A Harold Wood children’s centre is rated satisfactory

A HAROLD Wood children’s centre has been rated satisfactory by an education watchdog.

Ofsted inspected Harold Court Children’s Centre in Church Road, for the first time last month.

The report, which was published this week, rated the school’s overall effectiveness as satisfactory and its capacity for improvement as good.

It said the centre, which is two-years-old, is a “satisfactory and improving centre which provides effective outreach support and links to other services for its users.”

It was praised for its welcoming atmosphere and inspectors noted that “staff clearly care deeply about the families they serve and have high expectations for all users.”

Inspectors said a high number of centre users later became volunteers.

An example was the centre’s “high-quality support for breastfeeding mums,” which has helped some to become volunteers and encourage more mums to breastfeed.

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They also noted the success the centre had with fathers who attend clubs and support groups to improve the quality of family life.

Leaders proved they ensured staff worked effectively together and appropriate referrals were made because family needs were identified early on.

Vulnerable families were helped by a team of qualified family support workers.

Children have shown they make satisfactory progress in their learning, even those with complex barriers and from challenging backgrounds.

The centre was rated good for the extent children are safe and protected. It was rated satisfactory for the extent children engage in positive behaviour, users enjoy and achieve educationally and children develop skills for the future.

But Ofsted inspectors said a couple of improvements could be made. Parents were not always involved as much as they could be in the management of the centre, but the manager was aware of this and had begun to make plans to improve parental input.

They are also working with the primary school next door to get more parents and carers involved.

The centre was also asked to improve the use of data to evaluate children’s progress.