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Peterborough children's home is outstanding

20 May 2011.

A high standard of care, highly effective safeguarding arrangements and excellent facilities have all contributed towards an Ofsted rating of outstanding for Peterborough City Council's Cherry Lodge.

The unannounced inspection of the children's home in Clayton, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, which offers short breaks and residential care to children and young people aged five to 18 years, took place in March. Inspectors rated it outstanding overall.

The report said: "This is a well-managed service where children and families receive a high standard of care delivered by experienced and knowledgeable staff. There are effective care arrangements which ensure that children are closely monitored and safeguarded. Health care needs are identified and met to a high standard by caring and committed staff."

Inspectors found that the way children are supported to enjoy and achieve is outstanding. They receive high quality support from staff who fully understand their individual care and support needs.

Children are protected by well planned and highly effective safeguarding arrangements. Staff have an excellent understanding of the known and potential risks for individual children and know how to safeguard them effectively. Inspectors found that children are protected by robust staff recruitment procedures.

The report continued: "Children are cared for in a safe environment. Comments from parents include 'this is possibly the most secure and safe building we have ever been to. I am fully happy that my child is safe'."

Inspectors found that staff know children well and behaviour is well managed. Good behaviour is recognised and encouraged. Health care needs are met to a high standard by caring and knowledgeable staff. Staff have a good understanding of children's individual needs, thanks to good evaluation of their progress.

The report said: "Children are supported to make a positive contribution and to make personal choices. Staff understand children's communication needs and work hard to ensure that they are understood and are able to make choices.

"The staff are very aware of the benefits of good consultation and ensure that relevant individuals are kept updated about children's progress. Comments from parents include 'Communication is good and my relationship with key staff is excellent'. Also, 'The service is very, very good at communicating with me about all aspects of my child's stay'."

Inspectors found that children are cared for in a well-maintained and appropriate environment. Children benefit from the accommodation being furnished and decorated to a high standard.

Councillor Sheila Scott, cabinet member for children's services, said: "Well done to everyone connected with Cherry Lodge on this truly outstanding inspection report. At the last full inspection of the home in 2009 it was rated good across the board, so this step up to being outstanding is excellent.

"Staff clearly work very hard to provide outstanding care and support for children who live permanently at the home or stay for short breaks and I am pleased this has been recognised officially."

Claire Young, manager of Cherry Lodge for Peterborough City Council, said: "We are thrilled with this report and to have received such an excellent judgement. Particularly pleasing are the comments about how well staff work with the children and care for them and their understanding of every child's individual needs. A great deal of work also goes into communication, so I am pleased that inspectors witnessed the lengths we go to ensure they are understood and are able to make choices."


  • The Ofsted report in full is available at www.ofsted.gov.uk.