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Ofsted success for ‘outstanding’ children’s home

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A children’s home in Warrington caring for young people with complex needs has been given the highest possible rating by education watchdogs Ofsted – for the ninth time in a row.

Westland Drive short break home in Padgate – run by Warrington Borough Council – has been graded as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in its latest inspection, receiving the maximum rating in each of the three categories in which it was judged.
It is the ninth time that Westland Drive has received an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted – a huge success for the home, which provides respite care for children and young people between the ages of four and 17 with complex health needs, autism and disabilities.
The home has been rated as ‘outstanding’ for the overall experiences and progress of young people, how well they are helped and protected, and the impact and effectiveness of leaders and managers.
Cllr Sarah Hall, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is an amazing achievement for Westland Drive, especially given how challenging the past 18 months has been with staff working so hard to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
“To achieve an ‘outstanding’ result for a ninth time is a fantastic achievement – this praise is testament to the hard work they do, day after day, to make the home a place where children are well cared for, valued, supported and helped to thrive.
“All of the staff and managers work with real dedication to make a difference to young people’s lives, and it is clear that they put them first in everything they do. This praise from Ofsted is well deserved, and it’s great to know that some of our most vulnerable young people are receiving such a high-quality standard of care.
“Meeting the needs of all of Warrington’s young people is our top priority and runs through all the work we do. I’m absolutely delighted that this, alongside the hard work and dedication of staff, has been recognised by Ofsted, and we will strive to maintain this excellent standard in the future.”
Inspectors praised the warm and affectionate relationships between staff and young people, as well as the effective relationships with families. Parents of children who stay at the home commented that they feel confident leaving their child in such capable hands.
The report highlights the range of activities on offer, including sensory play, day trips, interactive games, and baking. All activities were said to prioritise children’s emotional wellbeing, while helping them to develop their social skills and confidence, and everything achieved in the home is focused around making it an inclusive experience for children.
Staff were praised for effectively managing challenging behaviour and supporting young people through frustrations and anxieties, while ensuring a wide range of communications tools are used dependent on each individual child’s needs.
The home’s dedicated and stable staff team was recognised, as was the clear, visionary leadership, and strong partnerships with other professionals and education settings.
Inspectors also praised the exceptionally well maintained, high quality, safe environment, which clearly conveys to children that they are valued and helps them to feel part of a community.

Pictured: (L – R): The council’s Director of Children’s Social Care, Amanda Amesbury, and Head of Service for children in care and care leavers, Sharon Cooper, with Westland Drive’s Registered Manager, Julia Edwards, and Cllr Sarah Hall.

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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