Council meetings

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite

Contact: Nidhi Patil 


No. Item


Minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 399 KB



·       the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023 were agreed as an accurate record.



·       the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023 were agreed as an accurate record.


Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 211 KB




There were no declarations. Cllr Howard noted they worked with Youth First in their capacity as a ward councillor.


The Committee agreed to take item 4 before item 3.



An Update on Youth First pdf icon PDF 537 KB



·       That the report be noted.




Pinaki Ghoshal, Executive Director for Children and Young People

Val Davison, Chair – Youth First
Mervyn Kaye, CEO – Youth First
Gülen Petty, Assistant CEO – Youth First


Val Davison and Mervyn Kaye introduced the report. The following key points were noted:

3.1.         Non-statutory youth services were in a parlous state nationally, but Youth First (YF) had succeeded by not only surviving but also growing its services since it was ‘stepped out’ in 2016 This was achieved thanks to the hard work and willingness to adapt of staff and the support of the council and other partners.

3.2.         Since its creation, YF had developed new and innovative services, both in collaboration with the council and independently with other partners.

3.3.         It was difficult to obtain funding for youth services. Nevertheless, YF’s funding bids were around twice as successful as the national average.

3.4.         YF had identified focus areas which were aligned with the council’s corporate priorities and would enable more-focused income generation and funding applications.

3.5.         YF was hopeful of securing funding to launch an education and employment scheme later in the year, which would open doors for young people who were often missed by other schemes and support them to develop soft and hard skills.

3.6.         YF’s change from mutual organisation to charity was to ensure it was able to attract non-council funding.

3.7.         Youth voice was hardwired into the organisation, which coproduced its offer with young people. YF had obtained the agreement of the Charity Commission to include staff and young people as beneficiary trustees.

3.8.         YF required stable, long-term funding from the council in order to secure independent funding.

3.9.         The council’s support could also help YF secure independent funding. By working together, the council and YF had secured capital funding for the Riverside adventure playground, for example.

The Committee then put questions to the witnesses. The following key points were noted:

3.10.     A £200k saving against the budget for youth services – of which YF was the largest provider – was included in the council’s agreed 2023/24 budget. However, exactly where that saving would be made had not yet been determined.

3.11.     Capital investment in The Dumps adventure playground had been agreed. Engagement with residents and other stakeholders regarding the use of that funding was planned. There was no capital funding earmarked to improve the Ladywell adventure playground, but the condition of the site would be considered under the Play Strategy.

3.12.     YF needed assurance over a period of time – e.g. use of an adventure playground for a longer period – in order to secure independent funding. For example, high net worth individuals were willing to provide funding for five to ten years.

3.13.     Long-term adventure playground (APG) management was to be subject to a tendering process. However, this had been delayed by the fact the council did not own the land on which one of the borough’s APGs was situated. YF was both a youth work and play provider.

3.14.     YF was established  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Amplifying the Voices of Children and Young People pdf icon PDF 354 KB



·       To provide opportunities for a small number of Young Advisors to attend and participate in each of the Committee’s meetings and encourage other Select Committees to do so.

·       To refer to the Mayor and Cabinet a recommendation that the feasibility of the suggestions at section 7 of the report be explored and reported back to the Committee.




Katy Brown, Advisor to the Young Mayor, Access Inclusion and Participation
Jacob Sakil, Youth Support Worker, Young Mayor’s Team
Susan Rowe, Lewisham Education Group and Lewisham Black Parent Forum
Jentai Gen-One, Lewisham Young Mayor
Micah Spence, Young Advisor
Connor Moore, Young Advisor
Kehinde Onasanya, Young Advisor
Yasmina Bez, Young Advisor
Morgan Seward, Young Advisor
Shianti Elliott, Young Advisor
Emmerson Sutton, Young Advisor
Marvin Gordon, Young Advisor
Anissa Bez, Young Advisor
Gideon Ofoni- Owusu, Young Advisor

Katy Brown and Jacob Sakil introduced the report. The following key points were noted:

4.1. Young people and staff were keen that the engagement of young people be viewed through the lens of citizenship, with young people as cocreators of services.

4.2. The breadth of the work undertaken by the Young Mayor and Advisors was a strength, but the council should think about how it could amplify that work and involve young people further.

4.3. There were other youth organisations in the borough with which the council could engage.

4.4. Young people developing agency was integral to them being part of civil society and the community and involved in work of the council. The extent of the council’s engagement with young people was unique.

Young Advisors then shared their views with the Committee:

4.5. Micah Spence explained that a new approach was to engage more young people as Young Advisors by updating and making better use of social media. His view was that, aside from Young Mayor elections, the council’s social media did not feature young people enough; the council could help by using its social media channels to promote the work of the Young Mayor and Advisors. Connor Moore added that social media structures favoured certain types of content – YouTube’s algorithm promoted videos with human faces in the thumbnail, for example – and the council should consider how to maximise the reach of its content.

4.6. Kehinde Onasanya noted that a quarter of Lewisham residents were aged 0-19 and thus a large proportion attended school. They suggested that schools were therefore a good way to reach a large proportion of residents; they had only become aware of work of Young Advisors when standing for Young Mayor and believed it was important to communicate to young the people the choices and options they had.

4.7. Morgan Seward, a Mayor’s Award nominee, was a member of Champions of Inclusion, a subgroup of Young Advisors which worked with schools and Kaleidoscope to provide a forum for young people with SEND to share their views and ideas. The council could help by organising more events for young people with SEND, who needed a greater focus year-round, not just during Autism Acceptance Week.

4.8. Shanti Elliott highlighted the importance of career pathways in a variable labour market. She had transitioned from being a Young Advisor to a Council apprentice, which they described as invaluable. They submitted that the Council and its partners needed to make such opportunities more widely available as their experience was atypical.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


School Standards Report pdf icon PDF 587 KB

Additional documents:



·       That the report be noted.


Item 5 – School Standards Report


Chris Barnham, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Community and Safety

Pinaki Ghoshal, Executive Director for Children and Young People
Angela Scattergood, Director of Education Services
Jacob Sakil, Youth Support Worker, Young Mayor’s Team

Susan Rowe, Lewisham Education Group and Lewisham Black Parent Forum

5.1. The Chair noted apologies from Nicky Dixon, Chair – Lewisham Parent Engage, and relayed her comments on the report. Nicky said it was pleasing to read that Lewisham schools continued to achieve good educational outcomes for their pupils, with a high percentage receiving ‘Good’ Ofsted ratings too. She added that whilst there was a national fragmented education system with different school structures and curricula, the strength of Lewisham schools laid in the way the schools collaborated and had created a family of schools, regardless of structure. She noted that there would continue to be a focus on narrowing attainment gaps amongst certain groups of pupils, which was for the good as every pupil matters.

Angela Scattergood introduced the report. The following key points were noted:

5.2.     Validated results data had been published by the Department for Education late (February) and there may be an adjustment in April. Due to the late publication of the data, the report did not contain analysis of results by learner characteristics, but such analysis would be shared with schools. 

5.3.     2023 Key Stage 2 results were likely to be delayed by the King’s Coronation.

5.4.     Lewisham primary schools performed at or above national, but worse than London, averages. The council was working with a small number of schools where pupils seemed particularly impacted by the pandemic.

5.5.     At Key Stage 4, Lewisham schools had made positive progress for the first time. Schools had made particular progress at improving attainment for disadvantaged learners, with such learners’ attainment now in the top quartile in the country.

5.6.     Focus was needed on foundation subjects, particularly phonics in primary schools, as well as curricular innovation. Priorities were set out in the report.

5.7.     The Council was working with schools to identify, provided targeted catchup support, to learners who needed additional support.

5.8.     One hundred per cent of primary schools and 86 per cent of secondary schools were rated ‘Good’ or better by Ofsted.

The Committee then put questions to the witnesses. The following key points were noted:

5.9.     Dips in Primary attainment since 2019 were also present nationally. Covid-19 had particularly impacted disadvantaged learners.

5.10. The improved attainment for disadvantaged learners in Key Stage 4 was attributed to better teaching and school standards. Better data had also enabled schools to target support. Secondary schools had done well at continuing learning for disadvantaged pupils during Covid-19. The Executive Director added that the Education Service’s relationship of support and challenge with schools, under Angela’s leadership, had also been key.

5.11. The attainment of Black learners at Key Stage 2 varied from school to school and between sub-cohorts – Angela agreed this was an urgent issue. More analysis of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Select Committee work programme pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Additional documents:




The Committee agreed at 21:27 to suspend Standing Order 10 for no more than five minutes.


Members made the following suggestions for the 23/24 work programme:

6.1.     Children and Young People’s emotional wellbeing and mental health (for the first meeting of 23/24).

6.2.     School attendance and the impact of absence on learners.

The Chair closed the meeting at 21:28.