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Children's centre 'needs to improve'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

By Mike Smallcombe

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WADEBRIDGE and Camelford Children's Centre is not meeting the needs of families in the area, according to government inspectors.

The Goldsworthy Way centre, which is run by Cornwall Council, has been ranked as 'requires improvement' following a visit by Ofsted and hasn't been previously inspected.

The report said: "Not enough of the families most in need, or who are less willing, are taking part in the centre's activities. As a result some families are not getting the information or specific support they need to improve their lives.

"Leaders are not using all the available information to review services or check whether families most in need are using them, and information gathering and target setting is insufficient to give priority to those most in need and make sure they get access to services and improve their lives and wellbeing. Co-ordination and planning of services to improve the lives of families in need, particularly those who live in workless or low-income households, is insufficient.

"Leaders do not track the progress of children and families most in need sufficiently and therefore the difference that these services are making is not clear."

The report did, however, praise the centre's staff, describing them as "highly committed and experienced and demonstrating good skills".

The council, which runs the centre, said there were many positives in the report.

A spokesperson said: "While the headline findings from the Ofsted inspection at Wadebridge and Camelford Children's Centre judge it to 'require improvement', the reports themselves have many positive comments about the staff and their commitment to helping families in the local area.

"Inspectors at the centre praised staff skills and experience. At Wadebridge and Camelford, the inspectors highlighted the work with those experiencing domestic violence and homelessness, stating that staff make 'a significant improvement to the lives of families in the area'.

"However, as the inspectors found, there are improvements we can make, and we will, of course, follow up on these recommendations to ensure our children's centres best meet the needs of the local community."

The Ofsted report highlighted that there are pockets of deprivation in Camelford and Padstow, where poverty levels are above the Cornwall average, but parts of the reach area are very affluent with a high population of working and middle-class homeowners in the Padstow and Rock area.

Meanwhile, Bodmin Children's Centre has also been ranked as 'requires improvement'.

The Ofsted report said that not enough families, particularly those who need most help and support, access services, and not enough of the families most in need are taking part in the centre's activities.

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