Agenda and draft minutes

Children and Young People Select Committee - Friday, 10th January, 2020 10.00 am, MOVED

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

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

Items
No. Item

119.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Jackie Branson and Gavin James. Councillor Elaine Still was in attendance as the Conservative Deputy Member.

 

Apologies were also received from Gareth Davis, the Parent Governor Representative for Primary Schools.

 

120.

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 the circumstances described in 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 Non-Pecuniary interest in a matter being considered at the meeting they considered whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 2 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.

121.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 182 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

122.

Deputations

To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

The Committee did not receive any deputations on this occasion.

 

123.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

Minutes:

On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman congratulated Peter Colenutt, Assistant Director for Strategic Development upon receiving an MBE in the recent New Years Honours.

 

The Chairman also extended the Committee’s condolences to Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Young People, for her recent bereavement.

 

 

 

124.

2020/21 Revenue Budget Report for Children’s Services pdf icon PDF 107 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 and Young People.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received, for pre-scrutiny, a report and presentation on the Children’s Services Revenue Budget for 2020/21 (Item 6 in the Minute Book).  Members were taken through the presentation slides and key issue were outlined.

 

Officers highlighted the percentage change in Government Departmental revenue budget from 2009/10 to 2019/20 and these changes were explained to Members as shown on page 5 of the presentation slide pack.  The Committee was also provided with the context in relation to the County Council’s savings over the last 10 years from its Efficiency and Transformation programmes, as well as cash limit comparisons per Council department.  Members were reminded that a savings target of £80m was agreed as part of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy in 2018, and the proposals to meet this target were agreed in November 2019.  It was noted that the focus was now on implementation and delivery, including service specific public consultations, to engage with service users and key stakeholders.

 

The Committee were also provided with an overview of the key departmental challenges and the principles of the department were detailed on page 19 of the presentation pack.  The key departmental challenges included: demand and cost for services, financial pressure in schools and significant pressure on high needs block.  Officers also highlighted the significant increase in the last ten years of child protection investigations, child protection conferences and child protection plans.  Members attention was drawn to page 26 of the presentation pack which highlighted an increase of 30% in the number of looked after children between March 2009 and March 2019.

 

A brief YouTube video was shown to Members, which illustrated the recent achievements of Children’s Services.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1FBIpZ2WXc

It was heard that staff had easier to manage workloads, the use of technology had enabled 30% of staff to spend less time travelling and tools had been introduced to save staff time with administrative tasks.  It was also heard that the use of devices had allowed social workers to also spend more time with families.  The view to the future was to continue to engage, and continue to support staff in adopting the Hampshire approach. 

 

In looking to the future, officers highlighted the key principles and also operating within the budget and keeping children safe.  Officers also drew Members attention to the ‘Hampshire Approach’ which was a shared mind-set and culture, and also managed risk safely.  Page 34 of the presentation slides highlighted that since November 2018, there had been a reduction in child protection plans, looked after children and social work caseloads.  Members also noted that 92% of files audited showed improved outcomes for children.  In concluding, Members heard that the department was ahead in delivering on savings and the main change for the Children’s Services Revenue Budget for 2020/21 was money allocated to schools.

 

In response to questions, Members heard:

·         That HCC leads sector led improvement across the region with best practice being shared across the region, which has been recognised by Ofsted.

·         That within the County, new ways of working  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.

125.

Children's Services Capital Programme 2020/21 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 105 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 and Young People.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received, for pre-scrutiny, a report and presentation on the Children’s Services Capital Programme 2020/21-2022/23 (Item 7 in the Minute Book). 

 

Members were taken through the presentation and important key issues were highlighted which included continued significant school construction and the role of the Local Authority to strategically plan school places and capital investment.  The increase in new school places in recent years was also highlighted to the Committee and it was heard that there had been 12,765 new school places in Hampshire between 2013-2019 and it was estimated that this would increase to 19,000 new school places by 2023, but issues such as new housing developments could often impact timescales.  Members attention was also drawn to the Hampshire School Places Plan 2020-2024 which was listed at appendix 6 of the report.  In relation to Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND), it was heard that the Department for Education had recognised the need for additional funding and the County Council had received £6.429m extra grant funding for SEND for the period 2018/19 – 2020/21.

 

Officers explained that in relation to suitability investment, schools were supported with suitability requirements and attention was drawn to appendix 8 of the report which detailed this further.  The breakdown of the Children’s Services Capital Programme 2020/21 – 2022/23 was highlighted and this was detailed at page 9 of the presentation pack.

 

Pressures on the Capital Programme were explained to the Committee as set out on page 11 of the presentation pack, which included uncertainties over Brexit, Community Infrastructure Levy and restrictions on Pooling.  Officers recognised the need to reduce the costs of schools, without reducing the quality of the learning environment.  It was noted that HCC continued to work closely with industry, and a detailed benchmarking exercise provided information to help understand ways of becoming more efficient.  It was explained that work would continue to examine, revise and update designs for new schools.

 

In response to questions, Members heard:

·         That the Local Planning Authority (LPA) determined how the Community Infrastructure Levy funding (CIL) was spent, and HCC worked closely with the LPA for CIL funding.

·         That additional funding has been identified for schools that have children with specific access requirements.

·         That HCC continued to work closely with neighbouring authorities and their schools as part of a cluster arrangement, and this also involved sharing school design solutions.

·         That HCC continue to review the pressure on SEND provision at schools, and funding for this provision.

·         That officers were mindful of issues in relation to climate change, and solutions such as LED lighting and other energy efficient measures in schools were being considered.

·         That issues around home to school transport would always be examined in relation to new housing developments, and also when expanding existing schools.

·         That with new housing developments such as Berewood in Waterlooville, it was noted that developer contributions were already secured and Members were reassured that there were sufficient local secondary school places to accommodate children from new housing developments.

 

 

Following questions, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125.

126.

Reshaping Short Break Activities – Progress Update pdf icon PDF 262 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 updating them on progress made in changes to the short breaks activities programme (Item 8 in the Minute Book).  This update was at the request of the Select Committee following a previous update to the Committee on the 17 January 2019. 

 

The report was introduced and key aspects of the changes were drawn to Members attention, and the progress with these was highlighted.  It was heard that these changes included a priority led commissioning approach, introduction of digital gateway cards and exceptions funding.  It was explained that there was now an evidence based approach for applying for the gateway card, and a 48 hour turnaround in issuing the digital card when applications were complete.  Through the implementation of the digital card, officers were able to monitor real-time usage as well as data which could then be used to base buddy schemes on.

 

In concluding, Members heard that there had been positive feedback to the introduction of the gateway card and no issues reported to the changes implemented.

 

In response to questions, Members heard:

 

·         That officers continued to work closely with Hampshire Parent Carer network (HPCN), and would continue to do so.

·         Although swimming was no longer provided as a short break activity through Children’s Services, providers could offer this independently.

·         That the exception fund would likely be reduced in the coming years to more realistically match identified need.

·         That different ways to run the buddy scheme would be examined, as well as the funding for this.

·         That some Members confirmed that they attend regular meetings in their local areas with Parent Carer Network Groups, who kept them informed as to experiences with the changes to the short break activities programme.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children and Young People Select Committee noted the progress of the implementation of the changes to reshape the Short Break Activities Programme.

127.

Attainment of Children and Young People in Hampshire Schools 2019 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

To receive a report and presentation of the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on the attainment of children and young people in Hampshire Schools in 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report and presentation providing an update on educational attainment of children in Hampshire schools in 2019 (Item 9 in the Minute Book).

 

Members of the Committee were taken through the slides and key areas were highlighted.  Officers detailed the early years/foundation stage of education, and it was heard that by the age of 5 years old overall outcomes were very strong in Hampshire with other local authorities also improving.  Educational outcomes in relation to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 were also highlighted to Members.  It relation to Key Stage 2, it was noted that it was important that outcomes in reading, writing and maths were achieved, and the assessment process for these were explained.

 

Members heard that in relation to Key Stage 2 disadvantaged pupils, Hampshire had topped the statistical neighbour group for the last three years.  Primary education performed well nationally.

 

It was heard that there had been a period of unprecedented change in education and especially at secondary level.  In relation to GCSE results, it was explained that Hampshire had scored well in English and Maths at grade 4 or higher.  Officers explained how Attainment 8 was measured, and it was noted that Hampshire scored above the national average.  The measurement of Progress 8 was also explained and it was heard that this was a slightly lower score than the national average.  It was noted that the specific EBACC subjects studied also impacted the Progress 8 figure, and this was detailed further in the report at page 119 of the agenda pack. 

 

In response to questions, Members heard:

·         That for ease of analysis for Members, future data reporting of educational attainment for disadvantaged children at Select Committee meetings would be shown as a graphical image rather then text commentary.

·         That it was important that children were offered a breadth of learning opportunities at school, and officers were pleased that Ofsted had changed their framework.

·         That there had been a reduction in the number of children studying music nationally, but this had not been seen in Hampshire where the average grade in music was higher than the national average.

·         That Progress 8 as a measure of the quality of secondary school education continued to be a challenge, and a programme was being developed to be rolled out to schools to help address this.

·         That there was promotion of spiritual, moral, cultural and personal development in schools for children.

·         That it was important to have pathways to employment for children with all educational abilities, which could include employability help and apprenticeship schemes as alternatives to college.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children and Young People Select Committee noted the contents of the report.

128.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 364 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 (Item 10 in the Minute Book).

 

Members agreed to move the item on Early Years Childcare and Childcare Sufficiency scheduled for the July Select Committee meeting, to the May Select Committee meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That with the amendment to the scheduling of the Early Years Childcare and Childcare Sufficiency item, the work programme was agreed.