Thursday, 7 April 2011

Chapeltown children’s centre is doubly outstanding

Picture caption: "Chapeltown children's centre manager Colette Kurylo with Taya Frederick, (front l-r) Shanaé Wilkinson, Ramaya Weekes, Savantaé Wilkinson and Ayden Brooks."

A children’s centre in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Leeds has received not one but two, glowing reports from government inspectors.

Chapeltown children’s centre, run by Leeds City Council, was judged as outstanding in both it’s childcare provision and it’s wider services to families, following two recent inspections by Ofsted .

In the report, published this week, which looks at the centre’s services for children and families, except childcare, the inspectors said: “The centre provides exceptional levels of care, guidance and support to its service users. It is highly effective in assessing the needs of individuals and the community and tailors services to meet those needs. Overall, outcomes for centre users are outstanding, particularly in children’s achievement.
“Parents and carers are extremely happy with the centre and praise staff highly for their sensitivity and approachability. The safety and security of children is without doubt a top priority for all those who work with or in the centre.”

Following the inspection last month, inspectors also found that “the centre is a highly inclusive place where individuals from a wide range of cultures represented in the area are embraced and valued.”

An earlier inspection by Ofsted in January this year, which looked at the centre’s early years provision also resulted in an ‘outstanding’ judgement – making it the only centre in Leeds to be judged as outstanding in both categories.

Of the centre’s early years provision the inspectors commented that: “The care and education for all children is exceptional. The management team is inspirational, highly motivated and totally focused on delivering outstanding outcomes for children in their early years. Children enjoy a wonderful range of play and learning experiences and make significant progress in relation to their starting points. Inclusive practice is at the heart of the work and is exceptionally well promoted as each child's individuality is embraced and valued. The partnership arrangements are phenomenal and parents and carers are fully included in all aspects of the setting. Exemplary, ongoing self-evaluation ensures high quality and promotes continuous improvement.”

The children’s centre received the highest possible score in every category of both Ofsted reports.

The reports highlighted the centre’s ability to work well with parents in challenging circumstances and acknowledged how they embrace the diverse community in which the centre is located.

Inspectors commended the centre’s safeguarding practices saying that it has ‘exceptional’ systems in place for safeguarding children and that it is given top priority. The reports also describe the management team as ‘highly motivated, focused, passionate and committed to improving opportunities for children..”, and that the day-to-day organisation is ‘excellent’.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive member responsible for learning, said:

“To hear words like ‘exceptional’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘exemplary’ to describe this children’s centre is fantastic and everyone should be very proud. To be classed as outstanding in every aspect of the centre’s provision is truly an amazing achievement.

“These results prove that this centre is really offering the best start in life for the children of Chapeltown by not only offering excellent childcare, but by giving their families the help and opportunities to make changes in their lives for the better.”

Colette Kurylo, Chapeltown children’s centre manager, said:
“I am thrilled that the hard work and dedication of all the staff here has been rewarded with such a great result. I am very lucky to have the support of a great team who really put the needs of the children and families at the heart of everything they do.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713