Ofsted tell Potter Street Children’s Centre to improve

Education: Secondary / Wed 11th Mar 2015 at 12:53pm

Ofsted 2015OFSTED has told the Potter Street Children’s Centre to improve.

The government watchdog came to the centre in Carters Mead, Harlow last month and gave the centre a “Requires Improvement” grading.

Amongst the criticisms were:

1. There are not enough priority families, including lone parents and those not in employment, benefiting from the centre’s work.

2. Once families from some priority groups have engaged with centre services there is no clear plan of how the centre will support them to improve their circumstances. Attendance by children and families from these groups is not routinely monitored by the centre.

3. Session planning and evaluation does not always reflect Early Years Foundation Stage outcomes and does not sharply focus on meeting the needs of priority children, recording the progress they make, or the next steps needed to support their development.

4. Staff do not keep a record of the progress adults make after they complete courses with the centre and don’t know if learners continue into further training or employment.

5. The centre does not operate from one clear plan for improvement. Actions identified through an evaluation of its own work, and actions required to meet local authority monitoring requirements are not well reflected in the plan.

6.Effective local oversight and challenge of the centre’s work by the Children’s Centre Community Group has not taken place since the summer of 2014.

However, Ofsted did also praise the centre.


1. Registrations are increasing so that most families are now known to the centre.

2. Children and families who access services are well cared for and supported by staff. Families value the help they receive and greatly enjoy the services the centre provides.

3. The centre leader and staff team are committed to improving services and outcomes for the families they are supporting. Their efforts are beginning to have a positive effect on families’ lives.

4. Children and families are kept safe from harm through effective support underpinned by clear safeguarding policies and procedures.

5. The local authority and Spurgeons provide effective management oversight and support to the centre.

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