Wakefield prison’s mother and baby unit praised following Ofsted inspection

HMP New Hall.
HMP New Hall.

A mother and baby unit at a women’s prison has been declared ’good’ by inspectors after a previous visit found that it needed to improve.

Ofsted visited HMP New Hall and praised the unit across all areas, including leadership and the outcomes for the children.

The unit caters for up to 10 female prisoners who can be with their babies and has seven members of staff.

There are currently four children on the unit.

The report, published this month, reads: “The setting provides a welcoming, supportive and nurturing environment for babies.

“Staff know the families extremely well.

“They offer a wide range of information, support, encouragement and guidance, which parents say is valued highly.

“Babies develop the essential skills they need to continue to succeed in the next stages of their learning.”

To continue improving the inspectors say the unit needs to enhance the quality of teaching, ensuring that all children are provided with frequent access to outdoor activities.

It comes almost a year after the education watchdog visited and criticised the unit, giving it a ‘requires improvement’ mark for all key areas.

Staff were singled out for not planning consistent activities so the children could make progress.