Corby’s Pen Green Centre celebrates double Ofsted success

Staff and children at Pen Green celebrate their grades. NNL-170611-135233005
Staff and children at Pen Green celebrate their grades. NNL-170611-135233005

The school and early years provision at Corby’s Pen Green Centre have been judged as outstanding yet again.

The centre in Pen Green Lane has retained its remarkable record of achieving the highest grade possible.

In its latest inspection, which looked at the school and early years in the same day, inspectors praised the ‘exceptional’ learning community.

Joint headteacher Angela Prodger, who has been at the centre for 29 years, said: “We are absolutely delighted.

“Staff and children have worked very hard together for this and it doesn’t happen instantly.”

The Ofsted inspection report into the centre’s early years provision graded it as outstanding in all four areas rated.

The report said: “Senior leaders work tirelessly to coach, mentor and inspire staff to constantly reflect and build on their knowledge, understanding and skills.

“The entire staff team shares the same unfaltering drive to consistently provide the highest quality care and learning for children.

“The highly qualified and skilful staff team has an excellent knowledge and understanding of how children learn and develop.”

In an inspection of the school on the same day, inspectors also praised the centre’s school.

In a letter to Mrs Prodger and fellow joint headteacher Tracy Gallagher, inspector Roary Pownall said: “The leadership team has maintained the outstanding quality of education in the school since the last inspection.

“The school is an exceptionally strong learning community.

“At its heart is a process of continuous learning by both children and adults.

“Pen Green leads a teaching school alliance.”

The centre works with hundreds of children and Mrs Prodger added that they are always striving to be the best.

She said: “We’ve only ever had outstanding and it’s about not resting on your laurels.

“It’s not just about preparing for an inspection, it’s about constantly wanting to be the best we can be.”

But despite the Ofsted celebrations, Pen Green is facing budget cuts which it has warned could ‘decimate’ services.

Children’s centre services in Corby face a 40 per cent cut in funding from Northamptonshire County Council, under plans to save almost £10m.

Mrs Prodger said: “The 40 per cent cuts in Corby will absolutely decimate services.

“The cuts are savage.

“To take away 40 per cent of funding for children’s centre services is very, very short-sighted.”

Mrs Prodger added that people ‘have a right’ to the services as they are.

She said: “Early intervention is what makes a difference to a child’s life chances.

“If something is working or services are needed people have a right to them.

“If they [NCC] keep cutting back and cutting back we will be useless.”

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said: “This proposal is for a 40 per cent reduction in funding for Corby children’s centre services, which were not affected by the children’s centre services review last year.

“The saving will enable us to look at contracts that are due to come to an end next year and to reduce duplication of services where vulnerable families are being supported by more than one county council service.

“We are working closely with providers and the families who use these services and will be holding a full consultation on the proposals before a final decision is made.”