Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting via MS teams

Contact: Kelly Sutherland 

Media

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.  No apologies had been received.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dominic Barnes declared that his wife worked for a grammar school in Buckinghamshire.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 647 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 29th September 2020 as a correct record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was agreed that the name of the person who had submitted the public questions be added to the minutes; future minutes would also include the name of the person who submitted the question(s). 

ACTION:  Mrs K Sutherland

 

The actions of the previous minutes were reviewed:

·       Mrs Sutherland had amended the previous minutes.

·     Item 5 Chairman’s Update - The presentation had been circulated to the committee members.

·     Item 7 SEND Improvement Plan - Mr James had provided a response to Councillor Stuchbury on whether there was a waiting list for speech therapy.  Mrs Sutherland agreed to circulate the response to the committee members.

ACTION:  Mrs Sutherland

·     The Chairman and Mr James had discussed the timeframe of the possible agenda item on the forward plan.

·     It was agreed that councillors would be referred to as ‘Councillor’ in future minutes.

 

RESOLVED:  The minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2020 were AGREED as an accurate record subject to the amendments mentioned above.

4.

Public Questions

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Minutes:

There were no public questions.

5.

Chairman's Update

For the Chairman to update the Committee on any Scrutiny related activity since the last meeting.

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Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the Select Committee was very fortunate to have Mr Mark Skoyles, the primary school representative and Ms Clare Pease, the secondary school representative, as co-opted members to assist with education scrutiny matters.  Mr Skoyles and Ms Pease had served previously and were welcomed back to the Committee.

 

In response to an update on a councillor’s request to move the Children’s and Education Select Committee meeting to the evening; the Chairman advised that all the meeting dates were agreed by the Shadow Authority and these committee meetings were arranged in the afternoon.

6.

Family Support Service - One Year on pdf icon PDF 1006 KB

The Committee will receive an update on and review progress of the Family Support Service, a new Early Years model which was introduced in September 2019.

 

Contributors:

Mr Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

Mrs Anita Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Mr Tolis Vouyioukas, Corporate Director for Children’s Services

Mr Simon James, Service Director, Education

Mr Gareth Morgan, Head of Early Help

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Councillor Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Anita Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Mr Tolis Vouyioukas, Corporate Director for Children’s Services Mr Gareth Morgan, Head of Early Help and Mr Simon James, Service Director, Education.

 

Councillor Shaw advised that it had been agreed, by cabinet decision in March 2019, that a Family Support Service (FSS) be provided.   The FSS launched on 2 September 2019 and aimed to provide local services to families at the right time.  There were three teams; in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and the Chiltern and South Bucks area whose focus was to improve family resilience and obtain the best outcomes for children and young people.  Positive feedback had been received and the Buckinghamshire Council Improvement Partner, Hampshire County Council, had been impressed with progress to date, bearing in mind the impact of Covid-19.  Over the last year the FSS had seen a 16% increase in people seeking help and advice.  Councillor Shaw expressed his gratitude to all staff over the last year and added that there would a greater sense of concern over children and young people’s wellbeing during the second lockdown.

 

Mr James highlighted the recommendations in the report and emphasised that the focus of the service was to provide the right support at the right time and to intervene as early as possible.  Mr James explained that there was flexibility in the way the service offered its support to families across the county and there were two primary aims for the service; firstly, to support vulnerable families and their children to achieve positive outcomes and, secondly, to make sure that services were integrated wherever possible to improve the resilience of families and the local communities.

 

Between the start of the service and March 2020 the service ran as planned; however, following the first lockdown, the majority of the service was provided by virtual contact.  There was also an online Family Information Service (FIS) to help families self-serve.  77% of the outcomes agreed with families had been achieved and the improvement had been noted by the Improvement Board.  However, there was always scope for improvement and the FSS would continue to focus on three areas:  to ensure that all plans reflected issues across the whole family and were considered in a holistic way; to ensure that a reflective approach was embedded, particularly in connection with supervision and to ensure that the recording and case summaries were always up to date and appropriately detailed.  Performance would be monitored on a monthly and quarterly basis. 

 

The following points were raised during discussion:

 

  • A Member asked for clarification on whether the youth service would be brought back in-house as he reported hearing that young people had nowhere to go. Demand was rising and the Member asked how the service was coping with budget pressures and Covid-19.  Mr Tolis Vouyioukas, Corporate Director, Children’s Services, stated that the family support model included a youth offer targeted to those who needed it most.  The report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Educational Standards pdf icon PDF 620 KB

The Committee will receive and consider the annual report on educational standards and attainment in Buckinghamshire. 

 

Contributors:

Mrs Anita Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Mr Tolis Vouyioukas, Corporate Director for Children’s Services

Mr Simon James, Service Director, Education

Mr Gareth Drawer, Head of Achievement and Learning

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Anita Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills thanked the schools for their work over the last six months and reported that all the schools were currently open; only two schools had had to close for a short period of time.  16 schools had been mildly affected by Covid-19 and there had been 39 reported cases in 85,000 children.  Councillor Cranmer highlighted that the information in the report related to educational outcomes for children and young people in Buckinghamshire for the academic year 2018-2019 and did not include this year’s GCSE results as they would not be reported nationally. Exclusions were still below the national rate and, nationally, Buckinghamshire schools still had a higher than national rating of good and above.

 

Mr James also formally thanked the schools and advised that the purpose of the detailed report was to provide the Select Committee with updated information on educational standards and attainment.  Mr James highlighted the following key points:

  • Buckinghamshire was ranked 6th in the country for good level of development in the Early Years Foundation Stage; the inequality gap had decreased and a higher percentage of Buckinghamshire pupils with an EHCP achieved a good level of development compared with national data.
  • Key Stage One levels for reading, writing and maths were above the national average.  Pupils with an EHCP achieved above national attainment levels in Reading at Key Stage 1. Pupils with SEN Support also achieved attainment levels above the national in reading and writing. 
  • Combined attainment in Reading, Writing and Maths for pupils on SEN Support and those with an EHCP, was above national at Key Stage 2.
  • Key Stage 4 results were above the national, including those with SEN.  Looked after children were also above the national average in reading and writing.
  • Exclusion rates were positive.
  • The percentage of pupils in Buckinghamshire schools rated as Ofsted good or outstanding had increased to 90% in 2019. The national average was 85%.
  • The percentage of children in Buckinghamshire Early Years settings rated as Ofsted good or outstanding had increased to 96% in 2019 and was in line with the national figure.
  • Disadvantaged children remained the highest priority; focus and a clear plan of action would continue to narrow the attainment gap.

 

The following points were raised in discussion:

 

  • Following a query on whether the high exclusion rates for Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) pupils would be addressed; Mr James confirmed that this had been included in the action plan.  Mr Gareth Drawmer, Head of Achievement and Learning, added that BAME, Pakistani heritage and disadvantaged children in rural areas were disproportionately represented and that these three groups were at the heart of the work being carried out.  It was agreed that the outcome of the forthcoming conferences on Narrowing the Gap and monthly workshops be included in the next report to the Select Committee.
  • The Chairman requested an updated figure on the number of children missing from education and whether there had been an increase in elective home education  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 335 KB

The Committee will note the work programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed that the following  items be included on the Select Committee work programme for the meeting on 7 January 2021:

 

  • Children’s Mental Health
  • A report from the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Partnership (if there was no monitoring visit by Ofsted).

 

Following Mr Skoyles’ request for clarification on the youth offer, it was agreed that this would be discussed after the meeting..

ACTION:  Mrs Sutherland

 

Mrs Sutherland advised that a small working group would be set up to carry out initial scoping on the recruitment of social workers.  It was agreed that Mrs Sutherland would circulate an email to the committee members asking for volunteers to contact her.

ACTION:  Mrs Sutherland

 

RESOLVED:  The Children and Education Select Committee NOTED the work programme.

9.

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 7th January 2021 at 2pm

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Thursday 7 January 2021 at 2.00 p.m.