Venue: Committee Room 1
Contact: Emma Aye-Kumi (020 8314 9534)
RESOLVED that Councillors Luke Sorba and Liz Johnston-Franklin be confirmed as the Chair and Vice Chair respectively.
It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the last meeting be agreed as a true and accurate record of the proceedings. The Committee asked the Scrutiny Manager to arrange training session on all school performance measures (primary and secondary). Suggested time and date 6pm on 5 September.
Cllr Jacq Paschoud declared an interest as Trustee of the Ravensbourne Project, which provides short breaks, and as a trust-appointed governor of Watergate School.
Cllr John Paschoud declared his spouse’s interests as described above.
Reponses to referrals relating to:
Responses were received from Mayor and Cabinet to three referrals that the CYP Select Committee had previously made.
The following was noted:
1. Other services besides Drumbeat, such as Watergate after school club and holiday scheme had been lost. These were not funded by the local authority, but are a loss to parents nonetheless.
2. The local authority does not collect data on how many children with SEN access after school clubs in mainstream schools. Most mainstream schools aim for inclusivity, but this may not always be possible, particularly if the after school club is delivered by a 3rd party provider.
3. Children with SEN may be practically excluded from mainstream after school provision if they are provided with transport. Transport can only be provided to the child’s home address, and cannot be rearranged to take a child to after school club instead.
4. Concerns were raised about the version of SEND transport policy as it appeared on the council website. Officers gave assurances that the policy had been updated and committed to checking that the right version had been uploaded.
5. Drumbeat provision was secure until the end of the summer
6. Clarification was sought of the apparent contradiction in paragraphs 5.4 and 7.2 of the report which described the budget as both favourable and overspent. This would be supplied at the next meeting.
7. Officers were looking at ways to reduce the cost per journey.
Recruitment and retention of school staff – in-depth review
The Chair was pleased noted the Mayor’s support for the creation of a Fair Workload Charter.
The following was noted in discussion:
· Demographic change was bringing about a fall in Pupil Premium – data would be provided to the committee
· Officers would raise the issue of underapplication for Free School Meals at the next school administration officers’ meeting and seek feedback and examples of good practice to share.
· The Cabinet Member for Education should lobby the government for automatic application for Free School Meals with benefits applications, rather than the current arrangement which placed the onus on families to apply.
· The committee requested a progress report on implementation of the recommendations for March 2019
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
The Cabinet Member for Education informed the committee that he had asked Cllr Octavia Holland to prepare a report that looked more widely than the points raised in the referral. The report would look at young people’s mental health needs to better understand the picture before deciding what cuts to make. Cllr Holland’s review would seek the input of mental health professionals and would report in September/ October, the committee heard.
It was noted that Cllr Holland would recuse herself from scrutiny of any decisions that the review might inform.
1) the responses to the referrals be noted
2) a progress update on the recruitment and retention in-depth review be added to the work programme for March 2019
3) clarification on the SEND budget would be provided at ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Ofsted Improvement Plan - Children's Social Care
The Executive Director for Children and Young People introduced the report and set out the background for the benefit of new members of the committee.
The Committee heard that:
· The Director of Children’s Social Care, Stephen Kitchman, was leaving imminently and an interim post holder had been found pending recruitment of a permanent replacement.
· A revised Ofsted improvement plan would come to committee, and it was suggested that the committee allow a substantial slot on the agenda to allow for proper consideration of the plan.
· A thematic joint targeted area inspection and an interim short or full inspection was anticipated for the autumn
· The original Ofsted improvement plan had been implemented but officers felt there was room for improvement, which was why a new plan was being prepared.
1. That the report be noted
2. That an item entitled “New Ofsted Improvement Plan” be added to the work programme.
The Chair invited Members to suggest items for the work programme, including topics for indepth review.
The following in-depth review topics were suggested:
· Early Years provision – this had been looked at by the committee in the past. Officers were revising the Early Help strategy which could incorporate early years and adolescent provision. It was noted that children’s centres could be vulnerable in the autumn budget.
· Obtaining Education Health Care Plans – an Educational psychologist had been recruited and the backlog was reducing. Currently around 80% of applications were being dealt with on time, which is good for London but the target is 100% on time. EHCPs could be incorporated in the SEND strategy.
· Out of borough placements - the Children’s Social Care Sufficiency Strategy, scheduled for consideration on 5 September, would cover out of borough placements
· Asylum seeking children
· Home schooled children
· School exclusions and alternative provision
· Child safeguarding - the committee receives a report on Safeguarding every 6 months. The committee felt that this was sufficient coverage of safeguarding.
· Children’s social care staffing.
After discussion, it was RESOLVED that:
· Report on Children’s Centres would be added to the work programme for September 18
· The committee would look at school exclusions for its in-depth review
· The committee would look at serious youth violence jointly with Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee at a meeting of Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee on 4 February 2019
· The SEND strategy, which would be considered in December 2018, would also address lead in times for obtaining EHCPs
· New Ofsted Improvement Plan to be added to work programme
Referrals to Mayor and Cabinet
No referrals were made.