Brighton & Hove City Council


Children, Young People & Skills Committee


4.00pm8 November 2021


Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall




Present: Councillor Clare (Chair)


Also in attendance: Councillor John (Deputy Chair), O'Quinn (Opposition Spokesperson), Brown (Group Spokesperson), Hamilton, Lloyd, McNair, Nield and Bagaeen


Other Members present: Councillors  








29          Procedural Business


29          Procedural Business


(a)         Declarations of Substitutes


29.1      Cllr Bagaeen declared that he was attending as a substitute for Cllr Meadows


(b)         Declarations of Interest


29.2    Cllr McNair declared that he was a Governor at Carden Primary School.


(c)         Exclusion of Press and Public


29.3    The Committee considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of any of the items listed on the agenda.


29.4    RESOLVED: There were no part two items in the agenda.




30          Minutes


30.1    RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2021 be agreed as a correct record.




31          Chair's Communications


31.1    The Chair gave the following communication:


Firstly, on the agenda today we were due to have a presentation on activities held during the holidays for SEND children. Unfortunately, those due to present today are unwell and we have therefore delayed this to a future meeting.


Youth Engagement

Cllr O’Quinn and I attended Youthwise in October where we were grilled by young people on the city’s response to the climate crisis as we should be. Thank you to the young people present for such an insightful discussion. Committee will know that youth engagement is really important to me, and you will note that the agenda includes an update on the annual make your mark survey and a general update on the work of youth council. I’m really pleased to see that the youth council is now bursting with 23 members following the induction day held in October which I was sadly unable to attend due to contracting covid-19.



On note of covid and the pandemic, we continue to keep a watching eye on the raising figures among school age children. While vaccination among 12-15 year olds is progressing, we remain concerned that the high rates of covid are slowing the programme down, due to the wait between catching covid and having a jab. We are also critical of Government’s inaction on preventing the spread in schools. Cllr Sarah Nield wrote to Government last Monday addressing some of those concerns – including the slow delivery of c02 monitors into our city’s schools and how the lack of measures will further disrupt education.



This is the first meeting since Moulsecoomb Primary has become an academy – having been forced out of our hands by the ideology of government. I want to thank the campaign for the work they did in challenging the academisation. As an administration, we have asked officers to keep a focus on what they can do to help prevent forced academisation of more education settings in our family of schools and we have requested regular updates on the work being done to support schools at risk of a negative OFSTED judgement. However, our work to support schools who are fighting academisation may well be hampered. In half term, the Government announced a consultation on removing the school improvement grant from councils. This funds the work we do in supporting our schools, including school improvement advisors who work with schools who need support. Without this grant, this work is at risk. I am concerned this is an attempt by Government to force further academisation by the back door.


Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children

Talking of Government’s failed policies, I would like to highlight that the hotel that is holding uascs in our city remains open. After a few months in operation it remains clear that a rota for councils to take UASC which is voluntary  is not the solution to ensuring that UASCs get the support they need from councils across the country. This council has already taken over our suggested statistical quota- we are currently around 130% of that, taking both spontaneous arrivals and from the rota in spite of this.


We remain over 0.07% of our quota, currently around 130% of that, taking both spontaneous arrivals and from the rota in spite of this. I am frustrated that this government is enabling other councils to get away without providing this support to vulnerable refugee children. Once again we call on them to close the Hove site and introduce a mandatory rota so that everyone plays their part.


Budget / Spending Review

I was keeping a keen eye on this autumns budget and spending review to see how it will impact children and young people in our city. While there were some announcements made – this doesn’t fill the gaps that are needed after both increased costs and reducing funding over the last decade. In many cases was a reannouncement of funding already made. Talking of re-anouncements – they re-announced the youth investment fund, now two years after they first announced it. I would really like to see progress on this fund, and I will once again use my chairs communications to urge the Government to release the funding so that youth services in our city can access vital support.




32          Call Over


32.1      The following items on the agenda were reserved for discussion:


Item 36 – An Update and Review of Foundation for Our Future

Item 37 – Make Your Mark Campaign

Item 38 – School Admission Arrangements 2023-2024

Item 40 – Pay Progression for Staff in Schools

Item 41 – School Ofsted Presentation


32.2      The following item on the agenda were agreed without discussion:


Item 39 – Proposal to Relocate West Hove Infant School




33          Public Involvement


33.1    There were no Petitions, Written Questions or Deputations




34          Member Involvement


34.1    There were no Petitions, Written Questions, Letters or Notices of Motion




35          Holiday Support For SEND Chhildren


35.1    This item was deferred to a later meeting of the Committee




36          An update and review of Foundation for our Future


36.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families, Children & Learning which provided an update on the work of Foundation For our Futures and the progress made in Brighton and Hove on the objectives. The report was introduced by the Assistant Director for Safeguarding & Care and by Ms S Button, Programme Director for Foundations for Our Future. Ms Button spoke on the review and the recommendations which came from that.


36.2    Cllr O’Quinn noted that a number of different organisations were involved in this and asked who would have overall scrutiny. The Assistant Director said that each organisation had its own Emotional Health & Wellbeing Board which looked at the work at a local level, there was also the Operational Board which looked at how things were being delivered across the Sussex area, there was the Executive Board which was chaired by the DCS of West Sussex, and within Brighton & Hove there was the Children & Young Peoples Health Oversight Board. Cllr O’Quinn referred to recommendation 12 and noted that there was currently a delay in young people being able to access the service and hoped that this would be one of the issues which was looked at and the service improved. The Assistant Director said that the level of demand was being looked at by CAMHS, but there was currently a shortage of staff which was being addressed. Cllr O’Quinn referred to recommendation 13 and asked how effective the Mental Health Support Teams in schools had been. The Assistant Director, Health, SEN & Disability said that work was being undertaken in schools, both primary and secondary, and the Council were working with the CCG and Public Health. Things were going well, but there was more work to be undertaken such as work around the triage system, and the Council were working with colleagues to address any gaps.


36.3    Cllr Lloyd asked if a young person would be appointed as Co-Chair of the Oversight Board and how they would be recruited. Ms Button said that expressions of interest and a description of the role had been sent to young people, and a young person had recently been appointed and would Co-Chair the next meeting of the Board.


36.4    Cllr Brown was concerned with the delay in accessing the services of CAMHS and said that this needed to be monitored closely by the Health & Welbeing Board. The Executive Director said that there was intensive oversight of this issue and steps to improve the service was set out in the report.


36.5    Cllr Hamilton referred to recommendation 18 and noted that no review or audit of EWB or targeted services outside of SPFT had begun, and asked when it would start. Ms Button said the report was slightly out of date and the review had begun and was expected to be completed in 2023.


36.6    RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the work being undertaken in regard to Children’s mental Health under Foundations for Our Future.




37          Make Your Mark Campaign Update


37.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning which provided an update on progress made towards the City’s Make Your Mark campaign. The report was introduced by the Youth Work Co-Ordinator and Ms L Brown, Young Person representative.


37.2    Cllr John noted that unlike other authorities the number of students in the city who were voting had dropped and asked if there were strategies in place to address that. Ms Brown said that there had been an online campaign, and officers had met with the Youth Council to discuss this, but agreed that steps should be taken to make more young people aware that they could vote. Cllr John asked if Green Leaf awards had been costed and was advised that it hadn’t. 


37.3    Cllr Bagaeen noted that the report said that there were no financial implications and that the Equality Implications had been left blank. The Youth Work Co-Ordinator said that for the purposes of this report there were no financial or equality implications, but said that it was important to ensure that all the different groups across the City were involved in the campaign.


37.4    Mr Muirhead wondered if the Green Leaf Awards could provide validation and quality assurance for charities in the city. Ms Brown said that that was a good idea, but at the moment the focus was on small businesses and larger organisations would be looked at in the future. He said that he was aware that there was a vacant youth participation post and asked if that was being recruited, and was advised that budgets were currently being set and so recruitment would be undertaken once that was done.


37.5    RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the progress made by the Youth Council towards the local Make Your Mark Campaign that aims to protect the environment and reduce plastic waste.




38          School Admission Arrangements 2023-2024


38.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning regarding the proposed school admission arrangements for the city’s schools, for which the Council is the admission authority, for the academic year 2023-24. The report was introduced by the Head of School Organisation.


38.2    Cllr Brown accepted that the PAN for schools needed to be addressed but would have preferred the larger schools to have reduced their admission number, and was concerned that having an admission number of 45 for some schools could be difficult. Cllr Brown asked what the intake number had been for the two primary schools in Woodingdean. The Head of School Organisation said that in September 2021 there had been 43 at Rudyard Kipling and 60 at Woodingdean Primary. He said that the forecasts showed that there would be 92 children starting primary school in Woodingdean area in 2023 and 78 children in 2025.


38.3    Cllr O’Quinn asked how carefully the reduction in PAN had been looked at and the impact on the local areas. The Head of School Organisation said that the authority were committed to ensuring that every area had a local school and the options had been fully considered but there would be a surplus of places in the future. Cllr O’Quinn was concerned that the consultation would be held over the Christmas period and asked if the consultation could start in January instead. The Head of School Organisation said the under the School Admissions Code the admission arrangements for a September 2023 start would have to be agreed by 28 February 2022, and therefore the consultation would have to be completed in January in order for the responses to be taken into consideration and arrangements agreed within the required time frame.


38.4    Ms Boyd asked if the impact on the speech and language provision at Carden Primary School had been considered if the PAN were to be reduced. The Head of School Organisation said schools would be able to respond to the consultation and set out any concerns they may have.


38.5    Cllr McNair stated that he was a Governor at Carden Primary School. The Chair asked the lawyer for confirmation that he could speak and was advised that if he asked a general question on the report he could as there was no pecuniary interest, but when the matter came back to this committee for a decision that would be reviewed and advise taken from the Monitoring Officer. Cllr McNair asked why schools rated Good by Ofsted may have their PAN reduced, he suggested that changing the admission number at some schools may mean children had to travel further away and asked if any impact on sustainable travel had been looked at. He asked if data from estate agents had been collected, and noted that the proposed changes were from schools in less affluent areas. The Head of School Organisation said that the Council needed to look at the whole city and proposals addressed the surplus places across that area. He accepted that schools with Good Ofsted ratings had been included, but the decision on the schools listed in the report was not based on how good they were. Transport links would be looked at as part of the consultation. The projected figures on the number of young children were based on data from the NHS and the projections had not shown any significant changes and so the Council were confident on the figures provided.


38.6    Councillor Hamilton said that there may still be spaces at schools even if the PANs were reduced, and felt that on the projected figures that no child would not be able to attend their local school, and in the circumstances the recommendations were the best way forward.


38.7    Cllr Bagaeen noted that some schools may have a PAN of 45 and asked if that would be one class of 30 and one of 15. The Head of School Organisation that there would be mixed age teaching and examples of how that would work were set out in the appendices to the report.


38.8    RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed -


(i)            To make no changes to the council’s admission arrangements (other than those listed below) or school catchment areas (where applicable);


(ii)          To consult upon a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of Bevendean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;


(iii)         To consult upon a change to the PAN of Carden Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils;


(iv)         To consult upon a change to the PAN of Coldean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;


(v)          To consult upon a change to the PAN of Queens Park Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils;


(vi)         To consult upon a change to the PAN of Rudyard Kipling Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;


(vii)        To consult upon a change to the PAN of Saltdean Primary School from 90 to 60 pupils;


(viii)       To consult upon a change to the PAN of Woodingdean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;


(ix)         To make no changes to the “relevant area”;


(x)          Noted the expectation that in the next 3-5 years proposals to consult upon a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of more schools will be required alongside the possible closure of some primary schools in the city. To best ensure schools are best placed to face this future increasing focus will be placed upon developing more and larger collaborations between schools which it is hoped will provide greater resilience to the challenges that will follow.




39          Proposal to relocate West Hove Infant School


39.1    This item was agreed without discussion.


39.2    RESOLVED: That the Committee -


(i)            Noted the responses to the public consultation held between 20 September and 25 October 2021;


(ii)          Agreed to the relocation of the West Hove Infant School (Connaught Road) classes to the Hove Junior School (Holland Road) site with effect from January 2022.




40          Pay Progression for Staff in Schools.


40.1 The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning regarding pay progression for staff in schools.


40.2  Cllr O’Quinn said that the recommendations in the report were expected, but she would like to see changes.  She felt that it was unfair that academies did not have to comply with the pay grades but was pleased to note that for those employed by the Council on the lowest pay grade would receive an increase in their salaries.


40.3  The Committee voted on the recommendations and they were agreed with the Labour Group abstaining.


40.4  RESOLVED: That the Committee declined to make the requested amendment to the Model Teacher’s Pay Policy for Schools.




41          School OFSTED Presentation


41.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning which provided an update of the latest Ofsted inspections since the last committee meeting. The item was introduced by the Head of Education Standards & Achievements and the Children’s Centre Manager.


41.2    The Committee were advised that Ofsted were now inspecting schools again. The City continued to have a high number of Good rated schools which was above the national average and a low number of schools which required improvement. Both St Nicolas CE Primary and Carden Primary had recently been inspected and the reports were expected in the forthcoming week. With regard to the Early Years Register in the City, 99% were judged to be Good or Outstanding which was above the national average. The Nest Nursery and Bear’s House Nursery had previously been Required Improvement but had now been awarded a Good rating. All private, voluntary and independent providers in the City had a Good or higher rating.


41.3    RESOLVED: That the presentation be noted.




42          Items Referred For Council


42.1    RESOLVED: That no items be referred to the next meeting of Full Council.





The meeting concluded at 6.15pm














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