Praise for Hartlepool children's homes after positive reports from education watchdogs

Councillors have praised the service provided by two children’s homes in Hartlepool after they received positive reports from a national watchdog.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 9:56 am
Exmoor Grove children's home Picture by FRANK REID.

Exmoor Grove and St David’s Walk children’s homes, both run by Hartlepool Borough Council, were rated “outstanding” and “good” respectively by Ofsted following recent inspections.

The council’s children’s services committee heard Exmoor Grove Children’s Home, which provides short break care and two residential placements for children with learning disabilities, has maintained its “outstanding” rating for five years.

Council officers said the home was praised for its “highly effective service” following the inspection in June, and it was noted “actions significantly improved outcomes and experiences” for young people.

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St David's Walk children's home. Picture by FRANK REID.

Officers added the inspectors report praised the “exceptional” staff team and progress made by children.

Cllr Sue Little, in congratulating staff, said: “I just know for families that I deal with, it’s such a vital service.”

Meanwhile St David’s Walk Children’s Home was inspected at the end of May and ,although it was rated good in 2019, a 2020 interim report noted there had been a “decline in effectiveness”.

However council officers said the latest report found improvements have and continue to be made with staff “forming secure bonds to support the development of children”.

Councillor Sue Little.

They added there had also been a significant reduction in unacceptable or anti-social behaviour, which has led to a “safer, calmer environment for children”.

The report also noted young people know the staff, who have “their best interests at heart”, while children are also making good progress with education.

The positive report for the site, which provides accommodation for two children with social, emotional, behavioural and/or learning disabilities, comes despite the manager being in place for just two week at the time of the inspection.

Cllr Shane Moore, Hartlepool Council leader, praised how the report recognised the progress made by the children and young people.

He said: “It fills me with pride that we’re able to provide that type of environment for our children, and I think that’s exactly what I’d expect us to provide for our children within the town.”

Committee chairman Cllr Jim Lindridge said he was “pleased as punch” with the findings.

He said: “I think we should be very proud of the efforts that we put in as an authority.”