Friday, 21 September 2012

The Ghost of Panda

The Panda Pre-School Playgroup was the inspiration of the late Val Catt, a Labour councillor in Sherwood. Panda used the old Sherwood Community Centre and targeted children who lived in flats or were recommended by Social Services.  The work was challenging and Panda had a limit on the numbers admitted in order to provide a 3:1 ratio of children to staff.

A former MP (Archie Norman) commented in the House of Commons that Panda was an excellent example of targeted provision and OFSTED praised the work of the Family Liaison Officer.

All this work came to a juddering halt when the Community Centre was closed and proposed alternative arrangements to use the Little Forest Children's Centre came to nothing - and hit the front page of the local press into the bargain.

The local school children from Panda moved on to has recently been put into special measures.  A former teacher, writing in the local newspaper The Courier states:

I was aware of a trend for children to be less and less ready for school and some being positively resistant to learning.

Panda did its bit to ensure children in its care were ready for school, but Panda was sacrificed to meet a numbers game of the Government and non-targeted admissions policies.

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