through, the transition to secondary school can best be supported by their parents and carers. It includes guidance which explains why the transition can be difficult for some children, and practical advice such as talking and connecting with the new school, as well as suggested resources that children and parents and carers may find useful.

Moving up! animation >

Transitions booklet >

online safety

Keeping your children safe: online & beyond

It's never easy to know how to keep our children safe when they aren't with us, and sometimes even when are, if we don't know what's happening on their devices. Who are they talking to, what are they doing, are they okay? If you need help to find some answers, Parents Safe have top tips and advice for parents on how to keep their child safe online. 

 Parent Safe >

And remember...


“You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

Maya Angelou

TH Healthy Schools logo  

The Healthy Lives Team

The Healthy Lives Team want to support you with all aspects of health and wellbeing. We will be sending you regular newsletters that will be relevant whether you are at school, work, or at home.

Please feel free to share this email.

We are incredibly proud in Tower Hamlets to have supported schools to gain more Healthy Schools awards than any other borough in London. So please use this newsletter in whatever way suits you best to stay as fit and healthy as possible.

If you're in a school, please share this newsletter using your social media or website using the following share button, or you can click the hyperlink in the top right corner of this email:

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Subscribing to this newsletter

Just to let you know, you're receiving this because you have either opted in to get emails from the council relating to children and education, or you are one of the Healthy Lives team's regular contacts, or you may also have been forwarded this email from your school.

If you or anyone you know would like to sign up to this newsletter, please use the following link. 

Subscribe to the Healthy Lives Families newsletter >

Take care,

The Healthy Lives team at London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Useful links

Did you know that Tower Hamlets offers other email newsletters to keep you up to date on a variety of topics?

  See the list and sign up!

News and information to support your work with families Thursday update for professionals – 24th June 2021


Parents and school staff have requested ideas for non- online activities, our Family Fun sheet 17 is attached - please add to your newsletter and website


We welcome feedback on the content of our Family Fun Sheets- please contact  with any comments or ideas



Families Matter Bitesize E-bulletin – June 2021


Please click the image below to view the June 2021 Families Matter bitesize e-bulletin which was sent via the council’s email newsletter system.  Please share with colleagues, the families you work with and wider networks.  You can also share the link on your school’s/organisation’s website, social media and via other communication channels.


Editions of the Families Matter monthly bitesize e-bulletin and the termly magazine can be found at







Ofsted Inspection of SEND Services:         Please promote to families on your website to encourage feedback




Holiday Childcare Scheme Bookings Summer 2021:         Information for professionals


  • The Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme bookings for the summer 2021 Scheme open on 22nd June, 12pm for working parents resident in the borough and vulnerable referrals. We will be following government guidance and will open offering a reduced capacity, for more details please see the government guidance.
  • Scheme dates: Monday 26th July – Friday 20th August 2021 (4 weeks)
  • Venue: St Mary and St Michael Primary School, Sutton Street, Stepney, E1 0BD
  • Please support and share this information with families who may benefit from our scheme.  To refer a child please complete our referral form and support the family to book following the steps on our booking system.  Referral forms can be sent to at any point, bookings are accepted when open (see dates above.)
  • More information can be found on our website
  • From the Holiday Childcare Team, Parent & Family Support Service, Children and Culture Directorate, London Borough of Tower Hamlets



EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Application Deadline – 30th June Reminder:     Please share with families


  • Please remind the parents, families, young people you are working with that if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, they and their family members may be eligible to apply to the Settlement Scheme.
  • It is crucial that eligible parents apply to the scheme themselves and check whether they need to do so on behalf of their children. Eligible children are required to have an application in their own right and no child of any age is covered by a parent’s application to the EUSS.  More information can be found at
  • A EUSS leaflet has been produced by the University of Liverpool, in partnership with the Home Office to provide additional guidance for parents and young people.   Click here for the leaflet





HMRC Can Help Towards the Cost of Children’s Summer Holiday Activities:      Please share with families


  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding working families in London that they can use Tax-Free Childcare to help pay for their childcare costs over the summer.
  • Parents and carers can check their eligibility and register for Tax-Free Childcare via GOV.UK. They can apply for an account at any time and start using it straight away. By depositing money into their accounts, families can benefit from the 20% top-up and use the money to pay for childcare costs when they need to, for example, during the summer holidays.



Praxis and Brighter Futures Volunteer Roles Available:    Please share with families and staff




Tower Hamlets Transition Support Services:  please promote to families

  • Please find attached information about secondary transfer information sessions for year 5 parents/carers.
  • The sessions aim to help Year 5 parents/carers know more about the secondary transfer process by providing key information and exploring how to support a child’s secondary transfer.   
  • Parents/carers can book a place through Eventbrite and browse different session dates/timeSecondary Transfer Session Tickets, Mon 28 Jun 2021 at 13:00 | Eventbrite
  • Or call the parents Advice Centre: 020 7364 6489



Parent & Family Support Service ~  24th June 2021


‘The Parent and Family Support Service builds resilience, independence and sustainability in local communities to support early help and is highly valued by the parents involved.’

Tower Hamlets Inspection of Children’s Social Care Ofsted Report 2019


To find out more about the work of the Parent and Family Support Service visit:

Search the Local Offer for information about services available to children, young people and families in Tower Hamlets.



Frances Cherry

Monitoring and Service Support Officer (Maternity Cover)

Children and Culture Directorate

London Borough of Tower Hamlets


London Borough Of Tower Hamlets

Parents Advice Centre

30 Greatorex Street


London E1 5NP 





‘The Parent and Family Support Service builds resilience, independence and sustainability in local communities to support early help and is highly valued by the parents involved.’

Tower Hamlets Inspection of Children’s Social Care Ofsted Report 2019

To find out more about the work of the Parent and Family Support Service visit:


Search the Local Offer for information about services available to children, young people and families in Tower Hamlets.