Lewisham Council
Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2

Contact: Charlotte Dale (Tel: 020 8314 9534 Email:  charlotte.dale@lewisham.gov.uk) 

No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2014 pdf icon PDF 36 KB


1.1       RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2014 be agreed as an accurate record.


Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 27 KB


2.1       No declarations of interest were made.


Young People's Mental Health Review - Final Report pdf icon PDF 28 KB

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3.1       RESOLVED: That the final report arising from the Committee’s review into Young People’s Mental Health be AGREED and submitted to Mayor & Cabinet on 18 February 2015.


Sedgehill School pdf icon PDF 41 KB

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4.1       The Chair outlined the purpose and scope of the item and Frankie Sulke summarised the key interventions that had taken place to date, noting that it had been a difficult time for all involved and that the decision to intervene had not been taken lightly.


4.2       In response to questions from Members of the Committee the following key points were noted:


·           In the period of time leading up to the issuing of the warning notice there was a lot of engagement with the leadership of the school in terms of how improvement might best be achieved.

·           There was no disagreement between the Council, the leadership of the school and the Governing Body that the pace of progress in terms of improvement was inadequate and additional leadership capacity was required. The disagreement was over how this capacity would be provided. The School preferred an extension and strengthening of the current partnership with Hayes School, the Council felt more direct and intensive leadership input was required.

·           The school was ‘self-assessing’ as requiring improvement with a couple of departments presenting particular concerns. The Headteacher assessed 80% of lessons as good or outstanding but the last Ofsted report found that the quality of teaching still required improvement.

·           Whilst a number of Lewisham schools did not deliver good GCSE results in 2014, some producing poorer results than Sedgehill, the issue at Sedgehill was that results had been poor over a number of years and the pace of improvement was not sufficient.

·           It was clear by spring 2014 that the predictions for GCSE results were not likely to be achieved and concerns were expressed.

·           In addition to the formal meetings and interventions described in the officer report, there were numerous telephone calls between the Council and the school in-between meetings. The Council never refused a meeting or refused to talk to any of the people involved in the situation.

·           Before the warning notice was issued the method of intervention preferred by the Council and the method preferred by the school and governing body were fully discussed and presented by the people who would be delivering the intervention.

·           The Governing Body disputed the warning notice when it was issued and OFSTED therefore had to rule on whether the situation at the school warranted a warning notice being issued. They considered evidence submitted by both the governing body and the local authority and ruled in the local authority’s favour, confirming the warning notice.

·           The local authority first considered the possibility of the School working with Bethnal Green Academy when it became clear, to the Council, that a more direct option for Sedgehill might be needed. The school had a more deprived intake than Sedgehill yet had managed to produce very good results over a number of years. The school was in a ‘benchmarking group’ consisting of 55 similar schools and was top of the list in terms of results.

·           If the school had accepted support from Bethnal Green Academy this would not have immediately required Sedgehill to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Lewisham Future Programme pdf icon PDF 14 KB

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5.1       The Committee considered updates on three savings proposals:


K2 (Youth Offending Services)

·           Geeta Subramaniam introduced the update and following discussion on cuts to the Youth Justice Board Grant and the use of predictive modelling to assess whether the new model would be workable, the Committee noted the update provided.


Q1 (Improving triage for Children’s Social Care services & re-designing the Children’s Centre & Early Intervention offer)

·           Deregistering all but 4 of the 17 Children’s Centres in the borough would provide greater flexibility for providers to secure improved outcomes for targeted families within the smaller funding envelope that would be available. Services for children would still be offered from the de-registered centres via council contracts requiring certain outcomes to be reached (payments by results).

·           The Children’s Society had not received payment by results money.

·           The contract with the Children’s Society would end in March; the Pre-School Learning Alliance and the Clyde Early Childhood Centre were being asked to take it over for 6 months; and officers were recommending that they should continue to work with St James’; Family Centre and other subcontractors until the re-tendering of the contracts in October.

·           Councillor Barnham expressed concern about the reduction in registered Children’s Centres from 17 to 4 and the reduction in the number of targeted families.

·           It was stated that capital clawback in respect of the deregistered centres was a risk but unlikely as services would be continuing.


Q2 (Reduction in Youth Service Provision):

·           Following comments made by Councillor Johnston-Franklin, the Committee recommended that, in relation to Recommendation 1 in the Youth Service Working Group report, all councillors should be kept updated on progress, and not just the ward members for Ladywell and Perry Vale.

·           Frankie Sulke stated that there was not the capacity to investigate an alternative, back-up plan to the employee led mutual (ELM) preferred option, but that, should the ELM option prove unfeasible, the fall-back option was the Youth Service remaining in the Council and being subject to proposals for savings alongside other council services.


5.2      RESOLVED: That the updates be noted and the Public Accounts Select Committee be advised that the Committee recommends that, in relation to Recommendation 1 in the Youth Service Working Group report, all councillors should be kept updated on progress, and not just the ward members for Ladywell and Perry Vale.




Select Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 154 KB

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6.1       RESOLVED: That the work programme be noted.


Referrals to Mayor and Cabinet


7.1      There were no referrals to Mayor and Cabinet, other than those mentioned under items 3 and 4 above, but it was agreed that a referral would be made to the Public Accounts Select Committee in relation to the budget saving Q2 (Youth Service).