Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Children and Young People - Friday, 7th December, 2018 10.30 am

Venue: Conference Rooms, Cumbria House, Carlisle

Contact: Daniel Hamilton  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Mrs EA  Mallinson – Mr LN Fisher attended in her place. Ms L Berryman - Assistant Director Children & Young People gave apologies and Mr J Macilwraith – Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) attended in her place.



To report any changes to the membership of the Board


Appointment of Caroline Johnston – Parent Governor Representative for a four year term.


It was noted that Ms Caroline Johnston had been appointed as the Parent Governor Representative for a four year term.


As two vacancies remain, in line with legislation, there must be another appointment round in a year’s time then every 6 months after that until all vacancies are appointed to.


It was AGREED that a thank you letter be sent to the previous Parent Governors.


Members noted that no Church representatives had attended the Scrutiny Advisory Board for some time and members asked officers to investigate this.



Members are invited to disclose any disclosable pecuniary interest they have in any item on the agenda which comprises


1          Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for            profit or gain.


2          Details of any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by you in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses.  (This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.


3          Details of any contract which is made between you (or a body in which you have a beneficial interest) and the authority


(a)       Under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and


            (b)       Which has not been fully discharged.


4          Details of any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the authority. 


5          Details of any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the authority for a month or longer. 


6          Details of any tenancy where (to your knowledge)


            (a)       The landlord is the authority; and


            (b)       The tenant is a body in which you have a beneficial                                                         interest.


7          Details of any beneficial interest in securities of a body where


(a)       That body (to your knowledge) has a place of business or land in the    area of the authority; and



(b)       Either –


(i)      The total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one            hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or


(ii)     If that share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

In addition, you must also disclose other non-pecuniary interests set out in the Code of Conduct where these have not already been registered.




A “disclosable pecuniary interest” is an interest of a councillor or their partner (which means spouse or civil partner, a person with whom they are living as husband or wife, or a person with whom they are living as if they are civil partners).


There were no disclosures of interest made on this occasion.



To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item on the agenda.


RESOLVED that,     the press and public not be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any items of business on the agenda


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 14 September 2018.



RESOLVED that,     the minutes of the previous meeting 14 September 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Children's Improvement Update pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive).

Additional documents:


Members considered a report from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) on the Children’s Improvement Plan. The report provided the Board with an update on the progress of the plan and of the issues raised at the last meeting of the Joint Chair’s Group.




Three areas were identified as being particular concerns;


·         CSE – Child Sexual Exploitation

·         CLA in EET – Children Looked after in education or training

·         Management oversight


A discussion took place about the portfolio for Early Help and how changes might be made to assure progress in this area, including joint working practices.


Members discussed facilities for victims of CSE after concerns are raised over the future of a centre in Barrow. The Board was informed that a Police and Crime Commission report into the condition of Victim Support contact centres would be brought to a future meeting of the Corporate Parenting Board.


Transitions and disabilities are cited as focus areas as changes in the functions of the directorate (People now incorporates Children and Adults) will allow for a more seamless provision of services.


RESOLVED that,    

1)        Revisions be made to the format of the presentations as a standing item for future boards. To include: brief narrative overview which sets the context of improvement and performance over the period; glossary of acronyms; a revised format of coloured bar charts.

2)        Future items include district breakdowns of data particularly where performance is concerned.

3)        A private presentation be made to the Board in February on the introduction of the Signs of Safety model.

4)        An update be provided on the location and capacity of facilities for victims of sexual assault in Cumbria, and link this in to the mapping that the Police and Crime Commissioner is working on regarding victim support services.

5)        An enquiry be made into how looked after children and young people are supported in finding ‘weekend jobs’, given the decline of work in this area.

6)        Information be provided into the recruitment and vacancy rates of Social Workers including an update on progress with the Social Worker Academy.


Children and Young People's Plan pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider a report from Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive).

Additional documents:


The  Board received a presentation from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) on the refresh of the Children and Young People’s Plan.

Members were asked to consider the priorities in the Children and Young People’s Plan and whether they reflected the priorities of the Board and to consider how the Board could be kept involved in the delivery of the CYPP once the refresh had been agreed next April.

Following the 2017 Ofsted inspection, Cumbria moved from a rating of ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Requires Improvement’. There were many aspects of the service which were rated as ‘Good’, and the Children’s Improvement Plan sets out what was required to make sure that a rating of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ was reached.

The Programme Officer talked members through the presentation which discussed the following;

·         The Children and Young People’s Plan

·         Stakeholder Engagement

·         Headlines from Engagement

·         What have Children and Young People told us so far

·         Timeline and Next Steps

In discussion of the Children Looked After Recovery Plan it was made clear to members that there were still a number of challenges to be overcome if the goal of being an ‘Outstanding’ local authority was to be achieved. The number of children looked after in Cumbria was above the average for local authorities with similar populations. The officer explained that as of June 2018 Cumbria had:

·         690 children looked after

·         294 in foster care (own provision)

·         10 in Cumbria County Council residential care

·         78 in other arrangements (e.g. placed for adoption or placed with parents)

·         308 were in externally provided placements (95 in residential homes and 213 through Independent Fostering Agencies)

·         There had been a decrease in children under 1 year old coming into care, but an increase in 10-15 year olds, who have proved harder to place.


1)    An item on Curriculum for Life and Digital Wellbeing be brought before the Board in May.

2)    The Director of Public Health provide the Board with a briefing on breastfeeding and rationale for reduction as a policy goal, as well as progress in delivery of the alcohol strategy.

3)    To bring to a future meeting of the Board an item on Child Poverty.


School Attainment pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To consider a report from Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive)


(Presentation to Follow).



The Board had before them a report from Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) about pupil outcomes for all Key Stages for Cumbria in 2018, together with an update on Ofsted School Inspection outcomes.


The Assistant Director - Education & Skills talked members through the presentation, which explained that following the disappointing 2016 pupil outcomes for Cumbria in all key stages, the CASL plan was revised and action plans implemented to ensure a much greater focus on pupil achievement.


This focus had a positive impact on pupil achievement in 2017, with recognition across the CASL partnership that improvements needed to be sustained throughout the three year period of the CASL plan.


This ambition was reaffirmed to all partners in autumn 2017, and revised action plans implemented, driven through the Learning Improvement Service (LIS), CASL priority groups and the three Local Alliances.


During the academic year 2017-2018, there were a total of 86 Ofsted inspections in Cumbria.  Overall, judgements matched system predictions, with exceptions mainly due to relationships and culture within schools, rather than pupil achievement or the quality of provision.


Pupil achievement had shown strong progress in the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. There had also been positive improvements in SEND outcomes in all phases. Despite some individual school and provider improvements at GCSE and Post 16, overall 2018 performance in these phases had been static in comparison to national figures.


·         Early Years


In Early Years, Foundation Stage Profile headline results show that the proportion achieving a ‘good level of development’ has continued to increase in 2018, from 65% to 70.1% in Cumbria.  Nationally, the proportion achieving the benchmark has increased from 70.7% to 71.5%.


Cumbria had increased at a faster rate than the national and has narrowed the gap for the third consecutive year, reversing a widening gap trend.  The CASL plan target for year three was to achieve outcomes in line with or better than the national in 2019.


·        Key Stage 1


In Phonics, 81.9% of pupils achieved the standard, compared with 82.5% nationally. This represents a three year upward trend, with a difference of 0.6% in 2018 compared with 2.2% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2016.


Cumbria was still slightly below the national for reading, writing and mathematics combined and for mathematics as a stand-alone subject. 


The disadvantaged gap in Key Stage 1 between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils nationally had reduced in 2018, but was still higher in all areas than the national gap.


·        Key Stage 2 


In KS2 64.4% achieved the expected standard Reading, Writing, Mathematics (RWM) combined - (National  64.1%) - a substantial improvement of 3.9% compared to a 3% national increase.


Reading results (77.5%) exceeded national (75.0%). Writing results improved substantially and now exceed the national by 2.1%. Cumbria’s results increased by 3.1% (to 80.3%), compared with a national increase of just 1.8%.


Maths results matched N (75.3%) after being slightly below last year. Results increased by 1.7% compared with just a 0.4% increase nationally.


In KS2, The performance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Cabinet Member Updates pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider a report from the Cabinet Member – Children’s Services and Cabinet Member – Schools and Learning.

Additional documents:


Members were given verbal updates on the work of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and the Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning respectively.


RESOLVED that,                 the report be noted.


Board Briefing pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider a report from the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community.


Members considered the Board Briefing report from the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor. This provided an update of Board activity and notified the Board of items for the next Board meeting and any children related Cabinet decisions on the Forward Plan.


RESOLVED that,                 the report be noted.




Date: 12 February 2019

Time: 10:30 am

Venue: Kendal


The next meeting will be held on the Tuesday 12 February 2019.