Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Anthony Soyinka  Email: anthony.soyinka@royalgreenwich.gov.uk tel: 0208 921 2230

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

 

Minutes:

Apologies were received for Councillor Anthony Okereke and Pauline Sheath.

 

Apologies for lateness were received for Councillor Angela Cornforth.

2.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies be noted.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 18.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Panel held on 5 July 2018 be amended to include Mosignor Rothon as present at the meeting under External Education Appointees.

 

That the minutes be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record subject to the amendment above.

5.

Children’s Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations Report 17- 18 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To Scrutinise the Children’s Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations Annual Report for 2017-18 (appended to this report).

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Complaints Management, introduced the report to the Panel, providing an overview of the Annual Complaints report of 2017-18 and highlighted key figures from sections 1 through 13.

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of Complaints Management illustrated the timescales for responding to complaints and confirmed there had been 62 informal resolutions in 2017/18. He explained that these led to quick resolutions often within a week without need to escalate through the formal process. However, dependant on the complexity of issues resolutions could take longer.

 

With regards to Children Act complaints, the Director of Children’s Services stated that the majority of complaints received had been resolved within 10 days with none being completed above 21 days. However, in respect of corporate complaints 3 were completed over 21 days. She stated steps were being taken to track corporate complaints as an increase had been noted, though highlighting that the majority of those in receipt of services were satisfied as represented by 1.21% that registered dissatisfaction.

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of Complaints Management explained the increase in corporate complaints were in part attributed to Education Health Care Plans (EHCP). The Senior Assistant Director(SAD) Inclusion, Learning and Achievement, added that Children Services were required to transfer all children on statements to EHCPs by 31 March 2018. She explained that due to changes in the content of the plans as well as the process being new and unfamiliar to parents, they had raised concerns. She confirmed that all transfers were successfully finalised to the deadline date.

 

The Panel requested further details on complexities of issues and a breakdown of corporate complaints into categories to be included in the next report.

Action: Head of Complaints/DCS

 

The Director of Children’s Services confirmed that there were sufficient secondary school places available for children in the borough. The Head of Performance Analysis Service added that the borough was in a unique position as a new academy was opening this year outside of the admission round which had resulted in a number of pupils being in receipt of dual offers for secondary places.

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of Complaints Management informed the Panel of the staffing figures of the complaints team, expressing that a direct management approach was successful in achieving results whilst effective co-ordination between departments continued to ensure cross serviced working remained efficient. He stated that lessons learnt from compliments received and best practice is fed back to teams by their respective team leader.

 

In respect of changes to Freedom of Information laws, the Head of Complaints Management informed the Panel, that additional pressures on the team were anticipated response times to requests had been reduced from 40 down to 30 days and a number of new rights were also introduced.

 

The Director of Children Services confirmed that an open tender process is followed when advocacy services are commissioned. 

 

With regards to the social statuses of complainants, the Head of Complaints Management advised that statuses were unknown and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Children and Young People Plan Quarter 1 2018/19 Performance Monitor pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To note performance in the first quarter of the 2018/19 reporting year against the key measures covering the four fundamentals underpinning the Children and Young People Plan (CYPP).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Performance Analysis Service, introduced the report to the Panel, providing an overview of the 2017 – 20 Plan and highlighted the performance in the first quarter of the 2018/19 reporting year. 

 

At 8.25 pm Councillor Cornforth joined the meeting.

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of Performance Analysis confirmed that school closures including those as a result of snow were considered as absences and recorded as authorised absence-other. The SAD Inclusion, Learning and Achievement added that in response to adverse weather a number of schools either stayed open, partially open or closed after each considering a range of factors including the school site, assessing for any safety concerns and ensuring an adequate ratio of staff to pupils. She stated that the secondary schools contacted had a large portion of staff commuting from Kent who had to deal with a number of road closures, therefore schools were faced with having to make decisive decisions quite early in the day to give parents reasonable notice to make alternative arrangements.     

 

The Head of Performance Analysis provided the Panel with detailed explanation of the rationale behind the Red Amber Green – RAG rating of performance. She stated the previous model in use only viewed performance relative to London or England, after review at the Direct Management Team(DMT) and strategic partnership level it was decided to move to a system based on professional judgement as well as comparator performance which would provide a more analytical and pragmatic perspective to facilitate improved monitoring and focused action. It was highlighted to Members that performance judgements were specified in Paragraph 2.4 of the report.

 

In response to questions raised, the Health Principal stated the department would like to see rapid change and improvement in health figures with the aim of being in line with the London average, adding he recognised that these were ambitious targets but actions taken such as entrenching specialist training with staff were lengthy processes which were all subject to regular monitoring to ensure sustainable long term improvements.

 

The Director of Children Services added that the RAG rating of performance will be indicative of any changes, whether positive or negative.  

 

In response to questions raised, the SAD Inclusion, Learning and Achievement explained that children with significant health needs i.e. asthma, epilepsy etc. had healthcare plans in place and staff in schools were provided with training on how to offer the required support. She added that where necessary Children Services also worked with school nursing services to provide support for schools.

 

The Director of the Clinical Commissioning Group informed the Panel that the CCG were reviewing how care services were provided for children. He stated that a large proportion of children with long term conditions were managed at secondary care with evidence from recent work carried out by other London Councils suggesting outcomes for children were improved in cases that could be moved and managed at primary and community care level. He added that key to this was providing training to teachers,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Commissioning of Future Reports pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To note the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel taking place on 8 November 2018 as outlined in the body of the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following a detailed discussion on the reports scheduled to be received in November, Members agreed that School Place Planning be added as a pre-decision scrutiny item in the 2019/20 work programme and that the Fairness Commission item be deferred to be heard with Educations Standards and Achievements in February 2019.

 

Members discussed an item for in-depth scrutiny – Absence/attendance/attainment to be part of the 2019/20 work programme. They asked that a scoping paper be brought to Panel in April as part of the 2019/10 work programme item.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Panel noted the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel taking place on 8 November 2018.