Venue: Ashburton Hall, EII Court, Winchester
Contact: Email: email@example.com
Apologies for absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies received.
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.
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.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting
The Minutes of the meeting held on 17 September 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.
The Committee did not receive any deputations.
To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.
The Chairman noted that Members would recall that at the September Select Committee, Members requested additional information in relation to the schools participating in the MHST programme. Members have received by email a copy of the spreadsheet from Tim Davis, Associate Director: Children's Mental Health Transformation (Frimley CCG for NEHF) proving this information.
The Chairman went onto state that the co=opted parent governor representative for secondary Schools vacancy had been advertised but received no responses. Nominations will be sought again in due course.
To receive an update on Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People in Hampshire, from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The committee received a report and presentation from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups providing an update on Autism Services Commissioning (see Item 6 in the Minute Book). This was part of the regular updates provided to the committee as requested in September 2020 to inform it of progress made towards improving access to Autism Spectrum Condition assessments and the supporting services.
The committee received a background to the situation and noted that in November 2020 significant investment was identified which enabled the procurement of a long term assessment service alongside a service specification redesign.
This service is provided by Psicon Ltd and commenced on 1 October 2021 with a 2.5 year contract with the option to extend. The committee heard that waiting lists had dropped from c.1750 to c.1000 and waiting times have reduced from c.35 months in September 2020 to c.11 months. It was noted that referral rates continued to be high and so additional support services had been commissioned.
The committee were also informed of the other services being made available; the Wellbeing Support Service, Autism Hampshire Workshops & Barnados Parenting.
The committee acknowledged that the main issues facing the service moving forwards was the high referral rate and expectations of the families involved. Additionally, it was identified that there were challenges resulting from the diagnosis led culture and inclusivity of educational settings.
In order for Autism Commissioning Services to continue to improve, it was identified that robust monitoring was required with a focus on waiting times alongside the securement of long term early intervention support services. There were also plans to develop a multidisciplinary referral panel to reduce referral rates and re-establish the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Adult’s Social Care Transformation Group.
In response to questions members heard that:
For the Select Committee to pre-scrutinise the annual safeguarding report for Children’s Services before consideration by Cabinet.
The committee received a report and presentation from the Director of Children’s Services providing opportunity for pre-scrutiny of the Annual Safeguarding Report for Children’s Services (2020-21) ahead of its consideration by Cabinet (see Item 7 in the Minute Book).
It was noted that this report would be informed by several national developments, most notable of which was the pandemic but also in relation to Child Exploitation and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC).
The committee heard that temporary changes to statutory guidance and regulations because of the pandemic provided the department with some flexibility in certain circumstances and when necessary. This included the ability to carry out home visits and meetings online. However, the department met all the statutory timescales and did not move from Phase 1 of its three phase plan.
The committee also received an overview of the work of the department in relation to child exploitation and those children who are trafficked and/or go missing. This included a summary of the work of Hampshire’s Willow Team.
Members heard how the majority of UASC had been assessed to be c.17 years old and arrived in Hampshire either spontaneously or via the National Transfer Scheme. Numbers had decreased but were expected to return to previous levels once the circumstances in relationship to the pandemic have improved. The number of Children in Care has not increase dramatically but UASC Care Leavers has increased by 164% since June 2017.
Members noted HCC’s Children’s Services involvement in the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership alongside Hampshire Constabulary and five CCGs. All partners hold a strategic role with their organisations and can commit to matters of policy and hold their organisation to account.
Following the overview of these key areas, the committee received an update on the performance and activity levels of the following areas.
To receive a report from the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on SEND performance and joint working.
The committee received a report and presentation from the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on SEND performance and joint working (see Item 8 in the Minute Book).
The committee heard that since the reforms to Education Health & Care Plans (EHCPs) in 2015, there has been a 135% increase in the number of plans maintained. This growth has accelerated in 2021 and as of the end of October Hampshire maintains over 12,000 EHCPs. This presents as an average of 186 requests per month.
The committee noted that the three month rolling average for both the decision to assess and the decision to issue had improved dramatically in 2021. This means that the service should be in line with the national average by the end of the current academic year.
Members also received an update on the SEN Capital Place Planning Strategy. There are currently 1745 primary and 2040 secondary places available in specialist settings. There is funding being made available to increase these places but it is currently unknown how much Hampshire will receive.
In response to questions members heard that:
RESOLVED: That the Children and Young People Select Committee note the update.
To receive a presentation from the Director of Children’s Services on the Summer Delivery of the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme.
The committee received a report and presentation from the Director of Children’s Services on the summer delivery of the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme (see Item 9 in the Minute Book).
The committee received an overview of the HAF programme, and its aims followed by a summary of the summer delivery of the programme.
The committee noted that places and venues were mapped to match the distribution of benefits eligible free school meal children and young people around the County. In total 20,601 primary aged and 2,651 secondary aged children and young people attended an event, reaching 33% of free school meal eligible children in Hampshire (an increase from 28% for the Easter programme).
The committee heard that through the positive engagement with partner organisations there was a continually evolving and developing process of signposting to other services to support the families involved. The feedback to the events has been very positive and the committee received some examples alongside case studies of participants. The programme will be continuing for the Christmas break, learning from previous experience, and considering the unique challenges in relation to the time of year.
In response to questions members heard that:
On behalf of the committee, the Chairman thanked all involved for their efforts in relation to the delivery of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme.
RESOLVED: That the Children and Young People Select Committee note the progress made in delivering the HAF programme to benefits-eligible free school meal children and young people across Hampshire.
To consider and approve the Children and Young People Select Committee Work Programme.
The Chief Executive presented the Committee’s work programme (see Item 10 in the Minute Book).
There were no additions made to the work programme.
That the Committee considered and approved the work programme.