Ofsted praise for Portsmouth Sure Start base as literacy levels are improved

Carillion apprentices have been offered help from colleges including Fareham College after the firm went bust Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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A CHILDREN’S centre that serves an area in Portsmouth with high levels of deprivation, unemployment, single parent families and pregnant teenagers has won a ‘good’ Ofsted report.

Portsea Sure Start centre, which is managed by the city council and local health and education services, was praised for its ‘highly effective’ work for children and parents.

Parent Power classes to improve parenting skills, home visits, a new Jobcentre Plus adviser and programmes to address poor adult literacy levels are among the initiatives highlighted in the inspection.

A focus on children’s diet and exercise is taking steps to tackle the city’s high obesity levels, and staff acknowledge the need to increase breast-feeding, the report noted.

The Portsea centre was also praised for ensuring children were well catered for with the support of health professionals and kept entertained and making good learning progress through a range of fun activities.

The report read: ‘Centre sessions are highly effective and staff interact well with families, providing encouragement and motivation.

‘Staff develop facilities and resources imaginatively, inspiring families to try new activities at home.

‘Families enjoy coming to the centre because staff motivate children and help parents in supporting their child’s development.

‘The outcomes for children are good and improving.’

The service covers Portsea, Gunwharf and Old Portsmouth, where there are currently more than 618 children under the age of five.