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Cressingham children’s home remains ‘Outstanding’

21 September 2021

A Reading children’s home run by Brighter Futures for Children has retained its ‘Outstanding’ rating following a recent full Ofsted inspection.

Cressingham provides short breaks for up to six children at a time who have learning or physical disabilities, sensory impairments, or a combination of these.

The inspector awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating in the three key areas of: Overall experiences and progress of children and young people, how well children and young people are helped and protected and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

The report published says Cressingham provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standard of good. It adds that the actions of the children’s home contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people who need help, protection and care.

Staff at the home are recognised for providing highly personalised and well-planned care that meets children’s individual needs particularly well. As a result, children enjoy an active and stimulating experience during their stay, which helps them to achieve outstanding outcomes.

The report says staff liaise with schools to help them consistently meet children’s needs and reach their potential. It adds: “This excellent partnership between the home, school, parents and specialist health professionals contributes to the progress that children make.”

There is also a strong staff focus on developing children’s independence skills which helps their confidence and self-esteem grow.

The inspector says children have excellent relationships with staff at the home who are attuned to each child’s preferred communication methods. This includes reading their behaviours and body language, which allows children to successfully communicate their wishes and feelings.

Staff also have an excellent understanding of children’s vulnerabilities and they follow clear and detailed risk management strategies to provide safe and competent care for the children, says the report.

The inspector comments that the highly committed and motivated staff team is effectively led by an experienced and qualified registered manager who uses their individual skills and experiences to best advantage.

New staff receive individually tailored induction and development processes that allow them to settle into their role confidently and existing team members provide an added layer of guidance and support.

Ofsted carried out the unannounced inspection on 20 and 21 July.

Di Smith, Board Chair of Brighter Futures for Children, said: “It is a pleasure to read the Ofsted inspector’s report on their visit to Cressingham children’s home in Reading. It captures the enormous level of commitment and care shown by staff.

“We are very proud of our outstanding team at Cressingham and I would like to congratulate them on maintaining the very highest standards of care and support for the children and young people who stay with them.”

Cllr Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Children’s Services, said: “Well done to everyone at Cressingham children’s home for retaining their ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

“The team does a superb job of liaising with parents and fellow professionals to gain a clear understanding of the children they are caring for. Their attention to detail and caring attitude clearly makes it a highly enjoyable and fulfilling experience for the children and young people who stay at Cressingham.”

The full Ofsted report is available to view at: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50168994. Cressingham was previously rated ‘Outstanding’ following an Ofsted inspection in December 2019.