Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Children & Young People Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 14th October, 2015
Time:
17.00
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Carol Clark(Chairman), Cllr Tracey Stott(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Sylvia Walmsley (vice Cllr Ian Dalgarno), Cllr Elsi Hampton, Cllr Di Hewitt, Cllr Ross Patterson, Cllr Lauriane Povey, Cllr Rachael Proud, Cllr Sally Ann Watson, Mr Phil Rigby
Officers:
Diane McConnell (Head of Schools & SEN), Shaun McLurg (Head of Children and Young People's Services), Jane Humphreys (Director of Children, Education & Social Care), Martin Gray (Head of Early Help, Partnership & Planning), Simon Willson (Head of Performance), Margaret Waggott (Head of Democratic Services, Peter Kelly (Director of Public Health), Judith Trainer, Jenna McDonald (DSU)
In Attendance:
Colin Morris (Chair of Stockton LSCB)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ian Dalgarno
Item Description Decision
Public
CYP
13/15
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
CYP
14/15
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
CYP
15/15
MINUTES FOR SIGNATURE - 24 JUNE 2015
AGREED that the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CYP
16/15
DRAFT MINUTES - 16 SEPTEMBER 2015
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
CYP
17/15
OVERVIEW PRESENTATION FROM COLIN MORRIS, INDEPENDENT CHAIR OF THE STOCKTON LOCAL SAFEGUARDING BOARD
AGREED that the information be noted and that an update on CAF be presented to a future meeting of the Committee as part of on-going performance reports.
CYP
18/15
OVERVIEW PRESENTATATION FROM PETER KELLY, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH
AGREED that the information be noted.
CYP
19/15
PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW 2014-15 AND UPDATE Q1 2015-16
AGREED that the performance information be noted.
CYP
20/15
OFSTED INSPECTIONS OF SERVICES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED OF HELP AND PROTECTION, CHILDREN LOOKED AFTER AND CARE LEAVERS
AGREED that:

1. The programme of Members visits to frontline services be endorsed.
2. The Committee endorse the need to consider ways that Members can engage in and contribute to quality assurance activity including a greater understanding of the corporate parenting role and of the profile and needs of the Borough's looked after children, young people and care leavers
3. Case file audits and team health checks and Ofsted self-evaluation reports be presented to a future meeting of the Committee.
CYP
21/15
SCHOOL ORGANISATION AND ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS
- PARENT CONSULTATION (VERBAL UPDATE)
- CONSULTATION ON 2017 ADMISSIONS (VERBAL UPDATE)

AGREED that the information be noted.
CYP
22/15
WORK PROGRAMME
AGREED that the Work Programme be noted.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CYP
15/15
The minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2015 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CYP
16/15
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2015.
CYP
17/15
Members received a presentation from the Independent Chair of the Stockton Local Safeguarding Children Board (SLSCB).

The following points were highlighted throughout the presentation:

- Board meetings which were held on a monthly basis were well attended by Members of the Board

- The SLSCB had experienced some recent continuity issues as a result of changes to membership due to Partners Service Reviews, Resignations, and retirements .

- Regular meetings were held with Senior Officers at Stockton Borough Council (SBC), the Chief Executive of SBC and the Director of Children, Education and Social Care (CESC). In addition the lead Member is closely involved , challenges regularly , and makes a high profile contribution .

- The Committee heard that a statutory requirement was in place which ensured that the SLSCB Annual Report was circulated to all relevant bodies including LA chief executive ,Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board , the Police and Crime Commissioner and also available to view on the SLSCB page of the SBC website

- It was highlighted that Sub Committee work took place across the Board as it was important to understand the measures in which partners were taking in order to protect their vulnerable people

- A high level strategic group was in place which focussed on Vulnerable, Exploited, Missing and Trafficked (VEMT), it was heard that the group was extremely important and played a key role in tacking child sexual exploitation . This group is chaired by a senior police officer .

- Members noted the importance of the SLSCB learning and improving from serious case reviews

- While there had been improvement made to the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), more work was needed with a number of agencies to raise awareness and increase the number of referrals

- The Committee was presented with details of new thematic areas which had been identified as priority areas for the SLSCB Business Plan 2015/2017

Members raised the following points/questions:

- Were caseloads higher in Stockton-On-Tees, if so why?

It was highlighted that the number of caseloads per social worker in Stockton was similar to the number of caseloads across the region/sub-region. With regard to work flow, it was heard that the number of children in need was higher across the Tees.

- What were the on-going issues in respect of the CAF?

The Committee were advised that there had been significant investment in the CAF framework and training and awareness raising and improvements had been seen in relation to the number of school referrals. However, It was noted that there was still a need to improve awareness and referral rates from Children's Centres, the North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust, Midwives and Health Visitors.

Jane Humphreys highlighted that consent to share information could present a problem and it was essential to empower agencies to have the confidence to share information in good faith. Recent meetings held with the NHS Foundation Trust had been positive and referrals from children's centres would be closely monitored.
CYP
18/15
The Committee was provided with an overview presentation from the Director of Public Health.

Key findings from the Child Health Profile, June 2015 were highlighted as follows:

- Stockton presented ‘worse than the England Average in 18 out of 32 indicators

- Between 2011/2013, Stockton had the highest rate across the country in Infant Mortality with 9 cases during this period

- Stockton on Tees presented 'Higher than the England Average' in immunisation by the age of 2 years. It was highlighted that data was not only collected on a ward basis but also from GP practices

- Childhood obesity was a concern particularly between the age range of 10/11 year olds in Stockton. In 2015 21.6% of children moving up to secondary school were obese. It was noted that childhood obesity was however, a national concern. The Committee were advised that an investment of 480,000 had been allocated to the new scheme provided by More Life to see to address the problem.

- Hospital admissions as a result of self-harm was concerning and a piece of work was underway to help to understand this issue better

Members raised the following points/questions:

- Did mortality rates include accidental death?

It was noted that the information on infant mortality did include numbers of accidental deaths. Members were informed that work was on going which focussed on breaking down mortality causes

- Members commented on the high level of take up of immunisations and asked whether there were ward variations

Peter Kelly advised that take up was good across the Borough and highlighted some of the reasons for lack of take up including safety concerns, ethical/ religious factors, dysfunctional and geographically mobile families

- The Committee requested information on breast feeding rates in Stockton.

Peter Kelly commented that low breastfeeding rates on Teesside were an issue and he felt that this was due to a deep rooted cultural issue. The effectiveness of the services were currently being reviewed. Consideration was also being given to work which could take place to ensure that the Borough became a more breast feeding friendly environment.

Members commented that Gateshead Council seemed to be bucking the trend in the North East. Peter Kelly advised that public health were looking at the work Gateshead were carrying out which involved peer support

- Questions were raised around under 18 conception rates.

Members were informed that Stockton remained below the England average. It was noted that work was carried out in schools and academies.

- Members of the Committee expressed concern that 18 out of 32 indications were significantly worse than the England average. It was highlighted that these figures were partly due to the socio economic profile in Stockton with over 10,000 children in the Borough living in poverty.

- The Committee asked whether resources were targeted to areas of higher need

The Committee were advised that there was targeting to areas of higher need and examples were provided to the Committee.
CYP
19/15
The Committee were provided with a Performance Overview 2014/15 including an update on Q4 2014/15 and Q1 2015/16.

Members noted the key achievements, challenges and emerging issues throughout 2014/15. In presenting the report, Jane Humphreys highlighted the work that was being undertaken in respect of case file audits and team health checks to improve quality and consistency.

The Committee raised the following points/questions:

- Concerns were raised around CYP302 (the proportion of children becoming the subject of a Child Protection plan (CPP) for a second or subsequent time within 2 years). Performance had changed from amber to red.

Members were informed that decision making was being reviewed in order to identify the reasons behind children becoming the subject of a child protection plan for a second or subsequent time.

- Members asked whether the outcome of the work which was being carried out in Children's Centres across the Borough relating to raising registration would be reported back to the Committee.

Members were advised that the findings and outcomes would be reported to the Committee as part of the quarterly performance updates.

- How prepared was the department for the forthcoming Ofsted inspection?

Members were advised that dummy runs and self-evaluations were being carried out in house in order to prepare for inspections. The Committee were informed that reports on the outcomes of the self-evaluations would be presented at Corporate Management Team (CMT) in November 2015.

- The Committee raised questions based on the monitoring of performance across schools at Key Stage 4.

Dianne McConnell advised that the number of children across the Borough receiving a minimum of 5 A*-C's in their GCSE's including English and Maths had increased and Stockton was now ranked the second highest in the North East. The pupil premium attainment gap had also closed by around 5%. It was also anticipated that improvements in respect of transition from primary to secondary would have a positive impact.

- Members asked whether staffing presented a problem.

Officers advised that if caseloads increased, agency staff were employed.

- Members asked about the Tees Review of Post 16 provision

Members were advised that Stockton were involved in the review which would result in recommendations across the Tees Valley and would draw in additional funding.
CYP
20/15
The Committee was presented with a report on OFSTED inspections of Services for Children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers.

Members received information on the following areas:

- Background to the Inspection Framework
- Leadership, Management and Governance
- Learning Points for Elected Members

It was highlighted that OFSTED Inspectors made judgements on a four point scale which included; outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Members noted that the inspections took place over a four week period.

The Committee heard that the role of elected members would impact significantly on the judgement relating to leadership, management and governance.

Key findings from the OFSTED SIF to date were presented to Committee.
It was noted that 76% of children's services which were rated not good enough

Members reiterated the need to be involved in case file audits.
CYP
21/15
Members noted the following in relation to School Organisation and Admission Arrangements:

- The consultation on 2017 Admissions was planned for mid to late November 2015 through to January 2016. The consultation was carried out on an annual basis in a 6 week period. It was noted that the consultation Document would be circulated to Committee in November 2015.

- With regard to the review of School Organisation and Admission Arrangements, information gathering sessions were underway. Documents providing numbers in all schools as of October 2015 had been presented at the information gathering sessions.

- Alternative sessions had been offered to Members of the Committee in place of the first session which was cancelled.

- Proposals for parent consultation would be provided to Members at the meeting in November 2015
CYP
22/15
Members gave consideration to the work programme.

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