4.1 Luke Sorba, Chair of the Children and Young People Select Committee introduced the report to the Committee and highlighted the draft recommendations in the report. In the discussion that followed, the following points were raised:
4.1.1A member of the Committee commented that an additional recommendation recognizing the excellent work taking place in some schools and suggesting this good practice should be shared and replicated in other schools should be included.
4.1.2Members of the Committee requested an additional recommendation be added that the information from Shelter in Appendix D on page 101 of the report should be updated to ensure accuracy and circulated to all schools in the borough.
4.1.3In particular it was highlighted that references to “Connexions” should be removed as well as the information being thoroughly checked to ensure it was fully up to date. It was suggested that Shelter could be contacted as they may have a more up to date version available. It was felt that the addition of this recommendation would therefore encompass the point around good practice being emulated.
4.1.4The Committee agreed that it would be good to strengthen the wording of recommendation 5 as it was really negative for children to have to share bathrooms, kitchens or toilets with strangers. Lewisham currently had 61 families in this position. The Housing Team should look at the prioritization process to ensure this did not happen.
4.1.5There were 2250 households including 4500 children in temporary accommodation in Lewisham.
4.1.6The Chair reminded the Committee that once recommendations were made to the Mayor and Cabinet, the Committee would receive an initial response and then a 6-month update.
4.1.7The Committee’s focus on consultation and engagement with residents was used to shape recommendation 7.
4.1.8Members of the Committee suggested adding an additional recommendation for a post looking at the welfare of children who are schooled in Lewisham but place outside the borough.
4.1.9The Director of Education said it should be Children and Young People Directorate and not Children’s Social Care listed in recommendation 3. This was agreed by the Committee.
4.1.10 Recommendation 5 should be amended to add “This is because” and then list the reasons as listed in the report such as attainment.
4.1.11 The Chair announced that Lewisham Homes was working with Goldsmiths University and St Dunstan’s School to provide homework clubs for children in temporary accommodation in Lewisham. There was a pilot due to start in March.
4.2 RESOLVED that the following recommendations should be amended:
1 Recommendation 3 should be amended to read “Children and Young People Directorate” instead of “Children’s Social Care”
2 Recommendation 5 should be amended to add the additional sentence as follows: “This is because
4.3 RESOLVED That the following additional recommendations be added to the Committees report:
1) That the information from Shelter in Appendix D on page 101 of the report should be updated to ensure accuracy and circulated to all schools in the borough.
2) That an additional post be created focused on looking at the welfare of children who are schooled in Lewisham but placed outside the borough.