Published: March 24, 2011
Highbridge Children's Centre wins Ofsted praise as manager retires

Staff and children at Highbridge Children’s Centre had a 'bitter sweet' celebration on Thursday (March 24th) with the announcement they had been awarded an 'outstanding' assessment by Ofsted inspectors - just a week before the centre's manager retires.

The nursery has been inspected in 17 areas and has received a Grade 1 (outstanding) in every single area, with just one area being rated as Grade 2 (good).

Manager Julian Plested, who is retiring at the end of this month, told "Staff work beyond the call of duty to make this nursery the fabulous place that it is, so this is richly deserved."

"Nursery inspections are unannounced - the inspector just turns up. The staff simply went about their usual duties with their usual high degree of professionalism and care. This result is very gratifying."

Julian took up the manager’s post at Highbridge Children’s Centre in 2008.

He first came to Somerset in 1995 and for many years headed up the local Community Education Service, based at the Princess Street Adult Learning Centre in Burnham.

Julian added: "I have hugely enjoyed my career in Somerset. I have been privileged to work with every age group, from retired people to the very little ones, but I have especially enjoyed my role at the Children’s Centre here in Highbridge."

"I will miss the staff team, children and parents who have all been fantastic, but I hope to keep in touch and maybe help out as volunteer. The Outstanding Ofsted judgement has been a great way to bow out."

Julian added that he will continue to live in Burnham with his family and hopes to get more involved in the community.

Pictured (top) staff and children celebrate their Outstanding Ofsted judgement and, above, Julian Plested, who is retiring, enjoying lunch with children at the nursery


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