Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People Select Committee
Thursday, 17th January, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Ashburton Hall, Elizabeth II Court, The Castle, Winchester

Contact: Email: members.services@hants.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

82.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Gareth Davies, the Primary Schools Parent Governor representative.

 

83.

Declarations of interest

All Members who believe they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and, having regard to Part 3 Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code.  Furthermore all Members with a Personal interest in a matter being considered at the meeting should consider, having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 4 of the Code, whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 5 of the Code, consider whether it is appropriate to leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

Minutes:

Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter considered at the meeting they must declare that interest at the time of the relevant debate and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3, Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code.  Furthermore Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Personal interest in a matter being considered at the meeting they considered whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 5 of the Code, considered whether it was appropriate to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

 

No declarations were made at this point in the meeting.

84.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2018 were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

 

85.

Deputations

To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

The Committee did not receive any deputations.

 

86.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that Jane Longman had resigned as the special schools parent governor, and wished to record her thanks to Jane for her contribution to the work of the Committee.

 

The Chairman informed Members that nominations had been sought for a special schools parent governor to become a co-opted member of the committee, and one nomination had been received which would be put forward for formal appointment at next month’s County Council meeting.

 

 

 

87.

Attainment of Children and Young People in Hampshire Schools in 2018 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To receive a report of the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on the attainment of children and young people in Hampshire Schools in 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report and presentation (Item 6 in the Minute Book) from representatives of the Director of Children’s Services on the attainment of pupils in Hampshire schools.

 

Members were taken through the presentation slides and the attainment of children when assessed at the end of reception year in Hampshire compared to national results was highlighted to the Committee.  It was noted that whilst data from the Department for Education was provisional for 2018, indications showed that Hampshire would continue to score above the national average for this assessment, and continue to perform strongly against its comparator statistical authorities.

 

Data also showed the strength of educational achievement at the end of key stage 2 in Hampshire schools which also continued to compare favourably with national results, and in light of the introduction of national new tests at the end of key stage 2 in 2016.  Officers highlighted that in light of changes to assessments, schools in Hampshire still maintained a strong performance, which could be seen in the quality of education and strength of teaching.

 

With regard to secondary education GCSE results, it was explained that changes to the government performance matrix in 2017 had resulted in changes to GCSE courses which included an altered grading structure, with a 1 to 9 point scale replacing the A-E grading structure, with 9 being the highest score attainable.  It was noted that the traditional C grade would now equate to a new grade 4, and GCSE’s in Maths and English were now more challenging.  As a result of these changes, it was difficult to compare 2017/2018 results with previous years results, but Hampshire schools were continuing to perform above the national average.  It was noted that a number of schools had reported concerns about the marking of GCSE’s under the new grading structure, and some papers were being remarked as a result.

 

The complexities of calculating Attainment 8 and Progress 8 at secondary level was explained to Members, and it was highlighted that for Attainment 8, Hampshire was above the national average as well as in the top half of comparable statistical neighbours.  It was explained that some schools may look to increase Attainment 8 scores by actively restricting curriculum choice in favour of EBacc subjects, to the detriment of subjects such as art and music.  Members heard that this had become a cause for concern at a national level.  For Progress 8, it was noted that Hampshire schools performed slightly below the national average and its statistical neighbours, resulting in a -0.09 score.      

 

In concluding, Officers highlighted that primary education was outstanding amidst educational changes and financial pressures, and Key Stage 4 and secondary schools were continuing to perform well.

 

In response to questions, Members heard that:

 

·         Achievement data considered all children in Hampshire Special Schools exactly the same, and the progress that children made was carefully looked at.

·         The local authority has been working closely with some underperforming schools in Hampshire to help them secure improvements in standards at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.

88.

Reshaping Short Break Activities - Progress Update pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To receive a report of the Director of Children’s Services providing a progress update on reshaping short break activities.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from a representative of the Director of Children’s Services updating them on progress made in reshaping the Short Breaks Activities programme (Item 7 in the Minute Book).

 

Members attention was drawn to the contextual information relating to the decision to reshape the short breaks activities programme as set out at Section 3 of the report, and the changes approved for implementation were highlighted.  It was explained that since the decision approving changes to the programme, a letter had been sent to all families who accessed short break activities to provide an overview of the changes.  Other communication and engagement with stakeholders and interested parties was also detailed at Section 5 of the report.

 

The continuing engagement between Hampshire County Council and  Hampshire Parent Carer Network (HPCN) was highlighted and Members noted the long standing positive relationship with HPCN, with officers attending monthly meetings to ensure that parents and carers could be kept updated on implementation progress.  Feedback had also been received from HPCN on priorities for grant applications as well as the gateway card application form.  Officers had also engaged with the Young People’s Engagement Group (YPEG) and it was heard that wider feedback had been received and the YPEG had been closely involved in the design of the new Gateway card, the final version of which could be seen at paragraph 5.9 of the report.  Members heard that the YPEG had also produced an informative video for young people explaining the changes to the short break activities programme. 

 

Members heard that the short breaks activities programme would be commissioned on the basis of priorities, agreed with a representative parent/carer panel and it was heard that this would take some time to develop but interim arrangements would be put in place during this time.  The timeline of activity was explained to Members as detailed in paragraph 7.11 of the report.

 

Officers explained how the new online Gateway card application worked as set out in Section 8 of the report and it was heard that to date, only 10 applications had been declined due to not meeting the eligibility criteria.

 

It was highlighted that in relation to proposal six to stop funding short break activities for young people aged 18 and over, half of the 50 families contacted were not accessing short break activities.  Members heard that in relation to proposal nine to stop funding swimming as a short break activity, extensive work had been undertaken in looking at how to support Hampshire swimming providers.  Officers drew Members attention to opportunities such as Government funding which would have the potential to minimise the effect of the withdrawal of short break activities funding for swimming.

 

In response to questions, Members heard that:

 

·         A provider forum was held in September 2018 which was attended by short break activity providers, where providers, including swimming providers, had the opportunity to discuss and raise any concerns regarding the redesigned short break activities programme.  Members heard that a further provider forum was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

Children's Services Capital Programme 2019/20 - 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Children’s Services and Director of Corporate Resources prior to the decision of the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report and presentation on the Children’s Services Capital Programme (Item 8 in the Minute Book). 

 

Members were led through the presentation slides, and key issues within the Children’s Services Capital programme were highlighted.  These included an increase of12,691 new school places between 2013 and 2018, investment of £216 million and the role of the local authority in strategically planning school places and capital investment.  Members attention was drawn to the graph in the presentation which detailed previous, current and projected figures for primary numbers and movement into the secondary phase at Year 7.  A number of new mainstream and planned schools to be completed by September 2022 in Hampshire was also highlighted and Officers drew attention to the issues relating to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and the amount of SEND national funding which totalled £4.668 million.  A number of priority investment areas were highlighted as well as children’s services capital programme spend between 2017/18 to 2019/20.

 

Pressures on the Capital Programme were explained which included ongoing primary and secondary pressure, as well as inflation in the construction industry and uncertainties surrounding Brexit.  Members noted the achievements of successfully delivering lower cost school buildings and the national reputation for quality school buildings whilst recognising the financial climate

 

Attention was also drawn to the new modular classrooms as listed in appendix 3 of the report.

 

That in response to questions, Members heard that:

·         Where school places were available, then the education authority would seek to fill these before looking to expand capacity at the school.

·         In relation to school new builds, the property team would take into account factors such as any ongoing maintenance costs.

·         Any design solutions for a school shouldn’t produce high revenue costs to that school’s budget, and the property team would produce detailed life cycles to take into account all factors associated with the design.

·         Hampshire County Council has a good reputation with the Department for Education for delivering new Free School projects, and attention was drawn to the new free school in Basingstoke.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children and Young People Select Committee supported the recommendations being proposed to the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services in Section 1 of the report.

90.

2019/20 Revenue Budget Report for Children’s Services pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Children’s Services and Director of Corporate Resources prior to the decision of the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report and presentation on the Children’s Services Revenue Budget (Item 9 in the Minute Book).  The representative of the Director of Children’s Services took Members through the presentation slides and highlighted key aspects of the medium term financial strategy (MTFS) position, and it was noted that there was an anticipated delay in some elements of the delivery of cash release for the Tt2019 programme which was factored into the MTFS.  Attention was also drawn to the 2.99% increase in council tax which was the maximum amount permitted and in line with the referendum limit.  The key aspects of the Chancellor’s budget in relation to Children’s Services were also highlighted, as well as key aspects of the provisional local government finance settlement for 2019/20.  In relation to this, it was noted that the NHB baseline figure was maintained at 0.4%, with the HCC allocation at £4.9m which was built into the MTFS.  It was also explained that £2.993m had been allocated for additional funding for each of the next two years for the high needs block.

 

Key features of the reserves strategy were explained and it was noted that more than half of the total reserves at £338.6 million were committed to existing revenue programmes and capital spend.  Members noted the £27.6 million set aside to mitigate risks and the detailed breakdown of available reserves.  It was highlighted that an unallocated balance of £29.4 million would prepare for future draws beyond 2020.  The key message from children’s services in relation to Transforming the Council to 2019 was that there was no new savings proposals to consider as part of the budget setting process as these had all been achieved in advance.

 

Cllr Steve Forster left the meeting at this point in proceedings.

 

The Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services spoke to this item and stated that the County Council couldn’t predict extra funding but would continue to make extra representations. 

 

In response to Member questions it was heard:

 

·         That even though services were stable, there were always immediate risks and structural risks to services.  Structural risks were seen as relatively low risk, and transformation to 2019 had helped to address these with £6.5 million spent on front line social work.  In relation to risks, it was noted that sudden external factors could be hard to anticipate.

·         In relation to unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), there wasn’t public funding available for this, but it was a statutory duty to provide care when cases arose, and to have a good amount of monetary reserves to address unexpected pressures.  This also remained a significant pressure and had the number of UASC had significantly increased since last year.

·         That whilst some risks couldn’t be pre-empted, children’s safety would never be put in danger.

·         That the predicted rate of children being looked after was just under 50 per 10,000, and there was a need to invest to have the right services to meet demand, and to plan this at the earliest possible  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.

91.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To consider and approve the Children and Young People Select Committee Work Programme.

 

Minutes:

The Director of Transformation and Governance presented the Committee’s work programme (see Item 10 in the Minute Book).

 

It was confirmed that the SEN update due to be presented at the May Select Committee, would include details of Special Education Needs as well as Disabilities (SEND).

 

Members requested an update on County Lines at a future Select Committee, and it was confirmed that this would be added to the work programme for a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the work programme, subject to any amendments made during the meeting, is agreed.