Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Advisory Board - Children and Young People - Friday, 14th September, 2018 10.30 am

Venue: Committee Room 1 - County Offices, Kendal, LA9 4RQ. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

11.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr W Clark, Mr G Cook, Mrs C Driver, Mr W McEwan, Mr M Mill and Mr P Turner.

12.

MEMBERSHIP

To report any changes to the membership of the Board

Minutes:

Mr C Cook and Mr P Turner had tendered their apologies with Mr Hughes and Mr Fisher respectively, substituting for them for this meeting only.

13.

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:

No Interests were declared at this point of the meeting, however Mr N Hughes declared later on in the meeting that he had been appointed to the Church of England’s Diocesan Board of Education for Carlisle diocese.

14.

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 not be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any items of business on the agenda.

15.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 29 May 2018.

 

Minutes:

The following corrections be made to the minutes:

 

Minute 6 Deep Dive on Apprenticeships. Insert the word ‘After’ on the second last line of paragraph 2.

 

Minute 7 Portfolio Holder Update. 3rd line, change party to parties.

 

RESOLVED that, the minutes of the meeting held on 29 May 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

16.

School Exclusions pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a presentation about Exclusions from School in Cumbria, as requested by members at an earlier meeting of the Board.

 

Members were guided through the presentation which gave the following information:

 

·         Context for exclusions

·         Key changes

·         National Data (for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17)

·         Exclusions in Cumbria

·         The response to exclusions

·         The impact on the need for Alternative Provision

 

Members had also received the statutory DfE guidance regarding Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England for those with legal responsibilities in relation to exclusion.

 

Members were advised that local authorities had less power than in previous years for challenging exclusions. Important changes were that the voice of the child was now less well heard and School Appeals Panels could no longer reinstate a child in school, instead they could only make recommendations to reinstate them.

 

Members were advised of the national data for public exclusions and the placing of Cumbria in relation to its statistical neighbours and England. For 2016-17, Cumbria’s exclusion rate increased greater than the rest of the North West of England and was higher than its statistical neighbours. Members were advised of the rate of exclusions across all key stages, with the differences in changes for each stage identified. Comparisons with the national picture were reported. It was noted that over the course of three years, the number of exclusions had doubled, which was mirrored nationally. Geographical differences in the period 2015-18 in the county were identified.

 

Actions undertaken to address the number of exclusions were reported. This including training for Governors, benchmarking and the Fair Access Protocol. To conclude, the impact on the need for Alternative Provision (AP) was outlined. Members were apprised of the reasons why AP was clearly needed.

 

Given the importance of the issue of school exclusions, the Chair requested that a Deep Dive investigation be undertaken by the Board. A member requested that the names of the schools from which children and young people had been excluded be circulated. However, it was noted that discussion of this matter in the public meeting was not appropriate but members were reassured that the schools in question were fully supported by the County Council.

 

It was queried whether officers were in contact with other local authorities with similar trends to ascertain best practice and lessons learned. Members were advised by the Assistant Director - Education and Skills that other local authorities’ trends would need to be ascertained. In terms of the response to exclusions and training for Governors, it was questioned what work the council was undertaking to address the shortage of School Governors in the county. The Assistant Director - Education and Skills reported on the Governor Support Team’s challenging workload and the actions being undertaken to appoint more Governors. Members requested the Governor training programme.

 

It was queried whether the number of exclusions differed between Local Authority, Faith and Academy schools and if a gap in school leadership impacted on the number of exclusions. Members were informed that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Children's Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report from the Chair of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Advisory Board on the Children’s Improvement Plan. The report provided the Board with an overview of how Scrutiny would be involved in reviewing the Plan.

 

Members were guided through the Plan and made observations on the content. It was queried whether the Joint Safeguarding Oversight Board would perform the same functions as the Children and Young People Scrutiny Advisory Board. The Executive Director - People (Deputy Chief Executive) reported on the terms of reference for the Joint Safeguarding Oversight Board and gave the context for the Plan’s development. He informed members about the quarterly telephone call he had with the DfE, the adminstration involved in the work of improvement in the service area and the membership and work of the Joint Chairs’ Group. The Terms of Reference for the Joint Safeguarding Oversight Board would be shared with members.

 

In reviewing the Plan, it was raised that two new indicators had been added which were both red (Number of cases open for 12 months plus where a reassessment has been initiated and CIN plans over 12 months plus (excluding SEND teams)).  Further narrative was required on the indicators and the importance of monitoring the indicators was emphasised. The Executive Director  - People (Deputy Chief Executive) welcomed the challenging indicator as it helped with the direction of travel towards a ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection outcome.

 

In welcoming the Plan, a member questioned why it was anticipated that Child Sexual Exploitation would increase and why CLA with 3 or more placements in a year was expected to be maintained. The Executive Director - People (Deputy Chief Executive) explained that the indicators had been set in the context of rising numbers of Children Looked After. He was aiming for a sufficient number of in house foster carers which may help in the reduction of placements. The Assistant Director Children and Young People commented that in terms of placement stability figures, Cumbria was below national and statistical neighbours figures. The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services stated that nationally, the figures of CLA continued to increase but their needs still must to be met. In terms of CSE, a member highlighted that it was a new area of work. The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services responded that partnership working was underway, for example, with the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner to address the growing issue of CSE.

 

A number of members mentioned the lack of diversity of the people in the pictures in the Plan. Officers would review this. It was queried why the number of Early Help Audits stepped up to Children’s Services were anticipated to increase rather than decrease and in the three new KPIs relating to Social Workers, all the indicators identified that the figures would increase, which  worried one member. The Executive Director  - People (Deputy Chief Executive) explained that Ofsted had identified that some children should have been placed higher in Early Help, therefore it was important  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Youth Service Provision pdf icon PDF 124 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report was considered from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) regarding Youth Service Provision. The report provided a brief history of the Youth Service in Cumbria and summarised current provision.

 

The Assistant Director Children and Young People guided members through the key points of the report, including the elements of the service and a brief history and timeline of the service. Current provision was reported. This included the responsibility of Local Committees for universal youth provision. Cumbria Youth Alliance and its Service Delivery Plan and membership were reported and the in house Targeted Youth Support service and its role in early help work was outlined for members.

 

A member of Eden Local Committee who is also a member of the Local Committee’s Children and Young People Working Group commented that he had not been made aware of the engagement issues in Eden. He was keen to support better engagement in the area. With regard to targeted youth support, he was not aware of which groups were operating in his community and felt that there needed to be better communication. An offer was made for the Cumbria Youth Alliance to attend a meeting of Eden Local Committee’s Children and Young People Working Group. The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services explained the mechanism for Local Committees’ Children and Young People Working Group’s to have Targeted Youth Support on their Agenda.

 

A member was keen to review the mapping exercise of youth provision in Eden and South Lakeland which would be undertaken by Cumbria Youth Alliance and Young Cumbria. 

 

The Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) advised that he would be attending the Cumbria Youth Alliance AGM in September 2018 and offered to report back to members.

 

A member raised her concern about whether Targeted Youth Support was duplicating work undertaken by other Government initiatives such as that for troubled families and queried whether the staff who had returned to the County Council had been TUPE transferred. The Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) provided members with the history of the staff transfer and youth service contractual change. He did not feel that the service duplicated the service provided by Government but would review and if so, would report back to members.

 

A member commented that not all children wanted to engage, even when a package such as youth clubs were offered and much effort is invested in putting the offer together.

 

RESOLVED that,

 

1             The current position and planned future of Youth Services in Cumbria be noted

2             The Board receive the information regarding the mapping of youth provision in Eden and South Lakeland by Cumbria Youth Alliance and Young Cumbria, when available

3             The Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) to review whether Targeted Youth Support was duplicating work undertaken by other Government initiatives and report back as necessary

19.

Children and Young People Portfolio Holder Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

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

 

 

Minutes:

The portfolio update to the Board would be circulated by the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Officer after the meeting.

20.

Board Briefing pdf icon PDF 103 KB

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

 

 

Minutes:

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.

 

Members were guided through the report and noted the work that continued in the service area, led by the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor.

 

The Chair thanked Mr Brian Eaton who was no longer eligible to be a Parent Governor on the Board, for his invaluable input into the work of the Board. His knowledge and participation was welcomed. Mr Eaton commented that support for new Parent Governor Representatives was essential, in particular training on what would be expected of the person in the role. He considered that all political parties had respected each other and the respect for children and young people had also been good. He considered the work undertaken to support children and young people to be exemplary.

 

RESOLVED that,

 

1             The report be noted

2             The recommendations arising from the private meeting on the Youth Justice Strategy be agreed.

3             The Board be provided with a Youth Justice Strategy update in Spring 2019.

4             The recommendations for the private meeting on School’s Admissions consultation be included in the Board Briefing in December 2018

5             A private meeting be convened to review the content of the Self Assessment for the SEND Local Inspection.

21.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Date: 7 December 2018

Time: 10.30am

Venue: Cumbria House, Carlisle

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Board would be held on 7 December 2018 at 10.30am, Cumbria House, Carlisle.