Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BQ

Contact: Salar Rida 020 8359 7113 Email: Salar.Rida@Barnet.gov.uk 

Note: Two paper copies of the agenda only will be available at the meeting for members of the public. Attendees are requested to view the agenda online and if needed, to print any specific agenda report(s). 

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes of the last Meeting pdf icon PDF 230 KB

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Committee, Councillor David Longstaff welcomed all attendees to the meeting.

     

    In respect of the discussion held at the previous meeting on 13 January 2020 under the Annual Report on School Funding item, the Committee requested to receive a copy of the letter sent to the Secretary of State for Education.

     

    It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 January 2020 be agreed as a correct record.

2.

Absence of Members

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Councillor Val Duschinsky and Nagus Narenthira.

3.

Declarations of Members Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Non-Pecuniary Interests

    Minutes:

    None.

4.

Report of the Monitoring Officer (if Any)

    Minutes:

    None.

5.

Public Questions and Comments (if Any)

    Minutes:

    None were received.

6.

Members' Items (if Any)

    Minutes:

    There were none.

7.

Family Services Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 572 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman welcomed the report and invited Officers to present the item.

     

    Chris Munday (Executive Director, Children and Young People), Tina McElligott (Director Children’s Social Care, Help & Protection) and Brigitte Jordaan (Director Children’s Social Care, Children in Care) presented and summarised the report.

     

    Officers spoke about the detailed data, headlines and actions being taken to address the issues, as set out within the Children’s services Analysis Tool (ChAT).

     

    In response to a query about the source of contacts compared to the source of referrals in the last six months - Officers referred to page 28 of the Agenda and noted that the data could be interpreted to mean that the same contact could’ve been made by different agencies. 

     

    The Committee queried about the 2018-19 data for referrals and Officers explained that the data is captured at six months’ intervals. In addition, it was noted that the data for the previous financial year is due to be released due to the data collation process for other LA areas.

     

    Members asked about the process for updating schools’ social workers list when a social worker leaves. Officers noted that lists are updated as soon as practically possible to ensure each school has an up to date list.

     

    The Committee noted the data for Children Looked After (CLA) leaving care for the past six months and queried the figures for children returning home to live with parents/ relatives. Officers informed the Committee that the cohort is monitored carefully and parents/ relatives’ circumstances are re-assessed and the arrangements around special guardians and connected carers.

     

    In response to a query from the Committee about the number of missing episodes per CLA, it was noted that their whereabouts are known. In addition, the teams work collaboratively with partners to ensure that intelligence is gathered effectively and to try and keep children and young people as safe as possible.

     

    Following a comment from the Committee about the data for dental checks, Officers informed that the figures are reliant on up to date data being reported into the system. As an ongoing piece of work, this area of work continues to be monitored for further improvement.

     

    Members asked about opportunities for young people towards education and training – it was noted that more young people were placed in apprenticeships across the Council and making good progress in their placements. Further alternative opportunities have been explored whilst also making use of Live Unlimited and their contacts which has resulted in an increase in opportunities for training and apprenticeships.

     

    The Committee requested an update on the frustrations experienced with the Children’s Services IT systems and processes. Officers agreed to incorporate how this was being addressed as part of the next Quarterly Update report. (Action: FS Quarterly Update report)

     

    Committee Members noted that the layout and presentation of the data within the ChAT report as being very useful. The Chairman thanked the Committee for the discussion, it was unanimously RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That the Committee noted and scrutinised as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Educational Standards in Barnet 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 397 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman welcomed Ian Harrison (Education and Skills Director, Barnet with Cambridge Education) and Neil Marlow (Head of School Improvement) to present the Educational Standards 2018-19 report.

     

    Mr Harrison highlighted the following achievements:

    • The performance for secondary schools in Barnet has been very good with improvements across early years and primary schools.
    • The percentage of Good and Outstanding schools in Barnet is now 96.8% and is above National, Inner London and Outer London averages.
    • The percentage of primary and secondary schools in Barnet rated Good or Outstanding is in the top 10% of the country.
    • The percentage of children with SEN Support achieving a Good Level of Development (GLD) in the Early Years Foundation Stage is above the national average.

     

    The Chairman on behalf of the Committee commended the achievements of all pupils and noted the positive interaction between Officers and schools on making continued improvements.

     

    The Committee queried about the improvements to the attendance data. Officers informed the Committee about the work delivered with schools and the approach taken towards attendance. It was noted that improvements had been made on tackling unauthorised absences and to ensure parents and carers understand the importance of attendance.

     

    In relation to English Writing, the Committee asked about the way in which this is assessed. It was noted that for primary pupils’ English Writing there remain inconsistencies nationally with teacher assessment of writing. However, it was also noted that Barnet has made consistent improvements in this area.

     

    The Committee requested that other achievements such as BTEC results and apprenticeship opportunities also be raised in future press release statements alongside Barnet’s school achievements in GCSEs and A levels.

     

    Officers agreed to share information with the Committee about the different pathways schools are offering alongside A-levels. (Action: Ian Harrison, Neil Marlow)

     

    In response to a query from the Committee about split course options, Officers noted the challenges around timetabling and split courses at different schools. It was noted that agreement and cooperation between schools was an area that needed to be explored further.

     

     

    It was unanimously RESOLVED:

     

    That the Children, Education and Safeguarding Committee note the validated results for school performance in Barnet for the academic year 2018/19 as set out in Appendix A: Summary of Educational Standards in Barnet, 2018/19.

     

9.

Life Chances Strategy 2020-24 pdf icon PDF 473 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman welcomed the report and Ben Thomas, Assistant Director, Family Services joined the meeting to present the report.

     

    It was noted that the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 repealed sections of the Child Poverty Act 2010 which required local authorities to produce a child poverty strategy and re-named the legislation as the Life Chances Act 2010.  Mr Thomas stated that historically the Committee has received the Child Poverty Strategy and noted that this report presents the Life Chances Strategy.

     

    Following a query about the consultation process, Mr Munday briefed the Committee about the consultation exercises, including via the consultation portal and a range of different consultation specifically for young people.

     

    It was unanimously RESOLVED:

     

    1. That the Children, Education and Safeguarding Committee consider and comment on the draft Life Chances Strategy 2020-24 set out in Appendix 1.
    2. That the Children, Education and Safeguarding Committee give approval for public consultation on the draft Life Chances Strategy 20-24.
    3. That following public consultation delegated authority is given to the Executive Director – Children and Young People in consultation with the committee chairman to give final approval of the Life Chances Strategy 2020-2024

     

10.

Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 183 KB

11.

Any other Item(s) that the Chairman decides are Urgent (if Any)

    Minutes:

    None.