Inspectors find children’s centre to be ‘inadequate’

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A SHEFFIELD children’s centre has been branded inadequate by inspectors – because it is not being used by those families most in need.

Birley Children’s Centre covers the Birley, Hackenthorpe and Frecheville areas, which have three large housing estates among the most disadvantaged city areas.

But Ofsted found the centre’s provision was ineffective as it was insufficiently targeted, with too few families in need using its facilities – which was its key objective.

The centre, next to Birley Nursery School, had little data on its work and was unable to show how its services made a difference to the lives of families within its reach.

While it was found to be an orderly and happy place, some planned activities did not run due to lack of interest or difficulties in finding the right time slots for potential users.Inspectors also felt the centre’s chances of substantially improving its performance were poor.

They found few families and children regularly attended and few were registered.

Parents who did attend enjoyed good support from health visitors and midwives, and they said they felt comfortable there.

While families were learning to lead healthier and safer lives, too few were making the most of what was on offer.

There were only limited examples and patchy records of adults gaining qualifications and employment, and few became involved with decision making or governance.

Management needed to be improved and the council needed to provide more accurate data about potential users.

n Birley Nursery was inspected separately and its work was found to be good.