Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Education and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 13 June 2011 7:00 pm
Venue: Salon - York House. View directions
Contact: Sam Walker; 020 8891 7156; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies were received from Councillor Day and Mr Hoseason.
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.
To consider and approve the minutes of the last meeting on 7 April 2010 – attached.
The minutes of the meeting on 7 April 2011 were approved and the Chairman was authorised to sign them.
The report sets out the Children and Young People’s Plan priorities for 2011-12.
Report of the Head of Culture and Service Improvement attached.
The Head of Culture and Service Improvement introduced the report. He emphasised the trust boards key priorities for 2011/12:
1. Promoting greater choice and diversity in education;
2. Tackling risky behaviour;
3. Increasing participation and engagement with children, young people and their families;
4. Implementing alternative service delivery and provision;
5. Improve health visiting provision;
6. Improving access to high quality Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
The Strategic Cabinet Member for Education, Youth and Children’s Services, the Director of Education, Children's Services and Culture and the Head of Culture, and Service Improvement responded to questions from the Committee on the report. The Committee was advised that:
· Thematic Delivery Boards would deliver value for money to the CAMHS and create measurable improvements in priority areas.
· In order to bring greater choice and diversity into education, the Council intended to establish two new secondary schools including a Roman Catholic and Catholic school. This would also help meet the growing demand for secondary school places.
· The shortfall in school places would be known by October, at which point the Council would be in a position to consider additional funding.
· Children and young people’s views would remain a priority for the Children and Young Peoples Trust. The Children in Care Council and the Youth Parliament had been consulted to produce the plans priorities.
· The Councils would be scoping for unmet needs, and in particular, to make sure that counselling services for school aged children were being met. Improving health visiting provision including therapy, speech and language needs would be a key priority.
· The Council would continue to improve its health visiting provision inline with the governments Health Visitors Implementation Plan, to ensure access to high quality child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Four thousand two hundred new health visitor posts would be created, nationally. Training for these new posts would be implemented once the government had made a decision on Health Policy Reform.
· The Committee requested that the membership of the Children and Young Peoples Plan (CYPP) Trust Board be provided. (Update: The Trust Boards membership can be found on the Council’s website: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/council_government_and_democracy/council/partnerships/rutcypt/cypt_board/rutcypt-members.htm)
1. That the Children and Young People’s Plan priorities for 2011-2012 be noted.
2. The Committee recommended that finding new streams for revenue should be included as a “key action to be taken during 2011-12.”
This report sets out a proposal to create a social enterprise for the delivery of children’s services in collaboration with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
Report of the Director of Education, Children’s and Cultural Services attached.
The Director of Education, Children's Services and Culture introduced the report.
Richmond was one of the most outsourced boroughs in London. From April 2012 Richmond’s children’s services would be outsourced. This was an inspirational move from the Council that would offer high quality service provision across the two boroughs. The commissioned service was called Achieving for Children. It would provide savings that would safeguard front line services for both boroughs. Although further work was required to develop a full business case, it was expected that there would be increased efficiency in services that would allow the implementation of exciting new ways of operating. Through Achieving for Children the Council would free itself from local authority constraints. This would allow them to apply for private and grant funding that was not available to local authorities.
The Strategic Cabinet member for Education, Youth and Children’s Services, the Cabinet Member for Schools and the Director Education, Children's Services and Culture and the Director of Education, Children's Services and Culture responded to questions from the Committee:
· A business case outlining all other appropriate alterative vehicles for delivering Children’s Services would be presented to the Cabinet in November, with an analysis of efficiency savings for each.
· The vast majority of the Council’s Children’s Services would be provided by Achieving for Children, but it was likely that select services would be retained.
· In line with the “arms length” approach, the Achieving for Children, executive board, did not include councillor board members. However, the executive board would ultimately be accountable to Richmond and Kingston Council’s.
· Governing strategies would be in place to ensure there was synergy between the Council and the Achieving for Children’s executive board. This would include establishing a trust. The executive board structure would be fully outlined in the November Cabinet paper.
· The Committee agreed that in order for Achieving for Children to be future-proofed a contingency plan would need to be in place to allow for services to be unpicked if and when necessary.
· The Committee noted the Achieving for Children report’s case studies. In cases where leaving care residents were moving between boroughs they asked that due attention be paid to ensuring contact was not lost with care providers.
· In line with the Children’s Act 2004, it was a statutory function that the Chief Executive be appointed the non executive Director of Education for Achieving for Children. This allowed the Council to retain control of its statutory functions in relation to education, and children’s social care services.
· Through Achieving for Children, schools could work together, across borough boundaries, to find more cost effective ways of providing services. For example, the new Joint Extended Schools Provision would allow breakfast clubs to continue, which were currently being cut at other local authorities due to the loss of grant funding. Maintaining this service would allow families whose children attended different schools to coordinate school runs more effectively.
· The final business case for Achieving for Children would return to Finance and Performance, Overview and Scrutiny in October.
· Achieving for Childrenwas expected to be implemented by 1 April 2012. A timetable, along with the full business paper would be provided at the November Cabinet meeting.
1. The proposed approach for the transformation and delivery of Commissioned Children’s Services be noted.
This report details the process, and initial allocations data of admissions, for the 2011/2012 school year for state-maintained primary schools in Richmond Borough.
Report of the Head of Schools Commissioning attached.
The Head of Schools Commissioning introduced the report. He explained that all on-time applications would have been offered places well before September. There were 169 in-borough children who had not been offered places at the initial allocations, on 4th April. While striving to meet expectations, it was important to be aware that demand for places exceeded availability.
The Committee heard representations from Mr Sant and Ms Hiscott. They made the following points to the Committee:
· They asked if the Council was working hard enough to get children into local schools, in particular for south Hampton children.
· Children getting places at their local schools had the effect of strengthening the community.
· It was not practical for families to walk to school when they were allocated schools outside their locality.
· Some parents were sending their children to private schools in order for them to be educated locally.
The Head of Schools Commissioning said that school admissions were a national concern, not just a regional problem.
The Head of Schools Commissioning explained that the Council intended, in the summer, to review the admissions process for children in Hampton. Using “as the crow flies” for measuring home to school distance would be ideal for allocating school places; however, the fact that Richmond was the only London borough located on both sides of the Thames would mean that it may be impractical to implement that method without radically altering the admissions processes to such an extent that schools would not serve their immediate communities. Other possible changes would be examined in the review.
Schools Building Bulletins were being reviewed by the government and it was possible that the currently prescriptive statutory guidance would be relaxed.
The total number of unplaced primary applicants, including late applicants, was 35 across the whole borough.
1. The Committee recommended that school admissions remain under review.
2.That the Primary School Admissions report be noted.
UPDATE ON THE COMMITTEE'S TASK GROUP
The committee will receive a verbal update from Councillor Blakemore on the recently commissioned task group. The terms of reference, as agreed by the task group, are attached to the Work Programme item.
Councillor Blakemore provided the Committee with an update on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Task Group:
· The terms of reference for the task group would to be updated to include SEN Transport Needs.
· They intended to assess and identify the best use of funding being allocated to SEN’s.
· The Committee considered that the Task Group could benefit from discussions with Kingston Council who had outsourced their services, achieved savings and maintained their service level.
· The Task Group would visit several schools as part of their research including: two in borough special schools (Clarendon School and Strathmore School), two in borough mainstream schools (Hampton Hill Junior School and Greycourt School), and two out-of-borough private schools (More House School and Penn School).
The Task Group hoped to visit Stanley School. This would include liaising with their psychology department. They hoped this would lead to a more intense applied behaviour analysis being implemented at Stanley School, and where appropriate in other schools.
· The Committee noted that, at present, SEN pupils were not included in educational achievement statistics along side mainstream pupils. It was hoped the SEN and disability green paper would bring about change and encourage SEN pupils to feel they can achieve inline with non-SEN pupils.
· Parents were more likely to have their children statemented because, at present, statemented children benefited from a greater choice of schools to attend.
· A full report on the Task Group and its progress would return to the Committee in February 2012.
1. That the verbal update be noted.
This report gives details of the proposed work programme for the municipal year 2011/12, as discussed with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the committee.
Report of the Head of Democratic Services attached.