Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

People Select Committee Minutes

Date:
Monday, 16th May, 2016
Time:
1.30pm
Place:
Conference Room 2, Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1LD
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell(Chairman), Cllr Eileen Johnson(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Lisa Grainge, Cllr Di Hewitt, Cllr Stefan Houghton, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley
Officers:
Jane Wright (Planning and Partnership Manager), Diane McConnell (Assistant Director of Schools & SEN), Peter Mennear (Scrutiny Officer), Jenna McDonald (Governance Officer)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ben Houchen, Cllr Rachael Proud
Item Description Decision
Public
PEO
8/16
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The evacuation procedure was noted.
PEO
9/16
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
PEO
10/16
MINUTES FOR SIGNATURE - 21 MARCH 2016
AGREED that the minutes were signed as a correct record.
PEO
11/16
DRAFT MINUTES - 18 APRIL 2016
AGREED that the minutes be approved.
PEO
12/16
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF DISADVANTAGE IN EARLY YEARS AND SCHOOL
AGREED that the scope for the review be noted.
PEO
13/16
WORK PROGRAMME 2016-17
AGREED that the work programme be agreed.
PEO
14/16
CHAIR'S UPDATE
The Chair provided no update.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
PEO
10/16
The minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2016 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
PEO
11/16
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 18 April 2016.
PEO
12/16
The Committee received a report on the Scrutiny Review of Disadvantage in Early Years and School.

It was noted that the review would consider the role of Pupil Premium and how it had been used in the Borough to ensure funding was being used to maximise achievement and how schools used and accessed good practice.

Key points and emerging issues were highlighted as follows:

- In order to raise achievement of disadvantaged pupils, the Government provided pupil premium funding to schools. Members heard that the funding was targeted at disadvantaged pupils from reception to Year 11 and applied to all children who had been eligible for free school meals at any point in the previous six years.

- Some children in the Borough required support to catch up significantly on a range of factors such as socialisation.

- Stockton had responded well to Government policy including the 2 year old and 3 year old offers. There had been good progress in ensuring places and encouraging uptake, and projects to improve quality. However there needed to be further work to improve achievement and outcomes, including transition to school.

- SBC contributed to an Ofsted Survey to gather information and good practice in early years. It was highlighted that the information was expected to be published during the summer months of 2016 and would be used to inform and provide a framework for the review.

- The Committee discussed the Ofsted 2015-16 Survey Inspection Programme for disadvantaged children in the early years (0-5).

Members raised the following points/questions:

- Members were keen to understand the age at which a child's learning begun in a nursery setting. It was heard that a child's learning should begin immediately once the child was in the setting. Members noted that all settings followed the Early Years Foundation Stage. There was a target to get a Good Level of Development before school. It was highlighted that the understanding of a child being considered 'ready for school' differed between parents and professionals.

- Concerns were raised around expectations and demands placed on childcare provision settings. It was noted that 88% of children within the Borough were in nursery placements.

- The Committee discussed the pressure on parents to return to work and the variety of providers parents may need to engage with. It was highlighted that efforts were focussed on having as much provision based around schools to reduce this.

- Members thought that issues mainly existed around accessing the services as opposed to provision. Members were informed that SBC liaised with Catalyst on the Fairer Start project in Stockton Town Centre ward in order to tackle issues relating to engagement and improve .

- Members were keen to understand how the Local Authority communicated with family based child minders. In response, Members noted that communicating with family based child minders was a challenge. It was noted that the Local Authority recently introduced grandparents groups at children's centres in order to improve communication with families.

- Discussions took place around developmental delay; it was noted that a whoilseale review of SEN provision was being undertaken and an update would be provided to the Committee. The focus in future would be to have better provision of services such as educational psychologists at the point of referral, in order to tackle issues at the early years stage. This may involve joint commissioning with health services.

- With regard to speech and language, it was asked whether Speech and Language Therapists were easily accessible in Stockton. In response, it was heard that within SBC there was currently only one base in Stockton that provided Speech and Language Therapy. Members were informed that ideally, there would be a Speech and Language Therapist within each school across the Borough.

- The Committee requested information on those responsible for identifying when a child required additional help. It was noted that teachers, professionals, parents and carers were responsible for recognising and identifying where further help may have been required.


- Members were keen to consider Pupil Premium as part of the scope. It was agreed that Pupil Premium for Looked After Children (LAC) and ex LAC would also be considered. There needed to be greater evidence of impact of Pupil Premium on LAC.

-Early Years Pupil Premium was quite new and subject to further analysis.

- The Committee also agreed to undertake site visits to early years provision.

- Information was requested on free school meal eligibility, as well as an updated glossary.

- Members agreed the topic was wide ranging and the review needed to be focussed on key issues.
PEO
13/16
Consideration was given to the Committee work programme 2016-17.

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