28/04/2023 - Permalink

Children’s residential homes rated “Outstanding” in latest Ofsted reports

Related topics: Children's services / Safeguarding

Two Shropshire Council-run children’s homes in Shropshire have again been rated “Outstanding” by the Government’s Ofsted inspectors, following inspections earlier in the year.

Chelmaren (inspected January 2023) and Berwyn Cottage (inspected February 2023) were both rated Outstanding in areas of ‘overall experiences and progress of children and young people’, ‘how well children and young people are helped and protected’, and ‘effectiveness of leaders and managers’.

In the reports for both homes, the inspectors concluded that: “The children’s home provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions of the children’s home contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people who need help, protection and care.”

Chelmaren residential home’s Ofsted report said the home provided ‘exceptional stability for young people, who are fit and well, and benefit from a diverse range of activities to meet their individual needs’.

The report also praises the staff at the home, saying that ‘the manager is committed and supported by a passionate, well-trained, skilled and knowledgeable staff team’, which is ‘longstanding, committed, dedicated and passionate about the home’.

Inspectors also said that staff morale is high, and turnover of staff is minimal. A carer told the inspector, “I have never come across such a supportive team of each other and of the children.” ‘The stability and expertise of the staff team contribute to achieving positive outcomes for the children’.

The Ofsted report for Berwyn Cottage said managers and staff give children who move out of the home an extremely high level of support. They work with children to create a plan, which includes supporting children to decorate their new home and to move their possessions. They then keep in touch and continue to support children for as long as they want.

Inspectors also said that staff treat children with dignity and respect and that children’s positive behaviour is recognised and rewarded by staff.  The report said that morale is high, and staff describe the team as ‘resilient’ and ‘supportive’. Staff are passionately committed to providing high-quality warm and nurturing care.

The two reports did identify some areas for improvement, including education of children around online safety, the implementation of a workforce development plan, and some minor refurbishment of areas in one of the homes. Staff at Chelmaren and Berwyn Cottage have reviewed these recommendations and are already working to make these improvements.

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:-

“Being rated Outstanding in Ofsted reports is an incredible achievement for the staff at our Chelmaren and Berwyn Cottage residential homes, and is a credit to their hard work, commitment and dedication to providing an outstanding level of care.

“Achieving an outstanding judgement is a feat in itself: however, to maintain an Outstanding judgement is a far greater challenge.

“This is a huge achievement for our staff, and we are very proud of them.”

You can read the full reports here:-

Chelmaren /wp-content/uploads/Chelmaren-Ofsted-report-2023.pdf

Berwyn Cottage – /wp-content/uploads/Berwyn-Cottage-Ofsted-report-2023.pdf