Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 18th May, 2017
Time:
4.30pm
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Robert Cook(Chair), Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Michael Smith and Cllr Norma Wilburn.
Officers:
Neil Schneider (CE), Beccy Brown, Ged Morton (HR&L), Garry Cummings (F&BS), Martin Gray (CHS), Reuben Kench (CL&E), Peter Bell (DCE) .
In Attendance:
Cllr Lynn Hall, members of the public.
Apologies for absence:
None.
Item Description Decision
Public
CAB
13/17
WELCOME AND EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and the evacuation procedure was noted.
CAB
14/17
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Bob Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Childcare Sufficiency Assessment as his wife was a registered child minder.

Councillor Norma Wilburn declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Childcare Sufficiency Assessment as a family member was involved in childcare.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Domestic Abuse Strategy 2017 - 2022 as he was a Director of Catalyst.
CAB
15/17
MINUTES
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2017 be confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
CAB
16/17
CHILDCARE SUFFICIENCY ASSESSMENT 2017
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170045
RESOLVED that:-

1. The Childcare Sufficiency Assessment and the associated priorities for 2017-2018 be approved.

2. The Childcare Sufficiency Assessment Action Plan for 2017-2017 be approved.
CAB
17/17
REVIEW OF EDUCATION PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170046
RESOLVED that:-

1. The partnership working continues to develop with other Tees authorities to see if solutions to the shortage of Educational Psychologists (EP) can be found sub regionally.

2. The recruitment strategies be implemented to attempt to build a fully staffed service.

3. The restructure of the service through a formal staffing review be implemented. This would include allocating places for trainee psychologists and considering fixed term contracts for the assistant EP posts to enable through put into accreditation and succession planning for the team.

4. The revised ways of working with schools continues to be developed, especially through the Enhanced Schools model.

5. Funding opportunities be explored as they emerge as other services are reviewed and income streams develop as the council moves towards more traded services and sub-regional and regional working.
CAB
18/17
DOMESTIC ABUSE STRATEGY 2017-2022
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170047
RECOMMENDED to Council that the Domestic Abuse Strategy (2017-22) be endorsed.
4.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CAB
15/17
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2017.
CAB
16/17
Consideration was given to a report on the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2017.

The report outlined how the Local Authority (LA) was meeting its duty to secure sufficient childcare and included information about the supply of and demand for childcare, details on any gaps in provision and an action plan on how they would be addressed.

The Childcare Act 2006 and 2016 and the associated statutory guidance for local authorities on Early Education and Childcare - March 2017, required Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (the Local Authority) to secure sufficient childcare, as far as was reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who were studying or training for employment, for children aged 0 - 14 (or up to 18 for disabled children).

The action plan set out the actions that Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council would take to deliver priorities. The detail of each action would be found in individual implementation plans held by the responsible officer/team. The action plan covered 2017 - 2018 and the implementation plans for the delivery of the specific actions identified could be found within individual team delivery plans.

The details of what local authorities needed to take into account to secure sufficient childcare places was highlighted within the report.

The Local Authority was responsible for determining the appropriate level of detail in the report, geographical division and date of publication.

In addition, the Local Authority was required by legislation to maintain a service that provided information, to parents and prospective parents on the provision of childcare in their area, as listed in Schedule 1 of the Childcare Act 2006 and from 1st September publish this information electronically on the local authority website and update it at a minimum termly on 1st January, 1st April and 1st September.

Stockton-on-Tees had a good range of quality childcare across the borough, however specific gaps had been identified and these were detailed as key priorities for 2017.
CAB
17/17
Consideration was given to a report that detailed a reporting in review to the Children and Young People Select Committee on the Stockton Educational Psychology Service.

Stockton Educational Psychology Service (EPS) was a specialist service within Schools and SEN. The scope for the reporting in review of the Stockton Educational Psychology Service was presented to the Children and Young People Select Committee in July 2016.

A report was presented in November 2016. This set out some background information to inform the discussion.

As a consequence of the meeting, the Select Committee gave approval for areas of work to be explored.

The service in Stockton had retained a good reputation with its schools. Evaluation from users remains very positive.

The approach of educational psychologist services in other Tees authorities was explored. In particular, Hartlepool Borough Council's model was scrutinised. This was because the service had no vacant posts, had 9 full time equivalent EPs and maintained trainee EP positions. It was also a service which was held in high regard by schools with a high level of buy-back. The issue was raised with the assistant Directors at the Tees wide meeting and the Principal Educational Psychologist from Hartlepool was invited to speak.

A subsequent meeting had taken place with the senior EP for each of the Tees authorities and the common issues discussed. Strategies to address concerns were being worked up across the Tees.

A partnership with Hartlepool had been established with a trail shared post. This was a senior post to focus on the Future in Mind programme. The idea was it would be hosted with Hartlepool for the Future in Mind work but would also carry a case load which would be managed by Stockton. It was hoped the post would be recruited to as it provided a unique opportunity for an EP to develop a specialism and work alongside a service of reputation and augment a growing service in Stockton.


A revised structure had been prepared. This revised structure realigns the staffing to ensure the service was more adaptive to the changing context and a more attractive team to work within to improve recruitment.

The ways of working with schools had been renegotiated. The EPS was returning to a model of consultation as its primary method of service delivery. The model recognised teachers as change agents and the skills of both schools and EPs in making a difference.

EPs and assistants would be supporting schools in delivering evidenced based interventions.

As part of the consultation process, interventions and agreed strategies would be evaluated to ensure impact.

This model of service delivery would ensure schools were supported and equipped to address needs. It also meant the EPS could be involved with those children and schools where perhaps the threshold for involvement would not previously have been considered appropriate. The service was also aiming to provide free incentives to those schools who choose to buy in services.

The approach to allocating support to schools had been renegotiated through the model of the ‘Enhanced School'. This was in line with the transformation of additional provision for children with special needs in mainstream schools in Stockton. The previous model of additionally resourced provisions (ARPs) had been redesigned into locality based hubs and ‘enhanced schools'. These would offer places for children as before but would also be a centre of best practice offering outreach support and advice and guidance to other local schools. They would also be able to offer therapeutic support for children.

Educational Psychologist time would be allocated to the enhanced schools in Stockton and the EPs would be resident there to enable capacity to be developed and early screening and support for the child, family and school to be available.

The capacity of the service to draw in income would increase as the team grew. Presently, there was not enough staff to deliver the work requested from schools. Funding may also be accessed to grow the service, and provide more free support to schools from:

- Early help
- Troubled families
- The establishment of a Learning Trust in Stockton
- Combined Authority/Tees Valley Challenge
- High Needs funding allocated through the Enhanced Schools
CAB
18/17
Consideration was given to a report on the Domestic Abuse Strategy 2017 - 2022.

The multi-agency Domestic Abuse Steering Group had produced a revised
Domestic Abuse Strategy (2017-22) for the borough. The new strategy built on the work of preceding years and strengthens the focus on working together as local partners, agencies and communities to prevent individuals from becoming victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse.

The strategic approach would support professionals to identify and deal with the earliest signs of abuse, stop abuse before it happens, prevent abusive behaviour from becoming entrenched and prevent perpetrators from moving from one victim to the next. Critically, it would provide victims and their families with support before a crisis point had been reached.

The draft Domestic Abuse Strategy 2017-22 and a copy of the Domestic Abuse Strategy Action Plan 2017-18 was attached to the report.

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