Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Children's Services and Culture Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 7:00 pm
Venue: Salon, York House, Twickenham
Contact: Gary Lelliott; 020 8891 7275; Email: email@example.com
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Elengorn.
To consider and approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2009 attached.
The minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2009 be received and approved, subject to the following amendments, and the Chair be authorised to sign them:
· Under “PRESENT” – refer to Paul Leonard as “Parent Governor Representative”.
· 12. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST, 4th bullet point – amend “Healthfield” to read “Heathfield”.
· 16. REVIEW OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS PROVISION, 5th bullet point – amend to read as “The Bridge Charity would respond to the final proposals in writing if they as an organisation felt the proposals were heading in the right direction”
· 16. REVIEW OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS PROVISION, 6th bullet point under questions from the committee – to refer to the “Richmond Parents and Carer Action Group”
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Members are requested to declare any interests orally at the start of the meeting and again immediately before consideration of the matter. Members are reminded to specify the agenda item number to which it refers and whether the interest is of a personal or prejudicial nature.
Members are also reminded of the requirements of Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 that they should declare and not vote on specified matters if they are two months or more in arrears with their Council Tax payments.
There were no declarations of interest.
REPRESENTATIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
There were no representations from members of the public.
EXECUTIVE DECISIONS CALLED-IN (IF ANY)
There were no executive decisions called-in.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JOINT COMMISSIONING STRATEGY TO PROMOTE AND DEVELOP SERVICES FOR THE EMOTIONAL WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN RICHMOND UPON THAMES 2008-2011 PDF 75 KB
The Head of Joint Commissioning for Mental Health and Substance Misuse for NHS Richmond will be attending the meeting to answer questions on the report received by the committee in the briefing notes/general information pack for the 7 July 2009 meeting.
Papers from the briefing pack attached.
Aarti Joshi, Head of Joint Commissioning - Mental Health & Substance Misuse at NHS Richmond attended for this item.
Aarti Joshi started by saying that she was also the chair of the CAHMS Joint Commissioning Group which was the responsible body that reported to the Children’s and Young People’s Board.
Some of the year one targets laid out in the plan had not been implemented due to staffing capacity issues. NHS Richmond had not been able to attract the staff it needed to set up a pilot Primary Mental Health Worker service. They had attempted to recruit staff of the right calibre on two occasions and a third attempt was currently under way. Aarti Joshi was hopeful that they would be able to appoint on this occasion.
The committee pointed out that the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee had delayed the formation of a review and subsequently its Task Group on a number of occasions in order to allow some work to take place around CAHMS. The JAR had also flagged this up as an area of concern. The committee wished to emphasise its disappointment over the lack of progress being made on this long standing issue.
Youth Group Forums still had similar concerns to last year’s. The committee was presented with some late received information which was a response from the Mental Health Trust. This was dated June 2009 and the committee queried why it had only had sight of it on the date of the meeting (30 September 2009).
The tier system was clarified:
The majority of patients fell under tiers 2 and 3. Although Tier 3 services were well developed, Aarti Joshi said that some work was needed on Tier 2.
Some members of the committee felt that there had been no progress. Aarti Joshi mentioned some areas where there had been some, although agreed that there had been no changes made in service delivery. It was reported that clinicians were very specialised workers and therefore difficult to attract to posts. The next step was under way, which was to recruit staff who would set up the service.
The strategy had been agreed in May 2008, with some revisions in December 2008 and some of the target dates included in appendix B had been met. There was a service model, but without a team to carry out the work, progress was limited. Aarti Joshi confirmed that agency or locum staff were not suitable for this role and the only option was to appoint permanent staff.
It was reported that there are transition arrangements put in place for every client in order to ensure a smooth transfer from children’s services to adult services.
The committee queried whether having a service with no staff was better than having one managed by agency staff? The nature of agency staff meant that they were able to come and go without much warning and this did not fit in well with the service. It was also decided that there was a greater risk in employing agency staff for this task and clinicians were against it.
The lapse in the given timescale had been escalated as high as it could go and the PCT Board were fully aware of the situation. All of the partners were aware, as were the CAHMS Joint Commissioning Group and Mental Health Trust.
There had always been a CAHMS Joint Commissioning Group, although it was recognised that it did not function as well as it should because of non-attendance, etc. South-West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust was represented on the group.
Barbara Murray, Assistant Director Specialist Children's Services, confirmed that delays in recruiting to the Joint Commissioning post occurred because it needed agreement from both the local authority and the PCT. Both Children’s Services and the PCT were undergoing restructures at that time.
Paul Kissack, Head of Commissioning, Delivery and Service Improvement, said that there had been an interim appointment made, but this post holder had left shortly after taking up their post because of personal circumstances. There had been difficulties experienced along the process including attracting prospective candidates. It was acknowledged by officers that they could recruit someone very quickly, however in order to get someone with the right abilities, the Council and PCT would have to pay a significant amount of money.
Attempts to recruit would still be made although it was noted that certain parts of the post’s job description may have to be moved to other areas of responsibility in order to progress certain areas. The Joint Commissioning post would be responsible for a variety of areas although sexual health services would be the main focus.
It was noted that the key posts which would enable the system to work would be the primary care mental health workers.
Aarti Joshi said that she would know whether she was able to recruit someone by the end of October and hoped to have someone in place by the new year.
The committee noted that patients were still getting services, however some of these were being delivered at Tier 3, when they should be being addressed at Tier 2.
[Councillor Urquhart left the meeting]
To inform Overview and Scrutiny of the progress of high priority schools in the academic year 2008/09.
Report of the Head of School Effectiveness attached.
[Councillor Jaeger arrived]
Dr Tessa Moore, Head of School Effectiveness, introduced the item. She began by saying that the process for determining the schools which would be on the list of those causing concern started at the beginning of the academic year and was based on invalidated data. There were meetings in early September to discuss the reasons for specific schools causing concern, which involved measuring each school against the table (School Categories for Intervention and Monitoring) contained in Appendix A to the report. Tessa Moore stated that a school’s status could also change mid-year.
· Grey Court School had experienced funding difficulties and some inconsistencies in its budget. The school now had a budget recovery plan in place and was becoming more popular with more children choosing to go there. There was a new deputy headteacher in place and this school would be placed in ‘Category C’ for this year.
· Shene School was on the list of schools causing concern because of its 2007 OfSTED inspection results. The school was then placed under ‘notice to improve’ and since then, GCSE results had been steadily improving. Shene School had a higher than average number of exclusions and there was also a budget recovery plan being implemented. Shene School was categorised in the London Challenge scheme as ‘improving’. It would remain in the local authority’s CSI category. Shene School’s level of 5 A* - C results had, according to initial results, risen sharply this year.
· Whitton School had experienced difficulties with the capacity of its leadership team. There was an acting headteacher in place. There was an improving GCSE profile, although the school did get higher than average level of absences. Recruitment and retention was an issue for Whitton School as was the teaching of sciences. Whitton School would remain as a school which was causing concern. It was also noted that because of the Academies Programme, any contracts for employment had to be fixed term until September 2010.
· The Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) had been placed in the ‘causing concern’ category mid-way during the last year. This was because of persistent level of absence and staffing issues. The PRU would remain in this category.
· Russell Primary School had been experiencing issues between its headteacher and governing body. Measures had been put in place to help this situation and a recent OfSTED inspection had rated the school’s leadership as ‘good’. Russell Primary School would be taken off of the list of schools causing concern.
The committee raised concerns about the provisional GCSE results which had recently become available. It was noted that key measures in results had shown a marked drop in grades at Hampton Community College (HCC) and Teddington School. It was noted that the headteachers at both schools were expecting this due to that year’s cohort.
HCC had a 25% level of child mobility and both schools were being offered individual packages of support from the local authority. Both schools would remain outside of the list of schools causing concern as officers felt that this was a one year drop. The local authority was also confident in the abilities of the leadership teams at both HCC and Teddington.
The results at HCC had dropped very significantly, particularly in maths. The school had done its own extensive analysis into the reasons for this and had found that the middle ability band’s results had dropped. The school would be looking at its curriculum and the quality of teaching provided. HCC would also be looking at its teaching of food sciences in the new year.
Whitton School was experiencing recruitment issues, however they had recently been able to make some strong appointments.
The PRU had been included in Category D as it was under notice to improve.
Teddington School had been expecting a drop in is results for 5 A* - C grades including maths and English. It would be receiving support from the local authority in the forthcoming year.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education added that HCC currently had low staff turnover which showed that staff had confidence in the school and the Academies Programme. There had been substantive appointments made for headteachers for the new academies at both HCC and Whitton School.
The report informs Members of the two new inspections of Council services to be carried out by Ofsted from1 April 2009.
Both inspections will inform the annual rating of children’s services which will then inform the Council’s Comprehensive Area Assessment.
Report of the Deputy Director, Children’s Services attached.
It was noted that there had not yet been an inspection, although officers were expecting one in the near future.
Officers said that there was a need to prepare for inspections as it ensured that the authority tightened up its recording and monitoring systems. There were also aspects of inspections which were less positive such as inspectors trying to find issues with good services.
Staff also found the inspection process could be demoralising if the inspectors were only picking up on negative aspects without noting areas of good practice. The Council knew its services were of a good standard, but it needed to provide evidence to prove this.
There had not been a serious case review since 2006 and the recent ‘dummy review’ had proved very useful. It had highlighted areas of good practice, as well as areas which still needed some working on.
There was a lot of time being spent on ensuring that good quality services were being delivered, as well as ensuring that things were being monitored and recorded. OfSTED were also focussing more on the quality of service provided by each authority because this was highlighted as an issue in the review which had taken place at Haringey.
The number of referrals made last year increased by around 50%. Part of the reason for this was that more professionals were making referrals in light of recent safeguarding issues that had been reported in the media.
RESOLVED that the committee receive annual updates on safeguarding.
To provide the Committee with an opportunity to inform considerations of an essential part of the ambitious 14-19 reform agenda in the borough – the provision of high quality information, advice and guidance (IAG) so that all young people are engaged in learning up to and beyond age 16.
Report of the Commissioning and Connexions Manager attached.
[Councillor Beevor and Paul Leonard left the meeting]
Robert Henderson, Head of Integrated Youth Support Services, presented this item and began by explaining that there had been a transfer of services into Heatham House in Twickenham. The aim of this was to make services more central, although some would be delivered vie the Quindrats.
There had been some posts cut, but savings were also being made by merging some services and reducing the opening hours of Heatham House.
Following questions from the committee, the meeting was advised that there was a need to promote the various options open to young people across the borough. In doing this, the needs of both younger people and employers should be met.
Services were operating from Richmond College although it was noted that this provision could be subjected to cuts. One of the services currently offered was one to younger mothers, which helped them back into employment or training. This service did offer some childcare provision. It was reported that most of the students at Richmond College travelled there from outside the borough.
The figure for young people not currently in education, training, or employment was unknown, although the numbers who were was high. Young people in receipt of schooling from other boroughs, but who lived in Richmond, were also tracked.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
The Committee is requested to consider the items within the proposed work programme, set out at Appendix 1 to this report, and suggest any amendments or additional topics to be included in the future.
Consideration should be given to possible items for future meetings and prioritise.
Information items are included in a Briefing information/General Information Pack, which has been sent to Members of the Committee separately to this agenda. A list of reports included in the Pack is attached as Appendix 2 to this report. The pack can be accessed via the following link: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/reports_for_information.htm
Items included in the pack will not be discussed at the meeting. If members of the public wish to discuss any issue arising from the reports included in the pack please contact the Committee Manager, whose details are given on the front sheet of the agenda. Members of the Council may wish to raise their concerns directly with the Chair of the Committee, the Cabinet Member or appropriate officer.
Report of the Senior Democratic Services Officer attached.
It was reported that the Health, Housing and Social Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee had proposed a joint Task Group. Councillor Nicholson agreed to send committee members details of this for their consideration.