Brighton & Hove City Council


Children, Young People & Skills Committee


4.00pm14 September 2020


Virtual Meeting - Skype






Councillors: Clare (Chair) , Hills (Deputy Chair), Allcock (Opposition Spokesperson), Brown (Group Spokesperson), Grimshaw, Hamilton, Lloyd, McNair, Simson and Shanks


Co-optees: Mr T Cristin, Mr A Muirhead, Ms K James and Ms L Townsend









13          Procedural Business


(a)          Declarations of Substitutes


13.1      Councillor Shanks was present in substitution for Councillor Nield


(b)          Declarations of Interest


13.2       Councillor Shanks declared that she was a trustee of Brighton Youth Centre and a trustee of Sussex Clubs for Young People.


              Councillor Simson declared that she was a trustee of the Deans Youth Project


(c)          Exclusion of Press and Public


13.3       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.


13.4       RESOLVED: There were no part two in the agenda.




14          Minutes


14.1    It was noted that paragraph 2.1 should read 2 March 2020 rather than 15 June 2020.


14.2    RESOLVED: – That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2020 (as amended) were agreed and signed as a correct record.




15          Chair's Communications


15.1    The Chair gave the following communication:


Welcome to this virtual meeting of the Children Young People & Skills Committee. Please note that this meeting is being webcast and is capable of repeat viewing.


This is my first committee as Chair.  I wanted to start by thanking Cllr John Allcock for his time as Chair and Lead Member.  


Our city’s schools reopened earlier this month for pupils after a very long time away since they first closed in March. I would like to extend my ongoing thanks to all that work in education in the city.  They have responded impressively well over the past 6 months and I have seen how well supported our children, young people and families have been. They continue to manage many uncertainties.


We have had some positive cases in our city’s schools so far, including of some of our young people. Our public health team will continue to monitor and do what they can. But if school return is going to ensure our children are kept safe then the Government must provide a better testing capacity. Billions of pounds have been given to private companies like Serco, while public health budgets have been cut. The Government must give the support and funding to local authorities to manage test and trace more effectively than they are managing.  


As part of the schools reopening I have followed the Schools Streets initiative in 13 of our city’s schools, which provides temporary timed closures of roads close to schools’ entrances during drop-off and pick-up times, during term time. The road closures are managed by parents and carer volunteers and I want to extend our thanks to them for their support.  I visited Brunswick Primary on Friday and saw children playing in the streets outside the school and safely social distancing and it was great. And I’d love to see this expanded if we can – but we are currently short of volunteers so please do get involved if you can. It is a challenge to provide and in London boroughs where they’ve had successful school streets they’ve been able to fine drivers rather than rely on volunteers to staff them and I hope we get the powers to do that in future.


I was proud of how the city managed and performed in the recent A level and GCSE results which came out over the summer. Students across Brighton & Hove were able to celebrate a strong performance across the city. Students, school and colleges should be very proud of how they managed a very challenging exam and results season.


I also want to acknowledge all of the work our children’s safeguarding and disability services have been doing working throughout the pandemic and summer, ensuring our young people are kept safe and supporting carers.  Over the summer it was a chance for many families to have a rest and to support those with children with SEND, we worked with the Parent and Carers Council and the city park’s team to ensure there was some dedicated park space for those families to use. PaCC also asked Brighton & Hove City Council’s SEN Team to see if they could help with helping to organise extra activities over the holidays. A real range of exciting and stimulating activities for children and young people SEND were delivered across the city both online and face to face.


Since the Notice of Motion that was bought to the last committee meeting a programme work has started with a group of BAME teachers in the city to produce an anti-racist strategy for our schools. We will hear more detail in a report to this committee in November. I want to make sure that if we do this, we do this right and we commit the right funding and resource to do it. It cannot be a tokenistic act. You will also note my colleague Cllr Hills has submitted a letter on a fantastic project today and we’ve also met with many parents and campaigners doing similar things across the city to tackle racism through arts and learning.


I wanted to end by ensuring that committee members knew that due to the change in administration there has been an adaptation to the home to school transport Member Policy Panel. This will now be chaired by Cllr John Allcock and we look forward to receiving the Panel’s recommendations back to this committee in November. I will remain a member of the panel.


There have been a couple of changes to the agenda:

1.    Item 23 on the agenda ‘Central Youth Hub’ has been withdrawn from today’s meeting. The matter will now go to a Cross Party Working Group for discussion before coming to this Committee.

2.    Item 24 Youth Review. I am conscious that this item will be of particular interest to the young people attending this meeting, and so will move this item up the agenda to be considered after Item 20 Foundations For Our Future.




16          Call Over


16.1    RESOLVED: All items were called and reserved for discussion.




17          Public Involvement


17(a) Petitions


17.1    There were no petitions.


17(b)  Written Questions


17.2    Ms S Kyriacou submitted a question but was unable to attend the meeting and so it was agreed that the question and response would be provided in writing to her. The question was:


Why is Stanford Infants included on the list of schools to be reduced in size? 


17.3    The Chair gave the following response: 


The proposals before us today are coming for final councillor approval prior to going to consultation. These have been drawn up by a cross-party working group to address how we tackle the issue of having too many school places in the city. The inclusion of schools on the list aims to tackle a city wide issue with a city-wide approach.


When pulling together the proposals, councillors looked at the planning areas that are used for school place planning and council pupil forecast. Stanford Infant is within the central city planning area and has 162 surplus school places in September 2022 and 194 surplus places in September 2023. 


Consideration was given to each schools in this planning area and which could reasonably reduce in size. Our priority is ensuring that we keep all schools open and therefore we avoided including one form entry schools.


Larger schools are more able to reduce in size with less negative financial impact, where possible throughout the city we have also tried to avoid consultation on two form entry schools in the planning area.  The only three and four form entry schools in this area are Stanford Infant School, Balfour Primary School and Downs Infant School all of which have been included within the proposals.



17(c) Deputations


17.4    There were no Deputations.         




18          Member Involvement


18 (a)  Petitions


18.1    There were none


18 (b)  Written Questions


18.2    There were none


18.3 (c) Letters


18.3    The Chair noted that there was a letter from Councillor Hills and invited her to speak to the letter.


18.4    Councillor Hills thanked the Chair and read her letter and asked that the Committee support the Multicultural School Book Fund.


18.5    The Chair thanked Councillor Hills for the letter and said that the project were doing some amazing work, and was sure that all councillors would agree that additional books for schools were always welcome and that increasing diversity of school bookshelves was fantastic. The Chair suggested working on a joint statement with other groups about the project and ask them to promote it through their channels. She said that the administration was working with the Council’s Communications Team on this matter which included preparing a video which would be shared in due course. There would be a report on this project at the next meeting of the Committee.


18.6    Both opposition parties supported the initiative and the proposals in the letter.


18.7    RESOLVED: That the proposals in the letter would be taken forward.


18 (d) Notices of Motion


18.8    There were none.




19          School OFSTED Presentation


19.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director, Families, Children & Learning, which provided information on the Ofsted inspection of Hertford Junior School. The item was introduced by the Head of Education Standards & Achievement. The Committee were advised that Ofsted inspections in its current form were currently on hold and were unlikely to resume until the new year, and so there had been no new judgements since the Committee last met. However, before lock-down there had been an inspection of Hertford Junior School but their grade had been held back by Ofsted until June 2020 when it was announced that the school had moved from a Grade 2 to a Grade 3.


19.2    Cllr Shanks asked what support was being provided to assist the school and was advised that the school was being supported by the School Improvement Board, School Partnership Advisors and senior officers within the Council.


19.3    Councillor Brown noted that one of the issues raised by Ofsted was that there was a lack of expertise amongst the teachers and a lack of training for staff and asked what steps the Council were taking to address that. The Head of Education Standards & Achievement said that specific support would be provided, and in addition the Council had a ‘Every Child is a Reader’ programme.


19.4    Councillor Simson asked for confirmation that the Head Teacher at Hertford Junior was also the Head Teacher at Hertford Infant, and if that was correct and therefore was the same management team, whether the Council were monitoring the reading ability of children moving from the Infant to Junior School. The Head of Education Standards & Achievement confirmed it was the same Head Teacher and noted that the Infant School had been inspected by Ofsted last year and had received a Good judgement.  He added that the School Improvement Board did cross over both the schools and the work at both schools was being monitored.


19.5    RESOLVED: That the the report be noted.




20          Foundations For Our Future – the final Report from the Sussex Wide Children & Young Person’s Emotional Health & Wellbeing Service Review


20.1 The Committee considered the report of the  Executive Director, Families, Children and Learning and the Clinical Commissioning Group regarding the ‘Report of the Sussex-wide review of Emotional Health and Wellbeing Support for Children and Young People’, which was an independently authored report which had been jointly commissioned by Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, the three local authorities in Sussex and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The Review had been independently chaired throughout its duration. The report was introduced by Mr S Appleton who was the independent Chair of the review.


20.2  The Executive Director Families Children & Learning advised that an Oversight Group had been set up which comprised of the three Directors of Children’s Services from Brighton & Hove together with colleagues from East and West Sussex and the Chief Executive of the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust (Sussex-wide provider of CAMHS provision). The purpose of the group was to oversee the implementation of the recommendations in the report and the creation of a Programme Director who would be responsible for the improvement of emotional health wellbeing and specialist mental health services across the area. The Director suggested that the Committee may wish to have a regular update from the Oversight Group and the Programme Director on progress made against the action plan. The Oversight Group had already met and agreed that it would be Chaired by Mr Gallimore Director of Children’s Services at East Sussex County Council, and Co-Chaired by Ms Allen Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.


20.3  Councillor Hills asked why the number of children receiving treatment after the initial consultation was 46% but the national average was 69%. Mr Appleton said difference would be due to different thresholds and criteria for accessing specialist services.


20.4  Councillor Simson asked when changes to the service were likely to happen. The Executive Director Families Children & Learning said that when the Programme Director was appointed, they would be responsible for taking the recommendations forward.


20.5  Councillor Lloyd referred to the map showing the list of services in the City and asked who produced it, and if it included all the available services. Mr Appleton said the map was produced by the project team within the CCG and should include the relevant services but would be updated as necessary.


20.6  Councillor Shanks asked if support for young people now returning to school would be available where needed. The Executive Director said it was and the School’s Wellbeing Service was providing support for children and their families. Councillor Shanks asked how the proposed recommendations in the report would be monitored. The Director said that the Health & Wellbeing Board (HWB) in partnership with the CCG were responsible for decision making on this matter, but this Committee could receive copies of reports considered by the HWB. The Chair agreed that that would be useful.


20.7  Councillor Grimshaw noted that if children were being supported by CAMHS they would have to transfer to adult services once they turned 18 and asked if there was some way that they could be supported during that transition.  Mr Appleford agreed that it was a national as well as a local problem and said that there had been attempts to smooth the transition through national guidance, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists were also looking at this issue.


20.8  Mr Muirhead noted that children with neurodevelopmental disorders could wait up to two years from referral to an assessment of their needs, which was much longer than other referrals, and asked if the Oversight Group could develop targets to monitor progress. Mr Appleford agreed that there was a disparity in the timelines and that was something which the implementation of the recommendations would address.


20.9  The Executive Director Families Children & Learning confirmed that the recommendations in the report would be translated into an action plan and Programme Director would be responsible for the implementation of that action plan.


20.10  RESOLVED: That the Committee –


(i)    Noted the Independently Chaired Report – Foundations For Our Future.


(ii)  Noted the Concordat which underpins the partnership commitment to act upon the recommendations.


(iii) Noted the paper and discussion that was held at the Health & Wellbeing Board on 28th July 2020.




21          School Admission Arrangements 2022/23


21.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning regarding the proposed school admission arrangements for the city’s Schools for the academic year 2022-23. The report was introduced by the Head of School Organisation.


21.2    Councillor Hamilton referred to paragraph 3.5 of the report which stated that the consultation would run for 9 weeks from 5 October 2020 to 27 November 2020 and said that it should read ‘8’ weeks. The Head of School Organisation said he would check the dates and amend as necessary.


21.3    Councillor Hills asked how the consultations would take place. The Head of School Organisation said that meetings relating to individual schools would be held online together with the online portal but it was important that, in line with the EIA, arrangements were made to ensure that everyone was able to take part in the consultation but how that would happen was still being considered. In response to a request from the Chair, it was agreed that members of the Committee would be advised via email on how the consultation would take place.


21.4    RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed to –


(i)            Make no changes to the council’s admission

arrangements or school catchment areas (where applicable).


(ii)          Consult upon a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of Balfour Primary School from 120 to 90 pupils.


(iii)         Consult upon a change to the PAN of Benfield Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils.


(iv)         Consult upon a change to the PAN of Brunswick Primary School from 120 to 90 pupils.


(v)          Consult upon a change to the PAN of Downs Infant School from 120 to 90 pupils.


(vi)         Consult upon a change to the PAN of Goldstone Primary School from 90 to 60 pupils.


(vii)        Consult upon a change to the PAN of Moulsecoomb Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils.


(viii)       Consult upon a change to the PAN of Stanford Infant School from 90 to 60 pupils.


(ix)         Consult upon a change to the PAN of West Blatchington Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils.


(x)          Consult upon a change to the PAN of Hove Park School and Sixth Form from 300 to 180 pupils.


(xi)         Make no changes to the “relevant area”.




22          Schools Funding 2020/21


22.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning regarding school’s funding for 2020/21. The report was introduced by the Head of Finance (Children's & Adults).


22.2    Councillor Shanks noted that schools could bid for additional funding and asked for more information on that.  The Head of Finance advised that schools could bid directly for that money, and so far £178,000 had been reimbursed for issues such as increased premises costs, free school meals and additional cleaning costs etc.


22.3    Councillor Simson referred to the de-delegation of budgets for issues such as insurance and contingency and noted that some schools had opted out of Council insurance this year and asked if those schools would still have their budgets de-delegated. The Head of Finance said that four schools had opted out of maternity leave and long-term sickness cover, and the de-delegation related to buildings and contents insurance which no schools had opted out of.


22.4    RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed –


(i)            To note the funding streams utilised to fund schools.


(ii)          To note the latest position relating to school balances as at the end of the 2019/20 financial year and licensed deficits agreed for the 2020/21 financial year.


(iii)         To note the additional government financial support to schools for Covid-19.


(iv)         To note the anticipated future school funding arrangements for 2021/22 and 2022/23.




23          Central Youth Hub - Youth Investment Fund


This item was withdrawn from the agenda




24          Youth Review


24.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning which provided information on the Youth Review, and the impact on the process due to Covid-19. The report was introduced by the Integrated Team for Families Manager.


24.2    Councillor Lloyd asked how more people could be encouraged to complete the survey and suggested that advertising on social media may help. He noted that the new restrictions stopped groups of more than six people meeting up, and asked if that meant that youth work would be put on hold and if it was how would they ensure that young people were supported. The Integrated Team for Families Manager accepted that the number completing the survey was low with around 1% of young people in the City responding, but said that the Council wanted this to grow and to continue to hear from young people in the future. Youth Workers were continuing to support young people through online platforms, as well as through initiatives such as Walk and Talk. Mental Health was an important area and the Council were working with the CCG to coordinate service to support young people.


24.3    Mr Muirhead, through the Chair, quoted the National News Agency which said: “Despite the recent change to social gathering restrictions as of 9 September 2020 we can confirm that as an essential service the youth service sector activity can continue unchanged where Covid secure to NYA guidance standards”.  The Integrated Team for Families Manager agreed that services would continue but they would still be limited.


24.4    Councillor Brown said that it had recently been agreed by a cross-party group that the Council were not currently in a position to go ahead with the Brighton Youth Centre (BYC) on-site proposals and that more time was needed to explore all the options before making a decision, and she  therefore proposed a small amendment to Recommendation 2.4. The amendment was to say that BYC was one of the key youth providers, as all the youth providers in the City were important, and to confirm that all options would be explored. The Chair noted that no amendment had been submitted prior to the meeting as required but agreed to allow it.


Councillor Brown proposed the following amendment to Recommendation 2.4:


2.4  That the Committee agrees Brighton Youth Centre (BYC) to be recognised as one of the a the key youth providers in the city and for the Council to decide how to support with its refurbishment or rebuild by exploring all options.


24.5    Councillor Simson seconded the proposed amendment


24.6    Councillor Allcock noted that there had been severe cuts to youth spending across the country and many youth centres had closed and youth service provision reduced. The Council’s 2020-2023 Corporate Plan agreed to deliver high quality youth services where possible and despite budget pressures the Council had provided funding of over £5 m to youth services. Giving young people a voice was important and welcomed Recommendation 2.2 to involve them in the decision-making process.


24.7    Councillor Hills referred to the action plan and asked how members could ensure that it was led by young people. The Integrated Team for Families Manager said that the young people wanted the opportunity to be involved in the decision making, and she would make sure that everyone who wanted to could.


24.8    Councillor Grimshaw noted that only 1% of young people in the City had responded to the survey and asked what percentage of the young people in the City attended the BYC. The Integrated Team for Families Manager said that she didn’t know what the percentage was but would find out.


24.9    Councillor Simson referred to the Youth Service Review and noted that there were some omissions and asked if the names of all the providers could be included. The Review stated that young people travelled across the City to attend the BYC and asked if there was data to show how far they travelled and why they chose to do that, as that information could assist neighbourhood services to know what facilities they could provide more locally. A report was due to come to the next meeting of this Committee in November, and asked if that would allow sufficient time to form a budget for next financial year or whether it would be necessary to roll over the funding which was in place now. The Integrated Team for Families Manager said that the names of all of the providers would be given and apologised for the omission, she agreed that it would be useful to know why young people travelled to go to BYC and that would asked in the future. With regard to where the young people lived, she referred to page 330 of the report which had a map showing the home location for young people accessing activities delivered in the Central area of the city, and said that with regard to the financial side the Council were still waiting for information on the Youth Investment Fund and that would not be known until after the matter was considered by Committee in November.


24.10  Mr Muirhead said some young people with SEND did access mainstream services but there was a cohort of people with additional needs who weren’t accessing the services and felt that the recommendations in the report did not necessarily meet that gap, and asked if their needs could be met when recommissioning youth services. The Chair said the administration was keen to see the redevelopment of BYC as currently there was only one room which those with a physical disability could access, and that needed to be addressed.


24.11  The Committee voted on the amendment and it was agreed.


24.12  RESOLVED: That the Committee –


(i)            Noted the findings and recommendations of the Youth Review.


(ii)          Agreed to young people (via Youth Wise) developing an action plan that will further the involvement of them in decision making processes and this to be bought back to Committee in November.


(iii)         Agreed that the findings and recommendations of the Youth Review will inform the Youth Service Grants recommissioning process and the proposed framework for this is bought to Committee in November.


(iv)         Agreed Brighton Youth Centre (BYC) to be recognised as one of the key youth providers in the City and for the Council to decide how to support with its refurbishment or rebuild by exploring all options.


(v)          Agreed that neighbourhood provision should remain and not be impacted on if any future investment towards a central youth hub is agreed.




25          Proposal to consult on closure of maintained nursery class at Hertford Infant School


25.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning regarding the regarding consultation on closing the maintained school nursery class at Hertford Infant School. The report was introduced by the Childcare Strategy Manager. The Committee were advised that in the report it stated that the proposed closure date was ‘to be advised’, but following conversations with the Head Teacher it was proposed that the closure date would be at the end of the next school year and so would be in July 2021.


25.2    Councillor Lloyd asked what the implications may be for other nursery schools in the area, and if the nursery were to close would that be a permanent closure. Childcare Strategy Manager said that children didn’t necessarily go their local nursery, but there were two other nurseries in the Hollingdean area which would have capacity to take additional children and there was sufficient provision across the City. If it was agreed to close the nursery it would be permanent, and if it wanted to re-open there would need to be a consultation.


25.3    RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed –


(i)            That in accordance with DfE statutory guidance Making significant changes (‘prescribed alterations’) to maintained schools (October 2018)committee considers the request of the school to start the process to close the nursery class, taking into account the information in this paper.


(ii)          That, subject to findings from the initial consultation stage, a decision on whether or not to proceed to statutory notices with full proposals is made at a special meeting of the CYPS committee.


(iii)         That at the end of the statutory notice period, a decision on whether or not to proceed with closure of the nursery class is taken at the January 2021 Children, Young People and Skills Committee.




26          Items Referred For Council


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










27          Part Two Proceedings


27.1    There were no Part Two items





The meeting concluded at 6.40 pm











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