A POOLE children’s home for youngsters with significant special needs was ordered to suspend all of its services this week after an inspection by Ofsted.

Parents were given just hours’ notice after the visit to Victoria Children’s Home in Lindsay Road, Branksome on Thursday,

The Victoria Education Centre on the same site remains open. Most of the children who live in the home attend the school.

A spokesperson from charity Livability, which runs the home, said: “On May 2, Livability was told by Ofsted to suspend services immediately at Victoria Children’s Home in Poole.

“The decision followed safety concerns about the dispensing of medicines and staffing arrangements. We deeply regret the impact on children and their families.

“The children are our number one priority.

“In collaboration with local authorities, every child has been provided with appropriate alternative care.

“We are continuing to work closely with local authorities and Ofsted to do everything we can to support the children and their families.

“We are focused on where we need to improve. A comprehensive quality review of our audit procedures for recruitment, training and medicines management has already started.

“Livability is committed to achieving the highest standards across all our services. We have moved quickly to put things right and will learn from what went wrong.”

Victoria Education Centre was rated as ‘outstanding’ in all areas during its most recent Ofsted inspection.

In that report, inspectors praised the leadership and management at the school. The headteacher and senior staff were instrumental in ensuring ‘energies are sharply focused to ensure pupils make the best possible progress in all areas of their lives’, the report said.

All pupils at the site have a statement of special educational needs associated with physical disability or complex medical conditions. Around half have severe learning difficulties, while the remainder have moderate, profound or complex learning difficulties.

Children from around the country are cared for by staff at the home. In total, the home supports 18 disabled young people aged between five and 19.

Judith Ramsden, corporate director for children’s services for the new BCP Councilm said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, our children’s welfare service have worked closely with families to ensure that any children placed by the council at this residential home are safe and that they do and will continue to have their needs met."