Agenda for Children & Young People's Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 25th March, 2009, 5.00pm
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Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Sharmini Williams, Scrutiny Support Officer
51.1 Declaration of Substitutes
There were none.
51.2 Declaration of Interests
There were none.
51.3 Declaration of Party Whip
There were none.
51.4 Exclusion of the Press and Public
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 100I (1) of the said Act.
51.5 RESOLVED- That the press and public not be excluded from the meeting.
Minutes of the previous meeting held on the 28 January 2009. (Copy attached).
52.1 It was agreed to amend the Draft Minutes of the previous meeting – Traveller Education Team Annual Report 2007/8, paragraph 45.9 RESOLVED (2) to read:
“That the Annual Report and an update on the work of the Traveller Education Service in Brighton & Hove with reference to the Achievement Programme Model in the Gypsy and Traveller Achievement Programme be brought back to CYPOSC.
52.2 RESOLVED –
To amend paragraph 45.9 as above and the minutes of the meeting on the 28 January, 2009 be approved and signed by the Chairman.
Chairman' s Communications
53.1 The Chairman updated the Committee that at the last Pre-meeting- there was cross party representation and a standing item on the Pre-meeting agenda is the Forward Plan to see whether there were any items of interest for CYPOSC.
53.2 The Chairman welcomed two Members of the Youth Council: Rohan Lowe and Kenya Simpson-Martin. The Youth Council Representatives will not be able to attend the whole meeting, and the Agenda order has been changed to accommodate this:
56, 58, 60, 57, 61, 59 & 62
53.3 The Chairman thanked Jonathan Stearn who was representing the Community Voluntary Sector Forum for his positive contribution to the Committee and wanted to welcome Rachel Travers as a potential replacement.
53.4 The Chairman informed that at the next CYPOSC meeting on the 17 June,David Sanders from the Catholic Schools Service will be representing the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton and will be a statutory co-optee with voting rights for CYPOSC.
53.5 The Chairman informed that the following reports have been taken off the agenda for the reasons stated :
· Child Poverty – A new Strategy has been recently released and involvement from the Local Area Agreement (LAA) is needed before it comes to CYPOSC
· Update on the Falmer Academy – There was nothing significant to report since the Pre-meeting. The 2 monthly newsletter is due out in the next week or so and will be distributed to all committee members, you can contact Lorraine directly if you have any questions.
Members requested further information to be brought to the next CYPOSC meeting, in relation to the second unsuccessful appointment of the Principle.
The closing date for receipt of public questions was 12 noon on the 17 march 2009.
No public questions have been received as of the 2 March 2009.
54.1 There were none.
Questions and Letters from Councillors
No questions or letters have been received.
55.1 No letters or written questions were received.
Children with additional needs
Presentation by Liz Rugg.
56.1 Alison Nuttall; Head of Child Development and Disability Service (Health Lead) and Jenny Brickell; Head of Child Development and Disability Service (Social Care Lead) and Co Chair Children with Disabilities and Complex Needs Strategic Partnership Board presented an Overview of Child Development and Disability Service presentation.
56.2 In answer to a question on whether there are services offered for children with moderate learning disabilities, it was advised that the Child Development and Disability Service was working with partners in the Voluntary and Community Sector to identify service gaps and the potential to commission services to address them.
56.3 In response to a question on how do you make sure disabled children are included in mainstream services and activities, members were informed that the Child Development and Disability Service works very closely with youth services and were involved in checking that policies such as those designed to address bullying are robust. It was recognised that it was important to work towards including disabled children from early years on in their lives so that they grow up with their peers.
56.4 In answer to a question whether the premises at Brighton General Hospital were acceptable, members were informed that Seaside View had been refurbished to a high standard, with a garden and that these improved changes had resulted in the children being able to use therapy sessions much more productively.
56.5 It was noted that Chailey Heritage was utilised for specialist clinical services.
56.6 In relation to a question on home adaptations and whether there was sufficient funding and resources; members were informed that the adaptations budget is not currently under pressure.
56.7 It was noted how the voluntary sector, statutory services and the parent’s carers’ council had worked well together to produce strategic development work and how this cross partnership working model should be used in other contexts.
56.8 RESOLVED –
(1) The Committee thanked Alison Nuttall and Jennie Brickell for their detailed and informative presentation of the Child Development and Disability Service
(2) A further report on the changes and improvements of the service to come back to CYPOSC in 9 months time.
Report of the Director of Children’s Services.
57.1 This item was taken after Agenda Item 60.
57.2 Liz Rugg, Assistant Director for Specialist Services presented the report to members and answered questions.
57.3 In relation to a question on what are the educational and social outcomes of Children in Care (CiC), members were told that outcomes were very important and that there was a lot of monitoring in place to ensure that CiC are progressing well. Further information on outcomes and Corporate Parenting could be provided at a future CYPOSC if members would find that helpful.
57.4 In answer to a question whether there was any aim to reduce families and friends placement costs, members were told that this would de-stabilise families and these placements increased permanence so there would no wish to decrease funding in this area.
57.5 In answer to a question why Brighton and Hove City Council have high figures for CiC, members were informed that there wasn’t an exact answer but it could be connected to parents being problematic drug users.
(1) Members welcomed the report and requested a further report at a later stage.
Report of the Director of Children Services.
58.1 This item was taken after Agenda item 56.
58.2 Steve Barton, Assistant Director of Quality and Performance presented the report to members and answered questions.
58.3 In answer to a question on how workers made sure child abuse investigations/assessments were carried out sensitively and were not emotionally damaging, the members were told that there were regular supervisions, continuous training after qualifying and openness was the best form of practice. However some parent and carers are not open and trustworthy which can lead to unfounded allegations and children being upset.
58.4 In response to a question on how do you stop young people from harming themselves, members were advised how preventative work within CYPT, Personal Health Social Education (PHSE) curriculum in schools and youth services to support children and their parents was in place.
When these preventative services have not worked and further help and further support is required, the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have specialist Tier 1-3 services available.
58.5 In response to a case in 2007 where a Headteacher’s concerns were not heard by social workers, a member wanted to ensure that a repeat of this would not happen again. This particular case went to a serious case review and a detailed action plan was put together which went to the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board (LCSB) for reviewing.
Members were told that that the LCSB saw the full confidential report. The Executive Summary is in the public domain. It was confirmed that there were practice issues rather than resource issues.
58.6 In answer to a question on recruitment and retention of social work staff, members were informed that CYPT currently have 11 vacancies (7.5% of the staffing compliment) and have agreed the following; additional funding has been allocated, encouraging students who have just qualified into posts by offering initial payments, offering retention payments for newly qualified staff and further training and support.
58.7 In answer to a question on how the corporate priority - to reduce Children in Care (CiC) is working locally, it was advised that that the Public Law Outline (PLO) has slowed down court processes which has an impact on CiC figures. Teams will need to plan further for children who have to be in care as there are no safer alternatives, which once again will have an adverse impact on figures.
58.8 It was confirmed that social workers have good links with council housing as there are cases where the two departments have to work together to solve housing benefit issues for the parents/carers.
58.9 RESOLVED –
(1) It was agreed that once the Lord Laming report was published, a report detailing the impact of this on the CYPT should come to CYPOSC.
Report of the director of Children’s Services.
59.1 This item was taken after Agenda Item 61.
59.2 Steve Barton, Assistant Director for Quality and Performance presented the report to members and answered questions.
59.3 In answer to a question on why the Breastfeeding statistics is presented at 6 weeks and not before, (as it this doesn’t show the level of decline from feeding at birth), members were told that the figures were measured at 6 weeks nationally.
59.4 A question was asked about what the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) was, members were informed that it was a national project to do with the early assessment of parent and children’s needs, and identifying improvements at the very early stages. This was work in progress nationally and locally.
59.5 In answer to a question on whether teenage conception action plans were available and whether it could be broken down into schools, members were told that it would be checked whether this data was available and in the public domain.
(1) A response was requested as to whether the teenage conception action plans were available and whether it could be broken down into schools and if these were in the public domain.
Report of the Director of Children’s Services.
60.1 This item was taken after Agenda Item 58.
60.2 Janet Swingle, Behaviour and Strategy Manager presented the report.
60.3 In response to a question on Special Education Needs (SEN) children having high exclusion rates, members were informed that when these figures were broken down further it showed that exclusions of statement pupils had reduced and that this was a priority for the service. There is still work to be done on whether SEN pupils’ needs are being met.
60.4 It was noted that that better mainstream school representation was required with the Strategic Partnership Board.
60.5 In response to a question on what is being done about the high number of exclusions at Carlton Hill Primary School which has a high level of attainment improvement, members were informed that the school has very good clear systems and structures in place to tackle the high level of exclusions.
60.6 In answer to a question as the rate of exclusions goes down, how do you make sure classes are not disrupted by badly behaved pupils, members were advised that school were not tolerating bad behaviour but provided better support to deal with this.
60.7 In answer to a question on how does the CYPT protect children when they are excluded from school it was noted that is why exclusions were minimised as much as possible and there was an expectation that these children were in care.
60.8 In relation to the mental health support for children that had been excluded, members were informed that there was a pathfinder scheme that prioritised mental health programmes for Year 6 and 7 pupils and strategies were still being developed from this.
60.9 In answer to a question on whether funding was transferred from Primary Schools in East Brighton to the High School in the same admissions area, members were advised that there were initiatives in place for Longhill High School staff to engage with Whitehawk Primary School staff , to assess pupils additional needs and plan additional staffing accordingly.
(1) It was agreed to have further information on what were the underlying issues in relation to exclusions, SEN exclusions, repeated exclusions, and mental health; when this information became available for a report to come back to CYPOSC.
Report of the Director of Children’s Services.
61.1 This item was taken after Agenda Item 57.
61.2 The Chairman changed the recommendations to say that the Chairman writes to congratulate the schools with a rating of outstanding and when the next Ofsted report comes to CYPOSC that Officers are to provide further information on the schools that were rated as “inadequate” or have a “notice to improve”.
61.3 Linda Ellis, Senior Secondary and Special Schools Adviser presented the report to members and answered questions.
61.4 In answer to a question as to what steps Portslade Community College (PCC) are taking to improve, after a “notice to improve” was served on the College at the last Ofsted Inspection, it was advised that the former Headteacher of Falmer High School had applied for the position of Headteacher at PCC and had been successful in this application. PCC had put together a pathway to improve and the College would achieve the necessary improvements required to rate themselves higher next time.
It was noted that there is also a statement of actions which the local authority has to put together e.g. additional management, leadership and financial support.
It was explained that the Inspectors would return in 6 months time, PCC is expected to get better as the results from last year have shown an improvement. If the College doesn’t improve it will go into “special measures”.
61.5 In response to a question what does the term “Executive Head” mean, it was explained that this was when a Headteacher is managing 2 schools and that the existing Headteacher of PCC, Mark Whitby was also the Head of the Advisory Centre of Education (ACE).
(1) The Chairman to write to and congratulate the schools that have been rated as “outstanding”.
(2) When the next Ofsted report comes to CYPOSC, for Officers to provide further information on the schools that were rated as “inadequate” or have a “notice to improve”
Report of the Director of Strategy & Governance.
62.1 It was noted that the suggested items on the Draft Work Programme were highlighted as priorities for Children’s Services’ and that CYPOSC may want to look at these. Members were asked for their ideas for the CYPOSC Work Programme 2009-10 to be e-mailed by the end of April.
62.2 Ideas that came from the meeting were:
· Changes and improvements of the Child Development and Disability Service
· Further information on the outcomes of Corporate Parenting
· The impacts of Lord Laming’s report on CYPT
· Whether teenage conception action plans were available and whether this was available to be broken down by schools
· Further information on exclusions and what mental health support is available
· Teenage pregnancy and obesity information from the PCT
· The new CYPP
· The new CYPT structure
62.3 Members agreed that the Equalities report would add value to the Committee.
62.4 Members were asked for their ideas for the next CYPOSC Ad-hoc Panel to be e-mailed by the end of April.
(1) Members were asked for their ideas for the CYPOSC Work Programme 2009-10 and the next CYPOSC Ad-hoc Panel to be e-mailed by the end of April.
(2) To agree the CYPOSC Work programme at the next pre-meeting.
(3) A scoping report for ideas for the next Ad-hoc Panel to come back to CYPOSC at the next meeting.
Items to go forward to Cabinet or Cabinet Member meeting
63.1 There were none.
Items to go forward to Full Council
64.1 There were none.