Norwich children’s centre rated outstanding and called a “Godsend”

A Norwich children's centre has received a top Ofsted report after inspectors were given an insight into the impact staff at the centre have on the lives of local parents.

One parent even remarked to inspectors that the centre had been 'a Godsend'.

The Bowthorpe, West Earlham and Costessey Sure Start Children's Centre, which is run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, caters for families with children aged from 0-5 years old.

The centre, on Humbleyard, off Clover Hill Road in Bowthorpe, supports local families in an area that is among the four most deprived in Norwich and has high levels of single parents, teenage pregnancies and children in families on very low incomes.

Following the inspection, Ofsted's report rated both the overall effectiveness and capacity for sustained improvement of the centre as 'outstanding'.

The inspectors described the centre as: 'An outstanding children's centre that plays a pivotal and highly respected role in serving the needs of its community.

'Future development is planned meticulously using evaluation and data available to the centre, so that services continue to improve.

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'Consequently, the centre has outstanding capacity for sustained improvement.'

The inspectors spoke to parents using the centre and were particularly impressed by one comment: 'It's a Godsend; I know that I would not be the person I am now without the support of the centre.'

The report said the centre's 'high-quality staff' help children to 'enjoy their learning through play', as well as provide services to help parents and children bond, such as baby massage.

Centre manager Sian Larrington said: 'We are delighted to have received such a positive report. The team works incredibly hard to deliver a fantastic service to local families and we are all very pleased that this has been recognised in this outstanding rating.

'But we won't become complacent; we are always looking at ways we can improve. One possibility we are looking at is to perhaps offer voluntary placements so local people can also play a greater role.'

Have you got an education story? Call Victoria Leggett on 01362 854703 or email