Ofsted inspectors moved to tears as they rate children’s centre ‘outstanding’

This Is Wiltshire: Staff, parents and children at Spring Rise Children’s Centre celebrate the Ofsted report Staff, parents and children at Spring Rise Children’s Centre celebrate the Ofsted report

Inspectors from Ofsted were so impressed with Chippenham’s Spring Rise Children’s Centre that they were moved to tears.

The centre is celebrating the huge achievement after it received a fantastic Ofsted report, with every area assessed rated outstanding.

Pauline Monaghan, who runs the centre, said staff were overwhelmed with the result. She said: “The staff and parents who bring their children here work so hard to make it wonderful.

“The result is particularly brilliant for us because we [The Rise Trust] only took this centre over from Barnardo’s a year ago. So to take it this far is amazing, and we really couldn’t be happier.

“The inspectors were just effusive about it. They were honestly moved to tears.

“They were overwhelmed by the transformation they had seen in people’s lives. “Usually the inspectors leave the staff crying, but this time it was the other way around.”

Spring Rise caters for adults as well as under-fives, with courses available all year for parents, including first aid and NVQs.

Inspectors wrote in their report: “It is particularly successful in engaging with over 90 per cent of children in its reach area.

“The centre also engages with all target groups exceptionally well, including teenage parents, lone parents and fathers. The centre places great emphasis on gaining feedback from all its families after every session to improve its services even further.

“Comments, such as, ‘really friendly centre’ and, ‘the staff are brilliant – I have really improved my parenting skills’ and, ‘excellent advice on sleeping and weaning’ are typical of many.”

Mrs Monaghan said the trust hopes to repeat its success across its two other children’s centres in Chippenham.

She said: “We have also opened an early excellence centre, and we are planning on developing that so we can improve upon the quality of pre-school education for children in Chippenham.

“We are not stopping on the surface – we’re going deeper into it.”

The centre takes on many children from less privileged backgrounds in Chippenham.

Mrs Monaghan said: “It can be worse for our children because of the extremes in Chippenham. You get children from affluent homes, and children from less affluent ones, going to the same schools together.

“It can make their poverty worse in a way, because they can see children who comparatively have everything. But we want everyone to have a level start in life.”

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