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Staffordshire County Council says improvements to children's centres underway

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

By Matthew Cobb

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COUNCIL bosses say a report criticising the quality of services offered at children's centres in East Staffordshire will only be of long-term benefit as plans are put in place to make improvements.

Ofsted found that the East Staffordshire Children's Centre group, which operates three core facilities across the borough and is based in Waterloo Street in Burton, was inadequate in all areas, stating that local authority restructuring had led to a 'lack of leadership and management' over a six-month period between April and September last year.

However, Staffordshire County Council said the inspection occurred during a period where the leadership roles at children's centres throughout the county were being redefined and that improvements were now being made.

Cabinet member for communities, localism and children Mike Lawrence said: "In East Staffordshire we appointed someone to take on this role in September 2013, which is the period that the report refers to. Since then we have been working to engage with local families."

Councillor Lawrence admitted that while the rating was not what the council had hoped for, it was still welcomed as it highlighted some of the positive work being undertaken, as well as helping to identify areas in need of improvement.

He added: "The report does highlight the fact that children get the right level of support and how local support teams and social care work together to ensure that this is the case. It also highlights our success at helping eligible families take up their entitlement to a free place for two-year-old funded early education.

"We recognise there's work to do, which is why we are working with parents, partners and communities to look at a new, joined-up approach that ensures those who are vulnerable receive the right help at the right time."

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