Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Children and Young People - Thursday, 30th May, 2019 10.30 am

Venue: Conference Room A/B, Cumbria House, Carlisle

Contact: Daniel Hamilton  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Mrs E Mallinson, Mr B Shirley, Mr A Wonnacott, Mrs S Evans, Dr K Lockney and Mr McEwan.





To report any changes to the membership of the Board


The new membership was noted.



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 205 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 12 February 2019.


(copy enclosed)


RESOLVED that,     the minutes of the meeting held on the 12 February 2019 be confirmed as an accurate and complete record.



To consider a report from Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) on the SEND Ofsted local area inspection.


(copy enclosed)


A presentation will be delivered on the outcomes of the local inspection.


(copy to follow)

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the report from Executive Director – People which presented the outcomes of the Ofsted SEND local area inspection.


SEND local area inspections were carried out jointly by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to inspect local areas to see how well they fulfilled their responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.


The Assistant Director – Education and Skills talked members through the outcomes of Cumbria’s joint inspection in April 2019 and explained that unlike Children’s Services inspections, the inspectors do not give a rating, but produce a report with recommendations for improvement.


The Assistant Director explained to members the headline findings of the inspection which were as follows:-


·         The impact of the SEND reforms on children, young people and families in Cumbria was found to be variable and there has not been enough pace in implementing the reforms


·         There was found to be a lack of joint working between health, care and education and inequitable access to service


·         Some parents and carers were found to have lost faith and trust in the local area and co-production is weak


·         Leaders were found to be developing a clearer understanding of the main strengths and weaknesses


·         There were strengths identified within the report which the service must now build upon.


Members were then talked through the criteria of the inspection and were showed the areas that the service had been found to be delivering effectively and the areas where development was needed. As a result of the inspection the local area had been issued with a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) of which both the Local Authority (LA) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) are jointly responsible. There were 9 key areas highlighted for improvement which would be monitored at quarterly visits culminating in a re-inspection in approximately 18 – 24 months.


Cumbria’s WSoA will be submitted by 21 August 2019, it is suggested that in that time the Local Authority’s governance structures – Health and Wellbeing Board, SEND Improvement Board – Working Groups convene and begin to explore detailed action plans.


Members share their observations regarding some of the more contradictory findings in the report and ask about how Cumbria compares with other local areas. The Assistant Director – Education and Skills responds that most local area inspections have resulted in the issuing of a written statement and explains that 5 years on from the reforms more local areas are receiving written WSoAs.


Members ask for clarification on the work around alternative provision and the local authority’s work with health, education and social care partners. It is explained that the proposed resource provision hubs would allow children and young people with special educational needs to access support while attending their local schools. It is hoped that this would allow for earlier identification and intervention and for resources to be distributed more effectively.


Officers were asked to comment on Cumbria’s success historically with regards to inclusion of SEND students in mainstream  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Cabinet Member Update pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To receive an update from the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services and the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Schools and Learning.


(copy enclosed)



The Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning discussed with members some of the many ways that children and young people with special educational needs or difficulties can add to a school. She reflected on her experiences as a teacher and highlighted how important it is for the service and for teachers to do their best for all children. She also provided an update on a various Department for Education consultations that the Council had been responding to.


The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services delivered an update to members on the recent meeting of the Corporate Parenting Board. She fed back the findings of the latest Foster Carer report which assured members that the service was on track to meet recruitment needs by October. Members then heard the latest news regarding the newly launched Care Leaver Offer.




To receive an update from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive).


(copy enclosed)


The Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) gave an update on a number of relevant schemes including Cumbria’s delegation as the location of the Regional Adoption Agency. He explained to members that the ‘go live’ date had now been delayed until 2020, and so it was AGREED that a comprehensive update be given to the Board.


Members heard that the Strengthening Families application would soon be submitted to the Department of Education (DfE) following the Chancellor’s budget speech announcement regarding £20 million allocation to Children’s Services to find innovative ways to manage demand. This is programme was only made available to local authorities with Children’s Services that have a rating of Requires Improvement and have higher rates of children looked after than statistical neighbours. Cumbria was invited to take part, and members are told that the Council will be informed if it has been successful in September as securing political and partnership agreement is an important component of the bid. It was AGREED that Cumbria submit a bid and that the approach be supported.


Members were informed of a meeting between officers and the Ofsted - North West Regional would take place to discuss the focus of the next Ofsted Children’s Services visit.


The Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) asked that the Board familiarise themselves with the new arrangements for the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, and so it was AGREED that a presentation be brought to the next meeting for the purpose of briefing members on the statutory safeguarding requirements.


It was RESOLVED that,                


1)    Cumbria submits an expression of interest in taking part in the Strengthening Families Programme.


2)    A presentation be brought on the statutory arrangements of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.





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


The report informs members of new and updated items of significance to the Board (including relevant aspects of the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions).


Additional documents:


The Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor provided an update to members whereby he informed them of a member briefing which was due to held on 10 July 2019 on the topic of County Lines. The Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Superintendent will give a presentation that will last from 11:00am until 12:30pm in the Council Chambers of County Hall, Kendall.


Members were also informed that arrangements were being made for the delivery of a presentation on the work of the Youth Justice Team.





Date: 23 September 2019

Time: 10:30 am

Venue: Committee Room 1, County Offices, Kendal



The next meeting will be held at 10:30 am on 23 September 2019 in Committee Room 1, County Offices, Kendal.