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'Serious failings' at Telford children's home

By Lisa O'Brien | Telford | News | Published:

Serious and widespread failures have been identified by government inspectors at a children's home in Telford.

A damning report has been released by Ofsted which rated the care home, which is in the Telford & Wrekin area, as 'inadequate' following a recent inspection.

The children's home, run by Castle Homes Care Ltd, is listed as being within the Telford & Wrekin area but there are no details in the report of its exact location.

The report says inspectors found serious failings in leadership and management.

Inspectors also said staff "fail to effectively de-escalate incidents involving the young people" and restraint practice is "not always proportionate and safely managed".

They said arrangements for young people’s education were "inadequate".

The report said: "None of the three school-aged young people attend school or receive full-time education.

"Placing authorities identified this home as suitable to meet the young people’s needs because it offered young people education at the school operated by the provider.

"For reasons that are not clear, the school was de-registered at the end of the summer term 2017.

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"Senior leaders within the organisation made this decision without sufficient planning and consideration for what the alternative education arrangements would be.

"This poor practice compromises young people’s progress and experiences."

Inspectors said the young people now receive education at home from a qualified teacher each morning, but the arrangement did not provide a satisfactory learning environment and the home is not registered as a school.

Other failings, according to Ofsted, included managers and staff not sufficiently explaining to young people why rules and boundaries are different at the home compared to when they go to visit their family.

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The report continued: "There are serious and/or widespread failures that mean children and young people are not protected or their welfare is not promoted or safeguarded."

However, some strengths of the children's home were highlighted in the report.

These included that staff support young people’s emotional and physical health needs well and young people enjoy a wide range of activities in the community.

The report also said that young people make some good progress in relation to their starting points.

Ofsted has called for a number of improvements to be made.

The inspection took place on January 24 and 25 but the report has only just been published.

The children's home is registered to provide care and accommodation for up to five boys who have emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Nobody from the home was available for comment.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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