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Contact: Michelle Simpson on 0151 511 8708 or e-mail email@example.com
The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2014 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
It was reported that no public questions had been received.
The Board received a report which contained the Minutes relating to the Children, Young People and Families Portfolio, which had been considered by the Executive Board since the last meeting of the PPB.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes be noted.
The Board received a presentation from Michelle Forder, Lead Engagement Officer for Halton Children’s Trust, which outlined the following:
· background and what Michelle was responsible for;
· details of Halton Family Voice, (HFV) and membership;
· Halton Family Network;
· ways in which parents and carers could be involved;
· groups, projects and schemes HFV were involved in;
· HVF was parent led and there was a Healthy Halton event held at children’s centres where parents were involved in the planning;
· good practice examples; and
· future plans.
Arising from discussion of the presentation Members commented on attendance at meetings held in all areas of the Borgouh and were informed of crèche facilities that were available. The Board also discussed health visitors visiting children centres to weigh babies and the possibility of providing immunisations in the centres.
The Chairman thanked Michelle for an informative presentation.
RESOLVED: That the report and presentation be ntoed.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which outlined the progress so far on the new Halton and Children Young People’s Plan (CYPP) 2014-17. The Board also received a presentation from Mark Grady, Principal Policy Officer, Children’s Organisation and Provision, which outlined the following:-
· what a children and young people plan was;
· details of Halton Children’s Trust;
· priorities of the Trust;
· differences within the new plan;
· young people were more involved in developing the plan; and
· statistics and headlines.
It was reported that the CYPP was the joint strategy of the partners within Halton Children’s Trust, which detailed how they would co-operate to improve children’s wellbeing. It represented Halton’s local vision and aspirations for children and young people in the Borough, it provided strategic direction and determined how the Children’s Trust Board would work together to commission services to address locally identified needs and better integrate provision.
Members were advised that Halton’s first CYPP had been published in June 2006. Although it was no longer statutory as of June 2010, the need for a CYPP to remain in place was universally agreed locally in Halton to provide the strategic direction for the continuing Children’s Trust arrangements. Following extensive consultation, the priorities for Halton Children’s Trust for the period 2011-14 were agreed and were set out in the report for information.
It was noted that in autumn 2013 it had been agreed to develop a new CYPP to frame the work of the Trust from 2014. On this basis a working group was established from November 2013 to develop the plan based around the agreed priorities which were detailed in the report for consideration.
Arising from discussion of the report Members noted the following:-
· with the new plan being more web based it would be a living document and could be updated in terms of performance reporting when necessary;
· closing the gap tied in closely with the NEET priority;
· how services would be carried out in light of staff redundancies at Riverside College; and
· traineeship and apprenticeship schemes at Riverside.
The Chairman thanked Mark for an informative presentation.
RESOLVED: That the Board
1) note the contents of the report; and
2) supports further development of the new CYPP prior to launch in April 2014.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which provided the final draft Directorate Business Plan for approval.
It was reported that each Directorate of the Council was required to develop a medium-term business plan, in parallel with the budget, that was subject to annual review and refresh. It was reported that whilst providing a Directorate context each of the Directorate Business Plans would contain appendices which identified specific Departmental activities and performance measures and targets that would provide a focus for the on-going monitoring of performance throughout the 2014-15 financial year.
It was further noted that the key priorities for development or improvement for the various functional areas reported to this Board were considered by the Board at a special meeting held on 19 November 2013.
The priorities for the Directorate proposed for the Business Plan 2014-17 were set out in the report for information.
RESOLVED: That the Board:-
1) Note the contents of the report; and
2) Approve the Directorate Business Plan.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which provided an update on issues in relation to Halton’s care leavers.
It was reported that the Leaving Care Act (2000) defined the duties of a local authority towards those young people who left its care, and those duties varied depending upon their age when they entered care and the length of time they were in care. Set out in the report were the four categories under the Act.
It was noted that dependent upon their category, the leaving care services provided to the young people could include pathway planning, assessment and review, financial support, accommodation, provision of a Personal Advisor, assistance with employment, education and training advice and guidance.
Members were advised that in Halton care leaving services were currently being provided to 66 young people. The report further set out the key challenges, impacts changes to the benefits system was having on care leavers and the charter for Care Leavers which had been approved and was appended to the report for information. A ‘Moving on’ booklet had also been reissued to care leavers to explain some of the services available to them when they left care.
Arising from discussion of the report Members queried the breakdown of care leavers that were not engaged in training or employment and requested that future reports provide more detail in this area.
RESOLVED: That the report and comments made be noted.
The Board received a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which informed Members of Halton’s position in relation to the Adoption Scorecard, which was published on 14 January 2014.
It was reported that this was the third set of Adoption Scorecards produced by the DfE since May 2012. The scorecard was appended to the report for information and covered the three year period to March 2013, therefore it shifted the three year average forward from 2009-12 to 2010-13.
Members were advised that the thresholds had become increasingly challenging, only 36 local authorities had been successful in meeting both thresholds on the scorecard, compared to 71 in 2012. Both thresholds were detailed in the report for information.
It was noted that Halton had met both thresholds and only five authorities in the North West achieved A1 and four authorities achieved A2. There were however only two authorities in the region who achieved both indicators, Halton and Cheshire West and Chester.
The Board was advised that on a national basis, Halton was ranked 22nd on threshold A1 and 24th on threshold A2. It was further noted that the thresholds would continue to reduce over the next three years to 2016, which would be very demanding.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children Young People and Families, which informed Members of the newly developed Learning and Achievement Strategy, and sought comments prior to implementation. In addition the report outlined which actions were being taken to ensure the School Improvement Service was prepared in the event of an Ofsted Inspection.
It was reported that the framework for the inspection of Local Authority arrangements for supporting school improvement was published in May 2013 and since the publication of the framework, several local authority school improvement services had been inspected.
The inspection reports identified strengths, particularly where local authorities had intervened successfully in schools as risk of being judged inadequate by Ofsted. The key themes identified in areas for development in most inspection reports had been the lack of a well understood, strategic approach to building a sustainable model for school improvement, and within it a coherent approach for school to school support.
It was reported that the strategy did not apply to Academies or Free Schools, however should concerns arise about those schools, consideration would be given about notifying the Regulator, Ofsted.
The report further set out details of School Improvement Capacity, which set out information regarding Teaching Schools. In Halton the first teaching school (The Heath) had mostly outstanding schools and Wade Deacon would be approved soon. Members were advised in both Teaching Schools the local authority was a named strategic partner.
Appended to the report for information was the Learning and Achievement Strategy and Halton School Improvement survey. Members were further advised of the next steps and the financial implications.
The Board discussed the recent rating at Sandymoor Free School which was rated “good” and queried whether lessons could be learned from that school. In response it was noted that Halton could look at the inspectors report’s to ascertain if there were any good practices in that school. There were also secondary Headteacher meetings where all Headteachers from the Borough were invited and could discuss ways of good practice. Members requested that Headteacher’s from Academies and the Free School be invited to the School Development Panel.
RESOLVED: That the Learning and Achievement Strategy for Halton be noted and presented to the Executive Board for approval.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Policy and Resources, which provided progress against service objectives and milestones, and performance targets that provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during the period.
It was reported that key priorities for development or improvement in 2013-16 were agreed by Members and included in Directorate Plans, for the various functional areas reporting to the Board as detailed below:-
· Children and Family Services;
· Learning and Achievement; and
· Children’s Organisation and Provision.
Arising from the report the following points were highlighted / noted:
· in relation to Missing from Home, there was new guidance from the Department for Education that would include a process for children and young people that were absent;
· Members requested a report be brought to a future meeting from the findings of the working group lead by the Police which looked at Child Sexual Exploitation and Missing from Home;
· there had been an increase in sixth form provision in the Heath School and Ashley School and Sandymoor Free School would soon have post 16 provision;
· concerns were raised regarding excessive sixth form provision in the Borough, and whether minimal courses and resources would be provided. Furthermore Members felt that attendance at Riverside college could suffer as a result of this; and
· with regards to Children in Care the Board were provided with a more detailed breakdown of where children were placed, and requested that this detail be provided in future reports.
RESOLVED: That the second quarter performance management reports and comments made be noted.