Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People Select Committee - Friday, 14th January, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Ashburton Hall, EII Court, Winchester

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

Media

Items
No. Item

21.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

 

22.

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 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.

23.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 10 November 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

24.

Deputations

To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

The Committee did not receive any deputations.

25.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

Minutes:

The Chairman did not make any announcements to the meeting.

26.

2022/23 Revenue Budget Report for Children's Services pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To pre-scrutinise the proposed revenue budget for 2022/23 for the Children’s Services Department prior to decision by the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services on 14 January 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report and presentation from the Director of Children’s Services and Senior Finance Business Partner providing briefing of the 2022/23 Revenue Budget Report for Children’s Services (see Item 6 in the Minute Book).

 

The Committee received a high-level overview of the Local Government Finance Settlement and the context of the County Council ahead of the departments revenue budget alongside the associate challenges and priorities. The revenue budget was divided between schools and non-schools with breakdowns for each provided.

 

The Committee received an outline of the key issues facing the department, including:

·         Increased demand and complexity of services,

·         Increased costs of services provided by the independent sector,

·         Financial pressures in schools (especially in relation to individuals with high needs)

·         Social Worker recruitment and retention,

·         The ongoing increase in Child Protection Investigations and subsequent Child Protection Plans in Hampshire, in line with the national trend,

·         Pressures in relation to the Special Educational Needs Place Planning Strategy and employability offer for these young people,

·         Operational Challenges facing Home to School Transport, and

·         The impact of the pandemic.

 

In response to questions members heard that:

·         Independent Children’s Homes can be registered as charities, but rarely are as they are usually run for profit.

·         The same formula is applied for Academy status schools, however the finance is provided to Multi-Academy Trusts for them to distribute as desired.

·         There will be pressures from Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children received by Hampshire through the national redistribution scheme.

·         It is difficult to assess the impact from the increased cost of living concerns and the full impact of the pandemic is yet to be felt.

·         Although Children’s Services referrals have increased, the number of Child Protection and Child Looked After cases have remained stable.

·         The Hampshire Approach and Modernising Placements Programme are having a positive financial impact.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children and Young People Select Committee approve for submission to the Leader and the Cabinet:

·         The revised revenue budget for 2021/22 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

·         The summary revenue budget for 2022/23 as set out in Appendix 1 of the report.

·         Changes to the local schools funding as set out in paragraphs 76 to 82 of the report.

 

27.

Children's Services Capital Programme 2022/23 to 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To pre-scrutinise the proposed capital programme for Children’s Services prior to decision by the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services on 14 January 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the Director of Children’s Services providing a briefing of the departments Capital Programme for 2022/23 to 2024/25 (see Item 7 in the Minute Book).

 

The Committee noted the ongoing work the department had carried out to increase the number of schools places available to be in line with demand, with 14,215 created between 2013 and 2021. The Committee received the Schools Places Plan – 2022 to 2026, with a further proposed increase of 8,066 primary and secondary places. Members noted the projected figures for reception and year 7 intake within Hampshire Schools and the new schools proposed to accommodate the requirement.

 

The Committee also heard details of the proposed schemes in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and the schools anticipated to benefit from them.

 

Members noted the key pressures on the capital programme, including the need to balance income and expenditure, the pressure of the increasing schools places required, inflation in the construction industry and the overall size of the programme. It was observed that better value schools had been delivered over recent years, and there was always a strive to reduce costs further, whilst carefully consider the impact on the climate.

 

In response to questions members heard that:

·         There are grants available for the initial capital cost and the ongoing costs of Solar Panels for schools.

·         The authority works closely with planning authorities to plan future need for school places.

·         Recent capital projects have had a reduction in carbon but are not yet ‘net zero’ and they are expected to have the same lifespan with the appropriate maintained.

·         The ongoing Care Review may have an impact on the model for Children’s Homes.

·         Developers are required to contribute towards the costs of schools when requirements are met and these schools need to be within a set distances of homes.

·         Hampshire’s Special Schools are significantly more expensive to build and maintain due their requirements.

·         There is an excellent relationship with the local planning authorities but steps are taken to ensure that developments cannot increase past set limits in stages.

·         The Department for Education fund secure accommodation in Hampshire, which the department always seeks if free over accommodation elsewhere.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children and Young People Select Committee supports the recommendations being proposed to the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services.

28.

Attainment of Children and Young People in Hampshire Schools during the 2020/21 Academic Year pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To receive an update from the Director of Children’s Services on the attainment of children and young people in Hampshire schools in the 2020/21 academic year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the Director of Children’s Services providing the 2020/21 update on the attainment of children and young people in Hampshire Schools (see Item 8 in the Minute Book).

 

The Committee noted that there had been no external assessment in 2021 for the second year but there was evidence of a general slowing of progress. However, this was very individualised and impacted differently by educational settings due to the number of variables, including; attendance of children and staff and available attention and skills from parents and carers.

 

The Committee heard that there was particular concerns for the youngest and most vulnerable children. There are more signs of delayed development and challenges in year 1 as they have been affected during the year before school and in reception.

 

In response to questions members heard that:

·         Although there are advantages to the Teacher Assessed Grades, especially for those students less able to demonstrate potential using examination approaches, there were thought to be importance to the experience of the exam. Any changes would require significant research.

·         There were concerns surrounding the skills which would usually have been developed as a result of the curriculum.

·         There had been an impact on the options chosen in year 9, thought to be linked to the methods of teaching being used.

·         There are less surprises as a result of the TAG system, so there seems to be less issues raised by parents & careers.

·         Comparisons with other countries was problematic due to the different standards and requirements of early years education.

·         There had been a recent uptake in educational visits which fill an important role in education.

·         There has been an increase to physical education time requirements due to the possibility of decreased physical health and the effect of this on mental health. Many schools are instigating initiatives such as the ‘daily mile’ and yoga.

·         There had been an impact on retention of newly qualified teachers as their learning and development had also been disrupted by online learning.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children & Young People Select Committee note the contents of the report.

29.

Elective Home Education pdf icon PDF 468 KB

To receive an update from the Director of Children’s Services on Elective Home Education within Hampshire.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on Elective Home Education (EHE) within Hampshire (see Item 9 in the Minute Book).

 

The Committee heard that the number of children are electively home educated in Hampshire continues to rise, with 2700 children known to be at some point during the 2021/22 academic year. This is the highest ever number and thought to be linked to the pandemic. However, there is a considerable turnover and many choose to return to school after a limited period.

 

The Committee heard that, following the 2019 Government consultation, it is anticipated that the Department for Education will create the requirement for EHE children to register them with their local authority. It is anticipated that this will require new legislation, likely to be brought forward during 2022.

 

It was noted that the recent Judicial Review judgement in Portsmouth is likely to influence future legislative changes in relation to EHE guidance.

 

In response to questions members heard that:

·         A large proportion of Hampshire EHE community is in contact with the EHE Team. Many form group who work together to provide a more comprehensive education.

·         Teachers play an invaluable role in picking up safeguarding issues and reporting them to MASH. There have been occasions whereby members of the EHE community have reported concerns.

·         It is hoped that a national register will be created to track EHE children.

·         There are currently three FTE staff in the EHE team, but this will be reviewed following the expected legislation.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children & Young People Select Committee consider the report and note the actions being taken by the department, and

 

requests the Executive Member for Children write to the Secretary of State for Education to;

·         request clarification of the date of the legislation to set up a register of those electively home educated children, and

·         to request that the ‘per pupil funding’ for the Education Authority is appropriately directed to ensure the support of all children who are home educated.

 

 

30.

Update on Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People in Hampshire pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To receive an update (written only) on Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People in Hampshire, from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Minutes:

The Committee received a written update on Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People in Hampshire (see Item 10 in the Minute Book).

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Children and Young People Select Committee noted the update.

31.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 358 KB

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

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive presented the Committee’s work programme (see Item 11 in the Minute Book).

 

RESOLVED:

 

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