Agenda, decisions and minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Wednesday, 29th January, 2020 4.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - City Hall, Bradford. View directions

Contact: Fatima Butt / Jill Bell 01274 432227/01274 434580 

Items
No. Item

37.

ALTERNATE MEMBERS (Standing Order 34)

The City Solicitor will report the names of alternate Members who are attending the meeting in place of appointed Members. 

 

Minutes:

There were no alternate members.

38.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

(Members Code of Conduct - Part 4A of the Constitution)

 

To receive disclosures of interests from members and co-opted members on matters to be considered at the meeting. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.

 

An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.

 

Notes:

 

(1)       Members may remain in the meeting and take part fully in discussion and voting unless the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an interest which the Member feels would call into question their compliance with the wider principles set out in the Code of Conduct.  Disclosable pecuniary interests relate to the Member concerned or their spouse/partner.

 

(2)       Members in arrears of Council Tax by more than two months must not vote in decisions on, or which might affect, budget calculations, and must disclose at the meeting that this restriction applies to them.  A failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. 

 

(3)       Members are also welcome to disclose interests which are not disclosable pecuniary interests but which they consider should be made in the interest of clarity.

 

(4)       Officers must disclose interests in accordance with Council Standing Order 44.

 

Minutes:

No disclosures of interest in matters under consideration were received.

 

39.

INSPECTION OF REPORTS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS

(Access to Information Procedure Rules – Part 3B of the Constitution)

 

Reports and background papers for agenda items may be inspected by contacting the person shown after each agenda item.  Certain reports and background papers may be restricted. 

 

Any request to remove the restriction on a report or background paper should be made to the relevant Strategic Director or Assistant Director whose name is shown on the front page of the report. 

 

If that request is refused, there is a right of appeal to this meeting. 

 

Please contact the officer shown below in advance of the meeting if you wish to appeal. 

 

(Fatima Butt - 01274 432227)

 

Minutes:

There were no appeals submitted to review decisions to restrict documents.

40.

REFERRALS TO THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

To consider referrals that have been made to this Committee up to and including the date of publication of this agenda.

 

The Committee is asked to note any referrals received and decide how it wishes to proceed, for example by incorporating the item into the work programme, requesting that it be subject to more detailed examination, or refer it to an appropriate Working Group/Committee.

 

Minutes:

There were no referral to the Committee.

41.

PROTECTING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS AT RISK OF EXPLOITATION pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The Manager of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board will submit Document “P” which provides an update and builds on the report presented to the  Committee on the 10th October 2018 and subsequently to the District’s Area Committees regarding the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). It now focuses on the Strategic Response to all forms of exploitation in Children and Adults and how partners from the Working Together to Safeguard Children – the Bradford Partnership and the Bradford Safeguarding Adults Board work to drive improvements across the District and to hold agencies to account for their work in their area. The report also outlines the emergence of other complex safeguarding themes and outlines how partners are effectively collaborating and focussing upon the protection of vulnerable Children and Adults.

 

Recommended-

 

(1)       That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is invited to consider the contents of the report (Document “P”).

 

(2)       That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee receive a further update on the progress of the response to exploitation in 12 months time.

 

(3)       That Partners seek further funding opportunities from Government funding streams to enable the continuation of service provision as outlined in the report.

 

(4)       That the report is a call to action for all partners to recognise exploitation in its widest sense and continue to provide a coordinated safeguarding response to children and vulnerable adults.

 

(5)       That subsequent reports be provided to Area Committees.

 

                                                                        (Mark Griffin – 01274 434361)

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Manager of Bradford Safeguarding Board submitted (Document P), which provided an update and built on the report presented to the Committee on 10 October 2018, regarding the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).   The report now focused on the strategic response to all forms of exploitation in Children and Adults and how partners from the Working Together to Safeguard Children – the Bradford Partnership and the Bradford Safeguarding Adults Board work to drive improvements across the District and to hold agencies to account for their work in their area. 

 

The report also outlined the emergence of other complex safeguarding themes and outlined how partners were effectively collaborating and focusing upon the protection of vulnerable Children and Adults.

 

Members sought clarification from officers about the support that was being received by partnership organisations, toward tackling all exploitation. 

 

In response, officers stated that there was good partnership work taking place with health and the Police to support young people and prevent CSE.  Further work was also being undertaken in reviewing the children who had committed crime at 14/15 years old, to establish if they had actually been victims of exploitation. 

 

Members were also keen to explore the engagement and interaction with the Police, in relation to protecting children and vulnerable adults at risk of exploitation.

 

In response, officers indicated that there was a very good working relationship with the Police, particularly keeping an overview of children who had committed a crime at 14 or 15 years old; to establish if they were also victims of exploitation.  Moreover, officers also informed members that an event had taken place recently with key partner organisations to take forward the work being undertaken by partners in relation to exploitation.  The focus of the event also included sharing knowledge and best practice and raising awareness of exploitation amongst communities.

 

Members highlighted their concerns that as this was a complex area, they wanted assurance that Bradford Council and its partner organisations were actually addressing the right issues.  Members were also seeking confidence from officers that they were working together with key partners around exploitation and protecting children.

 

Officers replied by acknowledging that this was a huge and complex agenda, but they were working with key partners and also communities,  to tackle this complex issue.

 

An area that members were seeking greater clarification on was why there had been such a rapid increase in parents choosing Elective Home Education, (EHE).

 

In response officers indicated that they preferred it if they knew when children were in EHE, so that it would enable them to know where children were and more importantly to be aware of, families that were choosing to register their children.  Furthermore, officers also indicated that this would also allow them to send their staff to visit the children who are in EHE, thus building a relationship and partnership with the family.  Also, any concerns with the child’s education could also be addressed.

 

Members were in agreement that they wanted to explore further the outcomes from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITY REFORMS pdf icon PDF 191 KB

The Strategic Director, Children’s Services will submit Document “Q” which provides an overview to the Committee of the developments and progress made on the delivery of the SEND Reforms and the current risks and areas for development pending the imminent SEND Local Area Inspection.

 

Recommended-

 

That the Committee consider the contents of the report and make recommendations at the meeting.

 

                                                                        (Marium Haque – 01274 431078)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director, Children’s Services (Document R), provided an overview to members in relation to the developments and progress made against the delivery of the Special Educational Needs Reforms, (SEND) and the current risks and areas for development pending the imminent SEND Local Area Inspection.

 

Under the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice (2015) statutory guidance, the local authority, health services, early year’s settings, schools and further education providers had statutory duties to identify and meet the needs of Children and Young People aged 0 to 25 years who had Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.

 

Members learned that progress had been made in this area since January 2019, however members were concerned at the number of areas still requiring considerable improvement.

 

In response officers highlighted that an Action Plan had been produces and it identified the work that needed to be undertaken to address the SEND Reforms.  Furthermore, officers also stated that Bradford Council had been slow in adopting the SEND Reforms.

 

Members were keen to explore how reflective the SEND Ambassadors were of the communities across the Bradford district.  Officers replied by saying that, there were seven adults who were SEND Ambassadors and they all had differing needs.

 

Furthermore, members wanted to know more about personal budgets in Education.  Officers informed members that teachers would have to agree with a family the purpose and use of a personal budget.  This would also involve the delivery of support in a school, where the school would commission an external provider to come into the school and supplement the school curriculum.

 

The need to have a personal budget would be highlighted through an assessment and the Headteacher would have the right to accept or reject the request.  The Local Authority would have to comply with the decision.

 

In addition. Members of the Committee were concerned about the waiting list for Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD) assessments and wanted to know what approaches were being developed to reduce waiting lists.

 

Officers responded by indicating that they would be looking into this further and that they had been informed by the Clinical Commissioning Group that there was a plan aimed at reducing waiting times for ASD and this would be considered at the next Partnership Board meeting.  Officers also highlighted that the reason for the long waiting lists was that the number of children coming through, was exceeding the number of children being able to be assessed.

 

Members stressed that any plan would need to have clear timescales, which could also demonstrate a reduction in waiting times.

 

Resolved –

 

That this Committee requests that a report on the progress against the SEND Action Plan be presented in 6 month, which also specifically focuses on areas of risk and the approaches being used to address them.

 

 

 

ACTION – Strategic Director of Children’s Services

43.

POST 16 PROVISION UPDATE pdf icon PDF 410 KB

The Strategic Director, Children’s Services will submit Document “R” which provides an update on post-16 provision in the District, progress with the implementation of the post-16 review and the impact on participation and outcomes.

 

Recommended-

 

That the Committee consider the contents of the report and progress made to date in implementing new arrangements for the delivery of post-16 provision in the District.

 

                                                                        (Matt Findull – 01274 439572)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Strategic Director, Children’s Services (Document “R”) provided the Committee with an update on post-16 provision in the District and also with progress against the implementation of the post-16 review and the impact on participation and outcomes.

 

Members were advised that the Council with support, participation and cooperation of a range of key partners led a local review of post-16 provision within the District. This was to ensure that there was a sustainable, high quality offer that delivered the best outcomes for our young people, no matter where they started.

 

The report also provided an update to members in relation to the progress with the implementation of the agreed approach and the latest post-16 participation, performance and progression data.

 

Councillors sought clarification as to how many of the young people had been able to access education for reasons other than obtaining good grades through education attainment. 

 

In response officers stated that different establishments maintained different entry requirements.

 

Furthermore in relation to members questions,  officers were unable to say how many of young people aged between 16-18 had joined the armed forces.

 

There was also discussion and agreement amongst Councillors that the Work Force Development Plan for Young People should be presented to Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Members expressed concern that more should be done for young people aged between 16-18 providing opportunities for them for instance to take-up  apprenticeships from young people. This was particularly important as Bradford district had the highest number of young people, the “youngest city”.

 

Members were also keen to explore further the plans and approaches that were in place to improve level 2 and level 3 educational attainment by the age of 19.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)          That a further progress report be presented which also focuses on:

 

-       The effectiveness of the approaches being used to encourage Young People to take up apprenticeships, on a ward-by-ward basis.

-       A breakdown of employment figures across the District;

-       The plan to improve level 2 and 3 attainment by the age of 19, across all phases of Education.

 

(2)       That the District Workforce Development Plan be presented to this Committee, specifically focusing on Young People.

 

(3)       That a report be presented to this Committee which sets out how Bradford Council engages with Businesses and Professionals, in becoming role models and mentors for Young Children in the District.

 

 

ACTION:  Strategic Director of Children’s Services

44.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - WORK PROGRAMME 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

The report of the Chair of the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Document “S”) includes the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee Work Programme for 2019/20.

 

Recommended –

 

(1)       That members consider and comment on the areas of work included in the work programme.

 

(2)       That members consider any detailed scrutiny reviews that they may wish to conduct.

 

                                                                        (Mustansir Butt – 01274 432574)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Chair of the Committee (Document “S”), included the Children’s Service’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme for 2019/20.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Lead Presented the work programme for the Committee.

 

There was discussion amongst members about the key areas of work that should be considered by the Committee.

 

 

Resolved –

 

That the work programme continue to be kept under review.

 

                                                           

ACTION:  Overview and Scrutiny Lead