Shifnal area children’s centre rated “good”
Shropshire Council’s Shifnal area Sure Start children’s centre has been judged as “good” by Government inspectors, with an “outstanding” capacity for further improvement.
In a report published this month, Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) said that the Shifnal area children’s centre is a good well-run centre that meets the needs of its community.
Inspectors said the centre “provides an inclusive, warm and welcoming environment”, “leaders and staff have ensured that services for children and families continue to flourish”, and there is strong evidence that parents’ “lives would be less fulfilled without the centre’s help”.
The centre has a main base at Albrighton Primary School, with family rooms at St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Shifnal and Shifnal Primary School. It is one of 13 children’s centres in Shropshire which offer a variety of services for families with young children.
Inspectors commended the centre for high quality, dedicated, effective and ambitious team working and for excellent partnership working with other services. The care, guidance and support offered to families was similarly judged as outstanding, as was the capacity to improve.
Ofsted highlighted that: “Care, guidance and support are outstanding. Parents expressed very high levels of satisfaction and appreciation for the support they receive.”
The report added: “The centre manages resources very effectively and they have a positive impact, as reflected in the good and improving outcomes. As a result the centre provides good value for money.”
The Ofsted report summary for centre users informs parents that the centre has been asked to do two things to improve further:
- Accelerate opportunities for parents and carers in their role as advisory board members.
- Undertake further analysis of the provision for children with disabilities and those who have special educational needs and adult learners.
Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health and well-being, said:
“To date, good or outstanding ratings have been awarded to all children’s centres in the Shropshire Council area inspected by Ofsted.
“Inspectors have again praised the effective work of children’s centre staff and I am delighted that this commitment has been recognised.
“The report highlights how they are making a difference for families, bringing about ‘positive changes’ in a range of areas, including health initiatives, helping to prepare children for school, adult learning activities, and ensuring those in greatest need ‘receive prompt and effective support’.
“I would encourage anyone interested to find out more about what children’s centres can offer.”
Anne McKinnon, Shifnal area children’s centre manager, said:
“This report is a credit to everyone involved with the centre. We are really pleased to see Ofsted’s comments, particularly that: ‘Leaders share a clear vision and commitment to developing the centre’s services and are supported by a dedicated very small team which aspires to serve its community well’.
“It was also great to see parents’ responses, including the comment that ‘centre staff are non judgemental – everyone feels happy and comfortable to ask questions’.”
Inspectors visited the centre on 20 June and 21 June 2012.
For more information on the Shifnal area children’s centre and children’s centre services in surrounding areas, contact manager Anne McKinnon on 01694 723465.
For further details about children’s centre services go to shropshire.gov.uk/childrenscentres.nsf.
Shropshire Council’s Sure Start children’s centres provide a range of services for families with young children 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
- Family support
- Support for children and parents with special needs.