Children’s centre earns top marks

Staff, partners, families and children celebrating at Armthorpe Village Children's Centre.
Staff, partners, families and children celebrating at Armthorpe Village Children's Centre.

A CHILDREN’S centre has been awarded the highest mark possible by inspectors on its first ever visit.

Armthorpe Village Children’s Centre was awarded Outstanding marks across the board by inspectors at Ofsted, who were looking at factors such as overall effectiveness and outcomes for families.

It was the centre’s first official inspection by Ofsted since opening its doors in 2008,

Inspectors acknowledged how the centre has built up the trust of the community, is highly valued by families and delivers outstanding outcomes, including for those most in need.

Reporting inspector Helen Clay, said: “‘Before coming here I had no confidence or self-esteem.

“I used to say, “I can’t do that.”

“But now I say, “I will accomplish what I want!’” is how one parent described the impact of Armthorpe Village Children’s Centre on her life.

“This outstanding centre has built up the trust of the community, is highly valued by local families and delivers outstanding outcomes, including for those most in need.

“The majority of centre users are involved in learning activities that significantly raise confidence and self-esteem, leading to further training and building employability skills.”

The report also praised staff for promoting an atmosphere of tolerance, understanding and respect for all families, whilst setting up community links to support the diverse needs of the community - even from a very early age.

The centre works with the support of Shaw Wood Primary School, and works with more than 80 per cent of young families living in Armthorpe.

Inspectors praised the centre manager as being very well qualified, determined and ambitious for the centre, and all staff shared the vision ‘to encourage, empower and enable children and families to achieve their full potential by igniting the belief that they can change in a positive way.’

Children’s centre manager, Alison Tomes, said: “All the staff at the Children’s Centre are so proud of being awarded an outstanding grade for our recent Ofsted inspection.

“I would like to thank the staff, parents and partner agencies for their hard work and support throughout the process.”

Cabinet member for the children and young people’s service, Councillor Eric Tatton-Kelly, said: “I am delighted that the hard work of everyone here has been noted and praised in this first ever highly successful Ofsted inspection.

“Here is an example of excellent partnership working with the local community and a Centre that is delivering outstanding outcomes for families.

“Congratulations to everyone on this achievement.”

The report also looked at social issues impacting the centre such as dental problems and fewer than average mothers breastfeeding.

To read the full Ofsted report log onto www.ofsted.gov.uk