20/05/2015 - Permalink

Severn Valley Area Children’s Centre celebrates “good” Ofsted rating

Related topics: Community

Shropshire Council’s Severn Valley Area Children’s Centre group is celebrating after being judged “good” by Government inspectors.

The centre is one of 13 children’s centres in Shropshire which offer a variety of services for families with children under five years old.

Ofsted inspectors visited the centre on 16 April and 17 April 2015.

Their report says that the Severn Valley Area Children’s Centre group “engage with a large majority of children and families living in the least advantaged areas regularly engage in services”.

It also comments that “the good collaboration partnership with health practitioners enables timely contact with expectant families and pressing needs are assessed early on”.

Inspectors also commended the centre for ensuring that “safeguarding policy, procedures and practice meet current requirements about keeping children safe in education”. They say that “the Early Help procedures are well understood and involve multi-agency professionals working together to reduce the risk of harm to the most vulnerable children”.

In relation to the quality and practice of children’s centres, Ofsted state that “Sessions such as ‘food for thought’ raise awareness about healthy living, and the successful promotion of breastfeeding is leading to health outcomes that are more positive that seen nationally”.

Inspectors also note that “leaders, together with the hardworking and dedicated staff team, have high aspirations to make the centre the best it can be”.

The report also comments that “There is good involvement of parents in centre decision-making to help shape the programme of activities. Parents on the advisory board do a good job of canvassing views and are instrumental in shaping services”.

The report highlights a number of areas that the centre needs to address if it is to improve still further.

These include improving the sustained contact of workless and low income parents so that at least the large majority take up appropriate services to enhance their skills, employability and economic well-being; strengthening the work with schools and early years partners to establish a systematic way of tracking children’s progress; and ensuring that centre leaders have a clear picture of the impact on reducing inequalities when parents access services to improve their education and skills.

Work is already underway to address the points.

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services – transformation and safeguarding, said:

“We are delighted that the Ofsted judgement reflects the quality of early childhood services in south east Shropshire and the motivation and commitment of all those involved in the delivery of Early Help to improve outcomes for children and their families. My congratulations to go to all the staff who have helped the centre to achieve this Ofsted rating.”

For more information about Severn Valley Area Children’s Centre and surrounding areas, contact children’s centre co-ordinator Nina Kooner or children’s centre area leader Annie Mackellar on 01588 673873.

Further information

Shropshire Council Sure Start children’s centres work in partnerships to provide a range of services for families with children under five years old including:

  • Information and advice to parents and carers
  • Parental outreach services
  • Family drop-in sessions
  • Child and family health
  • Links with Jobcentre Plus
  • Early learning and childcare
  • Childminding
  • Family support
  • Support for children and parents with special needs.