Agenda and minutes

Children Young People and Families Policy and Performance Board
Monday, 10th September, 2018 6.30 p.m.

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

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

No. Item


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 107 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2018 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, Education and Social Care Portfolio that had been considered by the Executive Board since the last meeting of this Board, were attached at Appendix 1 for information.


EXB6 – concerns were raised over the High Needs budget deficit for 2018-19.  It was noted that this situation was not unique to Halton as it was a national problem.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes are noted.


SSP Minutes pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes of the Halton Children’s Trust meeting held on 24 May 2018, were submitted to the Board for Information.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes are noted.


Ofsted Focused Visit July 2018 pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the findings of the recent Ofsted focused visit to the Integrated Contact and Referral Team (iCART) and its recommendations.


It was reported that Ofsted had implemented a new inspection framework for children’s social care.  As Halton currently had a ‘requiring improvement’ judgement from its single inspection in 2014, it would receive two focussed visits and a standard two week inspection over a 3 year period.  It was noted that with regards to timing and type of inspection, Ofsted made judgements on these based on their intelligence, published data and their analysis of risk in how a local authority was performing.


Appended to the report was the Inspector’s letter containing the findings of the focussed visit to iCART in July 2018.   Members were advised that overall the letter outlined a strong service that served families well and safeguarded children appropriately.   There were no areas for immediate action and only three recommendations were made, which had already been responded to.  


In response to one Member’s query about the comment made regarding partners ‘not always effectively capturing the voice of the child’ and what could be done about this, it was noted that partnership working was still improving and ‘iCART workshops’ were planned specifically for partners in the near future.


On behalf of the Board the Chair passed on thanks to the staff concerned with the inspection.  He also reminded the Board that Climbie visits could be carried out by Members at any time and were valuable, as they provided an insight into the work being carried out by social workers.


RESOLVED:  That the Board notes the Ofsted letter and the significant improvement in the service since the single inspection in 2014.


Exclusions pdf icon PDF 461 KB


The Board received a report which outlined the level of exclusions nationally and those in Halton over the last four years.


It was reported that the Department for Education (DfE) provided National Statistics on permanent and fixed period exclusions in England, with the most recent being for 2016-17 which were published on 19 July 2018 and updated on 6 August 2018.  The information in Table 1 showed the significant increase in both permanent and fixed term exclusions over the last three years from 2014-15.  This trend had been confirmed in a recent press article which noted the national rise of pupils being excluded and sent to pupil referral units and suggested that this was a result of the pressures placed on schools to show good results.


Members were advised that in Halton the information available was up to the end of the academic year 2017-18 and showed that although permanent exclusions had increased from 15 to 32, as there were 53 exclusions in 2016-17, the total number of permanent exclusions reduced in 2017-18.  This trend continued in the case of fixed term exclusions.


The report also presented information on the primary sector in Halton which saw an increase in exclusions; comparisons over the years were displayed in charts 3 and 4.  The report provided information on the reasons for permanent and fixed term exclusions in Halton.


It was reported that following a review of exclusions, the House of Commons Education Committee published a report ‘Forgotten Children: alternative provision and the scandal of ever increasing exclusions’ in July 2018.  A summary of its conclusions was provided in the Officer’s report.


The Board discussed the rates of exclusions in Halton in both the primary and secondary sectors and the steps that were required to be taken to promote a more positive approach to behaviour management and to encourage greater inclusion within schools.  Paragraph 6.1 outlined these steps.


During presentation of the report the following points were discussed:


·       The low rate of exclusions in Halton’s special schools and what could be learnt from them;

·       Although there was a reduction in secondary exclusions the rise in primary exclusions was a concern particularly at Year 4, where there was a spike in permanent and fixed term exclusions;

·       The most common reason provided by schools for exclusions was persistent disruptive behaviour.  The Board discussed the possible reasons why disruptive behaviour was on the increase and why schools appeared to be less tolerant than previously and discussed whether the new curriculum, performance measures and funding were key factors;

·       The Council had a new ‘In Year Fair Access Protocol’ and tracked and shared details of all in year secondary admissions which may have contributed to the recent dip in secondary exclusions; 

·       Members discussed the steps taken by schools leading up to an exclusion and the process for asking the LA for assistance once a child had been identified as a possible exclusion;

·       It was suggested that advocacy was needed for the excluded pupil and their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

The Chair advised Members that the current Topic Group around Mental Health provision for Children and Young People had been cancelled, due to a request from the Leader of the Council for the Board to identify savings within their remit as the Scrutiny Board of the Children, Education and Social Care Portfolio. 


Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a report on the progress made in transforming children and young people’s mental health provision and the future actions planned.


It was reported that the Department of Health and NHS England established a Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce which reported in March 2015 (Future in Mind) and set out the ambitions for improving children’s and young people’s mental health provision by 2020, including making better links between schools and specialist services.  It was noted that the key objectives included:


1.     Tackling stigma and improving attitudes to mental illness;

2.     Introducing more access and waiting time standards for services;

3.     Establishing ‘one stop shop’ support services in the community; and

4.     Improving access for children and young people who were particularly vulnerable.


It was noted that the Green Paper ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’ published in December 2017, detailed world leading ambitions through proposals to create a network of support for children and young people and their educational settings.  This new approach would be tested and evaluated for future roll-out, as gathering evidence would be a crucial step in delivering on the aims set out in the Green Paper and aligned with the priorities set out for mental health as part of the long-term plan.  Members noted there were three core proposals:


1.     To incentivise and support all schools and colleges to identify and train a Designated Senior Lead for mental health;

2.     To fund new mental health support teams, this would be supervised by NHS children and young people’s mental health staff; and

3.     To pilot a four week waiting time for access to specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services.


It was reported that locally, improving the emotional health and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people was a shared priority for Halton Borough Council and NHS Halton CCG.   The One Halton programme was a joint initiative that included all stakeholders working to support adults, children and young people in Halton.  The report outlined to the Board the work that had been undertaken already (paragraph 4) and explained the main areas that would be progressed in the coming year.


The following queries were raised by Members:


How is it proposed to ‘incentivise and support all schools and colleges to identify and train a Designated Senior Lead for mental health?’

This was not clear at this point in time as it would be dependent upon the level of funding provided.  The designated person could be an existing staff member or a new recruit.


Was the funding for the transformation agenda secure?

CAMHS was funded by the CCG and this would be recurrent until 2020, if the services in place proved to be a success.  The new programmes and services being introduced were explained.


Can a progress report be brought to the Board in 12 months’ time?

The transformation was driving up the quality of services to young people and we would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.


Summary of 2018 Provisional Un-validated Attainment Outcomes pdf icon PDF 62 KB


The Board received a presentation on the provisional unvalidated 2018 educational attainment for Halton’s children and young people at Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS); phonics performance and Key Stages 1, 2, 4 and 5. 


Members were advised that the data was based on statutory assessments of the EYFS and statutory assessments of all key stages.  This was unvalidated data before publication of the validated data by the Department for Education (DfE) in December 2018.  It was noted that more detailed group data and national data on Key Stage 4 progress would be available and provided to the Board once it was released and validated.


RESOLVED:  That the presentation be received.


Performance Management Reports - Quarter 4 of 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the Performance Management reports for quarter 4 of 2017-18 (1 January to 31 March 2018).  It was noted that these had been sent to Members for their consideration in advance of this agenda on 19 June 2018, after they were finalised (minute CYP11 of 11 June 2018 refers).


Officers advised that there was a typo on page 56 under Improve the offer for children and young people with SEND (PE04).  The last box under ‘current’ should read 37,536 against a target of 40,000.


RESOLVED:  That the reports be noted.





Performance Management Reports - Quarter 1 of 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the Performance Management reports for quarter 1 of 2018-19 (1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018) and were requested to consider and raise any questions or points of clarification in respect of these.


It was noted that the key priorities for development or improvement in 2018-19 were agreed by Members and included in the Local Authority’s Business Plan, for the various functional areas reported to the Board as follows:


·       Education, Inclusion and Provision Services; and

·       Children and Families Services.


The reports detailed progress made against 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 performance management reports for quarter 1 of 2018-19 be received.