Jul 26 2013

OFSTED praises services at Hillview Children’s Centre Hub

harrow_council_logoOFSTED has praised Harrow Council’s Hillview Children’s Centre Hub for improving family life by providing much needed health and education support.

Hillview Children’s Centre Hub received a ‘good’ rating in a report published last week. It praised the high quality services on offer and the way staff worked well with partners in health care and education and were quick to support families in need.

OFSTED also recognised the important cohesive function of the Centre in helping more and more families from a range of different cultures and backgrounds.

Inspectors compiled the report following a June visit during which they spoke to staff and managers at the Centre and Harrow Council, as well as health, children’s services and education partners, parents and members of the advisory board which govern it and observed activities and services that were being

Their report praised the work the Centre did to provide services for ethnic minority families, as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds and disabled children, as well as Hillview’s work to tackle childhood obesity, which has seen rates at reception age drop dramatically in recent years to below the national average.

The report added: “A large majority of parents benefit from a range of good quality learning activities that improve their knowledge, skills and the lives of their families.”

Inspectors commended the quality of leadership at the Centre, as well as the way staff delivered information to families using leaflets, social media and articles in local media.

They were also impressed by the way staff had adapted to the new ‘hub’ model, which was set up in June to ensure that “the centre remains an important part of families’ lives.”

The model ensured that the Council was able to make £1.2million of necessary savings, while still delivering the same high quality services.

Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Families, Cllr Zarina Khalid, said: “Supporting the development of our youngest residents has to be one of the most important responsibilities of any council.

“Hillview does a fantastic job of improving the lives of our families and I am delighted that they have got the recognition they deserve from OFSTED.”

Hilary O’Byrne, Manager of Harrow Council’s Children and Families Centres, said: “I am absolutely delighted with this OFSTED report. At a time when we have had to make significant savings, we have still been able to maintain a high quality service. This is testament to the commitment and dedication of the children’s centre staff and our partners.”

Hillview Hub is made up of one central Children’s Centre, Hillview, and six ‘delivery sites’, which provides a full range services.

The Centre is a vital resource for Harrow’s families. There are approximately 2,780 children aged under five living within the Centre’s catchment area. Around 67 per cent live in some of the most deprived areas in the country* and 25 per cent live in households who depend on benefits. The majority of children are from minority ethnic groups and around 60 per cent do not speak English as their first language.

Inspectors recommended that the Centre works to strengthen its systems for tracking the individual progress of children and collect more information about parents who complete courses and activities.

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1 comment

  1. Harri Ramsden

    This is fantastic news, which can easily be forgotten, amongst the emotional furor being created by a bitter councillor. It highlights such a promising future as to the way the children services and families department at the council is striving to achieve. I am firm believer we should do more to integrate all. Not simply set up centres that lend them selves to particular areas or groups . As well as attracting the disadvantaged and the minorities from within the catchment it is also just as important to bring in the more able and advantaged too as it promotes a wider perception in a child’s and parent’s eyes that everyone is at a same level despite where they live or what culture they are from.

    A great success story that shouldn’t be clouded by the recent events that are gaining the hits on iharrow, as that will all pass ,so this achievement is a catalyst for bigger and better things that the portfolio department is trying to achieve.

    I trust Cllr Zarina Khalid will continue to support these superb models & developments in ascertaining the cohesion that we can aspire for a better society. From what I have seen so far she has a nicely balanced approach ,strong cultural back ground and the passion for the care of children in her words to make this a reality.

    well done!

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