Children & Young People Select Committee Minutes

Wednesday, 28th June, 2017
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Municipal Buildings, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1LD
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Carol Clark (Chairman), Cllr Barbara Inman (Vice-Chairman), Cllr Elsi Hampton, Cllr Paul Rowling, Cllr Sally Ann Watson
Martin Gray, Dianne McConnell, Joanne Mills, Helen Crawford, Dave Willingham (Children’s Services), Peter Mennear, Annette Sotheby (DCE
In Attendance:
Jo Heaney (NHS)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Di Hewitt, Cllr Tracey Stott
Item Description Decision

5:00pm / 6:35pm


The evacuation procedure was noted.
There were no declarations of interest from members.
Members considered the latest six-monthly progress updates on previous reviews.


It had been agreed to redevelop the provision and action to deliver services in a different way. Since the previous meeting, Youth United Stockton universal provision launched in the previous week to offer a full range of activities in four areas, all coming together on the website. YUS was launched on 1st April.

Members asked if it would be possible to visit the new clubs see how this was working, and in response it was noted that this could be arranged.

The areas were not ward-based, but central and north, east and west. Members asked if the area could be expanded to include Ingleby Barwick. It was noted that any gaps would be looked at once the initial services were established.

Members queried whether smaller providers would be able to put forward viable bids under the new structure. Officers responded that smaller providers were important and had a role to play.

Members expressed concern around anti-social behaviour after youth club, with young people attempting to buy alcohol at the local shops. At Tesco Ingleby Barwick the police were called when the pet shop was damaged. It was thought that this incident happened at the end of school term. There were often large groups of young people going into the pub and shops which could be intimidating for residents. There were CCTV cameras in the area, however It was suggested that a patrol could be located there if residents were concerned. The Youth Direction Team and also the Anti-Social Behaviour Team would be alerted.

Members had raised concerns that Ward Members were not kept informed of ongoing changes in ways of working, and felt this would be beneficial to members who did not attend Committee meetings. It was suggested that the new website could assist in this regard, and that a slot in a future Member Policy Seminar could be used to cover youth provision.


It was noted that the Tees Valley Combined Authority was undertaking work with the development of the national Careers and Enterprise Company, in order to improve effectiveness of employer-school relationships. Recent events had taken place.

There was also work surrounding Schools Improvement.

Members asked how Combined Authority involvement in different areas would work. It was noted that their work would be complementary to that ongoing elsewhere, and that Stockton Council had representatives on both the Enterprise Board, and School Improvement Board. It was intended that work should dovetail with local authorities, but Members agreed this was something that needed to be monitored.


All had been fully achieved with good feedback from schools. From September changes were made and primary and secondary schools were now working together, sharing information through proformas, assessing and moderating in the same way. This was working very well in some Academy Trusts in Stockton, for example Vision who share staff, and their knowledge of vulnerable children in particular works very well.

It was reported that the impact of this work was beginning to be noted within individual school Ofsted reports, for example youngsters were developing and making progress which was evident in their books. All primaries were maintaining Good, with one possibly moving to Outstanding in the near future after inspection.

Members asked if there was any parental involvement around education of vulnerable children. It was noted that the focus had previously been on professionals, however the focus on the vulnerable child was moving more now in consultation with parents. Where youngsters have a Personal Education Plan if they are Looked After or a SEN Plan, both primary and secondary practitioners would attend those meetings which would include carers and parents. This would be continuously developed and improved.

With regard to Combined Authority, a good example of what can be done to support school improvements had been achieved - Stockton’s work on Transition was presented to the Combined Authority School Improvement Board around how this can be built on and rolled out across the rest of the Tees Valley.

Members were pleased to learn that all children are now included, with a universal proforma in operation, and noted that from September the next phase would also include youngsters moving from Key Stage 4 into college or sixth form provision.

Members asked if schools were now using the same documentation, as in the past it had been different. It was noted that secondary schools had found they did not have evidence of all the work of the child, however they now have a checklist which includes the full range of children’s work including problem solving, extended writing, foundation subjects etc.

Members were keen to know if specific talents - art, sport, music for example were documented. It was confirmed that a child’s interests were included and this all helped to “paint a portrait” of each child.

Members congratulated staff and students on their achievements.


All recommendations from this review were signed off as complete.


Members questioned if safeguarding training for elected Members was mandatory as some found it difficult attending sessions. Members felt that catch-up sessions would also be useful. It was advised that this training was being reviewed in the Members Development Programme. CSE awareness, as part of an E-learning package through the Safeguarding Board was also available and details would be forwarded to members. Signs of Safety exercises would also be included in future training.

Comments from Members would be forwarded to the Members Advisory Panel.

Members asked if children’s views had been sought. It was noted that the ‘voice of the child’ throughout the process of plans and engagement was crucial, and a sample survey of those involved with the services was carried out, and analysis used as part of the process.

Agreed: that the Assessments of Progress be agreed.
Scrutiny Review of SEND - Preparing for Adulthood

A breakdown of the CCG role in relation to SEND was given to members - responsibilities include:-

- Ensuring health services are accessible.
- Ensuring health services mobilise, participate and contribute in the development of the Education Health Care Plan plans
- Health care providers and CCG to respond within 6 weeks to local authority requests for advice and information for a specific child.
- Resolution of any health or education disputes, escalating through recognised process if necessary.
- Local health care services including hospitals and mental health hospitals (NHS England responsible for commissioning specialist services.)
- Ensuring that Local Offer reflects accurately what is available.
- Providing access to Personal Health Budgets and to be clear what that constitutes.
- Having transition plans for young people moving to Adult Services, ensuring care continues appropriately, with medical support also.

Although not a CCG statutory requirement, in January this year through Transforming Care Funding, a one-year post was recruited jointly across Stockton and Hartlepool Authority to develop a database to recognise children at the earliest point from transition and thus avoid late identification.

Lessons had been learned around the importance of early identification for a child with health and educational needs, looking at different mechanisms in place to ensure consistency. Information sharing at the earliest opportunity was crucial.

Following the inspection of Hartlepool’s SEND services, the CCG was taking forward a number of areas of improvement including:

Country-wide liaison with other CCGs around data-sharing was frustrating for all. There was a need to understand what cohorts of children look like, identifying any gaps in services, responding appropriately for children with autism or speech and language difficulties for example.

Identify and measure aspirational outcomes of young people, in conjunction with parents and families, ensuring what is set reflects the aspirations of the child.

Ensure that staff are trained consistently and are clear about their roles and responsibilities around SEND.

Ensure that the voice of the child comes through clearly, involving them appropriately.

Quality Assurance of Plans and ensuring a designated medical or clinical officer was in post. An advert for a Designated Clinical Officer for both CCGs was to be placed. These will have oversight of all children to ensure input of health services and quality plans.

Following inspection at Hartlepool, an action plan has been developed as a result - within this there are 5 workstream areas:

• Data workstream - developing the needs assessment
• Outcome workstream - developing outcomes for individuals and cohort
• Pathways workstream - including SEN support, not just EHCPs, and focussing on early identification
• Communications - led by a parent from the Parent Carer Forum, and this would look at the Local Offer.
• Implementation of statutory notification process.

Stockton Council had been invited to these workstreams. As well as a shared CCG with Hartlepool, Stockton also shared the same Foundation Trusts which deliver the majority of services.

An update on progress so far was then provided.

In relation to data, an application has been submitted through NHS Digital, the national governing authority, in order to gain permission to use data in different ways. This would allow local partners to share information across social care, primary/secondary care and mental health services, to enable us to look at the whole journey of a child rather than in isolation.

Currently, across all parts of Health, different data systems are used and data cannot be moved without permission.

Interim measures are being tried as currently there is no accessible data where those children are. Work has been ongoing with North Tees and Hartlepool on a list of Stockton children with an EHCP to look at any gaps or cause for concern around those children accessing a lot of urgent or emergency care, and information sharing could then take place.

The CCG was currently looking at what will be included in Personal Health Budgets and what services were available as advertised in the Local Offer, and the need to be clear and transparent to reduce frustration experienced by some families.

A quarterly communication briefing is being developed which will be made available for all staff so they can be clear on their responsibilities. This will help to ensure that professional groups are not providing incorrect information to families around what services or schools they should access.

Work in Hartlepool has focussed on the EHCP children’s cohort, however the SEND Support cohort is much larger, complex and challenging. Initial meetings have taken place with Stockton involvement to identify and mirror what is happening in the education process for children who require SEND support.

A joint commissioning group in Stockton are looking at working together with CCG to provide the best services for children. Work is currently being undertaken to carry out reviews of the services deemed most appropriate for joint commissioning, including speech and language, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and equipment services. This will assist in clarification of contract end dates, timelines, moving to different services and commissioning arrangements

Members were advised that a briefing could be made available if required. It was confirmed that this would be useful due to the amount of information included in the CCG’s verbal presentation.

Members asked about the Local Offer included in the Ofsted report. It was noted that another local authority had an impressive Local Offer with a very user friendly, clearly set out, accurate and easy to navigate website for children and families. Members felt that information and terminology should be in plain and simple language so that families could easily understand.

Members asked how staff were kept up to date with information and were advised that SENCO briefings took place to share information. These were followed by a second meeting a week later to address any further queries that newly appointed SENCOs may have. Experienced mentor SENCOs were also available to assist where required. New teachers receive SEN training and information. In addition, online training was being looked at to deliver SEN training and awareness which would be useful to GPs for example.

Members asked if each Local Authority was responsible to carry out this training. It was noted that allocated capacity differed enormously within authorities.

Members considered an update on recent visits undertaken to inform the review. In addition to the notes with the agenda, recent visits had taken place to Daisy Chain, and Stockton Riverside College.

Key points from the visits included:

- Support work taking place from Year 9
- Production of a DVD highlighting student successes and demonstrating future achievements of young people
- Additional work in relation to employability, building on links with corporate supporters
- Links with parent groups
- Exploring cultural barriers to services
- Developing on-site extension to nursery and educational area and a new skills training room.
- Developing a more commercial approach to increase exposure to employment situations.

Riverside College is split across 4 sites - this the main site which has a Foundation Skills base, and also a Skills Academy base at Billingham. It was recognised that college has a different environment to school particularly Abbey Hill, and students often made quick progression in terms of independence skills.

Foundation Skills students have access to independence skills training. Possible progression for students included access to supported internship provided by college.

University level courses could be provided at college which would be beneficial to students who could carry on their courses and not have to change the staff they are familiar with.

The college has a dedicated Welfare Officer to give support when needed and other staff available to go into employment placements to support both students and employers.

The College was looking to develop a range of options for students to progress onto.

1) that the information be noted
2) the CCG be requested to provide a written briefing
The draft Guidance Documents for children, parents and carers, and professionals, would be presented to Committee in September.

That the work programme be noted.
The Chair had nothing further to report.

That the Chair’s Update be noted.

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