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'Outstanding' Ofsted report for Larchwood short break unit

Staff and children holding banner

Children with disabilities are benefiting from the success of Bracknell Forest Council’s Larchwood short breaks unit, recognised by Ofsted in another ‘outstanding’ inspection. The recent Ofsted report, following the inspection in December 2018, gave a glowing review of the short breaks home, which provides day and residential short breaks for children and young people who have learning disabilities.

Inspectors found:

“The children’s home provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. 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.”

Larchwood short breaks unit received ‘Outstanding’ in the following areas:

  • overall experiences and progress of children and young people
  • how well children and young people are helped and protected
  • the effectiveness of leaders and managers

The report found:

  • the new children’s guides are excellent, particularly the digital version, they help to make sure that new children will know what to expect when they visit
  • when new children move in, they do so in a planned way with managers and staff take time to make sure that they can meet the individual and complex needs of the children 
  • staff make sure that plans are personalised and written to help provide continuity of care at home, at school and during short breaks
  • staff’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the children results in children feeling valued
  • staff use their skills and experience, staff give the children emotional support to help them while they are staying away from home
  • the staff quickly establish routines and boundaries, which give children stability and predictability
  • children are involved in a range of activities that really enhance their experience
  • staff actively promote independence from the moment a child begins to use the service

Cllr Gareth Barnard, executive member for children, young people and learning, said:

“This report highlights the excellent quality care we are providing for vulnerable young people in the borough. This is the fifth outstanding report in 5 years which shows the consistent level of high quality care delivered by our staff who are committed to putting the needs of vulnerable people first. I would like to congratulate our hard-working staff and thank them for their effort and dedication. I look forward to building even further on this success and ensuring each and every child in the borough has the best possible start in life.”

You can view the full report on the Ofsted website.