Latest Public Sector News

29.06.15

A third of children’s centres ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’

More than a third of children’s centres in England have been rated either as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted. 

Ofsted’s ‘Children’s centre inspection outcomes, January to March 2015’ report reveals that 10% of children’s centres were rated outstanding, 56% good, 32% requires improvement and 2% as poor. 

As at 31 March, Ofsted stated there were 1,978 open and inspected single children’s centres. Of those, 67% were judged good or outstanding, 32% required improvement and 1% were judged inadequate at their most recent inspection. 

For single centres, the percentage judged good or outstanding is two percentage points lower than the position as at 31 March 2013. 

Ofsted began inspecting children’s centre groups on 1 April 2013, and as at 31 March 2015 there were 214 open and inspected children’s centre groups. Of those, 52% were judged good or outstanding, 38% required improvement and 9% were judged inadequate at their most recent inspection. 

Children's centres

At a regional level, it was found that London and the north east have the highest proportion (75%) of children's centres judged good or outstanding at their most recent inspection. The south west has the lowest proportion (53%) of children’s centres judged good or outstanding. 

The latest findings seem to support PSE findings from earlier this year which revealed that children’s centres are coming under increased pressure with a third of local authorities across England reducing their funding for children’s centres by nearly a third on average in the last five years. 

However, recent research commissioned by the Department for Education suggests that while children’s centres continue to be popular, almost half of the staff are dealing with families ‘on social workers' books’ who have complex needs and are increasingly the focus of their work. 

Senior researcher Professor Kathy Sylva, from the University of Oxford’s Department of Education, said that the study shows that staff and managers in children’s centres are working incredibly hard to meet the needs of their communities. 

“Yet they admit and our qualitative data shows that their overall capacity is over-stretched,” she said. “Delivering the impressive aims of the children’s centre programme will require intelligent management and optimisation of resources to enable centres to continue to offer effective services that support families in poorer areas.” 

The centres in the Oxford University study were mostly located in very disadvantaged areas. Even the few found in less disadvantaged areas still drew one third of their users from poor areas, says the report. Centres typically had a very high level of registration among families with children aged 0-4 and each centre dealt with an average of 770 children. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >