Children's centre's lessons in success
A CHILDREN'S centre has been judged as 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors for a second time.
The Crescent Children's Centre in Meir, run by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, is the only one in the city to be given the accolade.
It means that The Crescent site is now only the second in the entire country to be home to a primary school, children's centre and pre-school nursery that are all 'outstanding' after separate inspections.
Ofsted officials spoke to staff, parents, carers, volunteers, local schools, members of the centre's advisory board and partners in November.
They assessed how the centre helped parents, prospective parents and young children to access services, and made sure they benefited from the services offered.
The Crescent was judged 'outstanding' in 17 areas, and 'good' in one. In 2009, The Crescent was the first in the city to receive an 'outstanding'.
Tracy Jackson OBE, locality manager for children's centres in the south of the city, including The Crescent, said: "Children's centres were established to bridge the attainment gap for the most disadvantaged children.
"Ofsted assesses the leadership and management of a centre and make sure it is having an impact and providing the right level of support for families.
"This outstanding result, and the passion and knowledge our parents showed when talking to inspectors, shows we are making a difference and giving the children of Meir a better start in life."
Councillor Debra Gratton, cabinet member for children's services, added: "This is one of the most glowing Ofsted inspections I have ever read and it is a testament to the hard work of the centre, its staff, parents and volunteers that they have achieved such a fabulous report."
The detailed 10-page Ofsted report praised the centre's strong leadership and management, its success in engaging parents in the Meir area, and described the effect its services have on families as 'excellent' and 'outstanding'.
The report said parents and carers had high levels of understanding regarding their child's development.
Last year, staff at The Crescent were named the UK Children's Centre Team of the Year by national charity Together for Children.
Parent Katrina Danyiova said: "The Crescent Children's Centre has helped me with my language and cared for my children while I have been doing the English for speakers of other languages course. The centre has also helped my daughter by supporting her special needs."
Fellow parent Claire Lawrence added: "The centre has helped my three-year-old son with his speech and language transition into nursery school. Community development work has helped me with my confidence through volunteering."