Diss Children’s Centre given good Ofsted report

A Norfolk children's centre set up under the government Sure Start programme has been given a good report by Ofsted inspectors.

Diss Children's Centre, based at Diss Infant School in Fitzwalter Road, was rated particularly highly for the safety and welfare provided to cente users during the inspection by Julie Winyard in March.

The centre provides services for children under five and their families and caters for an 85 square mile area which includes children from traveller and Polish families and some from deprived backgrounds.

The Ofsted report stated there were 888 children aged up to five in the centre's catchment area, with 142 children living in households with unemployed parents.

However, the centre has a good impact on children's readiness for learning, while children in the nursery and at the centre's creches and activities behave well, according to the report.

The centre's manager and the deputy headteacher of Diss Nursery and Infant school were also praised for providing good leadership and management of the centre, while the centre's team worked well with other professionals supporting the centre.

However, self-evaluation procedures were criticised for not being sufficiently focused on outcomes and not stating the next development steps for the centre.

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Governance of the centre was described as satisfactory and some service users were on the advisory board, though the report called for the board to be more representative of the different community groups using the centre, including minority ethnic groups.

The centre offers family fun and learning opportunities including stay and play sessions, music and song, story times, baby clubs and special events.

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