Agenda and minutes

REMOTE & INFORMAL, Children, Families, Lifelong Learning & Culture Select Committee - Monday, 17 January 2022 10.00 am

Venue: REMOTE & INFORMAL MEETING

Contact: Benjamin Awkal, Scrutiny Officer  Email: benjamin.awkal@surreycc.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

1/22

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

    To report any absences and substitutions.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Fiona White.

    .

     

2/22

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING: 13 DECEMBER 2021 pdf icon PDF 576 KB

    To review the minutes of the previous meeting. The minutes will be formally agreed as a true and accurate record of proceedings at the next public meeting of the Select Committee.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    It was noted that a Member had requested that the Cabinet Member for Communities’ commitment to email her regarding the lift in Guildford Library be added to the minutes.

     

3/22

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter:

          I.        Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

        II.        Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

     

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    None received.

     

4/22

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 193 KB

    To receive any questions or petitions.

    Notes:

    1.    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (Tuesday, 11 January).

     

    2.    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting(Monday, 10 January)

     

    3.    The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

     

    The public retain their right to submit questions for written response, with such answers recorded in the minutes of the meeting; questioners may participate in meetings to ask a supplementary question. Petitioners may address the Committee on their petition for up to three minutes. Guidance will be made available to any member of the public wishing to speak at a meeting.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Tina Benjamin, Director – Corporate Parenting

    Matt Ansell, Director – Family Resilience and Safeguarding

    Liz Mills, Director – Education and Lifelong Learning

     

    1. A question had been received from a resident, Maria Esposito.

     

    1. As a supplementary question, the questioner asked what happened when there the systems in place failed. She added that systems were prone to failure and that the boundaries of services were not joined up.

     

    1. The Director for Corporate Parenting responded that there was little that could be added to the written response as it described the systems in place. She apologised for the occasions where failures had occurred.

     

    1. A question had been received from Fiona Davidson.

     

    1. Asking a supplementary question, the Member queried whether November 2020 was the latest data available.

     

    1. The Director for Family Resilience and Safeguarding apologised for the typographical error and explained that the data was from November 2021.

     

    1. A second question had been received from Fiona Davidson.

     

    1. The Member, as a supplementary question, highlighted that data provided in response to an action from the October 2021 meeting of the Select Committee showed that approximately 51% of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans were completed in the south west quadrant, whereas data in the answer to her current question showed a decline in timeliness. The Member asked whether improvement had occurred, as the narrative in the response to her question stated.

     

    1. The Director for Education and Lifelong Learning replied that improvement had taken place, although there was a dip in performance in the autumn term, which was explained in the answer. The Director added that a report on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) was to come to the Select Committee in April 2022, when further information could be provided on performance improvements. 

     

    1. The Member highlighted that data had been requested as part of a supplementary question at the meeting of the Select Committee in December 2021 and had not yet been provided. The Chairman noted this and requested that it be followed up by officers.

     

5/22

INCLUSION, POST-16 DESTINATIONS AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT pdf icon PDF 637 KB

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    Purpose of the report:

     

    This report seeks to provide oversight of the current position in relation to:

     

    • Our work on Inclusion in relation to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) activity we are undertaking and the activities that are supporting schools and other educational settings to be more inclusive
    • The alternative provision offer within Surrey for compulsory school age pupils
    • The current position of the post-16 rate of participation in education, training and employment (and subsequent proportion of young people who are not in employment education or training, NEET) and
    • The work of Schools Alliance for Excellence (SAfE) in securing school improvement.

     

    Finally, the report considers the challenges and opportunities for local authority (LA) maintained schools in a new education landscape.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Denise Turner-Stewart, Cabinet Member for Education and Learning

     

    Liz Mills, Director – Education and Lifelong Learning

    Tina Benjamin, Director – Corporate Parenting

    Jane Winterbone, Assistant Director – Education

    Sandra Morrison, Assistant Director – Inclusion and Additional Needs

    Maria Dawes, Chief Executive Officer, Schools Alliance for Excellence

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

    1. The Cabinet Member for Education and Learning introduced the report and highlighted that the work described therein was underpinned by the council’s corporate priority that ‘no one is left behind’.

     

    1. A Member sought clarity between the classifications of ‘children missing education’ and ‘children missing full-time education’. The Director for Education and Lifelong Learning explained that a child missing education would not be on the roll of any school, for example if they had moved into the county and were awaiting enrolment. A child missing full-time education would be on the roll of a school but receiving less than 25 hours of education per week; mechanisms were in place to support such children and help them return to school when appropriate. The Assistant Director for Inclusion and Additional Needs added that children with medical needs may be supported by a medical Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). Other children could be supported by the Access to Education Service if, for example, they had a mental health issue. On occasion, as agreed with the parents, a child may attend school on a part-time basis to accommodate specific needs. The Member asked whether a proportion of children missing full-time education was still due to a lack of suitable transport arrangements, as well as the impact of missing full-time education had on children. The Director stated that home to school transport was not a focus of this report but recognised the connection. The Director explained that each individual child would have a learner’s plan and the school would have a responsibility to ensure that their outcomes were in line with their peers. It could be the case that a child’s education would need to be adapted to meet their needs. Leadership and locality teams reviewed the data of these cohorts regularly.

     

    1. A Member asked about how the council monitored the number of children who were electively home educated and their education and safety. The Director for Education and Learning explained that legislation relating to elective home education did not provide the council with all the powers to identify this cohort fully: parents were not obliged to tell the council that they were electively home educating their child, but the council encouraged parents to provide this information. Close monitoring arrangements were in place for children who had been on the roll of a school and withdrawn to receive home education. The Assistant Director for Inclusion and Additional Needs explained that a risk assessment would take place for a child whose parents wished to home educate them and the Service would encourage the parents to keep the child in school. If the parents proceeded with home education, there would be an annual monitoring visit. If  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/22

6/22

CHILDREN'S IMPROVEMENT AND NO WRONG DOOR UPDATE pdf icon PDF 408 KB

    Purpose of the report:

     

    This report provides an update on the improvement of Surrey’s children’s services, an overview of our readiness for a full Ofsted ILACS inspection, a summary of the recent Ofsted Monitoring Visit (September 2021) findings/feedback, our response and any impact on our improvement priorities.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Clare Curran, Cabinet Member for Children and Families

     

    Rachael Wardell, Executive Director – Children, Families and Lifelong Learning

    Tina Benjamin, Director – Corporate Parenting

    Matt Ansell, Director – Family Resilience and Safeguarding

     

    Key points raised in the discussion:

     

    1. The Cabinet Member for Children and Families introduced the report and provided context, noting the key challenges within Children’s Services and the Ofsted inspection taking place between  17 and 28 January 2022.

     

    1. A Member asked why the Corporate Parenting Service was confident, from the work of Creative Solutions, that No Wrong Door (NWD) would be successful. The Executive Director for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning provided an overview of the NWD programme and explained that Creative Solutions was the early work undertaken to think and work differently with young people and families, similar to the approach of NWD. The Director for Corporate Parenting explained that the work of Creative Solutions provided opportunity to train and prepare staff ahead of the introduction of NWD. The North Yorkshire County Council’s NWD accreditation process presented constructive challenge, and this provided reassurance around the success of the model. The Service was well set up in terms of collecting data and understanding the implications of NWD, and colleagues from North Yorkshire County Council would provide support in this area. A Member asked how many of the young people supported by Creative Solutions who did not enter care would have been expected to enter care without that support, and what impact on looked after children numbers was expected of NWD . The Director explained that financial predictions were based on conservative estimates based on data from North Yorkshire County Council’s NWD. Creative Solutions had engaged with 75 children in the last nine months and had finished working with 35 of those children, work with the rest of the children was ongoing. Of this cohort, only two of those children still entered the care system, which was very low compared to figures from previous years.

     

    1. In response to a question on the first NWD hub, the Director for Corporate Parenting shared that the hub was on track to open in January 2022, a staff restructure had been completed and recruitment to additional posts had taken place, whilst there were a few vacancies still to fill, including foster carers. The Member also asked about the progress of the ‘getting to good’ phase of the children’s improvement programme and inspection readiness. The Executive Director explained that the ongoing Ofsted  inspection of Children’s Services would provide an answer regarding service improvement. The compilation of evidence in preparation for the inspection had illuminated the considerable progress made during the previous phase of improvement between the 2018 inspection and 2020 . The Executive Director stated that significant positive feedback had been received regarding improvement, but acknowledged that there were still areas where the Service needed to improve further in order to receive a grading of Good.

     

    1. The Member asked about the challenges of engaging educational settings in Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2) training,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/22

7/22

ACTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER AND FORWARD WORK PLAN pdf icon PDF 318 KB

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    For the Select Committee to review the attached actions and recommendations tracker and forward work programme, making suggestions or amendments as appropriate.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Actions and Recommendations Tracker and Forward Work Plan were noted.

     

8/22

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

    The next public meeting of the Select Committee will be held on Thursday, 7 April 2022.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Select Committee noted that its next meeting would be held on Thursday, 7 April 2022.