|Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 14th July 2016.|
|Cabinet considered a report that outlined the findings of the Scrutiny Review of School Parking.|
The number of cars taking children to and from school had increased over the years not just in Stockton Borough but nationally and as such needed to be recognised as a problem that could not easily be remedied locally.
The key concerns that were investigated by the Crime and Disorder Select Committee were:
Safety of children who were trying to cross roads between parked cars.
Residents unable to access their own homes/driveways and being verbally abused by drivers.
Safety of drivers (and young passengers) trying to manoeuvre where there were cars parked across junctions, on bends etc.
How Enforcement Officers and local police could deal with the problem.
What good practice was already happening and how could this be shared.
|Cabinet considered a report that provided details of the Ombudsman's annual review letter for the Council for 2015/16.|
Members were provided with the annual review letter and the statistics table for 2015/16 along with Ombudsman's annual report for the Council for 2014/15.
When comparing the two statistics tables, it could be seen that:-
Complaints/enquiries received in 2015/16 reduced significantly (from 54 to 39)
Complaints/enquiries about adult care services also reduced significantly (from 12 to 2)
Complaints/enquiries about education and children's services reduced slightly (from 17 to 15)
Complaints about benefits and tax reduced (from 5 to 3); and
Complaints about planning and development remained fairly consistent (5 compared to 4 in 2014/15)
The number of decisions made by the Ombudsman in 2015/16 reduced slightly (from 47 to 45). The number of detailed investigations undertaken increased from 13 (in 2014/15) to 20 in 2015/16, and the number of complaints upheld also increased from 4 to 12.
In terms of the upheld complaints, 3 were remedied by the Council before the Ombudsman became involved; 6 were remedied following the Ombudsman's involvement, and the remaining 3 required no remedies. No formal reports were published by the Ombudsman in 2015/16.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided an update on the financial performance at the end of the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year and updated the Medium Term Financial Plan accordingly.|
A table within the report summarised the MTFP position for each directorate.
The reasons for any significant projected variances were detailed within the report.
The report provided members details of the consultation process into the 100% retention of Business Rates and also information on the Four Year Settlement/Efficiency Plan where it was proposed that Stockton Council would signe up to the offer.
The Council's Capital budget for 2012/19 was summarised with further detail attached to the report and the report provided details of scheme revisions and changes to the programme.
Members were be aware that the Council received notification that it would receive £30m to support capacity in Education. A report would be presented to Cabinet in October outlining the Strategy for investment and development.
|In accordance with the Council's Constitution or previous practice the minutes of the meeting of the bodies indicated below were submitted to Members for consideration:-|
SLSCB - 19th May 2016
SLSCB - 4th July 2016
TSAB - 28th June 2016
|Cabinet was asked to consider the Council's Corporate Policy and Procedures Document for 2016/17; to affirm the Senior Responsible Officer role and to receive details of the Council's surveillance activity during 2015/16. |
Under RIPA, authorities such as the Council could authorise:-
a. Directed surveillance (e.g. covert camera surveillance) in a manner likely to obtain private information about an individual;
b. A covert human intelligence source ("CHIS") which was someone who established or maintains a personal or other relationship with another individual for the covert purpose of obtaining information; and the
c. Acquisition of communications data (e.g. not the contents of a communication, but information about the use made by a person of any postal or telecommunications service);
The only grounds for such authorisations were for the prevention or detection of crime or of preventing disorder.
Only certain prescribed officers could sign authorisations (i.e. Director, Assistant Director, Service manager or equivalent).
Members were provided with details of the RIPA powers, the Councils corporate police and procedure.
During 2015/16 the following covert surveillance took place:-
The number of directed surveillance authorisations granted during the year - 1
The number of authorisations in force at the year end - 0
Covert Human Intelligence Source ("CHIS")
The number of CHIS recruited during the year - 5
The number of CHIS who ceased to be used during the year - 5
The number of active CHIS at the year end - 0
The number of applications submitted to a designated person for a decision to obtain communications data, which were rejected after due consideration - 0
The number of notices requiring disclosure of communications data within the meaning of each sub-section of section 21 (4) of RIPA or any combination of data - 1
The number of authorisations for conduct to acquire communications data within the meaning of each sub-section of section 21 (4) of RIPA or any combination of data - 1
Specific details of authorisations/activity during the year were included in an appendix to the report.
|Cabinet considered a report that provided Members with the framework for measuring the effectiveness of early help. It followed on from the new approach to early help which was agreed by Cabinet at its meeting on 14 July 2016.|
The framework for early help was based on the following elements:
i. Feedback / customer insight: what those in receipt of early help services are saying about the help and support they had received.
b. Assurance and audit: oversight of quality in case files, focusing on:
i. Performance against an agreed set of indicators which could be measured over time.
Details of the indicators were provided.
Members were also provided with details of the progress in the development of the framework to date.
Further progress reports and interrogation via the Early Help Partnership Group would start to measure progress in 2016/17.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided details of the findings from Ofsted inspection of Services For Children In Need Of Help And Protection, Children Looked After And Care Leavers And Review Of The Effectiveness Of The Local Safeguarding Children Board.|
In Autumn 2014, Ofsted introduced a newly revised Single Inspection Framework (SIF) for the Inspection of Children's Services. All Local Authorities would receive a SIF by November 2017.
The arrival of the four week Inspection was announced the day before the Inspection Team arrived on site.
The Inspection Team comprised in total of 8 Inspectors, a Shadow Inspector, a Data Analyst and the Team was overseen by a Quality Assurance Manager.
The Local Authority had prepared its own Self-Assessment in advance of the Inspection and provided a number of briefing notes/case responses for Ofsted during the four weeks.
Ofsted also had a range of performance information already available to them prior to the Inspection, along with views from children, young people and their carers via Annual Questionnaires.
During the four week Inspection Ofsted examined over 250 children's files.
The Ofsted Judgements were divided into a number of categories:
a. There was an overall Judgement for Children's Services and also Sub-Judgement. The Judgements that could be given were:
- Requires Improvement
b. Sub-Judgements related to the following:
1) Children who need help and protection.
2) Children looked after and achieving permanence - with specific focus on adoption and the experience of care leavers.
3) Leadership Management and Governance.
c. Alongside the Inspection of Children's Services, a Review of the Effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board was also undertaken - this was also given a separate Judgement.
Throughout the Inspection process the Ofsted Inspectors tracked or reviewed a number of specific cases, including:
- Children who were at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation
- Children in Need of Help and Protection
- Children Looked After placed in and out of the Local Authority
- Children placed with Foster Carers
- Children who have been placed in Children's Homes who are known to have run away
- Children who have recently returned home
- Children who have a plan for adoption
- Children who are care leavers
- Children receiving Early Help Services
During the Inspection the Local Authority was also asked to Audit a number of cases and share their findings and Judgements with Ofsted.
The Inspection Team undertook around 80 meetings, including meetings with:
- Partner Agencies, including Police, Health, Schools.
- Local Authority staff
- Representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector
- Children, Young People and their Carers
- Foster Carers and Adoption Carers
- Elected Members
- Children in Care Council Representatives
As the Multi-agency Children Hub went live during the Inspection, Ofsted undertook a visit to the Service in Hartlepool during the Inspection process.
Ofsted Inspectors also undertook a number of interviews with Children's Services practitioners and managers in order that they understood what was happening on the ground in relation to:
- Supervision and Management oversight
- Workloads for staff
- The availability, quality and impact of training and development
- The impact of learning from Serious Case Reviews
- Whether Senior Managers and Elected Members were visible and approachable
The overall judgement for Services in Stockton-on-Tees was good.
Details were provided of the sub-judgment findings and the key strengths.
Whilst there were 25 specific recommendations throughout the report, a number related to similar themes, which led to 10 overall recommendations.
As of 5 August 2016, 104 Inspections of Children's Services had been published - there were 50 remaining Local Authorities to have their reports published by the end of 2017.
Of the 107 Inspections to date, only 28 Local Authorities had received a Good or Better overall Judgement and only 4 Local Authorities had received an Outstanding Judgement for Care Leavers. Details of the current national judgment were provided at the appendix to the report.
There had now been eight Local Authorities in the North East inspected under the SIF:
- Three Local Authorities had received an overall Good Judgement.
- Three Local Authorities had received an overall Requires Improvement Judgement.
- Two Local Authorities had received an Inadequate Judgement.
No other Local Authority in the North East Region has an Outstanding Judgement for Care Leavers.
Cabinet congratulated and thanked all staff involved in the inspection.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided a headline, summary analysis of performance in the academic year 2015 - 2016 against all the key stages for all providers in the Borough.|
The headline outcomes for the primary phase - Early Years and Foundation Stage was 65% of children in Stockton achieved a Good Level of Development. 52% of disadvantaged children in Stockton achieved a Good Level of Development in 2016.
At the end of Year 1 children are tested on their ability to use phonic skills to decode a list of words and non-words. The proportion of Year 1 children meeting the standard in the phonics screening check had increased year on year since the tests began. 83% of Year 1 children reached the standard in 2016, a rise of 5% in comparison to 2015 and 6% above the national average for 2015.
The Headline outcomes for KS1 was Assessment arrangements for the end of Key Stage 1 (when children are age 7) were significantly different in 2016 as this was the first year of assessments to reflect the new curriculum which became statutory in September 2014. These new assessments do not compare to the old assessments as levels were no longer in use. Comparisons with previous years' outcomes were therefore unreliable.
Teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 1 were informed by tests in reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG), and maths. However, test outcomes were not necessarily in line with teacher assessments and were not routinely reported. The requirement to do the SPaG paper was withdrawn after it was noticed that the paper had previously been published on the DfE website.
Attainment in reading, writing and maths could be recorded as working towards the standard' (WTS), working at the expected standard' (EXS) or working at greater depth within the standard' (GDS). In science, attainment could be recorded as EXS or standard not met' (NM). Where children were working below the standard expected, their attainment could also be recorded as foundations of the expected standard' (PKF) and, where appropriate for children with Special Educational Needs, the P scales continue to be used. In order to make the assessment, teachers had to assess each child against a specific set of criteria. In order to award the judgement, teachers had to have evidence that the child could meet all criteria and all criteria from any lower standard. This secure fit' model was substantially different to the best fit' model of previous assessments.
Given that assessments were based on a different curriculum and different criteria, comparisons with 2015 were not particularly relevant. However, comparisons with national outcomes show that the LA had exceeded the national average in all areas (to be confirmed, this was based on early incomplete data) Also, only 50% of this cohort achieved a Good Level of Development at the end of the EYFS in 2014. Given that 64% achieved the expected standard in all areas at the end of Key Stage 1, this suggests good progress overall.
The outcomes for disadvantaged children show that, although overall the gap with non-disadvantaged children had become wider, the gap for each individual subject area had narrowed slightly. This was because the dip in the proportion of disadvantaged children reaching the expected standard at the end of the key stage was less than for non-disadvantaged children, but a substantial number of children in both groups did not achieve the expected standard in all subjects.
Ensuring more children achieve the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths would be a focus for the 0-11 team in 2016-17.
The KS2 headline outcomes present a generally positive picture in comparison with national averages. However, reading was a clear challenge with results overall below the national average. Individual school outcomes vary widely, but overall indicate a widening of the gap in attainment for disadvantaged children. (National data was not yet available.)
The SPaG test results were pleasing because although they appear lower than previous years, they were still above the national average. The impact of good SPaG teaching was also evident in writing outcomes above the national average since teacher assessment under the new system was increasingly weighted towards accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Improving pupils' attainment at the end of Key Stage 2, particularly in reading and particularly for disadvantaged children, would be a focus for 2016-17.
Young people take GCSEs and other equivalent examinations at the end of Key Stage 4. These national examinations were graded on an A* - G or comparable scale. Young people who achieve 5+ A* - C were deemed to have reached the Level 2 threshold. Those who achieve 5+ A* - G had reached the Level 1 threshold.
There were significant changes to the KS4 performance tables in 2016. The previous headline measure of 5+A*-C including English and Maths, would be removed from the main performance tables as would the percentage of pupils making expected progress in English and maths.
Instead, the new headline measures which would appear in the secondary performance tables in 2016 would be:
- Progress 8
- Attainment 8
- The percentage of pupils achieving A*-C in English and maths (currently a C grade, grade 5 when new GCSEs in English and mathematics are first reported in performance tables in 2017)
- Percentage of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate
- The percentage of pupils entering the English Baccalaureate
- The percentage of students staying in education or employment after key stage 4
Although not key headline measures, further changes to the 2016 performance tables and measures include:
- Two new indicators would be published as additional information, looking at the percentage of pupils entering more than one language qualification and the percentage of pupils entering physics, chemistry and biology.
The principle national measure of success was based on Progress 8. Progress 8 aims to capture the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. It was a type of value added measure, which means that pupils' results were compared to the actual achievements of other pupils with the same prior attainment nationally.
The national Floor Standard in the secondary phase was measured by a Progress 8 figure of -0.5. Any school below the figure of -0.5 would be below the national Floor Standard. The greater the Progress 8 score, the greater the progress made by the pupil compared to the average of pupils with similar prior attainment.
Members were provided with a table that gave all of the provisional results for the schools and academies in the Borough for the key performance indicator of Progress 8. Progress 8 figures however, at this stage should be viewed with caution as the calculation was based on 2015 data and not 2016. The validated progress 8 figures would only be known when the 2016 national attainment of pupils was released by DfE which was due in October 2016.
The table also included how schools had performed for pupils attaining 5 A*-C including English and Maths. This was not exactly the same as in 2015 as this year English Literature outcomes had been able to be counted towards the score, not just English language as in 2015. It was, therefore, not a wholly accurate benchmark to compare 2015 performance with 2016, but it gives an indication.
Out of the 12 schools with Y11 cohorts, 7 have positive Progress 8 scores which meant on average the pupils in these schools had performed better than pupils nationally from the same starting points.
The results this year demonstrate huge gains for some schools; Our Lady and St Bede, had improved dramatically - their results would be significantly above national and their Progress 8 score on 0.77 was exceptional. Egglescliffe had also performed particularly well and had their highest ever results.
Some schools had dipped, such as St Michael's whilst the Progress 8 measure for St Patricks, North Shore, Bishopsgarth and Thornaby were a concern.
For the first time in 2016, a formal category of Coasting Schools' would be adopted by the DfE due to the Education & Adoption Act, 2016. Coasting schools were those that consistently fail to ensure pupils reach their potential. The coasting' definition would capture school performance over 3 years. In 2016 it would consider performance in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and a school would only be identified as coasting if it was within the coasting definition in all three years.
For secondary schools in 2016, the definition would apply to schools which:
- in 2014 and 2015 had fewer than 60% of children achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including English and maths, and below the median percentage of pupils making expected progress in English and mathematics; and
- in 2016 fall below a level set against the new Progress 8 measure. This level would be announced in the autumn term of 2016.
By 2018, the definition of coasting would be based entirely on three years of Progress 8 data and would not have an attainment element.
Stockton has two schools and two colleges with A Level provision. The headline measures in 2016 for Post 16 performance have changed from 2015. However, the new performance tables would not be published until January and March 2017 and so comparable measures to 2015 would be given here until the release of the new performance tables' data.
The A level achievement measures to report were provided.
Egglescliffe has performed very well with another increase in the highest grades of A*-B with a 6% increase to 67%. The percentage of A level students achieving 3 A levels at grades AAB or higher (in at least 2 facilitating subjects) has also seen a rise to 25% which is 10% higher than the 2015 national average. Egglescliffe's average point score per A level entry has increased by 30 points to 239, 23 points above 2015 national average.
Conyers had also continued their strong performance in the percentage of A level students achieving 3 A levels at grades AAB or higher (in at least 2 facilitating subjects) by achieving 19%, 4% higher than 2015 national average. However, other results had fallen with highest grades of A*-B falling by 8% to 52% and average point score per A level entry falling 10% to 214.
The performance of Stockton Sixth Form College at A level was below that of the sixth form schools. Their performance for the percentage of students at A level achieving the highest grades of A*-B at 34.6% had remained static from 2015. Other key measures had seen falls of the percentage of A level students achieving at least 3 A levels at A*-E, falling 27.4% to 36.6 and the percentage of A level students achieving at least 2 A levels at A*-E falling by 17.5% to 71.5%. However, it was to be noted that many of Stockton Sixth Form College students complete combined A level and level 3 vocational equivalent qualifications. This means students were still achieving level 3 qualifications that would allow entry into universities but the performance tables now do not take into consideration combined A level and equivalence. For example, performance of A*-B would be at 47% (rather than 34.6%) if combined qualifications were counted. Stockton Sixth Form College had had increases in some key areas in 2016. The percentage achieving an A*-E grade had risen by 4.2% to 98.2% and average point score per A level entry had increased by 30 points to 223.4.
At Stockton Riverside College, for A Level provision, there had been a disappointing decline in the high grade percentage (for grades A*-B) in 2015/16, compared with the previous year, of 6.4% points, from 41% to 34.7%. The College had seen the achievement rate increase at both A Level and AS Level in 2015/16, compared with 2014/15 outcomes from 94.4% to 94.7% and from 79.5% to 81.8% respectively. Also, for AS Level provision, high grade performance had improved, from 25% achieving grades A*-B in 2014/15, to 30%. This may bode well for the achievement of this cohort next year, when they complete their A Level courses.
Students were also offered alternative accreditation largely in the form of BTEC qualifications. These qualifications tended to be more vocationally based and a wide range of them were traditionally delivered by the colleges. Performances at vocational qualifications were very strong across the providers. Data for the vocational qualifications had not yet been collated and submitted from the colleges; it would be reported on when received.
Members were provided with the impact of Local Authority monitoring, support and challenge.
|Consideration was given to the report that presented the proposed calendar of school term and holiday dates for 2017/2018 academic year.|
School employers were required to set the term dates of their school year. Employers were:
the Local Authority in community, voluntary controlled and community special schools and maintained nursery schools;
the Governing Body in foundation and voluntary aided school;
the academy trust in academies and free schools.
In line with statutory requirements and the protocol agreed in 2008, consideration had been given to compile a set of term and holiday dates for schools in the Borough.
Officers consulted with colleagues from all neighbouring authorities to endeavour to reach consensus on a proposed model for the academic year.
Attached to the report were the proposed dates for 2017/2018.
As part of the consultation process these documents were duly circulated to schools and all other relevant parties, including unions and associations.
Comments were received from schools and academies and the formal responses were attached to the report.
The majority of neighbouring authorities had either recommended or approved their proposed 2017/2018 term dates.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided an update on activity and performance and any associated workload pressures in relation to the Safeguarding and Looked After Children Service.|
The report would also highlight any national changes in legislation, policy and guidance which were likely to have an impact on services within Stockton-on-Tees.
This report was based on the available data at the end of quarter 1 (30 June 2016).
This revised and simplified format for reporting to Cabinet focused on activity and performance within the Safeguarding and Looked After Children Service, which was established as part of the new structure arising from the children's services review which became operational on 1 September 2015.
The report focused on performance against a small number of key performance indicators.
In addition, the report would draw on a range of qualitative information in order to provide cabinet with a more rounded view of activity and performance within the Safeguarding and Looked After Children Service.
Finally, the report highlighted any key national changes in legislation, policy and guidance which were likely to have an impact on services to children and families in Stockton-on-Tees.
|Consideration was given to a report that sought approval to consult on a new vision and proposed approach to the provision of early years support in Stockton, including the future model for children's centres. It set out the vision and objectives of a new approach, and a set of proposals for implementation.|
The proposed approach was to fundamentally review the approach for early years in Stockton, recognising the roles of different sectors and providers.
The focus was on the support available to families in the early years, often referred to as pregnancy, birth and beyond. The approach was especially focused on the support available from pregnancy to 2, as it was widely recognised that these are the most critical times in promoting child development and wellbeing.
However, in considering the role of agencies and the model of delivery, the Councils approach also recognised the need to consider early years support in the context of the wider early help approach which was agreed at Cabinet in July 2016, and that families continued to need support when children start and attend school, and therefore that they need to be seen in the context of an approach to 0-19 services.
The approach suggested was therefore much broader than a focus solely on children's centres, though these form an important part of the overall picture. The approach was therefore more about a whole system approach, which was focused on:
a. The needs of parents and what support they value;
b. How we can support effective and confident parenting;
c. How we can work with families and communities to develop solutions and effective services to support those most in need.
|Consideration was given to a report on Local Authority Governors on School Governing Bodies.|
In accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school / academy governors, approved as Minute CAB 27/13 of the Cabinet (13 June 2013), Cabinet was invited to consider the nominations to school/academy Governing Bodies as attached to the report.
|Cabinet considered a report that detailed proposals regarding the re-establishment of the Authority's Independent Remuneration Panel, as required by the Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 (as amended) ("the Regulations") with a view to making appropriate recommendations to the Council.|
Details were provided on the proposed panel, its functions, the recommended Chair of the panel, its terms of office and the Panels Allowances.