Improvements needed at Taunton Children’s Centres

Somerset County Council has pledged to improve following an inadequate Ofsted report for Taunton Children’s Centre Services.

It is responding to a report published by Ofsted which has found the performance of Children’s Centre Services in Taunton to be inadequate. The inspection covered Acorns, Hillside, The Hollies and Brock House.

The key findings of the report included that not enough families in most need were making use of services; that the centres did not work closely enough with each other or schools; and that there are not enough opportunities for adults to improve their English, maths and volunteering opportunities.

This does not mean that the centres were unable to keep children safe – Ofsted did not identify any safeguarding issues.

Inspectors did comment that some families receive appropriate support and practical help and say that a ‘well-planned reorganisation aimed at improving services’ has been introduced.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We accept this disappointing report and are taking action to put things right.

“The wellbeing of children is an absolute priority for this authority and I am glad that inspectors recognised that in ‘getset’ Services we have plans in hand to take these services forward.”

In the summer the Council reorganised its Early Years services, which include a re-structure of Children’s Centre Services, into ‘getset’ Services.

‘getset’ is a new approach to providing all the help and support available to children, young people and families. A key aim of this reorganisation was to improve the services and their uptake by the families who most need them.

Notes to editors

• The extra support being provided under ‘getset’ may be provided by the Council or by partners such as health, district councils and charities. It may be available in Children’s Centres or other venues in the community to make it easier to get to.
• For more information about ‘getset’ services visit getsetsomerset.org.uk/