Venue: Committee Room
Contact: Emma Aye-Kumi (020 8314 9534)
1.1 Apologies for lateness were received from Cllrs John Paschoud and Jacq Paschoud who were attending a civic function.
1.2 Apologies for non-attendance were received from Gail Exon.
1.3 The Chair noted that this was Sara Williams’ - Executive Director for Children and Young People last CYP Select Committee meeting. On behalf of the committee, he thanked her for her work and wished her well for the future.
1.4 It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the last meeting be agreed as a true and accurate record of the proceedings.
2.1 The Chair declared an interest in respect of Item 6 – CAMHS waiting times for Lewisham children. He is Lewisham Council’s stakeholder representative on the Council of Governors for SLaM.
Response from Health and Wellbeing Board on BAMER mental health inequalities
It was RESOLVED that the response be noted.
4.1 Angela Scattergood – Director of Education Services introduced the item and stressed that the report contained provisional results. Further information would be available following the statistical release in late January/ early February.
4.2 Sandra Roberts, the new Director of Lewisham Learning was introduced to the committee.
4.3 The following was noted in discussion:
1. The Committee was very disappointed by the provisional results.
2. Efforts to improve progress between KS2 and KS4 were focusing on
a. Progress - learning from this set of results and making changes for this year’s Y11 pupils
b. Improving transition
c. Curriculum – building on previous learning and offering a balanced curriculum, teaching for learning rather than for testing.
3. Teacher assessments and predictions throughout the year had not been accurate, and this needed to be tightened up.
4. Teaching in Science and Maths needed improvement.
5. A priority for Lewisham Learning would be to visit each individual school and support them to deliver different results this year.
6. Members were frustrated that the Committee had made recommendations on how to improve transition three years ago yet transition was still being identified as an area that needed improvement. Officers explained that transition was continually being improved.
7. Some of the recommendations had been implemented and had improved transition, for example, for children with SEND. However, other recommendations had not ‘stuck’ as schools needed to be on board.
8. Greenwich and Lambeth had had similarly poor Progress 8 scores as Lewisham, which prompted one Member to wonder whether there was a wider issue.
9. Plans were afoot for Lewisham schools to learn from Camden schools to facilitate school improvement.
10.The phonics check is a standardised test and schools put support in place to prepare all children for it, including support for those with English as an additional language, and SEND.
11.Achievement of poorer achievers in EYFS is part of the Early Years strategy, which sits beneath the Education Strategy, which is overarching.
12.The Cabinet Member for School Performance and Children’s Services said that tackling the achievement gap had to start in primary schools. The figures seemed worse at secondary school because Lewisham’s secondary population was not comprehensive, as many higher achieving children were going out of borough for secondary school.
13.Despite the disappointing results, recent Ofsted inspections had recognised the improvement in Lewisham’s secondary schools.
4.4 It was RESOLVED that the report be noted.
5.1 Angela Scattergood – Director of Education introduced the report and invited the Committee to input into the Strategy. She explained that the next step would be to consult the Young Mayor and Advisors, as well as Lewisham Parents and Carers group.
5.2 The committee heard that the Education Strategy was an overarching strategy with several, more detailed, strategies sitting beneath it, including the SEND and EYFS strategies. A Black Caribbean Achievement Strategy would be generated in the new year.
5.3 A discussion followed during which it was noted:
1. Anecdotally, Members were hearing more positive noises about Lewisham’s secondary schools. Everything should be done to encourage prospective parents to go and look at Lewisham schools, and parents of children in Year 4 should be targeted. Secondary schools should focus on the nearest primary schools to make links.
2. A Parent Champion Network could be useful in promoting both primary and secondary schools, based on the success of Early Years Parent Champions.
3. ParentENGage and Lewisham Education Group were also useful resources to help promote Lewisham’s schools.
4. Primary heads need to support secondary colleagues and give a more positive message about the borough’s secondary schools.
5. One Member, citing a review by Southwark Council on parents’ moral obligation to support their children’s education, felt better partnership working with parents was needed to support home learning.
6. Officers were carrying out a provider audit looking at sufficiency of childcare, including Early Years as well as holiday clubs etc.
7. The new Ofsted inspection framework considered teacher workload. In the 7-8 inspections in Lewisham schools since the new framework came into force, inspectors had seen good practice examples of marking and homework practices. Managing workload was high on the agenda.
5.4 It was RESOLVED that the report be noted.
6.1 Caroline Hirst – Joint Commissioner and Brenda Bartlett – Deputy Director SLaM CAMHS introduced the item. The committee heard that the reduced numbers waiting 52 weeks or more for their first appointment had been sustained, and focus had now shifted to addressing the increasing number of children and young people waiting 39 weeks for their first appointment. It was noted that this was an area of focus for NHS England as well as the local authority.
6.2 Members of the Committee put questions to the officers and it was noted that:
1. Members were concerned about the increase in 39 week waits, which, if not dealt with promptly, could become 52 week waits.
2. Members were also concerned about whether it would be possible to deliver improved wait times within the funding envelope.
3. A number of activities are in place to bring down the wait times, such as Saturday clinics at Kaleidoscope, ensuring the receiving team makes decisions about whether to accept a referral or not within 10 days, and using prescribing nurses to reduce consultant workload e.g. when dealing with medication reviews for ADHD patients.
4. Members were encouraged to hear of plans for a school-specific CAMHS post, and felt it should be easier for older young people to self-refer without having to confide in school.
5. There was diversity within the staff base, however the workforce was predominantly female as, generally speaking, male mental health practitioners tended to work with adults rather than children.
6. Members recommended targeting underrepresented groups to recruit from them.
7. Direct comparison between boroughs was difficult as population needs and deprivation differed. Also, practices for diagnosing ASD varied.
8. One Member suggested using cost per appointment as a measurable comparable.
9. In terms of benchmarking, Lewisham CCG funding is a lower proportion of overall mental health funding than in other boroughs. The national average is 6.8% whereas in Lewisham it’s lower than that, but the average population needs/ age profile is higher. The council is in discussion with the CCG. The Chair agreed to raise this at the next Council of Governors meeting at SLaM.
6.3 It was RESOLVED that
1. The Chair would raise the issue of Lewisham CCG funding at the next Council of Governors meeting at SLaM;
2. The comments of the committee and the report be noted.
7.1 As had previously been agreed, no officer was present to take questions on the report. The following points were made:
1. The words “Work In Progress” appeared frequently throughout the action plan but there was little to suggest that actions had been completed.
2. The action plan needed to be RAG rated with target dates and an indication of how impact would be measured.
3. It was not acceptable to the Committee that Recommendation 5 had not been done owing to workloads. The Committee felt this was a key piece of work and at the very least a pilot should be carried out.
7.2 It was RESOLVED that:
1. The report be noted
2. That the action plan be amended to include RAG ratings, impact, target dates
3. A pilot be conducted in respect of Recommendation 5.
8.1 As had previously been agreed, no officer was present to answer questions on the report.
8.2 The following was noted in discussion:
1. More information was needed on “Tuition Centres”
2. The Committee would have liked to see more details on how the local authority oversees the quality of Alternative Provision (AP), as well as information on outcomes, numbers of children affected, achieving value for money, and elective home education.
3. As regards Rockbourne Youth Centre, Members were keen to understand more about why AP was being used for primary children, and the costs involved.
4. The Cabinet Member for School Performance and Children’s Services explained that while there are no permanent exclusions from Lewisham primary schools, there are fixed term exclusions, and some children do part time school combined with part time AP, for example.
5. It would be helpful to separate out the broad range of “institutions” and consider each kind on a different basis.
The report should be represented in greater depth with an officer
available to present it.
8.3 It was RESOLVED that:
1. The report be noted
2. The report be re-provided with more detail to incorporate the comments made above.
9.1 The Committee received the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board annual report 2018-19 and noted that much of the information was out of date owing the report being presented so late.
9.2 As had previously been agreed, no officer was present to answer questions and Members noted the following:
1. An update on the new safeguarding arrangements would follow in March 2020.
2. The Chair had arranged to meet the newly appointed Independent Scrutineer of the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP), David Goosey.
3. The Chair would stress the need for timely reports that include the most recently available data.
4. The report mentioned how Phoenix Community Housing was supporting the LSCB priorities, but did not mention Lewisham Homes, which was the bigger provider. The Committee needed reassurance that all other social housing providers were taking similar steps to safeguard children.
9.3 It was RESOLVED that:
1. the report be noted
2. feedback be provided to the committee on the comments above.
10.1 The Chair summarised the items for the next meeting and reminded Members of the upcoming hostel visit on 18 December. It was suggested that a list of questions be sent ahead to ensure that any questions can be fully answered.
10.2 The Committee requested that the Early Help item scheduled for January covers:
1. The future of Children and Family Centres
2. Reconfiguration of the Youth Service
3. Certainty around Health Visitor funding
4. The Early Help action plan for the next year.
10.3 It also requested the opportunity to properly feed into the discussion about retendering Children and Family Centres.
10.4 On the review of children in temporary accommodation, it was noted that:
1. much of the housing-related casework that councillors are involved with relates to substandard private rented accommodation, often located far outside of the borough.
2. Members requested the opportunity to question housing officers regarding how often property is inspected.
10.5 A pizza evening was being arranged with the Young Mayor and Advisors and other young people involved with the council in an official capacity. Members requested that this happen on 23 January ahead of the Committee meeting. It was decided that the start of the committee meeting would be pushed back by 15 minutes to 7:15pm.
10.6 It was RESOLVED that:
1. The report be noted
2. The report in January on Early Help include information on
a. the future of Children and Family Centres
b. Reconfiguration of the Youth Service
c. Certainty around Health Visitor funding
d. The Early Help action plan for the next year
3. The start time of the Committee meeting be pushed back to 7:15pm
4. A Pizza evening with the Young Mayor and Advisors be arranged for 5:30pm on 23 January.
Referrals to Mayor and Cabinet
11.1 No referrals were made.