IF it was the Olympics we would top of the table, because yet another North East Autism Society children’s home has been deemed ‘outstanding’ by Oftsed.

All four of the Society’s homes for children have now been given top honours from inspectors.

This inspection, which took place last month, saw Belford, in Sunderland, receive outstanding across the board for the overall experiences and progress of children and young people, how well the children are helped and protected, and the effectiveness of the leaders and management.

The home, under the management of Sharon Robinson, was said to offer children and young people excellent day-to-day experiences but it was the depth of relationship both between members of staff and residents, and the young people with each other, that was also noted.

The report read:

They have exceptional relationships with the staff and with each other. Individualised care and support is unquestionably outstanding. The children and young people are regularly consulted and their views and wishes are taken into account.

Inspectors were satisfied that all the children living in Belford had significantly progressed and continue to flourish.

“It’s very good living here,” one young person told the inspector, “I really like it. I’ve made friends and I like the staff. They’re good to me. This is the best place and I’m very happy.”

The report concurred, highlighting the ‘dynamic individualised care’ which ‘unquestionably leads to the children’s and young people’s very rapid progress.’

It was also mentioned that the North East Autism Society’s specialism, comprehensive assessments and child-centred planning, significantly contributes to the children and young people achieving their goals and aspirations.

Sharon said:

We are of course thrilled with the result. Getting outstanding in every area is no easy achievement but it is testament to my team who consistently do everything they can to improve the lives of the children living with us in Belford.

For it to be said that the individualised care and support is ‘unquestionably outstanding’ means a lot to me. I hope we’ve made a home from home for these children so to be given this feedback is incredible.

And Ofsted agreed that the quality of Sharon’s team is second to none.

The report stated: “Leaders and managers support a highly trained, experienced workforce. Ongoing improvement and development continually promotes inspiring outcomes for the children and young people.”

Brian Stoker, Director of Care for NEAS, said:

Again I’m delighted to be able to celebrate the continuing hard work of another of children’s homes in making sure everything in their power is done to give the children and young people entrusted to us the best possible lives.

Sharon, Donna and the team are incredible, like all of our teams. Oftsed just confirmed what we already know: what we do is outstanding!