Agenda and draft minutes

Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 20th January, 2022 7.00 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bury, BL9 0SW

Contact: Chloe Ashworth  Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

1.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

 

 

Councillor Steve Wright declared a personal interest in all items under consideration as his partner is employed in a school in the Borough.

 

Councillor Nick Jones declared a personal interest in all items under consideration as a school governor in the Borough.

2.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 402 KB

Minutes from the meeting held on 4 November 2021 are attached.

Minutes:

It was agreed:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 4th November 2021 be approved.

3.

MATTERS ARISING

Minutes:

Written responses will be provided to Cllr Lancaster and emailed to all scrutiny members in respect of:

 

The numbers of attendees at the fit and fed scheme across the Borough. (Including those attending during May half term)

 

The retention of 4 new caseworker and managers.

4.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS pdf icon PDF 249 KB

A period of 30 minutes has been set aside for members of the public to ask questions on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

Minutes:

 

 

 

Notice had been received of 5 questions. The Chair gave an undertaking that the questions and responses would be made available on the Council Web Site, following the meeting.

 

Questioner

Topic

Responding

Andrew Luxton

Ofsted

Cllr Tariq

Emmajane Okocha

SEND

Cllr Tariq

Emma Scott (not present)

Epilepsy nurse

Cllr Tariq

Jack Turner (not present)

Early Break

Cllr Tariq

Ermen Trout(not present)

First Point Family Support Services

Cllr Tariq

April Fenton

Virtual Head Report

Cllr Tariq

Kiera Delany

SEND provision

Cllr Tariq

 

5.

MEMBER QUESTION pdf icon PDF 130 KB

A period of up to 15 minutes will be allocated for questions and supplementary questions from members of the Council who are not members of the committee. This period may be varied at the discretion of the chair.

Minutes:

 

 

 

Notice had been received of 5 questions. The Chair gave an undertaking that the questions and responses would be made available on the Council Web Site, following the meeting.

 

Questioner

Topic

Responding

Cllr Bernstein

Ofsted

Cllr Tariq

Cllr Harris

Recruitment and Retention of Staff in Children’s Services

Cllr Tariq

Cllr N Jones

Ofsted

Cllr Tariq

Cllr J Rydeheard

Virtual School

Cllr Tariq

Cllr Caserta

Social Work Academy

Cllr Tariq

 

6.

INSPECTION OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES pdf icon PDF 373 KB

A report from the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

 

Following consideration of the Ofsted report at Cabinet, Councillor Tamoor Tariq, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills, presented the report which informed Cabinet of the findings of an Ofsted inspection of the Council’s children’s services. The inspection found the services to be inadequate. The report explained the form of intervention by the Secretary of State for Education and the action already taken to implement improvements. The report provided details of the framework for the Improvement Plan which the Council will submit to the Department for Education by 31st March 2022.

 

A copy of the Inspection report and improvement plan had been circulated to Members ahead of the meeting and in considering the report and the Cabinet Member’s statement the following comments and issues were raised:

 

Responding to a question from the Chair, the Cabinet Member reported that he and the Director of Children’s Services (DCS) met with staff in Children’s Services following the publication of the Ofsted report, to provide assurance, to thank them for their hard work and to discuss any issues they may have.  Following this meeting further meetings have been scheduled as well as a walking the floor event, to enable staff to raise any concerns with the Cabinet Member and the DCS.

 

Responding to concerns raised by Members in respect of the financial resources required to fund the improvement work; the Cabinet Member reported that additional resources would be made available to Children’s Services.  In order to address the inadequate Ofsted inspection, the Cabinet Member reported a whole system response is required across all of the different Council departments.

 

The DCS reported that following the Ofsted inspection findings work has already commenced to address the issues and concerns raised including, a sector led improvement programme.

 

Responding to a Members question the DCS reported that a quality assurance framework has been developed to review and system check the work undertaken by social workers.

 

The Cabinet Member reported that he welcomes the interest the Scrutiny Committee has taken in reviewing the Ofsted report. Following the notice of motion considered at Council last night he will ensure that update reports in respect of the improvement plan will be considered at Cabinet, Council and this Scrutiny Committee and would also ask that the Improvement Board minutes be shared with Elected Members.

 

Responding to a Member question the Cabinet Member acknowledged that there are staffing issues with the Social worker disability team, including the over reliance of agency staff; the development of a work force plan will seek to address this issue.

 

The Cabinet Member reported that school staff play a significant part in Safeguarding children, the relationships between the local authority and the schools in the Borough has improved considerably.

 

Responding to a question from a co-opted Member in respect of support for social workers, the Cabinet Member reported that a new social retention and recruitment process for social workers has been developed, as well as financial incentives, reduction in caseloads and a plan to reduce the reliance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

BURY VIRTUAL SCHOOL ANNUAL REPORT pdf icon PDF 469 KB

A report from the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills.

 

Minutes:

Following consideration of the report at the Corporate Parenting Board, Councillor Tamoor Tariq, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills, presented the Virtual School Annual Report. A key priority last year was to improve completion rates of PEPs (Personal Education Plans) which review the education and support for Children in Care on an individual basis.

 

A copy of the report had been circulated to Members ahead of the meeting and in considering the report and the Cabinet Member’s statement the following comments and issues were raised:

 

In response to a Member’s question, the Director of Education and Skills reported that in regards to the development of a seven day a week integrated bespoke service for SEND the Council would certainly be interested in exploring the possibility of this as a service.     

 

Members discussed the lack of availability of work experience placements for all students due to the pandemic.  The Director of Education and Skills reported that work is underway to develop an enhanced work experience offer.

 

The Director of Education and Skills reported that the role of the virtual head teacher is expected to expand to include all children and young people known to children’s social care.  It is hoped this will build on the good work the virtual school has achieved in improving attendance and reducing exclusions for LAC.

 

It was agreed:

 

The Director of Education and Skills will provide an update to a future meeting in respect of the enhanced work experience offer.

The Virtual HeadTeacher will share once available, the proposals in respect of the extension of the scope of the Virtual School.

8.

DEFIBRILLATORS IN SCHOOLS - For Information pdf icon PDF 142 KB

A report from the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills.

 

Minutes:

 

 

 

It was agreed:

 

Paul Cooke will provide an update at the next meeting in respect of where Defibrillators are situated across the Borough.

9.

WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Attached is the work programme for 2021/22.