Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Thomas Tallis School, Kidbrooke Park Road, London SE3 9PX

Contact: Daniel Wilkinson  Email: daniel.wilkinson@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5102

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Beverley Jones, Radha Rabadia, Jagir Sekhon and Mandy Brinkhurst.

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 49 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 is noted.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2014.

 

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 People Scrutiny Panel held on 10 December 2013 are confirmed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

BSF – Annual Progress Report pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To receive a progress report on the Building Schools for the Future Programme

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Financial Controller, Corporate The report was introduced by the Financial Controller, Corporate Client Team.  She highlighted that of the five schools in the Building Schools for the Future programme four were now completed and John Roan was to be finished in September 2014; all five schools were to provide community use and it was hoped that Eltham Hill would be doing so soon. She clarified that with regards to unresolved works not undertaken by contractors the Council could do them and then charge the contractors.

 

In response to questions from the Panel regarding the problem of waterlogging at Thomas Tallis the BSF Programme Manager replied that there was an ongoing discussion with the contractors on the matter.  The Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) had submitted evidence suggesting it was a construction defect and was now awaiting a response. It was felt that some of the issues with the landscape should have been foreseen; whilst the landscaping had been part of the planning submission which RBG had accepted RBG could still put in a claim if it was not working.  If it was determined that it was the contractors’ fault they would have to pay for it to be rectified. The Council itself could undertake to resolve the issue but that would be financially onerous. Some remedial measures had already been taken to address the issue but due to current inclement weather conditions it was difficult to monitor and determine if they were successful.

 

In response to questions from the Panel regarding the outstanding works at Plumstead Manor School, the BSF Programme Manager and Financial Controller, replied that RBG was employing an independent surveyor to look at the building and then there would be a discussion of the matter with the contractor. If the contractor would not do the works RBG would do them and then either bill the contractor or RBG could withhold money from the contractor to pay for the works. 

 

Resolved –

 

That the progress report on the Building Schools for the Future Programme be noted.

6.

School Place Planning and Admission Arrangements pdf icon PDF 194 KB

To receive a report on admissions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of School Admissions introduced the section of the report on admission arrangements.  She drew members’ attention to the annual Local Authority Report to The School’s Adjudicator attached at the appendix. She highlighted the continuing success with planned admissions and the reduction in appeals; she added that there had been a continued reduction in the number of complaints lodged against the Admissions Service. She noted that there had been an increase in secondary transfers because pupils were opting for Greenwich schools.

 

In response to questions from the Panel, the Head of Admissions confirmed that there were sufficient places to meet preferences.  She explained that there had been an in-year rise in applications from families moving into the borough which are difficult to predict and thus affected planning. She said greater parental satisfaction was due to a combination of parents being more realistic about the preferences in their applications and because there was now better guidance and information available to make sure that parents made a realistic assessment when choosing a school for their child.. She explained that the 20 missing children were thought to have gone abroad; nothing had been discovered from a check of nationwide networks.  She clarified that the 12 complaints lodged against the Admissions Service included: parents’ preferences not being met; parents not understanding fully process and timescales; the Contact Centre inadvertently providing inaccurate information; a complaint against an individual member of staff because parents were unhappy with how their query had been dealt with. She emphasised that every complaint and compliment was taken seriously to improve the service and information is updated every year in response to user feedback

 

The Director of Children’s Services introduced the section of the report on school place planning.  She highlighted that the population was increasing in Greenwich, with an increase in children aged 0-15. Though the number of young people aged 16-18 was stable at the moment the children from the lower age group would work through. She detailed the Local Authority’s plans to meet the increase in demand.

 

In response to questions from the Panel, the Director of Children’s Services replied:

·        Greenwich was still a net exporter of children in the secondary phase but across London there was considerable movement because of home to school travel routes.

 

·        The former St Paul’s building on Wickham Lane was in relatively good condition and it has wide corridors and doors making it very suitable for secondary special school places.

·        The use of the former Blackheath Bluecoat School site was a matter for the Diocese.

·        Greenwich had the capacity, at the moment, to deal with increasing number of sixth formers and there was no evidence of need for a new Post-16 establishment. The University Technical Colleges for14 – 19 year olds had contributed to net capacity.

 

The Chair, on behalf of the Panel, thanked the Director of Children’s Services for the work of the service in improving education outcomes for RBG’s children and young people.

 

Resolved –

 

That

 

1.    the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Commissioning Report pdf icon PDF 38 KB

To note the items that are scheduled to be presented to the next meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel.

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the next scheduled meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel be noted.