Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Watling House, Dunstable

Contact: Paula Everitt  0300 300 4196

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB


To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15 March 2016 and to note actions taken since that meeting.




RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15 March 2016 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Members' Interests

To receive from Members any declarations of interest and of any political whip in relation to any agenda item.





Cllr D Bowater declared an interest as a Board Member of SEPT.



Chairman's Announcements and Communications

To receive any announcements from the Chairman and any matters of communication.





The Chairman expressed his thanks to the outgoing Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee for their work to help the children of Central Bedfordshire. 




To receive petitions from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 2 of Part A4 of the Constitution.









Questions, Statements or Deputations

To receive any questions, statements or deputations from members of the public in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure as set out in Annex 1 of part A4 of the Constitution.










To consider any decision of the Executive referred to this Committee for review  in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.10 of Part D2.  









Requested Items

To consider any items referred to the Committee at the request of a Member under Procedure Rule 3.1 of Part D2 of the Constitution.









Update from Executive Members


To receive a brief verbal update from the Executive Members for:


·         Social Care and Housing

·         Health

·         Education and Skills




The Deputy Executive Member for Children’s Social Care on behalf of the Executive Member for Social Care and Housing, wished to extend her thanks to all staff involved in the Ofsted Joint Targeted Area Inspection.


The Executive Member for Health advised the Committee of the pause in the Health Care Review of Bedford and Milton Keynes hospitals.  Members were also advised of the changing landscape for health that included the introduction of the Strategic Transformation Plans that included Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes hospitals, the Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities.


The Executive Member for Education and Skills advised he would continue the work already underway with schools to help shape the education partnership work to continue the improvement in results and he thanked the previous Executive Member for his five years of work in the education portfolio.




Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Update pdf icon PDF 161 KB


To consider the East London Foundation Trust update on the provision of the CAMHS in Central Bedfordshire and the new service model to be introduced.




The Clinical Director of Children’s Services, East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) introduce a report that outlined the progress made by ELFT in its first year.  Of particular note was the commencement of a single point of access for CAMHS and the introduction of the electronic patient record system.  Work to provide a seamless tiered system of care for patients was also underway.


In light of the report and presentation the Committee discussed the following:-

·         Clarification was sought on the provision of each tier for patients care.    The Director advised the tier system was introduced in the mid 90’s and ELFT would ensure the correct balance of care in tier 2 and 3 was achieved culminating in a seamless service.  ELFT had already achieved a reduction in waiting times and an accessible crisis service.

·         What enhancements had been introduced with the additional funding provided to Mental Health service providers and how were the quality of the services provided quantifiable?  In response Members were advised the Trust had received a 20% rise on the current contract value.  The Trust was held to account by the Clinical Commissioning Group and a local transformation plan was in place to work with partners to provide services that included CHUMS.  The CCG representative also advised that discretionary funding had been provided to ELFT.

·         Who would receive training in schools to recognise children with Mental Health problems?  The Director of Specialist Services (ELFT) advised that schools nominated staff to be trained and this ranged from pastoral care staff, school nurses and family support professionals and trained by a CAMHS worker.

·         A Member raised the importance of teaching young people to identify mental health issues in themselves and others so they could seek early help.  The Director advised an anti stigma campaign had been launched and helped children share their experiences.  ELFT had joined up with Public Health visitors, midwives and other professionals to help identify those in need of help and advice.

·         How was ELFT able to measure outcomes and report these?  In response the Director advised that given the changes and the new look of services being provided, it would take time to get to this point.  ELFT would continue to build resilience, encourage parents to talk to their children about their feelings and raise debate in the community as a whole.


RECOMMENDED that ELFT report back to the November Committee on quarter 1 and quarter 2 performance.




Healthy Child Programme 0-19: Commissioning of services from April 2018 pdf icon PDF 822 KB

To consider the findings from the Health Needs Assessment to inform the future priorities and services for commissioning Community Health Services for Children and Young People in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire and the set of guiding principles and approach for the recommissioning process.




The Executive Member for Health introduced a report that outlined the future priorities, services and proposed joint commissioning arrangements for Community Health Services for children in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – to include the Healthy Child Programme 0-19 Services.  embers were asked to comment on the set of guiding principles and the approach for the recommissioning process.  The Head of Public Health advised that the findings from the Health Needs Assessment and feedback from a major stakeholder event in November 2015 had been used to develop the seven key principles.  It was envisaged the revised commissioning approach would lead to improvements and streamlined services in meeting children’s health needs and the health and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people in Bedfordshire.


A Member raised a concern that there was no new approach outlined in the document and whether the key principles went far enough.  The Head of Public Health advised that there would be more detail in proposed service specifications at subsequent stages of the procurement process, and that the paper focused on the guiding principles and approaches to commissioning for greater integration.  The Head of Public Health advised that it would not be appropriate to redesign all services from scratch, but to ensure that ongoing transformation and improvements were embedded in future commissioning plans with the CCG.  The performance indicators and contract performance arrangements would ensure that services and pathways were monitored in a holistic way and would be evidence based.  The Director of Children’s Services advised that officers were involved in all negotiations with the CCG at all levels and were confident that this would be a unique opportunity to commission services differently, with better outcomes.  The Head of Public Health advised that the new arrangements would ensure that officers retained a clear understanding of the services that were not achieving their targets and would enable comparison of outcomes with neighbouring authorities.


The importance of straight forward access to services and the continuity of staff delivering the services were raised as concerns and the Head of Public Health advised officers would seek assurances from providers in both these areas as part of the commissioning process.


A Member raised the importance of the role of parents that was missing in the report.  The Head of Public Health advised the role of parents, responsibilities and skills was a focus for the commissioning of services, although not specifically referred to in the report.  Services supporting positive and effective parenting skills - from antenatal stages onwards would be built into all commissioning plans and models.



1.    That there is an aligned commissioning process with the CCG.

2.    That a direct correlation between the conclusions and recommendations from the Health Needs Assessment and the re-procurement process be made apparent in the report.

3.    The Executive assure themselves of the working arrangements with the CCG with particular regards to the financials of commissioning.

4.    That adequate monitoring control of the contract be put in place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Peer Review of Arrangements For School Improvement pdf icon PDF 74 KB


Members are requested to consider the focus and process for the Peer Review of Arrangements For School Improvement.


Provide comment on the outcome and recommendations from the Review and the actions being taken to address these, and how these will contribute to the refresh of the Partnership Vision For Education.


Additional documents:



The Director of Children’s Services introduced a report that outlined the findings of a commissioned peer review of support for school improvement.  The Peer Review Team investigated the extent to which schools were engaged in the 5 year vision and how well they understood the joint roles, responsibilities and accountabilities.  A set of recommendations had been provided for all stakeholders and in partnership with the Council.


In light of the report Members raised the following queries:-

·         Concern that the Peer Review key recommendations were not meaningful to schools and whether the authority had the capacity to implement the recommendations.  In response the Director was able to provide examples of work with schools to improve.

·         That it was the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) who was meant to drive improvement in academies and not the Council.  In response, the Director advised it was her role to champion children and challenge schools that under performed.  Members felt that this then highlighted possible deficiencies in the state system of school improvement, if the RSC could not respond to local school needs.

·         That the focus of the White Paper and forced academisation of schools would require a refresh of the Partnership Vision and the endorsement of the RSC.

·         Whether it was appropriate that Multi Academy Trusts were referred to throughout the proposed refreshed Vision rather than alternative models, such as federations.  The Director would reconsider the appropriateness of the model referred to.


In summary Committee expressed an expectation of improvement in schools performance and requested reassurance there was capacity to undertake this role.



1.    That the Executive be requested to assure themselves that sufficient capacity exists in the Council to implement the recommendations of the Peer Review, to hold the system to account, and consider representations to the RSC if it requires assurance in the RSC’s capacity.

2.    The Director considers alternative school model references.

3.    That the Peer Review recommendations be prioritised.

4.    That the vision be condensed to become concise and resemble a plan on a page.

5.    That the Council work in partnership with the Regional Schools Commission to deliver the Vision.

6.    That the Regional Schools Commission be invited to attend a future meeting of the Committee.

7.    That the Partnership Vision refresh be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee.




Ofsted HMI Letter and CBC Response pdf icon PDF 54 KB


To consider and comment on the HMI Ofsted letter sent to the Director of Children’s Services to express concerns about the standard of education in Central Bedfordshire and the Director’s response to Ofsted.2. 


Additional documents:



The Director of Children’s Services advised the Committee of a letter received from Andrew Cook HMI and Regional Director of Ofsted about his concern on the quality of education and the outcomes for pupils in Central Bedfordshire schools and especially:-

·         Low standards attained by pupils at the end of Key Stage 2

·         The poor outcomes for disadvantaged pupils

·         The limited impact in the quality of education and standards


The Director had responded to the Regional Director’s letter and outlined the work underway with partners to raise education standards.


A Member commented that the response to the Regional Director’s letter was defensive and whilst 87% of schools had received a ‘good’ or better rating from Ofsted, exam results continued to be disappointing.  The Director accepted the need to address the issues and would provide the Committee with a breakdown of academy and maintained schools performance and Ofsted judgements for the next meeting. 



1.    That the Committee expects to see positive action to improve performance.

2.    That performance data on academy and maintained school performance and Ofsted judgements be provided to the Committee at the September meeting.




Ofsted Joint Targeted Area Inspection pdf icon PDF 447 KB


To receive a verbal report on the Ofsted Joint Targeted Area Inspections of the Council




The Director of Children’s Services delivered a presentation that provided an overview of the Ofsted Joint Targeted Area Inspection of Children’s Services with theme of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and missing from care, home, education that had been carried out in January 2016. 


The findings of the Inspectors showed a positive outcome for the Children’s Service teams who were ‘championing improvement’.  An Extended Leadership Team with health and police colleagues, led by the Director of Children’s Services, would implement a joint action plan to improve services.  The Police Service had restructured its teams working with vulnerable adults and children.  All partners were committed to delivering the best services for children and would write a post Ofsted action plan to be shared with Ofsted by the end of August.


NOTED the Police capacity issue and funding formula which hampered progress.


RECOMMENDED that the Committee supported the work with partners and led by the Director of Children’s Services and her staff to ensure the safety of vunerable children.




2015/16 Budget Monitoring Outturn report


To receive a presentation regarding the directorate's capital and revenue budget monitoring information outturn for 2015/16. 


Full details of the outturn capital and revenue budget and is available from the Executive papers dated 07June 2016 available from the link below:

Additional documents:



The Director for Children’s Services presented the outturn budget monitoring information for the Children’s Services Directorate and highlighted the 2015/16 provisional Revenue and Capital spend figures.


NOTED the presentation.




Work Programme 2016/17 and Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 64 KB


The report provides Members with details of the currently drafted Committee work programme and the latest Executive Forward Plan.


Additional documents:



NOTED the current draft work programme for the Committee that would be reviewed with the Chairman and Members of the Committee in light of a recent consultation with Members.