Home where children ‘thrive’ rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Orchard House in Cuckfield received the highest rating in all areas inspected

Orchard House staff after their Outstanding Ofsted rating

Released 19 November 2019

A ‘thriving’ West Sussex County Council-run children’s home has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Orchard House in Cuckfield provides ‘highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good’, inspectors found.

The home accommodates children aged between 5 and 18 who have a learning disability, providing both short-stay and long-term placements.

Ofsted inspectors visited on 2 and 3 September 2019 and in their report heaped praise on the home’s motivated team of staff.

It said: “Children thrive at this home. They benefit from excellent support from a staff team that cares deeply for them."

Relationships between staff and parents are trusting and open, the report says.

Susan Wadey has been the registered manager since 1991 and inspectors praised her ambition which they said is shared by her staff.

Sue said: “Orchard House is a special place where children are at the centre of everything we do. I am so very proud of my dedicated and caring staff and the support they give our children and families. This report is a testament to them and the individual successes we celebrate every day.”

Staff work hard to enable children to try new activities, have fun and are given opportunities to reach their full potential.

"Children’s voices and opinions are valued and promoted". "Progress, no matter how small, is celebrated and enjoyed", the report said.

“Children’s safety and well-being are of the utmost priority in this home,” inspectors added.

Jackie Wood, Assistant Director – Corporate Parenting at West Sussex County Council, said: “Inspectors found that Orchard House is a highly effective home that consistently exceeds the standard of good and said that children’s voices and opinions are valued and promoted.

"The care offered by staff there contributes to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people, who live or access services at the home.”

West Sussex County Council’s active care homes are all Ofsted rated good or outstanding.

A review of the whole children’s residential estate has now been completed and a programme put in place to ensure the right type of provision exists throughout the county.

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