Agenda item - Brighton & Hove Children in Care - Interim Report

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Agenda item

Brighton & Hove Children in Care - Interim Report

Report of the Executive Director for Families, Children & Learning (copy attached)


Contact Officers: Mark Storey/Jill Dyson                          Tel: 01273 293513


40.1    RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the report.


40.1  The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director, Families, Children & Learning, which provided a summary of Brighton & Hove’s Children in Care’s educational progress and attainment at the end of Key Stage 2, 4 and 5 for the academic year 2016/7. The report was introduced by the Head of Education Standards & Achievement.


40.2    Councillor O’Quinn referred to children who were fostered and said that it was preferable for them to have long term foster carers, rather than be moved a number of times to different carers as that could impact on their education. The Head of Education Standards & Achievement agreed and said that it was a known fact that when children were moved it did have a negative impact on their education. One of the purposes of a virtual school was to bring some stability. The Assistant Director Education & Skills said there was a Virtual School Steering Group, which was similar to a governing body of a school, and on that group were foster carers who worked closely with the Council.


40.3    Councillor Brown referred to the Maths tutor and asked how they would be utilised. The Head of Education Standards & Achievement said that it was primary school teacher who specialised in Maths, and they would be working with a few children. He added that the virtual school had a school improvement role to see what they could do to enhance the child’s maths if they weren’t achieving their potential.  The Assistant Director Education & Skills said that maths was an issue all children not just those in care, and a range of work was being undertaken to support schools.


40.4    Councillor Wealls asked if there was an objective way to see whether the virtual school did a good job. The Assistant Director Education & Skills said that there were data comparisons, such as looking at neighbouring authorities but it was difficult as the number of children involved was small. Also when Ofsted inspected they looked at the work of the virtual school and its outcomes.


40.5    Mr M Jones understood that with the small number of children in care that it was difficult to make comparisons with previous years, but he asked whether there was a graph to show how we compared nationally with other authorities. The Head of Education Standards & Achievement said there wasn’t as it was difficult to compare like for like, and comparing different years could be very misleading. Mr Jones said that exam grades had changed, and asked whether under the new system it was harder for a pupil to move from a grade 3 to a 4. The Head of Education Standards & Achievement said that under the new system there was an end of year exam rather than continual course work, and that could disadvantage some children. However, the data was not yet available to see whether there had been any impact.


40.6    Councillor Janio agreed that it was correct not to base data on small samples, but he felt that over a number of years it would be possible to see a trend.


40.7    RESOLVED: That the report be noted.


Supporting documents:


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