Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Children and Young People - Friday, 21st October, 2022 10.30 am

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

Contact: Daniel Hamilton  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Mrs A Burns, Mr W Clark, Mrs E Mallinson, Mr W McEwan, Dr K Lockney, and Mrs E Williamson.





To report any changes to the membership of the Board


There were no changes to the membership of the Panel on this occasion.




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 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 be not excluded from the meeting for any items of business on this occasion.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 223 KB

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



RESOLVED,   that the minutes of the meeting held on 24 May 2022 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.





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

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report from the Executive Director – People which provided an update on the status of the SEND Written Statement of Action (WSOA) and the implementation of the newly developed SEND Partnership Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) together with feedback from the last formal monitoring meeting with the Department of Education and National Health Service England (DfE/NHSE).


Members reviewed the action plan and sought assurance on the following action:

·           Develop and implement a governance structure with monthly monitoring and oversight of transition activity for each cohort of young people.


Members also asked for future update on:


·           Work with the SEND improvement board to develop some evidence on lived experience and improvements and outcomes for SEND children

·           Feedback from the Health System the development of the Autism Dashboard.

·           Progress around Alternative Provision in terms of progress, where gaps are and actions currently being undertaken.


RESOLVED,     that the status of the Written Statement of Action and implementation of the Continuous Improvement Plan, which aims to ensure the momentum of improvement is maintained, be noted.





To consider a presentation highlighting aspects of the Annual Conversation letter and the recent inspection.



Members received a presentation which provided an update on Ofsted. The presentation covered the Annual Ofsted Visit in 2022 and updated on the Ofsted Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Services (ILACS) that took place in September 2022.


The Ofsted Annual Visit took place 16 June 2022. The purpose of the visit was to provide a formal discussion with the local authority based on a self-evaluation which supported the local authority to evaluate its performance. This year the discussion focused on Children’s Social Care, Education and SEND. There was no published outcome, but a formal letter which summarised the key points of discussion.


In relation to Children’s Social Care the following issues were raised by Ofsted:


           Key challenges - increased demand, workforce issues and sufficiency.

           Openness to external challenge and support – especially through LGA Peer Reviews.

           Ongoing development and improvement work around children with disabilities social work, implementation of the early help strategy, child exploitation and domestic abuse.


Cumbria’s ILACS took place in September 2022. Inspectors looked at the effectiveness of our services and arrangements:


          to help and protect children

          the experiences and progress of children in care and the arrangements for permanence

          experiences and progress of care leavers



The draft report would be published 18 October and the final report would be published 15 November 2022.


Children’s homes normally received a full inspection (2 days in length) at least once annually.  Depending on the outcome of the full inspection, the home may be inspected further in the year.  Homes that received a judgement of ‘Requires Improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’ may receive a further assurance visit.  Since 2021 all homes had been inspected and all received a grade of ‘Good’ except for two homes which were graded as ‘Requires Improvement’. No homes were graded as ‘Inadequate’.


In regard to the Education and Early Years Annual Conversation with Ofsted, the following issues were discussed:


           Good take up of early years places by families in Cumbria.

           Increase in requests for SEND assessment and increased SEND training for early years settings.

           Recruitment challenges some early years settings are facing.

           Ongoing discussions with further education providers, particularly around addressing the skills gap.

           High numbers of home educated children - particularly those with an Education and Health Care Plan, or previously in receipt of SEN Support. 

           The positive impact of work undertaken to support school leaders development of the curriculum.

           Exclusion rates - particular challenges in areas of Carlisle and the pilot underway to develop inclusive and trauma informed practice in schools with the aim of reducing exclusion rates.


A member raised a concern about one of the Children’s Homes that was in their division and requested a visit to the home so they could speak to the manager and learn more about how it was addressing the outcome of the inspection.


Overall Members were assured that the Ofsted conversations were demonstrating overall progress across Children’s Social Care, SEND, Early  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.



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


The Board considered a report by the Executive Director – People which provided an overview of Child Exploitation, the current picture in Cumbria and developments since the last report presented in December 2021.


The Board received information on the progress in the development of a Complex Safeguarding Team. This would introduce Exploitation Intervention Workers who would carry out Return to Home Interviews with children that had gone missing.


The Board also received an update on the outcome of the LGA Peer Review of Contextual Safeguarding that was completed in June 2022 and followed up the previous Peer Review from 2019. Since 2019 the reviewed concluded there was good overall progress and recommended the following areas for further improvement:


·           Building on the good progress to date, explore opportunities to develop a greater shared understanding of effective social work practice with children subject to child exploitation, through an integrated practice model, practitioner tools, and more consultative opportunities for practitioners.

·           The partnership should consider establishing arrangements to assess the effectiveness of its strategy on frontline practice across all agencies, and the impact on outcomes for individual and groups of children.

·           Having a shared understanding of ‘audit’ in terms of purpose and focus.

·           Using the renewed focus on school attendance/CME as an opportunity to engage the wider partnership on those at risk/prevention.


A member requested more information about the increase in Child Exploitation cases in Kendal and how they were being addressed.


Members also requested more information on the prevalence of Child Exploitation so they could evaluate the scale of the issue.


RESOLVED,   that the report be noted.





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


The Cabinet Member – Schools and Learning gave members an update.


This was noted.




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


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).



The Board received a report which provided an update on the activity of the Board and relevant items in the Cabinet Forward Plan.


RESOLVED,   that the briefing be noted.








The next meeting of the Board would take place on 2 December 2022 at 10.30 am in Cumbria House, Carlisle.


Post meeting note: This meeting was subsequently cancelled.