Arnold Centre gains Rotherham Charter Gold Status

Published Thursday, 28th January 2016
Arnold centre gold award
Left to right: Lauren Slack - Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner; Cole Elsey; Cllr Gordon Watson; Burgess Myers-Lees; Mollie Jenkinson; Vicki Dawson - SendCo; Pat Cardwell - Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner; David McWilliams - Assistant Director, Early Help and Family Engagement

A Rotherham children’s centre and nursery has become the first in the borough to achieve the highly-acclaimed Rotherham Charter Gold accreditation.

The Arnold Centre, based at Herringthorpe, has been judged “outstanding” in its last three OFSTED inspections and is now the first early years setting in Rotherham to gain Rotherham Charter “Gold” status.

The Rotherham Charter asks Rotherham schools, colleges, settings and services to make the commitment to parents, carers, children and young people that they will care, include, communicate and work in partnership with them, recognising trust to be the essential factor in all these relationships.

Staff at the Arnold Centre have been working towards this accreditation over a two year period, led by Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO), Vicki Dawson.

Anne Anderson, Head of Centre said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the first children’s centre and early years setting in Rotherham to receive Charter Gold. The Charter process promotes genuine partnership with parents, carers, children, young people and families, an ethos greatly embedded in the work at the Arnold Centre.

“We pride ourselves on our inclusive nature and we know that our families really value the work we do, the welcome they and their children receive at the centre every day and the expertise and knowledge staff use to achieve the best outcomes for all children.

“For parents to say all of that and then add: ‘It’s just like another family to us’ is the icing on the cake. We will be inviting all our children and families to help us celebrate this wonderful achievement in the summer term when we are planning a big celebration day,” said Anne.

Rotherham Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Gordon Watson, said: “I am delighted that the Arnold Centre has become the first children’s centre and early years setting in the borough to gain gold status. 

“The children’s centre is contract managed by the nursery school, so this is a real testament to the school’s dedication to improving outcomes for children and working in partnership with us as a local authority,” he added.

During the accreditation process, Arnold Centre staff received training from the Rotherham Charter team, which includes educational psychologists and parents of children with additional needs. The team also liaised with parents, staff and pupils to see what the centre offers.

As a result of working towards Rotherham Charter principles, the Arnold Centre has developed a number of new initiatives, including employing its own speech therapist, developing “nurture groups” and making meetings more child-centred.

In addition to becoming the first early years setting to gain Rotherham Charter gold status, the Arnold Centre is also the first in the Council’s newly-formed “Early Help” setting to achieve the accreditation. Early Help provides support, prevention and early intervention services for children and families.

More about Early Help

More about Rotherham Charter

More about the Arnold Centreimage