Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Children and Young People
Friday, 15th September, 2017 10.30 am

Venue: Kendal

Contact: Holly English  Email: holly.english@cumbria.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Mrs S Evans

 

2.

MEMBERSHIP

To report any changes to the membership of the Board

Minutes:

The new membership of the board was noted.

 

The board gave thanks to the previous Chair Mr D Fairbairn and wished to express their thanks for all his hard work and commitment to the board for the last 4 years.

 

3.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

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.

 

Note

 

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).

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest made.

 

4.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED,            that the press and public be not excluded from the meeting for any item on the agenda.

 

5.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 17 February 2017.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED,            that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 17 February 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

Matters Arising

 

Under Minute No 108 it was requested that the presentation on education be circulated to all new Members.

 

Under Minute No 110 it was agreed that the Task and Finish Group to review  recruitment and retention of Social Workers be referred to the Corporate Parenting Board.

 

Also under Minute No 110 it was noted that a letter had been sent to the Minister for Health which recommend that funding from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy be directed to public health rather than schools.

 

Members asked the question whether the belief that all schools would become academies was still relevant. It was advocated that this was not included in the most recent Conservative Party manifesto.

 

A discussion took place regarding the current inclusion strategy and Pupil Referral Unit’s (PRU’s) in the County; it was noted that the new Assistant Director would be able to discuss this with Members when he is in attendance at the next meeting of the board. In addition to this it was agreed that Officers would liaise with Leadership Support Officers to organise Member visits to PRU’s in the County.

 

6.

Cumbria's Children's Improvement Journey pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive a report from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services (copy enclosed).

 

Minutes:

The Board received a presentation from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services which informed Members of the Council and Partner’s progress in implementing the Children’s Improvement Programme.

 

In presenting the Improvement Update the board discussed:-

 

Ø  External scrutiny and validation

 

Members were informed that since July 2015 the County Council had received 14 Ofsted monitoring visits and 3 Department for Education reviews. At the latest Ofsted monitoring visit in August 2017 inspectors noted improvements in practice, management oversight, use of the voice of the child and care planning. Members were also informed that Ofsted were expected to visit before 2018.

 

Ø  Improvements in performance and quality

 

The board received the latest performance figures and were delighted to see they were moving in a positive direction. It was also noted that inspectors had commented on how Audit is a strength in the authority, however room for improvement could be made in relation to SMART planning and management oversight.

 

Ø  Changes in culture

 

The Corporate Director presented the findings of a survey conducted to assess staff morale within the directorate, Members were pleased that the results showed an improvement in motivation.

 

Ø  Education

 

Members were presented with the Schools Provisional Pupil Outcomes 2017. It was noted that the results were provisional at this stage and the new Assistant Director – Learning and Inclusion would attend the next board meeting to discuss the results in more detail once validation had been carried out.

 

Ø  Partnership

 

Members were informed of the latest partnership developments including; delivery of the LSCB Annual Report and Business Plan, development and implementation of the Children and Young People Plan and improved Children’s Trust Board, review and refresh of the Corporate Parenting Board and development and implementation of the Children Looked After Strategy.

 

Ø  Priorities

 

The Corporate Director advocated that there would be a continued focus on West and South Cumbria, the overall quality of practice and preparation for the upcoming Ofsted inspection.

 

RESOLVED,             that the report be noted.

7.

Cumbria LSCB Early Help Strategy

To receive a presentation from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services.

 

Minutes:

The board received a presentation from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services which informed Members of the Early Help Strategy Refresh.

 

Members were provided with an update on:-

 

Ø  Achievements

 

Ø  Work to date on Strategy Refresh

 

Ø  The Vision

 

Ø  Next steps

 

A question was raised about how the authority would be able to measure success of the strategy and the Senior Manager – Early Help & Targeted Youth Support advised that the authority may see a reduction in cases passed to the Safeguarding Hub, less Children Looked After and less Child Protection plans.

 

A discussion took place regarding the LSCB’s proposals for the draft strategy and the Board’s role in pre-scrutinising the strategy. It was agreed that a review be undertaken in 6 months.

 

RESOLVED              that,

 

(1)           the report be noted;

 

(2)           the Board to receive an update on the progress in implementation of the strategy

 

(3)           a review into the Board’s role in pre-scrutinising the Cumbria LSCB Early Help Strategy be carried out in 6 months.

 

8.

Cabinet Members Updates pdf icon PDF 69 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

8a

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children's Services

Minutes:

A report was considered from the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services which updated the Board on her work since the last meeting.

 

Consideration was given to a report of the Children’s Trust Board Child Poverty Sub Group meeting. Members were informed that the Children’s Trust Board had invited the following organisations to join future meetings:

 

-       Credit union’s

-       Police

-       District Councils

-       Fire and Rescue Service.

 

A discussion took place regarding a national report into Generation Z and their resilience. It was AGREED that the report be circulated to all members of the board.

 

RESOLVED,             that

 

(1)     the report be noted,

 

(2)       The national report on Generation Z be circulated to all members of the Board

 

8b

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Schools and Learning

Minutes:

A report was presented by the Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, which updated Members on her activities since being appointed to the post in June.

 

The Cabinet Member advocated she was aware of concerns from Head Teachers regarding the recent changes to GCSEs and A-Levels. The Board agreed it was important to ensure student’s are not disadvantaged because of this change.

 

Members attention was drawn to a report by the National Audit Office on retaining and developing the teaching workforce, a question was raised regarding whether Cumbria is a good place for teachers to work. In response the Board were informed only 1 in 10 posts in Cumbria were filled by people who have the correct level of expertise and knowledge. Members queried how this compares to national statistics.

 

 

RESOLVED,             that

 

(1)  the report be noted.

 

(2)  the Board is to receive a response from the Corporate Director concerning how Cumbria’s statistics on teaching posts compare to the national statistics.

 

9.

Board Briefing pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To receive a report from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services (copy enclosed).

 

The report informs members of new and updated items of significance to the Board.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

To board considered a report from the Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation which briefed the board on changes to membership, board activity since the previous board and presented the proposed work programme that was due to go to Scrutiny Management Board.

 

A discussion took place regarding the current unauthorised school absence policy. The Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning suggested that the authorities current policy did not meet the current standards. As a result of this the Board suggested that a review would be useful.

 

The Board noted that an additional meeting had been organised in November to look at school performance, this was a referral from the School Performance Working Group.

 

RESOLVED      that

 

(1)  The briefing be noted

 

(2)  The proposed work programme be agreed.

 

10.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Date: 18 December 2017

Time: 10:30 am

Venue: Cumbria House, Carlisle

Minutes:

The next Meeting of the Board would be held on 18 December 2017 at Cumbria House, Carlisle at 10:30am.