Staff at Sunderland children's home show how much they care with sixth consecutive outstanding Ofsted judgment

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‘One child said the efforts staff made to celebrate their birthday made them feel ‘like a million dollars’

Children’s care home manager Michael More said he is “really proud” of his team after the home received its sixth consecutive 'outstanding' rating from Ofsted inspectors.

The Colombo Road home in Castletown was inspected by children's services watchdog Ofsted in March (2024) with inspectors highlighting how the children “make exceptional progress as a result of the care they receive and the strong relationships they build”.

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The report highlighted that incidents of negative behaviour were low and reducing over time.

Inspectors also described how staff are influential in children’s lives, and this has a lasting effect, referencing that “children who have left the service continue to visit and speak highly of the positive impact their time in the home has had”.

The inspection team were particularly impressed with the dedication and skill of the staff at the home.

Inspectors said: “Staff are highly skilled at building relationships with children. “They know all of the children exceptionally well and show the children that they are valued.

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“Staff in the home do not give up on children and will continue to offer care and support, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

"One child’s achievements have been recognised by the local authority, having been awarded the Young Achievers’ Award. This child was highly commended for their achievements and progress in education.

"Staff celebrate important personal events for the children such as their birthdays and the anniversary of their moving into the home.

“This helps children to feel special and valued.

“One child said that the efforts that staff made to celebrate their birthday made them feel ‘like a million dollars’."

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After being informed of the judgement, home manager Michael More said: "I am really proud of my team following the recent Ofsted Inspection.

“The team are extremely skilled and passionate about making a real meaningful difference in the lives of the children we care for.

“The team works tirelessly to ensure the children live in a homely and nurturing environment and carers have high aspirations for the children and empower them so they can reach their full potential."

The inspection report also noted that all the children were in appropriate education, whether school or college, and staff worked closely with education professionals to ensure children met their goals.

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Together for Children's (TfC) Chief Executive, Jill Colbert OBE said: "In line with the rating from Ofsted, this is an 'outstanding' achievement and well done to all staff for their ongoing work and this sixth consecutive top rating.

"The inspector's report is full of positives about the care and support that is provided 24-7 at Colombo Road.

“What is especially pleasing is that children regard the home's staff as such great friends and mentors that they keep in touch when they have left."

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