Agenda and minutes

Children & Families Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 10th July, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Stephen Fox  (0161 474 3206)

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 June 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 4 June 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Call-In

To consider call-in items (if any).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no call-ins to consider.

4.

Portfolio Performance and Resources - Draft Portfolio Agreements 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To consider a report of the Director of Children’s Services.

 

The report presents the draft 2019/20 Agreement for the new Children, Family Services and Education Portfolio for consideration and comment by the Committee.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: Thomas Plant on Tel: 218 1538 or email: thomas.plant@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Children’s Services submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider the draft portfolio agreements for 2019/20 for the Children, Family & Education Services portfolio. The draft Portfolio Agreements had been developed to articulate the Cabinet’s priorities as set out in the 2019/20 Council Plan and Medium Term Financial Plan and would provide the basis of the quarterly Portfolio Performance and Resource Monitoring Reports.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children, Family & Education Services (Councillor Colin Foster) attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·           There was discussion about early years related activity, including the ongoing roll-out of the reorganisation of early years through the Start Well service; a refresh of the school readiness strategy and steering group to develop a improve foundation stage outcomes; a bid to Greater Manchester Early Opportunities Fund to target early language development.

·           Assurance was sought that there was sufficient capacity available to support the guaranteed training opportunities for school leavers. In response, assurance was given that the Work and Skills Board had a clear priority to ensure that the offer could be delivered.

·           Councillors asked questions about the Council’s response to the CQC/ Ofsted inspection of SEND Services. In response, the development of the Written Statement of Action, overseen by the SEND Improvement Board, was highlighted. This work was being monitored fortnightly, accountable to the Health & Wellbeing Board, and supported by additional resources to improve joint working between partners.

·           There was a discussion about the reasons for the high numbers of children in Stockport with an Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP) compared to statistical neighbours and whether this reflected higher need or differing processes. Stockport had always been an outlier for Statements of Education Need, but following the SEND Review it was anticipated that the total numbers would reduce as partners would improve early intervention through integrated working prior to EHCP assessment. Working more closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group would allow for better analysis of likely need. It was suggested that parents often felt that they needed to purse an EHCP to ensure appropriate support and any efforts to reduce the need for such steps would be welcomed. It was also commented that parental feedback was vital to service planning and improvement and that PIPS had a place on the SEND Improvement Board and parents were involved in most of the work streams.

·           In relation to the SEND Review findings in relation to leadership and the challenges of improving that, it was commented that this reflected the need for greater leadership across the locality, from all stakeholders, including head teachers. The aim was to bring more individual organisation leadership into alignment. The challenge this presented was acknowledged.

·           It was confirmed that the review of SEND Transport was progressing well.

·           Concern was expressed that schools did not routinely test for dyslexia and similar conditions that meant young people were not getting support, with some parents having private assessments in order to access additional support. This reinforced the disparity in support for children of differing backgrounds.

·           Councillors stressed the importance of early intervention and ideally prevention to reduce the likelihood of poor mental health and reduce demand on CAMHS services. A general focus on wellbeing, partly but not exclusively about mental health, was a good example of the preventative approach, but the varied activity being undertaken to support that needed to complement each other. Other examples included a Greater Manchester pilot on Mentally Healthy Schools. A significant number of referrals to CAMHS / Health Young Minds once would not necessarily benefit from these types of acute interventions, so having a tier of integrated support beneath that was the aim, such as the iThrive programme.

·           The disproportionate impact on attendance of a small number of persistent absentees was highlighted, and assurances were given that best practice in other areas was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Ludworth School Expansion

(Note: the Chair has agreed for this item to be included on the agenda as a matter of urgency)

 

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

The report sets out the result of consultation undertaken on a proposal to expand Ludworth Primary School from a 1.5 form entry (FE) to a 2FE Primary School. The consultation was undertaken from 11 June 2018 and Friday 6 July 2018 and it is proposed to implement the expansion.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the report and recommend that the Cabinet Meeting approve the proposals.

 

Officer contact: Charlotte Cordingley, 0161 474 4240, Charlotte.cordingley@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Note: the Chair was of the opinion that this item, although not included on the agenda, should be considered as a matter of urgency in accordance with Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 in order that the matter could be considered prior to a decision being taken by the Cabinet)

 

A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to consider a proposal to expand Ludworth Primary School from a 1.5 to a 2 form entry school. The report summarised the outcomes of a consultation exercised carried out in relation to the proposal.

 

The following comments were made / issues raised:

 

·           Disappointment was expressed that there was little reference to the public meeting held with residents at which a number of issues were highlighted that were not included in the report.

·           It was commented that many of the traffic issues in the immediate vicinity needed to be addressed jointly with those experienced at St Mary’s Primary School given its proximity. There had been options discussed with residents and this should be considered as part of the development of these proposals.

·           Further information was requested in relation to staggered starting and finishing times, walking buses and the use of nearby car parks at a nearby Church and Brabyns Park. In response it was stated that many of these issues had been considered in the detailed traffic impact assessment that could be provided to councillors. It was further suggested that this information should be made available to the Cabinet.

·           A suggestion was made that further consideration was needed of the school catchment area to mitigate against children travelling significant distances. The challenges of catchment review were highlighted.

·           A number of options to address or mitigation traffic and parking were suggested, including a school bus, proving time limited no-entry to Pear Tree Close and banning idling engines. An undertaking was given to provide a response to these issues, and it was suggested that there may be legislation coming forward in relation to idling.

·           It was commented that traffic problems existed at many schools across Stockport, but problems had been experienced at this location for 30 years. It was a challenge to balance the need for extra school places and the impact on neighbours, and it may not be possible to mitigate traffic and parking entirely. It was also suggested that this proposal would not resolve the difficulties at this location.

·           Clarification was sought on the likely demand for reception places given falling roles. In response it was stated that in the Marple and Heatons areas there was anticipated to be an increase in demand in 2020, although demand was stabling elsewhere. It was also commented that this proposal was the latest iteration of a long-term programme in Marple and elsewhere to address school capacity.

·           The need for school places in Marple was acknowledged, but the importance of involving residents in a meaningful way was stressed given the understandable concerns about parking and traffic.

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Scrutiny Review Topic Selection and Scrutiny Work Programme 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

The report presents suggestions for Scrutiny Review topic selection in 2019/2020 and for scrutiny work programming building on the recommendations of the Undertaking Scrutiny in Stockport Review undertaken by the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee in 2018/2019.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to select scrutiny review topics for 2019/2020.

 

Officer Contact: Stephen Fox on Tel: 0161 474 3206 or email: stephen.fox@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Scrutiny Committee to make suggestions for Scrutiny Review topics in 2019/2020 for inclusion in the scrutiny work programming. The report incorporated recommendations of the ‘Undertaking Scrutiny in Stockport Review’ undertaken by the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee in 2018/2019.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

 

(2) That the Scrutiny Coordination Committee be recommended to include the following topic in the Scrutiny Work Programme 2019/20:-

 

- Supporting young people’s mental wellbeing and developing resilience

 

(3) That the Panel for the review include the following councillors:

 

Councillors Linda Holt (Lead); Laura Clingan, Yvonne Guariento, Becky Senior.

7.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

The report outlines planned agenda items for consideration at future meetings of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report and suggest items for consideration at future meetings.

 

Officer Contact: Stephen Fox on Tel: 0161 474 3206 or email: stephen.fox@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Deputy Chief Executive submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out planned agenda items for the next meeting and relevant entries in the Cabinet Forward Plan.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the report be noted.

 

(2) That the Deputy Chief Executive be make arrangements for agenda items for the following items:-

 

·         iThrive

·         Empowering Parents Empowering Communities (EPEC)

·         Looked After Children population