A children’s centre in one of Blackpool’s most deprived communities is celebrating after an Ofsted report praised its work.
Revoe Children’s Centre, part of the school Revoe Learning Academy, was last year considered to be “inadequate” by the inspectorate.
But despite a revised inspection framework and a turbulent year for the school after seven staff were suspended over safeguarding concerns, the children’s centre has moved up a rating.
The centre is now considered to be “requiring improvement” but bosses have said that inspectors told them with a little more time they would be up to “good”.
Ofsted’s report noted:
l The dedicated team provides much-needed support to vulnerable families.
l Parents told inspectors the centre is “transformed”.
l Good-quality programmes are helping parents to develop positive relationships with their children and improve skills.
l Staff are well qualified and knowledgeable – duties relating to safeguarding are taken very seriously.
Kathryn Bastow, assistant headteacher with responsibility for early years, said: “The report is really pleasing.
“The school did go through a tricky spell but we’re moving forward, it’s onwards and upwards. These successes will breed further successes.”
The children’s centre, on Grasmere Road, is a place for families to find support or services to help with parenting, substance abuse problems, finding work or training, or dealing with domestic violence.
The report acknowledges the centre works in a community where nearly 20 per cent of adults have no formal qualifications, where abuse and neglect represent the biggest need areas for safeguarding and the proportion of children in need is high.
Over the past year it has extended its reach, working with an “increasing number of families,” the report said.
Mrs Bastow added: “We’ve tried to make the environment more friendly, we’ve done a lot of training so there’s more information to help families and we’ve a bigger staff, of six.
“Now we’re devising a new action plan and as we’ve more people attending we’re tracking the difference that’s making the family’s lives.
“Things are in place now so it’s time for them to embed for them to show results.”