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Contact: Emma Aye-Kumi (020 8314 9534)
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2018 be agreed as a true and accurate record of the proceedings.
Councillor Moore declared an interest in respect of Item 4. She is a Governor of both Lewisham Southwark College and Barking and Dagenham College. She is also in paid employment with Barking and Dagenham College.
Councillor Rothon declared an interest in respect of Item 5. He is a Governor of Christ the King 6th Form College.
Responses to Referrals to Mayor and Cabinet
No responses are due.
None were due.
The Chair reminded the Committee that it was awaiting responses from Mayor and Cabinet on two matters, namely SEND provision and the in-depth review of recruitment and retention of school staff. These referrals had gone to Mayor and Cabinet in February and the responses would be received in late June at the first meeting of the Committee in the new administration.
Shirley Gounder, Service Manager – Adoption, Looked After Children and Leaving Care Service, highlighted the key points from the report.
A discussion followed and the following was noted:
· Lewisham has some Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC) on the free scheme provided by the Prince’s Trust. More were following the Barnardos course as it offered a wider range of activities
· Looked After Children with complex needs are in a range of placements according to their needs, including long-term fostering, adoption or supported by family through a Special Guardianship Order
· Members were concerned that a high proportion (64%) of Looked After Children were placed outside the borough, and requested a breakdown to understand the reasons for this. Officers explained that often foster families move just over the borough boundary for bigger properties, many remaining close enough to keep the foster child in school. Some children needed to be placed out of borough for safeguarding reasons, others to take up a therapeutic placement. The majority are within 20 miles of the borough, and more could be provided on this.
· Currently, 48% of foster placements use independent agency carers, and 52% in-house. Agency placements cost around double an in-house placement. More in-house carers needed to be recruited, both to save costs and for quality assurance.
· The drop in the number of health assessments completed within 28 days did not reflect that often, these assessments were happening, but just missing the 28 day target. Usually this was an issue of obtaining consent and organising the paperwork in time. Consent forms were being simplified and it was hoped that this figure would improve as a result.
· The figures in the report reflected supported accommodation for care leavers as well as residential care placements.
· Residential placements tended to be used for young people with chronic behavioural needs that could not be met in a domestic setting, such as fire-raising.
· Officers would include year on year comparisons in future reports to help the Committee see the direction of travel.
· Various efforts were being made to improve the NEET figure and low take up of 100 hours work experience, such as Barnardos mentoring, offering work shadowing and a care leaver apprenticeship within Children’s Social Care, supporting a young person to set up a cottage industry to utilise existing creative skills.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.-
Jackie Jones, Service Manager – School Improvement and Intervention, introduced the report.
In response to questions from the Committee, it was noted that:
· There was no explanation for the apparent anomaly on Table 2, which indicated that despite the percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in phonics at the end of year 1 going up for both children eligible for Free School Meals in Lewisham and those not eligible for Free School Meals (FSM), the overall percentage of Lewisham children achieving the standard had dropped. These were nationally produced figures, and officers speculated that there must be a third group – perhaps not registered for FSM - skewing the figures.
· Progress 8 scores were cohort dependent whereas Attainment 8 scores were not. A negative figure meant that progress was below the average found across England State Funded Schools.
· Officers offered to provide training for the new committee on Progress 8 and Attainment 8, and more widely on understanding school performance data.
· It can be useful for schools to track the progress of those children that join the school during the EYFS and stay until the end of KS2. Lewisham has high mobility within its pupil population which can distort progress measures.
· One school had its KS2 SATS results annulled by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA), after officers reported concerns about the school’s administration of the test. Officers were confident that this was an isolated case that would not be repeated. Lewisham’s Chief Moderator was running regular workshops for Year 2 and Year 6 teachers, and the STA was monitoring KS2 results across the borough.
· Sedgehill School was likely to have higher numbers on the roll for 2018/19. Neighbouring boroughs’ schools were oversubscribed and being placed at Sedgehill. The school was being proactive at reaching parents whose children had been allocated Sedgehill.
· United Learning was well embedded in the school and feedback from pupils, parents and staff was good.
· The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People was optimistic that Sedgehill would increase its rate of improvement.
· Members requested a breakdown of performance by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic factors (eg FSM) within these groups.
· The A-Level results were still provisional. Members wanted more information, to understand where the best results were being achieved (ie schools or colleges).
· The council had no statutory power to track the progress of home schooled children and young people.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Appendix A to follow.
The Chair referred to the report and invited the Committee to make suggestions for the work programme for the next municipal year.
The Committee was reminded of the following standing items:
· Responses to referrals to Mayor and Cabinet
o SEND provision
o Recruitment and retention of school staff – indepth review
· Annual school standards report
· Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board annual report
· Child Sexual Exploitation 6 monthly update
· Outcomes for children leaving care and looked after children annual report
· Annual report on exclusion and attendance
· School place planning strategy
And suggested that the following be added to the new work programme:
· Lewisham Learning Partnership – measuring outcomes/ success
· Savings – update on progress, and looking at equivalent savings to the previously planned CAMHS savings target that was reversed by Mayor and Cabinet on 14 February, with the proviso that the savings be made elsewhere from the department’s budget
· Revision of SEND strategy
· Children and Young People’s Plan
· Update on Youth First
It being the last meeting of the Committee during the current administration, the Chair thanked all Committee members and officers for their contributions over the term. The Chair also noted his particular thanks to Councillor Till who was retiring, and to the Head of Joint Commissioning and Targeted Services who was moving on to another borough on promotion.
1. the report be noted
2. the items suggested above be put to the Committee at the first meeting under the new administration.
Referrals to Mayor and Cabinet
No referrals were made.