Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Stephen Fox (0161 474 3206)
To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2019.
The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 18 September 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair subject to the inclusion of Councillor Charles Gibson in the list of attendees for the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.
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.
To consider call-in items (if any).
There were no call-in items to consider.
To consider a joint report of the Directors of Children’s Services and of Education.
The Mid-Year Portfolio Performance and Resource Report (PPRR) for the Children, Family Services and Education Portfolio is presented for consideration by the Committee. This provides a summary of progress in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects in the first half of the year, with a particular focus on the second quarter (July to September). It includes forecast performance and financial data (where this is available) for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme. This report is based on the 2019/20 Portfolio Performance and Resource Agreement (PPRA).
Scrutiny Committee is asked to:
· consider the Mid-Year Portfolio Performance and Resource Report;
· review the progress against delivering key projects, priority outcomes, targets and budgets for 2019/20;
· highlight key areas of and responsibility for taking forward corrective action to address any performance or resource issues;
· highlight any significant issues or changes to be fed back to the Cabinet alongside the Corporate Performance and Resource Report;
· identify how areas of strong performance and good practice can be shared in other services.
Officer contacts: Gaynor Ward, 0161 474 3186, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gill Dixon, 0161 474 3886, email@example.com
Peter Hughes, 0161 474 3947, firstname.lastname@example.org
A joint report of the Directors for Children’s Services and for Education was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the Mid-Year Portfolio Performance and Resource Report (PPRRs) for the Children, Family Services & Education portfolio (copies of which had been circulated) providing a summary of progress in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programmes and other key projects in the first half of the year, with a particular focus on the second quarter (July to September). The report also included forecast performance and financial data (where this was available) for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programmes.
The Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services & Education (Councillor Colin Foster) attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Scrutiny Committee.
The following comments were made/ issues raised:
· Concerns were expressed about the number of children below expected levels of communication and language development at the end of the early years foundation stage. In response it was reported that the recent LGA Peer Review was seeking to better understand this data as there had been concerted work in this area that had not achieved the expected improvements. An action plan would be developed in response to the Peer Review.
· Clarification was sought on the budgetary ‘gap’ between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 Revenue Budget. An undertaking was made to circulate further detail.
· Clarification was sought on whether European Social Fund resources would be in place until 2021. In response it was stated that funds were secured for the current financial year but no assumptions had been made beyond that.
· Concern was expressed about the risk of not achieving savings requirements given previous deferrals. In response it was stated that due to the complexity of the activities, their interrelatedness and funding streams involved in the delivery of these services, savings needed to be phased. This was accounted for in the budget setting process, and the savings would be achieved over the course of the 2-3 year programme.
· There was discussion of the recruitment of a national attendance consultant to assist schools facing specific challenges with their attendance.
· Councillors welcomed improvement with SEND and the efforts put in by staff across a range of organisations.
· Councillors discussed the new report format and while welcoming brevity, did express concern that some detail had been lost. Concerns were also raised in relation to the consistency of the RAG ratings in the appendix and whether these were being correctly applied to performance that was off target.
· Reference was made to a recent report into the Attainment 8 outcomes and concerns that they were insufficiently contextualised. It was queried whether the data for Stockport was reflective of the wider context. In response it was commented that these particular drawbacks with the data were not unique to Stockport and did not reflect the ‘value added’ and progress from starting point.
· The roll out of knife crime awareness initiatives to primary schools was welcomed. In response, reference was made to recent youth engagement work using reclaimed knives to produce artwork, some of which had been submitted to a competition.
· There was discussion about differential uptake rates of the 2 year old and 3 year old childcare offer. It was commented that the offers were different and that this made comparison different, but an assurance was given that work was taking place to promote uptake.
· Concern was expressed that 34% of children at KS1 in Stockport were not meeting required standards in reading and writing. In response it was commented that there was analysis of this data to inform and target School Improvement resources to address, and that this was being done through the One Voice conversations taking place with schools and their school improvement advisor.
· It was commented that the delay in validated KS4 data was unreasonable given the pressure on implementing new GCSE demands and assurance was sought that activity was not similarly delayed. In ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.
The report sets out planned agenda items for the Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and Forward Plan items that fall within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.
The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the information in the report and put forward any agenda items for future meetings of the Committee.
Officer contact: Jonathan Vali, 0161 474 3201, email@example.com
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 Forward Plan.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.