Agenda item - Chair's Communications
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28.1 The Chair stated the following:
Councillor Russell-Moyle was welcomed to his first meeting of the Committee.
Children & Young People Now Awards 2016
We are delighted that three of the Council’s Families, Children and Learning teams have been shortlisted as finalists in the ‘Children & Young People Now’ Awards for 2016:
· The breastfeeding team
· The Early Parenting Assessment Programme (EPAP)
· The ‘Virtual School’ for their work developing Adoption Support
The LGA Peer Review – Safeguarding
Over the last week the council has been engaged in an LGA peer review of Safeguarding, which has been a rigorous look at our processes and practice. I attended the feedback on Friday and I was very proud of the positive feedback about our Families, Children and Learning directorate. While there were a few things they thought we might want to do differently in the future, most of which we were already aware of, they were overwhelmingly positive about our direction of travel. Their view is that we are doing the right things and that the experience of children and young people as a consequence is improving. They remarked at numerous points on our positive culture which involves us being reflective of our practice, open to learning and child focussed.
While we must, of course, never be complacent, we should be proud of the work our services are doing and the difference they are making to the lives of very vulnerable children and young people across the city.
A consultation with staff in four of the Council nurseries has concluded, and the response is being sent to staff today. The Council is committed to providing high quality childcare in its most disadvantaged communities. However it must ensure that the nurseries are run efficiently to improve their financial sustainability. The aim of the consultation was to reduce the Council subsidy by introducing a consistent and fair staffing structure and more efficient shifts so that the number of staff matched the number of children in the nurseries. Considerable work had been done on the original proposals to reduce any negative impact on staff including agreeing to voluntary severance and protecting pay for staff whose grade is reduced for three years. The new structure retains a graduate Early Years Teacher to ensure quality and introduces at least one apprenticeship post in each nursery. Work will now start on implementing the changes. There will continue to be discussions with staff about their future role in the new structure.
Primary School Standards
I would like to offer congratulations to all Head Teachers and school staff on a fabulous set of results for our primary children in the city this year. Brighton & Hove is now one of the top Local Authorities in England for its performance at Key Stage 2. Figures released by the Department for Education in September show that 58% of pupils in the city this year have achieved the expected combined overall standard in reading, writing and maths. This is against a national average of 52%, putting Brighton & Hove at joint 22nd nationally out of 150 local authorities. In addition, 7% of pupils have achieved an even higher overall standard in reading, writing and maths, against a national average of 5%. This is alongside strong sets of improved results in Early Years, Secondary (GCSE) and A and AS levels. This is a testament to the leadership of our Head Teachers/Principals and the hard work and skills of the teachers and support staff in our city schools, working in partnership with our council Local Authority teams. I’m proud of this collective drive across the Brighton & Hove Education Partnership to continue to improve outcomes for our children.