Agenda for Children & Young People's Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 18th April, 2012, 4.00pm

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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 54 KB

    Copy attached.


    35a.    Declarations of Substitutes

    35.1Apologies were received from Mike Wilson & Mark Price.


    35b.    Declarations of Interest

    35.2The Chair declared a personal interest as she works part time at the Friends Centre (which provides careers advice for all age groups), is a Governor at Queens Park Primary School and is a Trustee for Allsorts (project based in Brighton to support and empower young people under 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or unsure (LGBTU)).


    35c.    Declarations of Party Whip

    35.3There were none.


    35d.    Exclusion of Press and Public

    35.4    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 100I (1) of the said Act.


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


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 104 KB

    Minutes of the 25 January 2012 meeting.


    36.1    Minutes of the 25 January 2012 were approved by the committee.


Chairs Communications


    37.1    The Chair informed the committee that this would be the last meeting and thanked all party members, her Deputy - Councillor Lepper and the Conservative spokesperson Councillor Wealls, Scrutiny Officer and the Head of Scrutiny for their commitment and input into these meetings, especially the youth council representatives who have made a tremendous contribution to this committee.


                The Chair thanked the Lead Commissioner, for liaising with Children Services officers in preparation for these meetings.


                The committee had tackled many pertinent items which included:

    ·        Ofsted inspections

    ·        Child Poverty

    ·        Special Education Needs

    ·        Youth Service Review

    ·        Youth Justice Plan 

    ·        School performance

    ·        Visit to City College


    37.2         The Chair welcomed Councillor Sue Shanks- currently the Cabinet for Children & Young People who had come to observe the committee.


    37.3         The Chair informed members that since the last meeting she and Councillor Wealls attended the 13 February, 2012 Draft Youth Justice Plan workshop. The notes from this meeting had been circulated out and the Plan was agreed at Full Council 22 March.


    37.4         The outstanding information from the Ofsted Action Plan from the last meeting was e-mailed out to all members, plus the information requested on the new committee structure.


Questions and letters from Councillors and the Public

    There were no letters received from Councillors and members of the public.


    38.1    There were none.


Support for Young Carers' in the City

    Dave Higgins presenting for the Carer’s Centre.


    39.1         The Chair informed the committee that this item was requested by Councillor Wealls to be put onto the CYPOSC work programme back in June 2012.


    39.2         Steve Barton – Lead Commissioner for Children’s, Youth and Families presented the budget information for young carers’ (which is included in paragraph 39.10 below).


    39.3         Dave Higgins - Young Carers’ Team Manager introduced Katherine Hoare-Exley a cared for mother. Ms. Hoare-Exley informed the committee of issues affecting some young carers’. These included feelings of isolation and bullying in their schools, either due to being perceived to being different or parents being different. Ms. Hoare-Exley thought that there seemed to be a lack of counselling in schools across the age groups to meet the emotional needs of young carers’ and other vulnerable children. It was important to raise awareness within schools to ensure that young carers’ were supported and could approach school staff for help.


    39.4         The committee heard governors should be included in this programme too, to support the school in meeting these needs.


    39.5         The committee was told that there were approximately 1,300 young carers’ in Brighton and Hove. National research carried out by the BBC indicated that the number could be up to four times this amount. The Carers’ Centre had 135 carers’ and families supported at present with 180 cases over this year. Last year the figure was around 120 Young Carers’ and families at any one time with 189 over the year. The Team Manager informed that through general awareness activities and the schools work programme, the referral rate had doubled recently. The  dedicated schools worker was going into 60 city schools developing a schools programme and ongoing permanent links with schools staff around Young Carers’ issues, through this the identification of Young Carers’ in the city would most probably rise putting a strain on resources. 


    39.6         Ms. Hoare-Exley asked whether the council could raise awareness and support for young carers’ rather than the onus being on young carers’ to do this?


    39.7         The Lead Commissioner confirmed that there were complex grant arrangements for third sector organisations and that it would be more beneficial to pool together the Carers’ Centre budgets.  A discussion would need to be arranged with commissioners and the Team Manager on how best to carry this out.


    39.8         RESOLVED-


    (1)   The committee noted that the Carers’ Centre had complex funding streams and that further work would need to be carried out by commissioners into how funding could be pooled together.


    (2)   The committee agreed that this item be passed over to the Health and Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee to review.


    39.9         The following additional information was presented to the committee:


    Support for carers’



    Funding for adult carers’:



    Council/PCT exp 1213 £'000s

    Carers’ of Adults only


      Alzheimer's Society


    relief care, info advice support, training,

     dementia cafes,

    singing for the brain,

     support groups

     Back Care Adviser Support Worker


    employed by Sussex

    Community Trust


    Care Management


    Carers’ Care Managers, Social Worker,

    admin support


    Carers’ Card Amaze


    maintain & develop offers


    Carers’ Centre


    info advice & support,

    young carers’,

    male carers’,

    awareness training,

    support groups, counselling, positive caring



    youth group for young disabled adults


    Community Care budgets for respite






    relief care


    Emergency Back Up Scheme CareLink Plus






    payments to carers’, alternative care etc


    Headway carers’' support group




    LD service, Belgrave


    monthly Saturday

     respite service


    Carer Support Service


    6x Carers’ Support Workers

     in  Integrated Primary

    Care Teams



    support for substance

     misuse carers’


    Self Directed Support breaks


    allocated individually


    Self Directed Support services


    allocated individually


    Young Carers’ Needs Assessments


    carried out by Carers’ Centre


    Total exp





    Young carers’:


    See below, the Children’s services funding is for sibling carers’, all other young carers’ funding comes from Adult social care & the PCT. The allocation is the same for 12/13.


    The needs assessments above are for young carers’ of adults and the service was set up with the Carers’ Centre to ensure that young carers’ receive a service from an experienced children/youth worker (something not always available within ASC). The Carers’ Centre has also been able to engage with families not willing to have “Social Services” involvement which has meant young carers’ receiving support & services, reducing the impact of their caring role, liaison with school/college etc where child/young person’s caring role previously unknown.


    Additionally, young carers’ of adults can, following a needs assessment, access self directed support budget to meet identified needs including funding contributions to access out of school activities including sports, drama, music, transport, laptop, holiday/after school play schemes, school trips, family holidays etc.


    The schools worker is funded for a 3 year project September 2010 – July 1013 with the target of getting into every primary, junior, secondary & special school in that time.


    Carers’ Cards are issues to all young carers’ including young carers’ of siblings & there are some specific offers for young carers’ including family farms, soft play, Sea Life Centre, Yellow Wave Climbing Wall & sports activities.


    The Carers’ Centre is funded to deliver carer awareness sessions training to staff across the council, LHE, & CVS & can offer tailored/specific training in relation to young carers’.


    Long Term Conditions Community NHS services – redevelopment from January 2012 will include a carer support service within each of the 11 GP clusters. Included in the responsibilities of the carer support service will be to identify & respond to young carers’.


    Carers’ Strategy Refresh – we will be consulting on this in the autumn and taking to November JCB, so this would be the opportunity to include a specific target around identification of & support to young carers’ in the city.


    Current funded services provided by the Carers’ Centre:






    needs assessments




    schools work




    support, activities and groups









    Service Spec:


    Young Carers’


    2.22.  Aim to minimise the caring role undertaken by children and young people


    2.23.  Identify sources of support for families and work with them to access and take up appropriate services


    2.24.  Run clubs, activities and holidays that give young carers’ a break and time to be children


    2.25. Provide one to one support and mentoring in schools to the most vulnerable young carers’


    2.26.  Offer training to schools’ staff, NHS staff, youth workers and others to enable them to recognise the signs of a hidden caring role and offer support with young people’s health, well being and education


    2.27.    The Young Carers’ service will be delivered by 1 x FTE Young Carers’ Team Manager, 0.5 FTE Support and Outreach Worker and two sessional workers.


    2.28.   To provide a carers’ needs assessment and review service for young carers’ aged under 18 years referred through the city council, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, health services, voluntary sector organisations and those identified through the Young Carers’ Project. To share this information with the city council (with the agreement of the young carer and/or their family). This work is invoiced separately on a spot purchase basis.


    Young Carers’ Schools Work Service




    To employ a dedicated schools worker to work in schools to raise awareness with both pupils and staff, contribute to PSHE (personal, social and health education) curriculum, develop guidance, protocols and tools for schools. To identify individual young carers’ and support transition between primary and secondary schools. Over three years this service would cover all junior, primary, secondary and special schools in the city.


    In one year, the service will work across 15 schools, deliver 30 training sessions to school staff and pupils and identify up to 24 young carers’.



    The services


    The service will provide the following:


    ·         Over three years this service will cover all junior, primary, secondary and special schools in the city.




    ·         the service will work across 15 schools

    ·         deliver a minimum of 15 training sessions to school staff

    ·         deliver 15 awareness sessions to Year 7 and primary pupils

    ·         identify up to 24 young carers’ and refer them into the Young Carers’ Project or other services as appropriate

    ·         advise schools over the use of the Year 7 Resource Pack developed by the Young Carers’ Project at the Carers’ Centre including protocols around referrals, confidentiality and transitions

    ·         develop the Young Carers’ charter/top ten tips for schools, positive outcomes framework and action lists for schools and teachers

    ·         identify (by role) and work with a named link worker for young carers’ in each school, where possible developing the above and Young Carers’ support groups in each  school

    ·         to develop a feedback process with individual young carers’ and with schools visited to evaluate the impact of the service

    ·         develop aschools work exit strategy and implement at each school to sustain work done around Young Carer awareness and identification



    Other ways of offering support:

    The Disability Core Assessment asks within the Family & Environmental Factors :

    Have parents/ main carers’ received guidance regarding benefit entitlement ?

    Needs of carer ( s)

    Impact on / Needs of siblings


    The Occupational Therapy Assessment asks :

    Are there any risks for the child/young person or the family/carers’ concerning leisure or play activities.

    What impact is there for other family members/carers’ because of the young persons behaviour ?

    Who is involved in managing the child/young persons behaviour ?


    Once an assessment is complete, the social work service would develop a plan for the child and their family, including relevant support for the parent carers’ and siblings. For example respite care may allow both the parent and sibling carers’ to have a break, for parents to spend time with other children and for siblings to be supported to access activities.


    Children  accessing the integrated child development and disability service, will have a full holistic assessment which would identify the caring roles of both parent carers’ and siblings regardless of whether they access the social work element of the service. A plan is made with the family and a keyworker allocated as appropriate who would hold the reins for the plan and ensure that all family members are supported.



    Amaze are contracted to support parent carers’ with a contract broken down as follows:


    Compass Database             21,696

    Compass Development      55,000(inc.adults £5000 for carers’ card,not in contract)

    DLA                                        20,000

    PaCC                                     5,000  (+£9000 participation costs,not in contract)

    Transition                              20,208 (ICDDS-£8083, Education-£8083, Adults-£4042)

    Helpline                                 37,700            (inc £21,912 PCT)

    IPS                                          23,000

    Info & advice             18,186


    Total 200,790 (£111,053 ICDDS, £21,912 from PCT, Education £58,783, Adults £9042)


    The Compass card supports access for disabled children to mainstream leisure activities and some of these arrangements also allow siblings/other family members to receive the benefits eg swimming.


Academies and Partnership Working pdf icon PDF 82 KB

    Michael Nix- Partnership Adviser, Secondary, Colleges and Adult Learningto present the report.


    Honor Wilson Fletcher – Chief Executive of the Aldridge Foundation (& Chair of Governors for Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA))

    Additional documents:


    40.1         Michael Nix – Partnership Adviser, Secondary, Colleges and Adult Learning presented the report and answered questions with Jo Lyons – Lead Commissioner Learning & Partnership.


    40.2         Honor Wilson-Fletcher  (Chief Executive of the Aldridge Foundation) presented information to the committee which included:

    • An invitation to visit both academies
    • The local authority was a co-sponsor of Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA)
    • School partnership working was in progress and both Academies recognised that as well as sharing their good practice there was much that they could learn from the other schools in the city


    40.3         Questions raised included:

    • What did the academy do differently from a school?


    Members were informed how the students at BACA had a new world class building, and new buildings and refurbishment were also being provided at PACA.  This capital investment was transformational.  However, this alone did not guarantee excellence, and the Academies and the Foundation recognised the need for transformation in approaches to teaching and learning.  This was being achieved through internal development within the Academies, partnership work with other schools in the city, and partnership work with Academies elsewhere.


    The Aldridge Foundation as sponsor was able to bring a wider perspective and different kind of challenge to the work of the Academy, and provide new opportunities for students.  For example, a recent trip to Mumbai gave six students, one of whom was a young carer, the opportunity to experience new challenges. The trip had an enormous impact on all the students and helped them to develop personally and improve their standards and had a positive impact on the aspirations of other students at the academy


    • Special Educational Needs (SEN) data from the academy showed that there were fewer referrals being made.  Was there a reason for this and could information be given on the profiles of pupils with SEN?


    The committee heard how this year’s Y11 was particularly challenging. The Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) had the highest number of children with SEN and statements in the city. There were smaller classes and also an increase in the SEN budget. The Governors and staff fully supported pupils with SEN and understood the students’ attainment levels and their challenges.


          The SEN Partnership represented all nine secondary schools and Academies, and they would be able to help investigate referral levels. The SEN profile data was already in the public domain.  The Swan Centre, a local authority funded special unit for 16 students with ASD/speech and language difficulties, is fully integrated into the Academy.


    • A youth council representative asked what the difference was between Academies and Free Schools.


    Members were informed that in law there is no difference between Academies and Free Schools.  The key difference is how they are formed.  ‘Traditional’ Academies are normally formed from existing schools because they are seriously underperforming and failing to improve, ‘converter’ academies are formed  because a good or outstanding school is seeking a new way of working in order to improve further.  Free Schools are new schools, driven by demand from parents or community or faith groups for a different type of school that is not currently available in their area. While some Academies have distanced themselves from the local authority in their area, many recognise the importance of working with other schools and the local authority.  The Aldridge Foundation is committed to working in partnership, and for example the City Council is a co-sponsor of PACA.


    • What are the plans for developing the sixth forms in the two Academies?


    The Foundation was committed to developing the sixth forms at both Academies.  It was important to develop the right curriculum to meet the needs of the students, and to work with other schools, for example through the Connected Sixth Forms, to fill gaps that could not be filled in individual sixth forms.  It was important to recognise also that although the first year’s intake to the new sixth form at BACA was small, these students probably would not have continued in learning had the sixth form at BACA not been available and it was acknowledged by OFSTED that this was of real value.  The plan for the Academy sixth forms envisages within five years up to 120 students at BACA and up to 150 at PACA.


    • A youth council representative asked why City College was planning to turn into an Academy.


    The committee noted it was only schools that could become Academies.  City College was exploring and developing work with the University of Brighton and the local authority to improve performance in poor performing schools that went into special measures like Whitehawk Primary.


    • How does the Academy work with schools in deprived areas?


    Members were informed that both Academies served areas which included significant levels of deprivation and it was extremely challenging to raise aspirations and achievement in these contexts.  New resources were needed, and the Academies and the Foundation were exploring many different ways of drawing in additional funding.


    • Local Authority schools held training during INSET days, how did Academies ensure that they provided time to train their teachers?


    The Committee was told that teacher training was paramount, especially with changes in the new Ofsted framework and challenging targets.  Academies needed to improve and develop their staff to meet these changes and targets. The Academies had a wide ranging internal programme for staff development, including INSET days as for other schools, and staff also participated in external development programmes, with other schools in the city and with other Academies.  Both Academies had played a full part in the city wide Joint Development Day in February.


    • When the council co-sponsors an academy, how much control and in what areas did it influence?


    In law, the local authority may not intervene in the work of an Academy.  However, in Brighton & Hove the local authority works as a partner with the Academies, and in this way can support and influence the Academies in the same ways as other partners, through working together.  There is an additional dimension to the City Council’s work with PACA, in that the Council and the Academy are entering into formal service level agreements for the continuation of community sports, the community library and adult learning on the PACA campus.


    • Do the Academies teach religious education at GCSE level, and how are young carers supported?


    The Chief Executive believed that the Academies met requirements for teaching Religious Education, but agreed that she would check this with the Principals and write to the Committee Clerk.


    Young carers were sometimes identified from primary schools so it was clear to the Academies what individual support was required for them. However some young carers did not identify themselves. Teacher training was available for example through the Princess Royal’s Trust  for Carers to identify and support young carers.


    40.4         The Chair thanked both the Partnership Adviser and the Chief Executive of the Aldridge Foundation for presenting information and answering questions.


    40.5         RESOLVED: The committee agreed that the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee should invite the Academies to provide a further update on progress at a future meeting.


Summer Activities for Children and Families pdf icon PDF 95 KB

    Caroline Parker – Sure Start Service Manager will be presenting the report

    Additional documents:


    41.1         The Chair informed the committee that this report had been requested by the Cabinet Member for CYPOSC to comment upon. Caroline Parker – Sure Start Service Manager introduced the report and answered questions.


    41.2         Questions raised and discussions included:

    ·        Would it be possible for sports centres to offer free or subsidised swimming to children and young people?  The committee heard how swimming was free for children under 11.   The Sports Development team offered subsidised taster swimming sessions.


    ·        Members were informed that children with disabilities who had Compass cards received discounts and also free gym membership.  Summer Fun includes information from Amaze in the section on activities for children and young people with special needs. 


    ·        The committee heard how the Summer Fun booklet was well used and providers received telephone calls from parents who referred to the booklet.  The Extratime playscheme is very well used and it did not always have places available,


    ·        Did Brighton and Hove Albion offer summer activities?  Members were informed that the Albion ran courses at various venues and this was advertised in the Summer Fun booklet.

    ·        The Cabinet Member suggested that Summer Fun could display a calendar displaying the events in the centre pages to help parents plan activities for their children.  .


    ·        The Cabinet Member enquired as to whether there were drop in activities? The committee were informed that Summer Fun included information on drop in activities run by the Play Bus, Children’s Centres, and the Library Service.  


    ·        A youth council representative asked why the council didn’t use bus stops or boarded up shops to advertise the summer activities? Members were informed that the council had used the bus stops for advertising before but this was costly and the stops had to be individually identified. Consultation feedback from young people was that they preferred to receive information via facebook which was also a cost effective.

    ·        A youth council representative asked what did co-producing actually mean? The committee were told that this was partnership working with the delivery of services.


    ·        A youth council representative asked why the Summer Fun publication came out at a certain time, then there was a further flyer nearer the time. Why were there two publications and not just one nearer the time right before the summer holidays began?  Members were informed that Summer Fun was published in June to allow parents time to book activities for the summer.  Summer Fun extra is an one line supplement which includes information received after the Summer Fun deadline.


    ·        A youth council representative asked whether elderly people over 65 had free activities that they were offered to them? The committee heard how there are activities for older people and that more information would be provided.  


    ·        The parent governor spoke highly about the range of activities on offer to families compared to other authorities who offered a much more limited amount.


    14.3    RESOLVED- CYPOSC noted and commented on the report.


Housing for Vulnerable Young People pdf icon PDF 81 KB

    Steve Barton – Lead Commissioner, Children’s, Youth & Families will be presenting the report.



    42.1         Steve Barton – Lead Commissioner, Children’s Youth and Families introduced the report and answered questions with Jo Sharp –Commissioning Officer, Housing Commissioning Unit


    42.2         The Lead Commissioner explained that the Service Commission process had almost completed the needs assessment process.  The Lead Commissioner highlighted the following key points:

    ·        The youth homelessness working group would  be consulted on  the final recommendations in May

    ·        It was anticipated the strategy would support close working with the Joint Commissioning Strategy for Services for Young People and especially the provision of information, advice and guidance by the city’s youth work services to ensure  young people receive a clear message that the city has extremely limited housing options for young people

    ·        A range of potential options were emerging through the needs analysis process to improve service provision including commissioning supported lodging schemes.

    ·        The final report would go to the relevant committees in July 2012.


    42.3         Questions raised included:

    ·        What emergency provision was there for 16-19 year old young people who had a family breakdown that night? Members were informed  that included in the current housing pathway were options for emergency provision which incorporated emergency bed spaces within  supported housing schemes. Where there were no other options bed and breakfast emergency accommodation was provided.


    ·        How was emergency provision managed as some establishments were inappropriate for young people, due to ex-offenders staying there too? The committee were told that this was a particularly challenging issue and one of the key reasons why services were being reviewed. There was some effective accommodation provision in place, with appropriate resources to support young people. But there were also areas where improvements were necessary.


    ·        Councillors could sometimes be involved with youth homelessness issues, what was the best forum to feedback?  Members were informed that the youth homeless working group which was made up of council staff and service providers was a suitable forum to speak to providers. The Lead Commissioner would explore this further with housing colleagues and feedback.


    ·        There was a huge need for emergency accommodation, was the charity Night Stop included in this provision? The committee were told that there were a range of services, which did include the service run by Sussex Central YMCA which enabled a young person to stay in a host person’s home for a limited period. Other options were being explored as part of the service commission.


    ·        A youth council representative asked why the housing allocation policy was changing. Members were informed that this issue had been dealt with through a report to Cabinet. As a result care leavers would still have “Band A” eligibility, unless a social work assessment proved otherwise.


    ·        A youth council representative asked how the points listed from the City’s Commissioning Work Plan, would be carried out? The committee were informed how issues were explored during the needs assessment process drawing together information from a range of services.


    ·        At a YMCA youth homelessness workshop it was explained how some young people were sent back to the city they came from, why was this? Members were informed that every Local Authority had to meet their statutory duties to young people under 18. As a result, and after discussion between authorities some young people could be advised to return to where they came from. Options would be explored for each young person through individual assessment. 


    ·        It would be useful to know the numbers of young people affected, and it would be helpful to know what proportion had SEN? The committee were told that there were 278 young people who accessed services at Ovest House, last year who were between the ages of 16 and17 years old.  The numbers for the previous year was slightly less.  The needs assessment was currently collating data about the particular needs of young people, including those who had special educational needs.


    ·        A youth council representative asked which young people had were consulted and how had this been done? Members were informed that key workers in different supported housing schemes were asked to speak to young people about what services were helpful and those which were less helpful.


    42.4         The Chair thanked the Lead Commissioner and the Commissioning Officer for introducing the report and answering questions.


    42.5         RESOLVED –

    (1)   The committee noted the progress and made comments on the service commission review of housing for vulnerable young people.


    (2)   CYPOSC agreed that the Health and Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee follow up the progress made on the city’s Youth Homelessness Strategy.


CYPOSC work programme pdf icon PDF 61 KB


    43.1         Members were informed that the new governance arrangements for scrutiny meant that the Health and Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee (HWOSC) would be commissioning work through workshops and scrutiny panels for matters concerning children and young people.


    43.2         The statutory co-optees ie. the diocesan representatives and the parent governor representative who had voting rights for education matters would be invited to workshops/scrutiny panels/ HWOSC meetings when education items were being heard.


    43.3         Workshops or scrutiny panels could be identified from the Children and Young People’s policy committee, other councillors or committees.


    43.4         RESOLVED:


    (1)   Members noted the work programme.


    (2)   The committee agreed that the following items be forwarded to the HWOSC work programme:

    ·        Support for young carers in the city – follow up needed on how commissioners could pool funding together to streamline funding for the Carers’ Centre

    ·        Academies – invite to give a further update on their progress

    ·        Housing for Vulnerable Young People – follow up on the strategy.


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