A children’s centre has been judged as outstanding by inspectors for its safety and protection of children.

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The North Walsham Poppyland Sure Start Children’s Centre, based in Manor Road in the town, was inspected at the end of June.

The centre, which provides health, educational and social services, serves North Walsham, Swanton Abbott, Worstead, Scottow and surrounding villages and has 763 children on its books under the age of five.

Overall the centre was judged as good, with Ofsted inspectors stating in their report: “It provides a cohesive package of seamless integrated services for children and their families in a ‘very welcoming environment’.”

Areas judged as outstanding at the centre included the extent to which children are safe and protected, the quality of care, guidance and support given to families, the extent to which resources are used and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

The ‘Beyond the Bump’ group offering advice to teenage mothers was also singled out for praise by inspectors.

The inspector’s report states: “Adults make good progress in their parenting and children develop good communication and social skills. The centre is led and managed well, and teamwork is very effective.”

To improve further inspectors said the centre needs to continue to improve healthier outcomes for users, especially in helping them stop smoking, further develop the adult learning programmes to include more courses covering literacy, numeracy, English for speakers of other languages, information and communication technology and employability training.

Inspectors said they also need to increase the involvement of users in the planning cycle.

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