Agenda and draft minutes

Children and Young People Select Committee - Tuesday, 12th July, 2022 10.00 am

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

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

Items
No. Item

42.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Branson.

43.

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.

 

Councillor Huggins noted that they were employed in the Post-16 sector.

44.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on the 17 May 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

45.

Deputations

To receive any deputations notified under Standing Order 12.

Minutes:

The Committee did not receive any deputations.

 

46.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements the Chairman may wish to make.

Minutes:

The Chairman did not make any announcements to the meeting.

 

47.

Ukraine & Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children - Update pdf icon PDF 523 KB

To receive a presentation from the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on Ukraine & Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children.

Minutes:

The committee received an update from the Director of Children’s Services on unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) alongside an overview of families relocating to Hampshire from Ukraine (see Item 6 in the Minute Book).

 

Members received an overview of the National Transfer Scheme, which became mandatory for all Local Authorities in 2021. Hampshire’s target is 199 children and has currently received 119. The average age of arrivals is 17, so the young people quickly become care leavers and no longer count towards the target number.

The committee noted that all children are considered to be trafficked until a social work assessment is completed. This is as a result of partnership working between the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, Willow (specialist exploitation team) and Children in Care teams.

 

The committee received an overview of the main challenges facing the department in this area, which included accessing education and placements often being outside of Hampshire. An overview of the nationalities of the UASC was noted alongside the support offered to those considered care leavers.

 

The committee then received a specific update on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme which local authorities are responsible for implementing, although they remain private arrangements. Members heard how lessons had been learn from the Afghan response which informed the planning of this scheme. The challenges of this scheme were highlighted, included the need to rematch when placements break down and the limited time available to create and implement what has become a complex process.

 

In response to questions, members found that:

·         The department pursues all possible support when English is a second language to assist in accessing education etc.

·         A significant number of UASC do not receive the right to remain within the UK.

·         Hampshire has an Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service which supports children, families and schools with a range of services.

·         Where possible, UASC are placed alongside peers in cohorts.

·         There are significant risks surrounding the young people who do not receive the right to remain, many of who then abscond.

·         There is close engagement with Prevent and the Channel Panel to work to prevent and identify radicalisation.

·         There is an increasing number of UASC who are now care leavers, many of which are outside of Hampshire but remain the county’s responsibility.

·         In relation to Ukrainian refugees, schools have reported a positive experience and classrooms are being set up to be trauma informed.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

That the Children and Young People Select Committee note the update on Ukraine and the associated Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children.

48.

Education and Children’s Social Care Policy pdf icon PDF 300 KB

To receive a presentation from the Director of Children’s Serves providing an update on the following education and children’s social care policy;

·         SEND Review: Right Support, Right Place, Right Time – Green Paper

·         Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child – White Paper

·         National Review of Children’s Social Care.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With the agreement of the Chairman this item was deferred to a future meeting.

49.

Post 16 Education & Skills - An Update pdf icon PDF 554 KB

To receive a report from the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on Post 16 Education & Skills in Hampshire alongside the Skills & Post 16 Education Act.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received an update from the Director of Children’s Services on Post 16 Education and Skills (see Item 8 in the Minute Book).

 

Members heard how the Hampshire Skills (Post 16) system was the largest single area further education system in the UK, noting that colleges are independent Corporations or Trusts, outside local authority regulation. There are currently 35,200 funded 16-19/25 places at Hampshire based providers, 977 of which are high needs and 89% in a further education college.

 

The committee noted that the LA had a duty to support transition, post 16 and participation in education, employment and training (EET). An overview of participation and attainment was provided, followed by an introduction to the new level 3 technical qualifications, T-levels. These had been developed with employers and have replaced other level 3 technical qualifications such as BTEC or OCR Nationals. Members noted the impact of the recent Skills & Post 16 Education Act.

 

In response to questions, members found that:

·         Young people experiencing vulnerability such as living in relative poverty are provided additional support in relation to post 16 education and skills.

·         Ofsted inspect the courses available for the cohort, rather than assessing the range or need of the courses available.

·         There are difficulties in advertising opportunities, many of which are not voluntary roles or employment. ‘Apprenticeship Hubs’ have been created as an attempt to solve this issue.

·         All available pathways should be shared with young people and the new T-levels should have the same weight placed upon them as other options.

·         T-level placements are the responsibility of the college and they check them for safety and supervision.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

 

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

50.

Home to School Transport Policy Public Consultation Outcomes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider a report from the Director of Children’s Services for pre-scrutiny on the outcome of the public consultation on changes to the Home to School Transport Policy and for Post-16 Transport services for children and young people, including those with special educational needs.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received a report from the Director of Children’s Services setting out the outcomes of the recent Home to School Transport Policy Public Consultation (see Item 9 in the Minute Book).

 

Members noted that the Local Authority had a statutory duty to provide home to school transport to certain young people where they meet circumstances prescribed in legislation. The existing service provides daily transport for 9,000 children and young people every school day.

 

The committee heard that the proposed changes to the policy would allow for route planning and vehicle use to utilise efficiencies provided by increased use of collective pick-up points and multiple destinations. It was noted that there was not a statutory requirement for home to school transport to be a door to door service or to provide for individual establishments.

 

In order for the service to deliver savings as part of the Council’s 2023 savings programme, permission to consult with the public and affected service users was provided in January 2022. The public’s views on two proposals were sought:

·         Increase the use of co-ordinated pick up and drop off points for SEND children.

·         Arrange journeys to more commonly serve multiple schools and colleges and age groups, including journeys that serve both mainstream and special schools and colleges.

 

Members heard that these changes would improve the efficiency of school journeys as fewer vehicles may be required, with some carrying on average more children. This would provide savings of up to £986,000.

However, the consultation highlighted a lack of support by respondents to the proposed changes to the current arrangements, with a majority not in agreement not in agreement with either proposal.

 

The committee heard that many of the concerns raised in the consultation would be mitigated by applying the changes to the policy on an individual basis, ensuring that each individual children’s needs are considered. This would be incorporated into the process, in accordance with the statutory guidance and the Council’s Home to School Transport Entitlement policy.

 

In response to questions, members heard that:

·         In cases where it was considered appropriate, it would allow for a more inclusive approach in relation to young people with SEN, preparing them for later life .

·         Journey appropriateness was assessed by travel time, rather then the start time of the journey in relation to the school’s opening time.

·         Consideration would be given not just to individuals, but to the mix of young people on each vehicle.

·         The changes would not be implemented unilaterally, but following individual assessment, over a period of 1 to 3 years.

·         Travel escorts will continue to be deployed where needed.

·         There is a two stage appeals process which parents can engage in when they are not happy with an outcome in relation to Home to School Transport. This is a statutory requirement.

·         The department works very closely alongside their providers and will work to prevent changes being a surprise and supporting transitions for children with vulnerabilities, as is the case currently when arrangements change.

·         The majority of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Update on Autism Services Commissioning for Children and Young People in Hampshire pdf icon PDF 609 KB

To receive a regular information 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.

52.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 222 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.