An after-school club is about to celebrate its 20th birthday with the news that Ofsted has finally judged it as being ‘good’.
St Anne’s After School Club, which is based at the Orthodox Christian Church on Leyland Lane, has faced criticism from inspectors over the last couple of years for not continuing youngsters’ education after school, and not ensuring there is sufficient staff to meet the individual needs of the children.
Provision was ‘inadequate’ on two occasions, the watchdog said, and owner Margaret Temmen was worried the club would be forced to close.
But in March, she was told by a Government inspector progress was being made and improvements were evident, and she has this month been given the ‘good’ classification.
“I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me and it’s brilliant news that we’re in the ‘good’ category now,” she said. “You don’t normally jump up two classifications like that, so it’s very positive for us.
“The need to continue children’s learning is no longer a requirement, so we’ve gone back to being a place to look after children when their parents are at work, which is what the club was set up for and that’s how things are supposed to be.
“Parents have been very supportive throughout all of this and we have more children than ever – around 100 now which is really good.
“Ofsted spoke to parents and children and it’s their opinions which really count – especially the children, they are our customers at the end of the day.”
The 63-year-old is now gearing up to celebrate the club’s 20th anniversary on December 5 with a small party and birthday cake.
“I don’t feel my age,” she added. “I still love my job.
“The kids are ace and I get on so well with the parents, so I’ve no plans to retire!
“I’m really pleased with things at the moment. Everyone is happy.”
In her report, Ofsted inspector Cath Palser said: “Staff gather information from parents and teachers about children’s interests and capabilities when they first start at the club.
“They are mindful children have spent most of their day at school and therefore, provide a balance of activities for them to play energetically or relax if they chose to.
“Children have very good relations with the friendly, caring staff. They have fun and enjoy their time at the club.
“Older children talk excitedly about coming to the club and the fun they have, knowing there is always something enjoyable to play with.
“As a result, they show confidence and self-motivation.
“The manager and staff have made strong improvement since the last inspection and subsequent monitoring visit by Ofsted, demonstrating a commitment to continuous development. Partnership working with parents is good because they are involved in what their children have been doing and say their children enjoy their time at the club.
“The views of parents and children are valued.”