Centre failing to help youngsters

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A CHILDREN’S centre has been told it is failing to improve the lives of families by an inspector.

Ofsted rated Exeter Children’s Centre as “inadequate” in a report released on Friday.

It follows an inspection at the centre in Brayford Avenue, Corby, on February 23 and February 24.

The report by inspector Kath Becksays: “Disruption to the leadership and management of the centre over the past two years means responsibilities for governance and accountability have not been fully understood and implemented.

“Those responsible have not asked sufficiently challenging questions of senior managers to improve provision and outcomes for all target groups. Consequently, outcomes, especially those for achieving and enjoyment, and economic and social well-being, are inadequate.”

However, she stated that children behave well at the centre and parents say they feel secure there.

The report says: “The What is life? course for 12 to 19-year-olds, supported by volunteer young parents, is proving successful in promoting sexual health, safety and the prevention of at least one teenage pregnancy.”

Ellen Wallace, consultant headteacher at Exeter Primary School, who is currently leading the children’s centre alongside the school, said an action plan has been put in place and aims to improve the recording of data.

She said: “Of course we are extremely disappointed with that as an outcome. However, as you would imagine we will be working extremely hard between now and next year when Ofsted will revisit to make sure it is satisfactory, if not good.

“I think it is worth noting Ofsted did comment on the quality of the provision at the centre.

“One of the things we need to do is to move on from the last two or three years and make sure we are addressing the needs of for example workless people and to become more targeted around and engage with these groups.”

The Children’s Centre at Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre was also inspected by Ofsted and rated “satisfactory” in its recent report.

It stated: “Outcomes for children and families are satisfactory but improving. Users enjoy a satisfactory range of services and groups.”

No-one from the centre was available to comment.