Children’s Centre rated ‘inadequate’

This Is Wiltshire: Westrop Primary School, where the nursery is situated Westrop Primary School, where the nursery is situated

LADYBIRD Children’s Centre in Highworth has been deemed inadequate by Ofsted inspectors at the same time as it takes responsibility for a sister site, which was forced to close due to budget cuts.

Sapling’s Children’s Centre was one of four to be forced to closed or transfer its services after Swindon Council agreed £380,000 of cuts to the centres last September.

The two centres were in the process of merging this month as the damning report was published.

Summarising their visit to the centre, based in Westrop Primary School, inspectors wrote: “The centre does not know how many two-year-olds living in the reach area are eligible for free early education.

“This is because the LA does not provide the information the centre needs to identify the children.

“As a result, neither the local authority nor the children’s centre has a view of how many take up their free entitlement.

“Leaders have an overly positive view about the centre’s effectiveness because they do not track the quality and impact of services in improving children’s and families’ well-being rigorously enough.

“Local authority monitoring lacks sharp focus on supporting the centre’s development.

“The support provided to the vulnerable families who access centre services, including disabled children, is effective and makes a positive difference to their lives.”

Ladybird is the second children’s centre to receive Ofsted’s worst rating in a month after Saltway Children’s Centre at the beginning of January.

Commenting at the time, Fionuala Foley, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is not an issue about budgets. It’s about all the centres: “Are there problems in the others, where there have also been cuts? No there aren’t.”

But following this report, Coun Foley said a plan will now be put in place to rectify some of the problems.

“Both the centre’s management and the Local Authority accept the report and its findings, and we are jointly working to address the issues it highlights,” she said.

“In addition the council is currently drawing up a plan, in collaboration with centre managers and others, to make sure that the data provided to all children’s centres allows them to better identify particular target groups so they can be supported at the earliest opportunity.

“The Ofsted criteria for children’s centres changed nine months ago, and around half of Ofsted inspections nationally have found similar issues with the data supplied by local authorities to children’s centres.

“There will always be a time lag between a new policy and the ability to implement it.

“While the report rightly identifies areas that need improvement, it also acknowledges that families who use the centre find the welcome they receive is warm and friendly, and they enjoy using it.

“Those who receive specific support say that without it, they would have very different lives.”

Comments (5)

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9:27am Fri 31 Jan 14

Trend says...

So basically the centre is providing good care that parents and children are happy with. However, it is not pushing enough paper around, so gets marked down! What a ridiculous system.
So basically the centre is providing good care that parents and children are happy with. However, it is not pushing enough paper around, so gets marked down! What a ridiculous system. Trend

2:13pm Fri 31 Jan 14

beach1e says...

its amazing how many public services that have vast amounts of money thrown at it are failing, not due to the lack of funds but lack of good quality staffing. disgraceful waste of hardworking taxpayers money
its amazing how many public services that have vast amounts of money thrown at it are failing, not due to the lack of funds but lack of good quality staffing. disgraceful waste of hardworking taxpayers money beach1e

4:55pm Fri 31 Jan 14

trustnopolitician says...

I find it amazing for the LA to pretend that cuts make no difference to the quality of a service .

Of course they do and its about time Foley ( and many of her cronies on the coucil) stopped burying her head and faced reality.
I find it amazing for the LA to pretend that cuts make no difference to the quality of a service . Of course they do and its about time Foley ( and many of her cronies on the coucil) stopped burying her head and faced reality. trustnopolitician

6:15pm Fri 31 Jan 14

trolley dolley says...

First it was Care homes failing and now it is children's Centres, just what is going on.

The council must get it's act together and be proactive rather than reactive.

What is the point of having cabinet members with defined responsibilities if they fail to keep their departments doing the job at least to a satisfactory standard.

This is not a political problem but rather one of incompetence.
First it was Care homes failing and now it is children's Centres, just what is going on. The council must get it's act together and be proactive rather than reactive. What is the point of having cabinet members with defined responsibilities if they fail to keep their departments doing the job at least to a satisfactory standard. This is not a political problem but rather one of incompetence. trolley dolley

4:12pm Sat 1 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

beach1e wrote:
its amazing how many public services that have vast amounts of money thrown at it are failing, not due to the lack of funds but lack of good quality staffing. disgraceful waste of hardworking taxpayers money
Have you worked for the council or do you now then to make those comments? I have worked there and don't disagree, I just wondered if you were speaking from experience. I worked with managers on £40k a year who you wouldn't employ to empty you waste paper baskets and some who created more problems than they solved. those with any get up and go work in the private sector, the number of council staff who left and came back was amazing not least that the council took back failures! Astonishing waste of our money.
[quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: its amazing how many public services that have vast amounts of money thrown at it are failing, not due to the lack of funds but lack of good quality staffing. disgraceful waste of hardworking taxpayers money[/p][/quote]Have you worked for the council or do you now then to make those comments? I have worked there and don't disagree, I just wondered if you were speaking from experience. I worked with managers on £40k a year who you wouldn't employ to empty you waste paper baskets and some who created more problems than they solved. those with any get up and go work in the private sector, the number of council staff who left and came back was amazing not least that the council took back failures! Astonishing waste of our money. house on the hill

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