Agenda and minutes

Children Young People and Families Policy and Performance Board
Monday, 1st June, 2015 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Civic Suite, Town Hall, Runcorn. View directions

Contact: Ann Jones on 0151 511 8276 or e-mail 

No. Item




The Minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2015 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.




The Board was advised that no public questions had been received.



Additional documents:


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 Board, were attached at Appendix 1 for information.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes be noted.


SSP Minutes pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes of the Halton Children’s Trust meeting held on 7 April 2015 were submitted to the Board for information.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes be noted.


Chairman's Annual Report 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Additional documents:


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise which provided Members with the Annual Report outlining the work carried out by the Board and Officers from May 2014 – April 2015.


          The Chairman wished to place on record his thanks to Members and Officers for all their co-operation and hard work carried out throughout the year.


          RESOLVED: That the Annual Report be received and be recommended to Full Council.



Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Presentation


The Board received a presentation on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in the Borough.  CSE was identified when children and young people received incentives such as food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes; or affection, gifts or money, for performing and/or others performing sexual activities on them. 


It was reported that CSE could occur through the use of the internet or on mobile phones.  In all cases, those exploiting the child or young person had power over them because of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or resources.  It was noted that for the victims, the pain of their ordeal and fear that they would not be believed meant they were often too scared to come forward.


The presentation continued to discuss the CSE models: Peer to Peer; Befriending and Grooming; The Boyfriend/Pimp and The Party. Halton’s response to CSE was explained to Members as were the aims and functions of the CSE Team; the Team’s structure and its key objectives.  The presentation also provided Members with case studies as examples of what was currently happening in Halton and explained the difference between children being vulnerable to CSE and/or at risk of CSE.


Members were advised of the PAN-Cheshire Communications that had taken place.  These included focus on social media in January and February and the use of the Cheshire Police Force, Local Authorities and Catch 22 websites to promote the awareness of the know and see website (Catch 22 being the current commissioned service for CSE).  March saw the campaign target taxis and buses and it was announced that the next phase would target the late night economy.


Following Members queries the following points were made:


Barriers with parents existed where they believed that CSE would not happen to their child – how was this being dealt with?


The Schools were consulted over this and they suggested that information be disseminated to parents from the children themselves.  Disclosure occurred through friends of victims and then on from that to other people.  Schools were challenging information that was picked up on immediately and were actively pushing the CSE agenda.


What about young people with learning disabilities, where do they fit in?


Young people with learning disabilities were an area that the team had focused on in respect of awareness raising.  In additions links had already been made with the Adults Safeguarding Board in this regard to engage them in the identification of CSE for vulnerable adults.


There are different cultural ways that people bring up their children, has this been looked at?


Cultural issues were being looked at already in Halton and were considered in assessments undertaken with families, however CSE was a crime and regardless of cultural backgrounds it would be challenged wherever identified. 


          To keep Members informed of CSE activity in Halton, Officers advised that they would receive regular updates via the Board.


RESOLVED:  That the presentation and comments made be received.







Inglefield Short Break Service pdf icon PDF 30 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director, Children and Enterprise, which provided an update of the current usage and capacity of the Inglefield service.


Officers advised that Inglefield was registered by Ofsted as residential short break provision for young people, aged 0 – 18.  It was noted that the service was last inspected in November 2014 for the fifth consecutive key inspection, and deemed to be outstanding in all areas. 


It was reported that Inglefield was on the North West Residential Framework for overnight short breaks which was the only such local authority provision on that framework.  Further it was competitively priced and had received positive feedback from placing authorities and families.


With regards to its current usage, in January 2014, there were 10 young people accessing the service (one from another local authority).  In April 2015 there were 22 young people accessing the service, including three young people from other authorities.  Officers advised that in order to meet the demand, Inglefield used some of the income from other placing authorities to provide an additional 4 nights opening per month.  The service was therefore now operational for 5 nights and 7 nights on alternate weeks.  It was noted therefore that on this basis, all requests for a service for Halton young people were currently met.  However requests for service from other local authorities were not as there was no capacity to provide it. 


The report continued to explain the reasons why the service was currently at its capacity and explored how additional capacity could be achieved.


Further to Members queries the following points were noted:


·       Ashley School – A cohort attended Inglefield every Friday but there had been problems preventing them from accessing the full service.  It was hoped that Ashley pupils would increase to 45 in future and that they could use it every day;


·       Out of Borough demand had reduced because parents chose to allow family members to care for their children on occasions as well;


·       The staff at Inglefield were trained the same way regardless of whether they were permanent or temporary;


·       The registered manager of the service took care to ensure that staff were introduced to the young people in the case of replacements and cover, to maintain consistency and familiarity amongst the staff and children.


RESOLVED:  That the Board note the information contained in the report.









Locality Early Intervention Update pdf icon PDF 40 KB


The Board received an update from the Strategic Director, Children and Economy, on the development of Locality Early Intervention in Halton.


It was reported that in November 2014 it was agreed that the Health and Wellbeing Board act as the governing body for Halton’s approach to Early Intervention, setting the strategic direction and acting as the driver for planning, co-operation and working.  In addition, it would be responsible for ensuring effective information sharing and performance management systems are established across partners.


Members were advised that the revised approach to Early Intervention would now encompass Troubled Families to ensure the learning and success of the programme could be embedded and further developed in line with the expanded programme.  The Troubled Families Strategic Group was therefore revised and renamed as the Early Intervention Strategic Group and was now accountable to the Health and Wellbeing Board.  Its key functions would be to develop a business plan and drive the planning, delivery and co-ordination of Early Intervention. 


The Board discussed the success of the Early Intervention Development Day that was held at Halton Stadium on Friday 27 March 2015, and the future development of the Early Intervention programme in Halton.  


It was noted that other local authorities would be consulted where multi-agency early intervention was working well in order to learn from them.  Members agreed with the importance of information sharing between partners and that all agencies need to be encouraged to do this more.  Officers advised that they would submit regular updates to the Board on the progress of Locality Early Intervention.


RESOLVED:  The Board note the progress to date and supports the approach to multi-agency Locality Early Intervention.




Early Years Review pdf icon PDF 45 KB


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Children and Economy, which provided a summary of the school performance data for early years in Halton. 


The report identified the challenges the Borough faced and described the actions to be taken to raise standards.  It also provided details on the progress the Borough was making in terms of the national child measurement programme and similarly the challenges faced in the early years.


The report provided Members with details of the Good Level of Development (GLD) indicator of achievement and the figure of 46% achieved by children in Halton, and how Halton was placed nationally.  Reference was also made to a previous PPB report (Summary of Educational Attainment and Progress 2014) in October 2014 and its action plan.  Some of the key areas of work which had been undertaken since this were discussed in the report.


The following points were noted in relation to the report:


·       The speech and language service had been put out to market to see how it could be recommissioned; the Blackpool model was referred to as an example as its demographics were similar to Halton;


·       The attainment of children in the Early Years, as measured at the end of the reception year through the national Good Level of Development indicator, indicated low outcomes compared to other Local Authorities.  Research was to be undertaken to determine why this was the case, including looking at attainment on entry to settings and schools and the subsequent progress made throughout the Early Years phase.


·       Parents needed to be made aware of the importance of their child’s development and take responsibility for this in the years prior to school;


·       Members requested a Ward by Ward breakdown of early years data; this would be looked at and provided to Members when available


RESOLVED:  That Members support the proposed approach to improving standards in early years.





Education Structure pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – Children and Economy, which provided an update on the development of Halton’s Education Service.


It was reported that in 2014 an Efficiency Review was undertaken of Learning and Achievement Services in the Borough.  Following the resignation of the Operational Director, Learning and Achievement, the departmental management arrangements were revisited and revised.  The review concluded that the 0-19 Division was well managed and delivered effectively, but suggested a number of amendments to the operational structure to build resilience and enhance the long term sustainability of school improvement and portage within the existing budget provision.


          The report continued to outline the restructure of the roles within the newly named ‘Education Division’, which had now transferred to the Organisation and Provision Department, along with the 0-25 Inclusion, to form the Educational Inclusion and Provision Department. 


The Board was introduced to Mark Parkinson, Head of Service for Education, at Cheshire West and Cheshire Council (CWAC), who had provided a ‘light touch’ professional oversight, which would be augmented by Halton’s existing Strategic System Leadership Group.  The Strategic System Leadership Group was explained as a schools’ led system where leaders and practitioners with a proven record of success in raising standards, provided expert guidance for the schools they supported.  It was noted that Halton’s approach was recognised in Ofsted’s North West Annual Report 2014, as described in the report. 


The report continued to discuss the Strategic System Leadership Group’s aims through collaboration and partnership and attached to the report were its Terms of Reference for Members information.


The Chairman thanked Mark Parkinson for his attendance on behalf of the Board and commented that it was important to understand the education structure from early years onwards.


RESOLVED:  That the report be noted and Members support the approach to System Leadership.


SEND Update Report pdf icon PDF 36 KB


The Board was presented with an update of the actions taken with regards to the implementation of the SEND reforms in Halton, as required by the Children and Families Act 2014.


          The Board was advised that under the directions of the Children and Families Act 2014, Local Authorities had a duty to publicise on the Local Offer website the process by which individuals could obtain an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP), and a timetable of when statements of special educational needs (SEN) would be converted into an EHCP.  Halton had met this requirement and it was noted that Partnership meetings were held every week with representatives from Education, Health, Social Care and Schools. 


Members were advised that to fund the reforms the SEN Service had been restructured and a Burdens Fund of £456,833 had been received in total, paid to the Council between 2014 and 2016.  New posts had been created therefore at no additional cost to the Local Authority; details of these were listed in the report.


          The report went on to advise Members of the challenges that remained for the reforms and it was noted that an inspection would be carried out by Ofsted next January.


The Board discussed the implementation of the SEND reforms so far and how targets and outcomes were measured.  It was commented that these needed to be realistic in order to see achievements.  Members also discussed the aspirations of parents with children with SEND, in that some were too high and some not high enough.   Members requested case studies be presented at the next update so that they could better understand the challenges and the difference the new SEND arrangements were making.


RESOLVED:  That the Board


1.     Approve the latest developments; and

2.     Supports next steps in the implementation process.








Performance Management Reports for Quarter 4 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the Performance Management Reports for Quarter 4 of 2014-15 and were requested to consider them and raise any questions or points of clarification required.


It was noted that the key priorities for development or improvement in 2014-17 were agreed by Members and included in Directorate Plans, for the various functional areas reporting to the Board as follows:


·       Children and Families Services; and

·       Education, Inclusion and Provision (formerly Learning and Achievement and Children’s Organisation and Provision)


The report detailed progress against service objectives and milestones and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during the period.


          RESOLVED:  That the Policy and Performance Board receive the fourth quarter performance management reports.