Agenda for Children & Young People's Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 24th September, 2008, 5.00pm
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Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Sharmini Williams, Scrutiny Support Officer
13a Declaration of Substitutes
13.1 There were no substitutions.
13b Declarations of Interests
13.2 Councillor Duncan declared a personal interest in Item 18 (the Director of Public Health’s Annual Report) as he is on the Sussex Police Authority for Reducing Alcohol Related Harm; and in Item 21 (Summary of Ofsted Reports and Diocesan Inspections of Voluntary Aided Schools) as he is on the Parent Governor Board at Coombe Road Primary School.
13c Declaration of Party Whip
13.3 There was none.
13d Exclusion of Press and Public
13.4 The Committee considered whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of any items contained in the agenda, having regard to the nature of the business to be transacted and the nature of the proceedings and the likelihood as to whether, if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of confidential or exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A, Part 5A, Section 100A(4) or 100 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
13.5 RESOLVED - That the press and public not be excluded from the meeting
Draft minutes of the meeting held on 25 June 2008 (copy attached)
14.1 It was noted that, at point 8.2 of the minutes, the date has been changed to 19 November as the Director of Children’s Services and the Cabinet member for Children’s Services can both attend on this date.
In addition, at 10.3 the minutes should read:
Point 2): the Youth Council will hold their elections in November 2008 and hope to send a representative for the 25 March 2009 CYPOSC
Point 3) A representative from the Community Voluntary Sector Forum has been co-opted as a non-voting member of CYPOSC.
14.2 RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 June, subject to the above amendments, be approved and signed by the Chairman.
15.1 The Chairman welcomed Jonathan Stearn, (Director of Amaze), who has been appointed as a non-voting co-optee to the Committee. Jonathan is a representative from the Community Voluntary Sector.
15.2 The Chairman noted that there was an alteration to the order of the agenda, with Item 20 (The Falmer Academy update) being taken after Item 17.
15.3 The Chairman told members that all meetings would now commence at 5pm rather than 4pm due to clashes with other meetings.
The closing date for receipt of public questions was 12 noon on 16 September 2008.
No public questions have been received.
16.1 There were none.
Notice of Motion Referred from Council
17.1 There were none.
Report of the Director of Strategy and Governance: Annual Report of the Director of Public Health (copy attached)
Additional information-a copy of the presentation is attached.
18.1 Dr Tom Scanlon, Director of Public Health, presented his Annual Report on Public Health in Brighton & Hove and answered members’ questions.
18.2 In response to questions as to how recommendations in the Annual Report on Public Health would be actioned, members were told that the Plan would feed into the Children and Young People’s Plan and the Primary Care Trust’s (PCT) Commissioning Strategy.
18.3 In answer to questions on deprivation, the Director for Public Health agreed that deprivation was a problem across all the city, not just in the wards where deprivation is most concentrated. This needs to be addressed through bespoke services and schemes which focus on very localised areas.
18.4 In answer to a question regarding statistics on mental health, members were told that some of this data was not collected locally, but rather extrapolated from national statistics. Whilst there was some value to this process, it did mean that this data could not sensibly be broken down to Super Output Areas (SOAs).
18.5 In response to questions on breastfeeding, the Director of Public Health told members that there were significant problems in collecting data across the city, which might mean that the statistics were not a wholly reliable guide to breast-feeding rates.
18.6 In regard to questions on lack of data, members were told this was a national problem. For example, statistics on children and young people’s visits to outpatients’ services typically do not include details of the condition treated.
18.7 RESOLVED –
(1) That the Annual Report of the Director of Public Health be noted;
(2) That the Committee should establish a working group to examine the Annual Report of the Director of Public Health and add relevant items to the CYPOSC Work Programme;
(3) That membership of the Working Group should comprise of Councillors Older, McCaffery and Wakefield-Jarrett and Dr Carrie Britton.
Report of the Director of Strategy and Governance (copy attached)
19.1 Francesca Illiffe, Acting Sustainability Team Manager; Chris Owen, Healthy School Team Manager; and Steve Healey, Head of Admissions and Transport, Central Area and Schools Support; presented the report to members and answered questions.
19.2 In answer to a question on whether the Bronze standard could be achieved now, the Acting Sustainability Team Manager confirmed it could.
19.3 A member noted that the Food for Life initiative had obvious links with the Public Health report and the issue of childhood obesity. Although the adoption of the Bronze standard was to be welcomed, the Silver standard could be achieved at an estimated cost of £68,000 per annum, which was not an extraordinary sum in the context of the council’s overall expenditure. It was therefore hoped that in the future the council would seek to work towards achieving this higher standard.
19.4 It was also suggested that the Committee revisit this item in light of the Brighton and Hove School Food Audit.
19.5 Members were advised that national funding for school meals might change in the relatively near future, possible presenting further opportunities for the development of initiatives such as this.
19.6 In response to questions about how many local schools were expected to achieve flagship status, members were told that only one Brighton & Hove school would be anticipated to succeed, due to the Food for Life Partnership seeking schools spread across the region.
19.7 In regard to a question as to whether all schools should be required to achieve the Food for Life standards, especially those in deprived areas, members were informed that schools in deprived areas did not necessarily have the worst practice and also that schools are already required to achieve many standards and another layer may be too onerous – having examples of best practice locally maybe a better approach.
19.8 In answer to a question as to how schools with concrete playgrounds could join the scheme, members were informed that there were ways of working with these schools, for example by using container gardening and grow-bags or linking up with local allotments.
19.9 RESOLVED –
(1) That the Food For Life report be noted;
(2) That after the Brighton and Hove School Food Auditis completed, the results from the audit should be reported at the next appropriate CYPOSC meeting
Additional information – a copy of the presentation is attached.
(This Item was taken out of order to follow Item 17)
20.1 Lorraine O’Reilly, Project Director for Falmer Academy, gave a presentation and answered questions.
In response to questions concerning school admissions, Members were told that the Academy would adhere to the Council’s admissions procedures. If the Council were to change these, then the Academy would do so too.
Currently any school can become a foundation and step outside the council’s admissions process, so the Academy is not in a substantially different position to any other school.
The Academy has committed to use the councils’ admissions policy and it would not be sensible of the Academy to change this.
20.2 In response to questions concerning what might happen if, at the end of the statutory consultation period, it was decided not to close the school, the Project Director explained that there were many community consultation groups and that their findings will be fed back to Cabinet. The statutory consultation is the council’s responsibility and is substantially separate from the development of the Academy.
20.3 In regard to the current support for Autistic children provided by the Swan Centre, members were told that this would continue to be managed and run by the Council, with the same number of children but with the benefit of being located in a new building.
20.4 In reply to questions about the Bridge Community Education Centre, members were informed that arrangements had been made to incorporate this into the new community stadium. Work will be ongoing to minimise any disruption during this relocation.
20.5 In answer to questions concerning the planned Academy 6th form, members were told that 81% of pupils in Brighton and Hove go onto further education and that the Academy plans to attract up to 250 6th form pupils per year in the first 3-5 years of its operation. The Academy is working closely with the City College to share teaching provision and facilities. Pupils can apply from outside schools to study at the Academy’s 6th form, and equally, pupils from secondary education at the Academy can go to 6th form College elsewhere if they wish.
20.6 The Committee was informed that, in relation to catchment areas, the Academy would be working to the Council’s catchment area and pupils within the catchment would be given preference. Any pupils who lived outside this area would be considered if there were any spaces, as per normal Council regulations.
20.7 In regard to Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE), it was explained that this would cover all staff in substantive posts except for the Head Teacher. TUPE means that transferred staff must be re-employed on the same terms and conditions as specified in their former contracts. As transferred staff would be council employees, they would then have the same job security as all other council staff .
20.8 Members were also told that the Academy would continue to have Ofsted inspections.
20.9 Answering a question about the possible downside of the Academy, he Project Director told the Committee that as it was a major development there would inevitably be some disruption to local residents. In addition, the local authority would lose some effective control of the Academy.
20.10 In relation to questions concerning employment of the Principal of the Academy, it was confirmed that the Principal post would be advertised before Christmas 2008 and that the current Head had been encouraged to apply.
20.11 In response to questions on who would be running the Academy at weekends, members were told that appropriate arrangements would be put in place and that community engagement was to be encouraged in this context
20.12 RESOLVED – That the presentation be noted.
Report of the Director of Children’s Services (copy attached)
21.1 Linda Ellis, Senior Secondary and Special Schools Adviser presented the report to members and answered questions.
21.2 Committee members agreed that these reports were very useful and should continue to come to CYPOSC.
21.3 The Senior Secondary and Special Schools Adviser noted that it was customary for the Chairman of CYPOSC to write and congratulate schools with outstanding reports, and the Chairman indicated that she did intend to write to the outstanding schools detailed in the Ofsted report.
21.4 In answer to a question of the inspection regime for schools which are in the process of amalgamation, members were informed that Ofsted are notified of amalgamations and in such instances will generally defer inspections.
21.5 In response to a question concerning schools with “satisfactory” reports, members were told that the Children and Young People’s Trust (CYPT) would visit and discuss such reports in detail with school administrators.
21.6 RESOLVED –
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That the Chairman should write to congratulate all the schools that have received outstanding Ofsted reports.
Report of the Director of Strategy and Governance (copy attached)
22.1 Members considered a report on a draft 2008-2009 CYPOSC Work Programme.
22.2 Committee members agreed to add “Child Poverty” to the work programme.
22.3 Members asked for the Briefing note on the Work Programme to be re-circulated, and for the work programme in tabular form to be re-formatted, so that it was arranged chronologically rather than under the “Every Child Matters” themes.
22.4 Members discussed a draft work programme item on Primary School Admissions, noting the existence of an Admissions Forum.
Since members were not entirely clear as to how far advanced the Forum was, the Committee agreed to seek more information about the work of the Forum and to have a short written update on the Admissions Forum.
22.5 Members agreed to add “children excluded from schools” to the work programme
22.6 Members went on to discuss the formation of an ad hoc panel in order to examine an aspect of children’s services in more detail.
Councillor Duncan suggested that a panel might be established to consider the issue of problematic alcohol use by the under-18s, with particular reference to: (a) the recent proliferation of off-licenses and licensed premises in the city, and the possible uses of the Licensing Act (2003) in relation to this problem; and, (b) why rates of alcohol related harm appear to be worst in the East of the city.
Members agreed to pursue this topic via an ad hoc panel, and Councillors Duncan, Norman and McCaffery were nominated as Panel members.
22.7 RESOLVED –
(1) That the draft CYPOSC Work Programme be adopted as the 2008-2009 Work Programme (with the additions noted above);
(2) That an ad hoc panel be established to investigate issues relating to the problematic use of alcohol by under-18s
Items to go forward to Council
To consider items to be submitted to the 9 October 2008 Council meeting for information.
23.1A Member proposed that the Food For Life report be referred to the 9
October 2008 Council meeting for information.
23.2 RESOLVED –
(1) That the Food For Life report be submitted to Council for information.