Agenda and minutes

Children & Families Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 22nd January, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Charles Yankiah  (0161 474 3206)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 18 December 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 meetings.

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-in items to consider.

4.

Portfolio Performance and Resources - Third Quarter Update Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To consider the Third Quarter Update Portfolio Performance and Resource Report (PPRR) for the Children, Family Services and Education Portfolio. This report focuses on highlights and exceptions in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programme and other key projects since the Mid-Year Report. It includes the latest forecast performance and financial data 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), which was considered by the Committee on 10 July and approved by Cabinet on 23 July 2019.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the recommendations and proposals in the report and to identify how areas of strong performance and good practice can be shared in other service areas.

 

Officer contact: Peter Owston, 0161 474 3274, peter.owston@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A joint report of the Director for Children’s Services and for Education was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the Third Quarter Portfolio Performance and Resources Report for the Children, Family Services and Education Portfolio that focussed on highlights and exceptions in delivering the portfolio priorities, reform programmes and other key projects since the Mid-Year Report. It included the latest forecast performance and financial data for the Portfolio, along with an update on the portfolio savings programme.

 

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: -

 

·         Clarification was sought regarding the Portfolio Summary and the reference to the Greater Manchester Care Leavers Charter (GMCLC). In response, it was commented that the GMCLC was an innovation of a series of projects and practices involving Stockport Family and ten Local Authorities to share best practice and learn from each other. It was also to support care leavers, children’s homes and foster carers, which resulted in the Charter being developed. A number of steps had already been taken regarding council tax exemptions, housing and access to health professionals and free prescriptions, but also includes access to employment and employment advice and support for care leavers.

·         Clarification was sought relating to Priority 1 and the percentage of Free School Meals eligible children achieving a “good level of development” at the end of “Early Years Foundation Stage” (EYFS) and what was being done to improve the targets. In response, it was commented that a series of changes had been flagged and work to improve had already started but it would take about 3-5 years to see any improvements, however some of the bigger issues were around speech and language therapy. There had been some additional funding provided by Greater Manchester with particular focus and dedication to the EYFS which was a very important opportunity to continue the work across all Local Authorities and to work through the home learning environment. Work was also underway to empower parents through the Empowering Communities Programme to provide parental confidence and improve care of confidence.

·         Clarification was sought relating to Priority 2, the Poverty Proofing Project and what changes and improvements were being made as part of the budget process. In response, it was commented that the small project would be scaled up and expanded to other schools in Stockport with awareness being raised around the language being used in classrooms by teachers to take into account the impact of poverty on the children in the classroom and the stigma that can be attached. As a result, discussions were being held with Headteachers and the University of Manchester to undertake a research led project into pupils and poverty that would be fed back to the project and the schools involved.

·         More detail was requested relating to Priority 4, Stockport Area Partnership and achieving the Quality Lead of Youth Justice Award. In response, it was commented that the particular standard relating to the award “drills down” to the extent to which the young people were known to the Youth Offending Service in terms of “special educational needs” or “disabilities” and how well equipped the responsive services were to meet those young people’s needs. It was noted that not many Youth Offending Services around the country had achieved this, so it was really something to be proud of having achieved the quality standard required.

·         Clarification was sought relating to Priority 3, Healthy Weight and why there was an absence of community based interventions support for overweight and obese children below the age of five years. In response, it was commented that the information would be sought from Public Health and shared with the Committee via email following the meeting.

·         Clarification was sought relating to Priority 2, Performance Indicators for Key Stage 4 and the slight reduction in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Schools Funding Settlement and Local Funding Formula 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 270 KB

To update the Cabinet on the key announcements made by the Department for Education (DfE) on the education funding settlement for 2020/21.

 

To approve the local funding formula models to be used to determine the individual 2020/21 budgets for early years providers and schools in Stockport.

 

The Scrutiny Committee is invited to comment on the proposals and recommendations presented within the report.

 

Officer contact: Peter Hughes, 0161 474 3947, peter.hughes@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A joint report of the Director of Children’s Services and the Borough Treasurer was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the key announcements made by the Department of Education (DfE) on the education funding settlement for 2020/21.

 

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: -

 

·         The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) allocation would continue to be provided in four notional blocks following the Ministerial announcement in December 2019 with the first phase of the additional £13b nationally being invested from 2021, with £2.6b in the first year being invested nationally, which according to the national funding formula model represented an approximate 4% uplift.

·         Stockport would see a baseline DSg allocation rising from £223m to about £238m as outlined in the report.

·         The School’s Budget with its own funding formula model for both primary and secondary schools would continue to be adopted for 2021 following consultation with the Schools Forum.

·         Further details were awaited from the DfE relating to the next level of structure for the national funding formula which is being planned to move to a “hard national funding formula” where the local authority had limited flexibility.

·         Regarding the school’s block announcement for 2021, there would be a rise of about £11m for Stockport due to an increase in pupil numbers and new minimum funding levels.

·         The Schools Forum had confirmed that a central reserve of about £450k will be held to deal with any infant class size issues.

·         Any schools that received a reduction in their budget share as a result of either a fall in pupil numbers or a change in pupil profile would be supported by a minimum funding guarantee protection.

·         Clarification was sought regarding the £450k reserve and if any forecasting had been done. In response, it was commented that an amount of funding was set aside each year based upon what had been requested in the previous year together with data and trends information, so it was known which schools would need support.

·         Clarification was sought regarding the Early Years Single Funding Formula and the detail regarding what it was used for. In response it was commented that it was used to support staff and provide training with statutory regulation updates and to co-ordinate the programmes across the borough and it was a statutory requirement to have an SEND Inclusion Fund specifically for the 3-4 year old age group.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Agenda Planning pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider a report of the Democratic Services Manager.                                                          

 

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: Charles Yankiah,   0161 474 3206 , charles.yankiah@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 Scrutiny Committee’s next meeting and Forward Plan items which fell within the remit of the Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.