Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Priory House, Monks Walk, Shefford

Contact: Rebecca Preen  0300 300 4193

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Items
No. Item

63.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

 

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 21 November 2017 and to note actions taken since that meeting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 21 November 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

64.

Members' Interests

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Cllr shelvey declared an interest as a director of the Bedfordshire Schools Trust (BEST) due to the mention of Etonbury Academy within the report.

 

65.

Chairman's Announcements and Communications

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

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Chairman advised of a recent restructure within the Executive and that Cllr Hegley would no longer be responsible for Children’s Social Care, with Cllr Dixon assuming responsibility as Executive Member for Families, Education and Children. The Chairman extended formal thanks on behalf of the Committee to Cllr Hegley for her years of service and support.

 

66.

Petitions

 

To receive petitions from members of the public in accordance with the Public

Participation Procedure as set out in Part 4G of the Constitution.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

67.

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 Part

4G of the Constitution.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

68.

Call-In

 

To consider any decision of the Executive referred to this Committee for review in accordance with Part 4D of the Constitution.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

69.

Requested Items

 

To consider any items referred to the Committee at the request of a Member in accordance with Part 4D of the Constitution.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

None.

 

70.

Executive Members' Updates

 

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

 

·                Social Care and Housing

·                Education and Skills and

·                Health

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Executive Member for Families, Education and Children advised the Committee that following the recent Executive restructure there would be a greater focus on families rather than children in isolation. It was hoped that a more holistic approach would yield positive results and appropriate intervention where required.

 

The Deputy Executive Member for Health advised that drug and alcohol services in Central Bedfordshire had been combined with a greater focus on partnership working with mental health services. A report would be delivered to the Committee in due course with regards to children’s mental health.

 

71.

The Proposed Change of Age Range for Southcott Lower School pdf icon PDF 182 KB

 

To receive a report and consider the proposal to change the age range of Southcott Lower School from 49 years to 2-9 years of age.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Head of School Organisation, Admissions and Capital Planning delivered a report which set out the rationale for a change to the age range at Southcott Lower school and the results of a recent consultation which broadly supported the proposals.

 

In light of the report Members discussed the following in summary: -

·           That in the event of a school losing a ‘Good’ OFSTED rating part way through an expansion, school improvements would be prioritised over the expansion.

·           The benefits of schools undertaking a governance scoping review.

·           That nursery provision did not guarantee a child a place in any particular lower school and that parents would need to follow the usual application process.

 

RECOMMENDED: -

1.     That the Committee support the Executive approval of the statutory process for the proposal to change the age range of Southcott Lower School from 4–9 years to 2-9 namely: -

·           Approve publication of the statutory notice

·           Commence formal consultation of at least four weeks

·           Approve that determination for the proposed change be made by the Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, if responses to the formal consultation are favourable. If responses to the formal consultation are not favourable determination to be made by the Executive. agreed as listed and encouraged that schools are looking to increase age range as it provides early years provision.

2.     That all schools be encouraged to increase ages ranges where appropriate in order to meet demand for early years provision.

 

72.

Proposed Change of Age Range for Southill Lower School pdf icon PDF 184 KB

 

To receive a report and consider the proposal to change the age range of Southill Lower School from 49 years to 2-9.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Head of School Organisation, Admissions and Capital Planning delivered a report which set out the rationale for a change to the age range at Southill Lower school and the results of a recent consultation which broadly supported the proposals.

 

RECOMMENDED: -

1.     That the Committee support the Executive approval of the statutory process for the proposal to change the age range of Southill Lower School from 49 years to 2-9 namely:

·           Approve publication of the statutory notice

·           Commence formal consultation of at least four weeks

·           Approve that determination for the proposed change be made by the Executive Member for Education and Skills, if responses to the formal consultation are favourable. If responses to the formal consultation are not favourable determination to be made by the Executive.

2.     That all schools be encouraged to increase ages ranges where appropriate in order to meet demand for early years provision.

73.

The Programme for the Expansion of Henlow Academy pdf icon PDF 93 KB

 

To receive a report and consider and comment on the mitigation measures proposed.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Head of School Organisation, Admissions and Capital Planning delivered a report which provided Members with details of an action plan to mitigate historic problems with the decision making timeline and provision of information relating to the expansion at Henlow Middle School. Members were appraised of the various, but relatively restricted uses of temporary units, and the comparative costs in relation to permanent structures. The original cost estimates presented to Members at an earlier meeting had reduced considerably and the directorate were confident that the project would be delivered within the requisite timescales by working closely with all partners.

 

In light of the report Members discussed the following in summary: -

·           That terminology regarding ‘temporary’ only related to the Pupil Admissions Numbers (PAN) and not classrooms or school buildings, which were permanent structures.

·           That the adoption of the Local Plan in future months would stabilise development proposals and aid accurate planning in relation to the ongoing need for school places in Henlow and the surrounding area.

·           That the use of temporary classrooms was not deemed in the best interests of children.

·           That fluctuations in pupil numbers had partly contributed to the problems the directorate had experienced in securing school expansion at Etonbury Academy. Ensuring accuracy was key to securing sustainable future expansion.

 

RECOMMENDED that the Committee support the proposed mitigations identified in the report to prevent similar issues arising in the future.

 

(Cllr Gurney left the meeting at 10.30am)

(Cllr Ryan left the meeting at 10.47am)

 

74.

Central Bedfordshire Council's Post OFSTED Inspection Action Plan pdf icon PDF 526 KB

 

To receive a report and consider measures to address recommendations raised following a recent OFTED inspection of Children’s Services.

 

The full OFSTED inspection report can be accessed via the following link:-

 

http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/school/ofsted/overview.aspx

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Director of Children’s Services delivered an action plan to address areas of improvement following a recent OFSTED inspection of the service. Several recommendations had been expanded to include a wider remit, not just meeting the minimum requirements set out by the inspector. Members were advised of the need to recruit social workers who understood the holistic approach and new direction of the service, along with the need to support families in order to prevent children entering statutory services. The service had been shortlisted for a national award, the outcome of which would be determined within the coming weeks.

 

The Vice Chairman formally congratulated the directorate for the positive outcome of the OFSTED inspection, with the service categorised as ‘Good’ by the inspector.

 

In light of the report Members discussed the following in summary: -

·           That the action plan appeared thorough and timescales for delivery were reassuring.

·           That, although no child in the care of the local authority had presented as homeless, several older adults who had been through the social care system in the past had experienced periods of homelessness.

·           Clarity around the advice provided to 16-17 year olds in relation to their statutory rights to independent living, with a supported housing scheme the preferred option which Members of the Committee endorsed.

·           That a new recording system would support a collaborative and joined up approach between local authority departments, which included housing options.

 

RECOMMENDED: -

1.     That the Director and Executive Member express the Committee’s view to OFSTED that outdated legislative data in relation to the age whereby young people were supported into independent living be revisited at a national level.

2.     That the action plan and progress report be delivered to the Committee on a bi-annual basis.

 

75.

Work Programme 2017/18 & Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 56 KB

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

That the Committee Work Programme be agreed subject to the following

amendments: -

·           Children’s Mental Health – May 2018

·           The School Organisational Plan – May 2018

·           The First 1000 Days of a Child’s Life (part of the Children and Young People’s Development Plan) – May 2018

·           That the Regional Schools Commissioner be invited to a future meeting in order to better understand how academies were held to account for poor performance – Date TBC

 

(Cllr Gurney returned to the meeting at 10.50am)