Staff praised after children’s centres are rated ‘good’

Lincolnshire County Council
Lincolnshire County Council
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Children’s centres across the area have broken the mould nationally and received good Ofsted reports in their recent inspection.

Lincolnshire County Council’s children’s centres in its South Kesteven south area, which includes Stamford and Market Deeping and South Witham and Bourne, received a good rating across the 
board following an inspection in July.

The centres provide family play sessions, health services, parenting courses, adult learning and family support.

The group of centres in South Kesteven were some of the first to be inspected under the new Ofsted framework.

Nationally 18 children centre groups have been inspected to date – three were classed as inadequate, 11 were classed as requiring improvement and just three other centre groups achieved 
good.

The county council’s executive councillor for children’s services Patricia Bradwell said: “The inspection has highlighted our work in ensuring excellent quality is maintained as well as the highly committed team of staff and key professionals.

“Young children are thriving by accessing good quality early education.

“This is a ringing endorsement of our children’s centres which provide support all the year round for young children aged five and under and their families.”

The centres were visited by a team of three inspectors, led by Rachael Flesher.

Before compiling their report they held meetings with staff, partners, the senior leadership team and representatives of the advisory board and the local authority.

The inspectors visited each of the centres, observed their work and looked at a range of relevant documentation.

The centres were praised for their access to services by young children and families, as well as the quality of practice and services and the effectiveness of the leadership.

The South Kesteven centres missed out on being graded outstanding because, although praised for engaging a high number of families, the inspectors felt a small minority of families 
remained difficult to engage and were not benefiting from the services offered.

The centres’ improvement plans could also need to clearly show how staff were working towards their targets.