Two children’s centres in Northampton have been judged to be “inadequate” after Ofsted inspections carried out last month.
Vernon Terrace Primary School and Children’s Centre and Headlands SureStart Children’s Centre have both been criticised for Access to the quality of practice and services and their effectiveness of leadership, governance and management.
The report of the inspection of Vernon Terrace, carried out on June 17 and 18, states “leaders and those responsible for governance have not undertaken a full assessment of the needs of families in the area and are not sufficiently clear about which priority families they
should be working with.”
The reports states that Northamptonshire County Council has not set targets that are “realistically challenging” and has not been robust enough in ensuring previous targets such as setting up a parents’ forum and completing the self-evaluation document have been met.
In the Headlands report, following a visit on June 10 and 11, Northamptonshire County Council, governors and managers were criticsed for having an “optimistic view of the centre’s performance.”
The report states: “Targets set are not always met and there is a lack of information about priority families’ engagement with services, to accurately measure the centre’s impact. As a result, the capacity to improve is limited.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said Vernon Terrace children’s centre had been put on a ‘notice to improve’ last year as there was concern that the centre was underperforming.
The spokesman said: “The notice to improve was removed in July 2013 as significant progress had been made and the centre continued to improve for a few months after the removal of the notice.
“The county council is disappointed that the centre has been categorised as ‘inadequate’ by ofsted.
“As the council has statutory responsibility for children’s centres we will be working on a post-ofsted inspection improvement plan and will continue to monitor progress.
“Following a re-commissioning process, this will be with the new service provider for the centre, which will be Action For Children.”