Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Children and Young People
Monday, 18th December, 2017 10.30 am

Venue: Cumbria House, Carlisle

Contact: Holly English  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Mr P Dew, Mr W Clark, Mr A Wonnacott,



To report any changes to the membership of the Board


There were no changes to membership 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 made.




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 item on the agenda.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 2015.


RESOLVED,            that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 September 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.


Under Minute Number 5 – Minutes, a Member asked for an update on the letter sent to the Minister for Health in regards to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. The Corporate Director – Children and Families Services advised that a letter had been sent but no response had been given at this time.


Under Minute Number 8a – Cabinet Member Updates (Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services), it was requested that the referenced report on Generation Z be circulated to all members of the Board.


Under Minute Number 9 – Board Briefing, Members were informed that the additional meeting to look at school performance had not yet taken place and Members were asked in Item 17 below whether to hold an additional meeting.



Children's Complaints Report pdf icon PDF 68 KB

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


Additional documents:


A report was presented by the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services which guided the Board through the Annual Complaints Report. The report focussed on technical details and statistics arising from complaints and looked at issues to take forward and lessons learned.


The Board were informed that the number of complaints dealt with under the Children Act had reduced from 95 in 2015/16 to 71 in 2016/17 with 25 being progressed through the County Council’s corporate complaints procedure. The Corporate Director expressed that the reduction in complaints is positive, though the Directorate does welcome complaints as a learning opportunity due to the fact it allows staff to comprehend service user experiences.


The primary reasons for complaints remained consistent with previous years and related to issues of attitude and conduct of staff, communication and service provision.


A member asked a question regarding the worsening of the response performance. In reply the Corporate Director explained that the team now has a tracking approach and this would ensure the response performance would be improved in order to meet the statutory timescale.


Members questioned whether the annual report could be presented to the Scrutiny Board earlier in the year. Officers informed the Board that they would aim to present the report earlier in future.


RESOLVED,             that

(1)  The report be noted

(2)  Members agree to the publication of the report



School Attainment Data 2017 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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



Additional documents:


The Board received a report on the School Attainment Data 2017 from the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services. The report provided a summary of the 2017 school attainment for the main indicators that Scrutiny had shown a previous interest in looking at.


The Board were also asked to consider a referral from the Scrutiny Performance Working Group regarding holding a deep dive to look at the 2017 performance information in greater detail in the new year. This would be done as a one off meeting that would report back into the Scrutiny Performance Working Group.


The Group discussed trends in the summary overview of attainment data and were pleased with the overall direction of travel.


A member asked the question of whether or not there was provision for ensuring children read during the holidays. In response the Assistant Director - Early Help and Learning explained that some schools hold a breakfast club. However there is variation between schools.


RESOLVED,             that the report be noted.



Review of Alternative Provision pdf icon PDF 121 KB

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



A report was considered on Review of Alternative Provision by the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services. The report allowed the Board to pre-scrutinize the proposals before going to Cabinet in March 2018.


The report outlined key issues including:-


Ø  What Alternative Provision ‘looks’ like, where it would be and how would it be funded


Ø  Likely levels of need, management and accountability arrangements


Ø  Links with PRUs, proposed impact for young people, and other considerations relating to the wider inclusion agenda


The Board was advised that Alternative Provision in Cumbria would represent a genuine alternative curriculum offer and educational experience for children and young people who are unable, for academic, social or emotional reasons, to access the curriculum in mainstream schools.


The model for Alternative Provision would be a blended curriculum which gives focus to core subjects with an additional personalised offer of foundation academic subjects, vocational courses, apprenticeships, work-related learning, off-site placement, physical and outdoor education. The option to blend the curriculum with some access to mainstream school specialist provision would be considered. Assessment would comprise of a bespoke package of existing accreditations (GCSE, BTEC, Functional Skills, ASDAN, CoPW), across from Foundation level to Level 3. The curriculum for each child or young person would be produced subject to a rigorous baseline assessment of ability, potential and need.


A discussion took place regarding the desire for a more joined up system linking through to Resources Provision (RP), provision in Special Schools and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs).


A question was raised in regards to where the resource would be placed and how it would be funded. The Assistant Director – Early Help and Learning informed that there were no finalised plans in place as yet, however Officers were in the process of considering censuses and in discussion with other organisations in order to progress to the next stage.


RESOLVED,             that

(1)   the report be noted

(2)  the board to receive a progress update in 6 months



Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health Services - Government Green Paper pdf icon PDF 108 KB

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


Additional documents:


Members were guided through a report by the Corporate Director – Children and Families Services which provided details of the Government’s new Green Paper on mental health services for young people. The report also requested the Board’s input to form a response from Cumbria.


The Board were asked to consider the proposed changes and contribute thoughts and observations to the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor to assist in preparing a response. The Board also considered the proposals against the background of the scrutiny task and finish review into CAMHS that took place in 2016.


It was explained that the Green Paper sets out the following items which the government intends to focus on in transforming mental health services:-


Ø  School and colleges to oversee approach to mental health and wellbeing by identifying a senior lead. Children and Young People’s mental health services would also identify a link for schools and colleges. This link would provide rapid advice, consultation and signposting.


Ø  Funding for new mental health support teams, supervised by NHS mental health staff to provide specific extra capacity for early intervention and on-going help. Their work would be managed jointly by schools, colleges and the NHS. These teams would be linked to groups of primary and secondary schools and to colleges providing interventions to support those with mild to moderate need and supporting the promotion of good health and wellbeing.


Ø  A number of pilots for a four week waiting time for access to specialist CAMHS.


Ø  A member of staff in every primary and secondary school to receive mental health training.


It was advocated that the government intends for the new approach to be rolled out to between a fifth and a quarter of the country by the end of 2022/23. The plan was to have in place a number of ‘Trailblazers’ which would be operational by 2019. These Trailblazers would pilot the proposed approach and would be supported by robust evaluation in order to understand successfulness of the new approach.


Members of the Board advocated a strong desire for Cumbria to become a Trailblazer for the proposed approach.


It was AGREED that the Board would receive an update at the next meeting.


RESOLVED,             that

(1)  The report be noted

(2)  Members to be engaged in the development of a response from the Children’s Trust Board

(3)  Members to support the Children’s Trust Board’s application to become a Trailblazer




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 for Schools and Learning updated the Board on recent work with Cumbria Alliance System Leaders (CASL). An update was also given on a recent meeting with MP’s regarding school funding and exclusions.


The Cabinet Member for Childrens Services provided feedback from the latest Childrens Trust Board meeting which discussed the alcohol strategy and performance headlines. The Cabinet Member also updated on the progress of a possible Council Tax exemption for young people leaving care.




To receive an update from the Corporate Director – Children’s Services.


The Corporate Director - Children and Families Services explained that a significant amount of work had focussed on the Ofsted inspection over the past month and praised staff for their hard work during the inspection. It was explained that the outcome would be published in January.


A discussion took place regarding a possible SEND inspection.




To consider a report from the Chief Executive.


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)


A report was presented by the Corporate Director – Resources and Transformation which briefed the Board on changes to membership, Board activity since the previous meeting and presented the proposed work programme that was due to go to Scrutiny Management Board.


The Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor advised that since the last meeting the main focus of Board activity related to participating in the Ofsted review in November and working jointly with the Corporate Parenting Board on responding to Government consultation on Corporate Parenting Principles.


The Board received the draft work programme for the Board as agreed by the Scrutiny Management Board in September 2017.


RESOLVED,             that the briefing paper be noted.




Date: 20 February 2018

Time: 10:30am

Venue: County Offices, Kendal



The next meeting of the Board would be held on 20 February 2018 at County Offices Kendal at 10:30am.