The borough’s first children’s centre Ofsted inspection took place at Abbey Children’s Centre, located at Merton Abbey Primary School.
Ofsted inspectors were impressed by the close relationships between staff at the centre and the partnership work with a wide range of other professional groups. Health visitors, midwives, family support and outreach teams were all praised for the way in which they help families to make improvements to their lifestyle and to improve the health of Merton families. The Ofsted report stated ‘They work together well because they understand each other’s roles and are willing to get the best possible advice and support for families.’
Parents at the centre told the inspectors how the children’s centre had supported them when they needed advice and guidance, expressing that they were confident the centre would always help, particularly when they were experiencing difficult times.
Positive comments were also received about the good support for families regarding financial difficulties, providing information about housing, applying for benefits, accessing training and the journey into securing employment. Activities at the centre were highlighted as offering additional benefits, particularly for those parents and carers who had been supported emotionally by centre staff.
Children at Abbey were observed to make good progress in their learning and development and are well prepared for nursery and school. Staff at the centre use a wide range of stimulating play experiences and good strategies are being used to help support children’s language development and imaginative opportunities for boys to develop their writing skills through dance and music.
Merton Council cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Maxi Martin said: ‘This is a great achievement for Abbey and my congratulations go to team who have worked hard to make sure children are getting the best start in Merton.’
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