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Charity turns around its Ofsted rating

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:18 16 September 2010

A BECCLES-based charity that received a damning Ofsted report last year, for one of its services, has managed to turn the provision around at its latest inspection.

A BECCLES-based charity that received a damning Ofsted report last year, for one of its services, has managed to turn the provision around at its latest inspection.

New Thresholds, which provides training and employment opportunities for adults living with physical or mental health problems or disablilities, was deemed 'inadequate' during last year's Ofsted inspection of the Government-funded Workstep scheme.

However, now the charity has bounced back with a “satisfactory” grade in an Ofsted report published this month.

Cherry Trigwell, chief executive of New Thresholds, was quick to highlight the irony in that all contracts to deliver the Workstep scheme are ending this year which in effect renders the grade meaningless.

But said she paid tribute to the people at New Thresholds for their hard work in getting the scheme back up to scratch.

“I would like to thank all the employees, volunteers, participants and trustees at New Thresholds,” she said. “Without their enormous hard work, commitment and team effort, we would not have been able to turn this around.”

The Workstep scheme, one of a number of services provided by New Thresholds, provides support to disabled people facing barriers to getting and keeping a job, as well as offering practical assistance to employers.

The scheme, which will in future be known as Work Choice, will now be delivered solely by national or regional providers. It will also be no longer subject to inspections by Ofsted.

In the most recent inspection, compiled in June, New Thresholds was deemed “satisfactory” in all areas including “effectiveness of provision,” “quality of provision,” and “leadership and management.”

In the previous report the charity, based in Hungate, was deemed “inadequate” in all of the above areas.

Mrs Trigwell said that this had been the result of a year of extreme difficulty where contracts were drawing to an end and there was a lack of funding.

New Thresholds have been providing its service for 20 years, dealing with more than 700 people, many of whom have returned to employment, carried out voluntary work, and entered college courses or training programmes.

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