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Children and young people

Council run nurseries and children’s centres ‘outstanding’

A federation of nursery schools and children’s centres are among the first in the country to achieve ‘outstanding’ inspections under tough new guidelines introduced by education watchdogs in January.

Ofsted inspectors judged all three of the council run nurseries and children’s centres within the federation as ‘outstanding’ across all areas in reports published this week. Inspectors highlighted the “strong staff teams” and “calm and safe environments” which led to the “outstanding achievement of all groups of children” in their “academic and personal skills”.

The nurseries and children’s centres are led under the watchful eye of Executive Headteacher, Sue Donovan, OBE, who has been headteacher of Holmewood Nursery School and Treehouse Children’s Centre for 23 years. She became the Executive Headteacher of Triangle Nursery School and Children’s Centre last year when a three-year federation was put in place in September. This is the first time a federation of schools in Lambeth has ever been judged to be ‘outstanding’ in all areas in one round of inspections.

Sue Donovan said:

“We are delighted to receive such recognition which is testament to the ever increasing standards of education within our nursery and children’s centres. This is due to the hard work of our dedicated teams who are totally committed to providing the best for our children.

“We receive a tremendous level of support from Lambeth Council’s Children and Young People’s Service to maintain our high quality of services. We will build on this outstanding achievement and continue to discover innovative learning opportunities to ensure our children receive the very best start in life.”

Lambeth Council Executive Director of Children and Young People’s Service, Debbie Jones, said:

“This is down to all the hard work of the teachers, children, and families within the federation. I have nothing but praise for the dedication that is so clearly evident and want to congratulate everyone associated with the federation. Well done and keep up the outstanding work!”

Lambeth Council maintains three other nursery schools which are all currently judged to be outstanding. These include Effra Early Years Centre, Ethelred Nursery School and Children’s Centre, and Maytree Nursery School and Children’s Centre. Ofsted conduct hundreds of inspections across the UK each week. Most schools are inspected every three  to five years with nursery schools being inspected every three years. .

The Lambeth consortium of nursery schools and chidlren’s centres is one of only 16 places  in the UK to receive Government accreditation as an ‘Early Years Teaching Centre’. The consortium consists of all five outstanding council-run nurseries and children’s centres which are used as a framework of best practice for other boroughs to follow.

The tougher framework will see Ofsted inspectors concentrate on four key areas: the achievement of pupils; the quality of teaching and learning; the effectiveness of leadership and management, and standards of behaviour and safety in schools. This sharper focus will enable inspectors to look more closely at what matters most in schools, spending even more time observing lessons, including listening to children reading in primary schools, assessing the progress of the pupils, and taking a closer look at behaviour.

Notes for editors

The new Government Inspections introduced in January will:

•           report on four key judgements:

o          the achievement of pupils at the school

o          the quality of teaching in the school

o          the quality of leadership and management of the school

o          the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school

•           take account of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils when judging the overall effectiveness of the school

•           give more emphasis to reporting on pupils’ behaviour, with particular attention to conduct in lessons and around the school, and each pupil’s safety from bullying and harassment

•           take account of the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of all the pupils at the school, and in particular those pupils who have a disability and pupils who have special educational needs

•           take particular account of pupils’ attainment and rates of progress when evaluating achievement

•           focus strongly on standards of reading and numeracy in primary schools and literacy in secondary schools, including observing pupils reading in primary schools

•           report on the effectiveness of the sixth form and early years provision within the other reporting areas rather than as separate sections

•           report on the breadth and balance of the curriculum and its contribution to improving achievement for all pupils in every inspection report.

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