Agenda item


The Interim Strategic Director Children’s Services will submit Document “AE” which provides a current position summary of key Children’s Services performance indicators.  The indicators in the report have been benchmarked against the England and Yorkshire & Humber averages.




That the report be considered.


                                    (Phil Witcherley/ Laura Copley – 01274 431872)


The Interim Strategic Director Children’s Services submitted Document “AE” which provided a current position summary of key Children’s Services performance indicators.  The indicators in the report had been benchmarked against the England and Yorkshire & Humber averages.


It was reported that the report provided an assessment of key performance indicators across children’s services.  These indicators were reported annually and the report was based on the latest published information.  A comparison against the England and Yorkshire & Humber averages had been made. There were a number of successes to highlight in the Department:


·         In September, funding was confirmed for the ‘Glasses for Classes’ trial in 8 schools. This would be delivered in partnership with Varilux who would provide 2 pairs of glasses for all young people who needed them in trial schools.

·         In August, ‘Parents and Partners in Learning’ was launched in three areas (Keighley, Eccleshill/Idle and Tong/Bowling). This aimed to improve parent’s engagement with their education providers on their children’s learning journey.

·         For primary school pupils, the recent results showed that there was an increase in the proportion of pupils achieving the expected standard across a range of subjects. However, the gap between Bradford and national performance had remained the same.

·         GCSE results continued to improve with Attainment 8 narrowing the gap on the national average and Progress 8 showing positive progress and the second best performer in the family group of local authorities.

·         Some of the schools and academy chains were performing at an exceptionally high level nationally. Dixon had performed particularly well at Progress 8 with Dixons Trinity the 3rd best nationally and Tauheed had the highest performing nationally. This should bode well for local schools they sponsored.

·         There was also improvement at A-levels and more young people continued to participate in the Industrial centres of Excellence and Bradford Pathways.


Members commented on the following:


·         The narrative relating to children’s social care re-referral rates was misleading.

·         Were unauthorised absence figures being recorded accurately?

·         Was the authority in a stronger position to prevent, protect and ensure that there was the correct level of provision in place to address children Looked After who were away from placement without authorisation?

·         In relation to progress 8; children used to go to local primary schools but since acadamisation that was not the case; what work had been undertaken on the impact of schools like Dixons which were in deprived wards but one of best schools in the country but the majority of children attending the schools were out of the area; how real were progress 8 scores when the information was distorted by intake not being from the local areas.

·         Bradford had one of the best schools in a deprived area but it was disappointing that it was not benefitting the children in a ward that had the most deprived children in the country.


In response to Members questions it was reported that:


·         Re-referrals were cases that came into the front door which went to Early Help and then come back; It was anticipated that there would be a continued upward trend in referrals which would include referrals over the coming months.

·         Strategies in place to manage demand included a full review and re launch of the Threshold of Need and Response document and associated Consent policy; a focus on compliance with the multi-agency statutory guidance Working Together when assessing and responding to risk; strengthening of the management and oversight of the Front Door functions and embedding of the Prevention and Early help strategy and service offer. 

·         Unauthorised absence was a measure that was looked at rigidly, most authorities looked at persistent absences; it was up to schools how to determine the Local Authority guide on absence; most local authorities focussed on persistent absenteeism.  

·         The authority had a good handle on ensuring that there was the correct level of provision in place to address children Looked After that went missing.

·         Progress 8 indicators looked at individual schools; Bradford did have a high number of schools that operated the fair banding system; officers did not analyse whether children attending schools were from the local area; meetings were taking place with Chief Executives of multi academy trusts to see what they were doing and learn from it as well as looking at some elements of how they delivered their curriculum so that good practice could be shared with other schools; needed to look at high prportion of single sex schools and schools not pulling children from the local area.

·         One of the success of Dixons schools was the fact that they had smaller schools.



That a further progress report on key Children’s Services Performance Indicators be presented to the Committee in 2019/20.


Action:           Interim Strategic Director, Children’s Services



Supporting documents: