Agenda for Children & Young People's Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 19th November, 2008, 5.00pm

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Sharmini Williams, Scrutiny Support Officer 

No. Item


Procedural Business pdf icon PDF 56 KB

    (Copy attached).


    24a.    Declaration of Substitutes


    24.1         There were none.


    24b.    Declarations of Interests


    24.2         There were none.


    24.c    Declaration of party whip


    24.3         There was none.


    24d.    Exclusion of Press and Public


    24.4         In accordance with section 100A(4) of the Local government Act 1972, it was 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 section 1001(1) of the said Act.


    24.5         RESOLVED – That the press and public not be excluded from the meeting.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 101 KB

    Draft minutes of the meeting held on the 24 September, 2008 (copy attached).


    25.1    It was noted that Point 22.4 should read “Admissions Forum” instead of “Forum for Primary Schools”


    25.2    The Admissions Forum did meet on the 18 November and an Annual Report is due to be completed. The Committee will consider in due course whether to receive the Admissions Forum Annual Report.


    25.3    RESOLVED


    (1) That the minutes of the meeting held on the 24 September be approved and signed by the Chairman.



Chairman's Communications


    26.1         The Chairman asked Councillor Ann Norman, who is the Chairman of the Reducing Alcohol Related Harm Ad-hoc Panel, to update the Committee on its progress so far.


    26.2         It was noted that the Ad-hoc Panel met on the 27 October, 2008 and that the other two Councillors on the Panel were Juliet McCaffery and Ben Duncan.


    26.3         The Panel had arranged 3 meeting dates: 27 November 2008, 22 January 2009 and 10 February 2009.


    26.4         It was noted that Brighton & Hove City Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) was currently compiling a Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) on alcohol services and that a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was also being undertaken in regard to the Licensing Act (2003) and that both these reports (perhaps in draft form) would form part of the evidence for the Ad-hoc Panel.


    26.5         The Chairman updated the Committee on the Public Health Report Working Group. Members on this Panel are Councillors Averil Older, Juliet McCaffrey, Vicky Wakefield–Jarrett and Carrie Britton. The Working Group will meet on 01 December 2008.




Public Questions

    (The closing date for receipt of public questions was 12 noon on the 11 November, 2008).


    No public questions have been received.


    27.1    There were none.


Questions and Letters from Councillors

    No questions or letters have been received.


    28.1    No letters or written questions were received.


Notice of Motion referred from Council

    No Notices of motion have been received.


    29.1    No notices of motion have been received.


Presentation from Vanessa Brown and Di Smith

    Presentation from the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and the Director of Children’s Services.


    30.1    Vanessa Brown, Cabinet Member (CM) for Children and Young People and Di Smith, Director of Children’s Services, outlined priorities for the Children’s Trust and answered questions.


    30.2    In response to a question on how children from low income families were identified and offered appropriate help, members were told that information on take up of family tax credits could be useful in identifying ‘at risk’ families. Sure Start centres, based in areas of significant deprivation, were also an important factor in addressing this issue.


    30.3    In regard to questions on safeguarding of children in care and  how this can provide value for money, Members were advised that Children’s Services were working on reducing the number of children in care and looking at more effective preventative measures, in order to prevent as many children as possible from entering the care system in the first place.


    30.4    In answer to a question as to why the Trust Board was being chaired for two consecutive years by the Cabinet Member (CM) for children’s services, when there was an agreement that chairing should alternate between the CM and the Chair of the PCT, members were informed that the PCT Chair had not wished to assume the Chair of the Trust Board and had asked the CM to take his place.


    30.5    In regard to questions about a serious case review on child protection which was taking months to investigate, Members were advised that the Police had requested that a Police review should take place in advance of any social care review. The case will go forward to the Local Safeguarding Board on 02 December 2008.


    30.6    Members requested information on the ratio of Children to Social Workers, how many Social Workers were on short-term contracts and whether only experienced social workers were employed on ‘front-line’ cases. In addition, a question was asked about the ratio of Health Visitors to under 5’s (where there was a high perception of risk). The Director of Children’s Services offered to provide this information in writing.


    30.7    In reply to a question on educational services for disabled children, it was explained that the Comparison and Analysis of Special Pupil Attainment (CASPA) service was in place to assess the needs of disabled children and that this was a challenging area for the Trust.


    30.8    RESOLVED-


    (1)   That the Committee noted the presentation from the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and the Director of Children’s Services;


    (2) That the statistical information requested (see point 30.6) be circulated to the Committee.


Support for Pupils with English As An Additional Language (EAL) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

    Report of the Director of Children’s Services.

    Additional documents:


    31.1         Cathy Lyth, Head of Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS), presented the report.


    31.2         Members were informed that the main disadvantaged groups using the service were Bangladeshi or Arabic speaking. The Arabic group were largely made up of refugees from Sudan.


    31.3         The Committee was told that the reason for the change in name from English as an Additional Language (EAL) to EMAS was because the service received an Ethnic Minority Achievement grant for black and minority ethnic groups who are at risk of underachieving. Traveller children were supported from a different funding stream.


    31.4         It was explained how Arabic German speaking families were not necessarily directly from Sudan, but may have come via Germany or Holland where they could have spent several years.  It was debatable whether services should support these clients in Arabic or in German.


    31.5         The Committee was told how funding was used to provide services to schools. Some schools buy into EMAS and other schools may opt out and provide these services themselves. It was noted that 100% of city primary schools bought into EMAS; in terms of secondary schools, only Dorothy Stringer and Downsview opt out.


    31.6         The Committee was informed that there was a strain on resources due to cessation of short-term funding, and EMAS was looking at alternative resource streams


    31.7         RESOLVED – That the Committee note the information in the report.


1st Quarter Performance and Improvement Report 2008/9 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

    Report of the Director of Children’s Services.

    Additional documents:


    32.1    Steve Barton, Assistant Director of Performance, CYPT, presented the report to Members and answered questions.


    32.2    In response to questions about performance in relation to Looked After Children, it was agreed that this was a major challenge for Children’s Services. It was explained that each child may have a dedicated team, a personal education planner, monitored packages of support, foster carers and external grant funding, although sustaining funding was problematic.


    It was noted that the Looked After Children Strategy is on the CYPOSC work programme. for the 25 March 2009.


    32.3    In answer to a question concerning why the council  had entered a relationship to procure placements for looked after children with West Sussex rather than East Sussex County Council, it was explained that West Sussex was particularly eager to work with the council on this initiative. However, relationships with East Sussex were positive too.


    32.4    In response to questions relating to the “Referrals to CYPT Safeguarding Teams” figures, the Committee was informed that child protection was everyone’s responsibility and referrals ought to be going to the safeguarding teams. Month on month figures varied considerably,  as they did in neighbouring local authorities.


    32.5    It was noted that it was important to get first time entrants into Youth Justice back into education as soon as possible.


    32.6    RESOLVED- That the Committee note the report and agree to the action being taken to improve performance.


Draft Priorities for Children and Young People's Plan 2009-2012 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

    Report of the Director of Children’s Services.


    33.1         Steve Barton, Assistant Director of Performance, CYPT, presented the report to Members and answered questions.


    33.2         In response to a query as to why the indicator: “NI 147- People killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents” was linked into the Children and Young People’s Plan, the Committee were informed that the Children’s Trust was committed to working with partners to reduce traffic related deaths.


    33.3         In regard to a question as to why “NI 163- Proportion of men aged 19-64 and women aged between 19-59 qualified to at least level 2 or higher” was included in the young people’s plan, the Committee was told that adult learning was traditionally co-ordinated by (children’s) education services.


    33.4         In answer to a question on having a smaller list of priorities to make them more achievable, this was agreed by the AD of Performance, CYPT who advised the Committee that the PCT had 10 “touchstone” priorities that led into other areas and this was something that the Children’s Trust was going to utilise on the Children’s Plan, two of which were Teenage Pregnancy and Childhood Obesity.


    33.5         It was agreed that the Children’s Plan needs to encapsulate the complexities of Children’s lives, rather being based upon discrete “single issues”.




Update on the Proposed Falmer Academy Update pdf icon PDF 96 KB

    Report of the Director of Children’s Services.


    34.1         Lorraine O’Reilly, Project Director  for the Falmer Academy, presented the report to Members and answered questions.


    34.2         The Committee was informed that funding for Falmer was signed off by the Secretary of State on the 10 November 2008 and the funding was agreed by the Partnership for Schools for the building. The whole project is costing approximately £28 million. Additionally, approval for Falmer Academy will be reached on 27 November, 2008.


    34.3         Members were advised that there had been a visit for pupils, staff, Councillors to the London Academy to see how the London Academy was working and what ideas and improvements the group could take back with them and use.


    34.4         It was noted that one of the objectives of the project was to decrease Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET) figures in the area.


    34.5         The Committee were informed that the Academy was on track for its completion date of September 2010, and that the construction companies would have the opportunity to make their bids for the building of the Academy.


    34.6         In reply to questions on whether young people’s responses were being taken into account, it was explained that young people had engaged in a DVD that expressed their desires for the Academy and this was accessible on the website; and that pupils had written a booklet which was distributed to pupils, staff and parents and an awards ceremony had taken place for pupils and staff, with the sponsor.


    34.7         In answer to a question on whether there was a governing body working with the Academy, the Committee were told that there was a charitable trust, the Department for Children and Families (DCF) and other advisors who would be working closely in the development of the  Academy.


    34.8         RESOLVED – That the report be noted.


Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme 2008-2009 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

    Report of the Director of Strategy and Governance (copy attached).


    35.1       Members noted that the Work programme had been put into chronological order (rather than into the “Every Child Matters” headings), and the Briefing Note was circulated out as requested by the Committee.


    Members were informed that the Traveller Service Report had been moved from the 17 November 2008 to the 28 January 2009.


    35.1       The Committee considered a couple of other reports and these were the Children with Complex Needs and the Children and Young People’s Voice and Participation papers.


    35.2       Papers had been distributed about the Merging of infant and junior schools as Members had requested this.


    35.3       A Member requested that pupils with mental health needed to be included in the Children excluded from school report.




    (1)       That the revised Work Programme layout had been agreed.


    (2)       It was agreed to note the Primary Schools Admissions Forum could be received on the 28 March 2009, instead of the 28 January, 2009.


    (3)       It was agreed an update on the paper of the Children with Complex Needs would be received by the Committee on the 28 January, 2009.


    (4)       It was noted that no further information was required on the Merging of infant and junior schools.


    (5)       It was agreed to accept the Summary of Ofsted Reports 6 monthly.


Items to go forward to Cabinet and the relevant Cabinet Member Meeting

    To consider items to be submitted to the next available Cabinet or Cabinet Member meeting.


    36.1    There were none.


Items to go forward to Full Council

    To consider items to be submitted to the 04 December 2008 Full Council meeting for information.


    37.1    There were none.


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