Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Kevin Phillips  Email: kevin.phillips@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or tel: 020 8921 5145

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 Linda Bird, Clare Morris and Radha Rabadia. Apologies for absence were also received from Monsignor Rothon.

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 be noted.

4.

Progress Report on Cabinet Member's Priorities for 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

This report provides an up-date on the progress made against priorities of the Cabinet Member for 2014-15, agreed at Cabinet on 23 July 2014:

 

·                    Ensure delivery of additional school places agreed by Cabinet and identify future options;

·                    Support re-commissioning of Youth Services and implementation of contracts with Children’s Centres;

·                    On-going scrutiny and driving up of standards in RBG schools;

·                    Ensure children’s social care services are performing well and are prepared for future Ofsted inspections;

·                    Promote Corporate Parenting role;

·                    Pursue issues related to funding of ‘Nil Recourse’ in conjunction with Health and Adult Social Care Portfolio holder.

 

Minutes:

Councillor John Fahy, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Lead Member for Children’s Services introduced the report.

 

In response to a question from the Chair, Councillor Barbara Barwick, about how many siblings are unable to get into the same school, Councillor John Fahy confirmed that an annual report on school admissions would be coming a future Panel meeting   The Director of Children’s Services clarified that the role of the Council is to ensure sufficient school places to meet the level and pattern of demand from residents and the Council would not promote one school over another. Each school is responsible for explaining to parents what they offer. It was also confirmed that transport is offered for primary school pupils if we are unable to allocate a school within two miles of their home.

 

In response to Member questions the Director of Children’s Services confirmed that surplus places for year 7 pupils are reducing as the growing population progresses through the system.

 

In response to a Member question Councillor John Fahy stated that it was the role of the Council as corporate parents to ensure that our looked after children are safe and in a good environment. He stated that he had been impressed with the support given by foster parents which he had seen and heard about at a recent event.  He added that a briefing for Members on Greenwich’s response to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) was taking place ahead of full Council.

 

The Director of Children’s Services confirmed the link between CSE and children who go missing. Consequently, Children’s Services and partner agencies, particularly the police, considered those risks together and also the risk of being drawn into gangs and other criminal activity. She also confirmed that there was a report on the agenda for the Panel to consider that covered Greenwich’s response to Child Sexual Exploitation.

 

Councillor Fahy highlighted the need to recognise the transient nature of the population and the need to be mindful of budget pressures due to nil recourse to public funding, across the Council.

 

To a question about Greenwich Community College’s, the Director of Children’s Services commented that GCC were achieving better outcomes with targeted courses and Children’s Services commissioned a good course for young people with learning difficulties under 25.

 

The Chair stated that there would be a full report on educational outcomes at the next meeting and that in the report on Youth Services to follow that Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) would be touching on the work they are doing with young people who are NEET.

 

Resolved

 

That the report be noted.

 

 

 

 

5.

Universal Youth Services: Evaluation of 2013-14 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The report evaluates the second year (2013-14) of the commissioned universal youth services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Commissioning & Resources introduced the report. Mark Leckie and Matt Parish from CACT delivered a presentation on the Greenwich Universal Youth Service.

 

In response to a question from the Chair, Councillor Barbara Barwick, the Director of Children’s Services stated that Futureversity works in other London Boroughs and this allows young people to take part in activities outside of the borough. 

 

In response to a question from the Chair, Mark Leckie from CACT stated that there were a minimum of two sessions a week per ward provided by CACT and partner organisations. The Assistant Director Commissioning & Resources added that they did not ask for socio-economic information from participants because it was a universal offer.

 

In response to a Member question the Assistant Director Commissioning & Resources stated that targets are monitored with CACT on a quarterly basis and CACT have agreed actions where targets have not been met. Areas for improvement were outlined in section 7 of the report.  Baseline data did indicate that there has been a step change in provision and outcomes since the contract began.

 

In response to a Member question about levering in additional funding Mark Leckie stated that CACT are applying for additional funding from a range of sources.  Matt Parish from CACT felt that they had not reported all the in-kind and other contributions brought to the service by CACT which, in total, would be a more positive picture. The Assistant Director Commissioning and Resources drew Members attention to 3.4 of the report which outlined relevant financial data.

 

In response to a Member question, Mark Leckie confirmed that there had been large participation events to improve engagement and that they were looking at adapting their current offer so that they were appealing to more  young women in particular.

 

In response to a question from the Chair, Mark Leckie stated that there was a link with Metro for young people who wished to discuss issues around their sexuality.

 

In response to a Member question about monitoring and reviewing their performance, Mark Leckie stated that they used data on activities and attendance and case studies to measure outcomes. These are discussed in review meetings with commissioners and action plans and projects are developed as required to ensure success. The Assistant Director Commissioning and Resources stated that the annual report provided a summary of the performance monitoring over the course of the year.

 

Councillor Steve Offord commented that he felt the service had improved dramatically since it had been commissioned.  The Chair thanked CACT and officers for the increased levels of young people’s participation.

 

Resolved

 

That the report be noted.

6.

Children's Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations Report - 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Members are asked to note the Children’s Services Complaints, Compliments and Representations Annual Report for 2013/14 (appended to this report).

To agree that the report is published to comply with the statutory requirements of the Children Act 1989 (section 26) which requires all local authorities to report on representations received concerning children’s social care in the preceding twelve months.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Complaints Management introduced the report.

 

In response to a question from the Chair, the Head of Complaints Management stated that learning from complaints is used to improve services. He also confirmed that Children’s Services received compliments from people receiving their services.

 

Councillor Steve Offord commented that it was a good report, clear and useful.

 

The Chair, Councillor Barbara Barwick commented that it was good that the vast majority of complaints are resolved at stage 1.

 

Resolved

 

That the report be noted.

7.

Child Sexual Exploitation: Annual performance 2013-14 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel is asked to consider the report and the areas for further improvement and action agreed by the Children’s Trust Board.

The report covers:

 

·               The characteristics of children at risk of sexual exploitation in Royal Greenwich between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014

·               The recent impact of CSE MAP interventions for children at risk of sexual exploitation

·               Outcomes from the CSE strategic workshops

·               Other activity during 2013/14 in relation to CSE

·               Areas for improvement and further investigation in 2014-15



Minutes:

The Senior Assistant Director introduced and summarised the report.

 

The Children’s Safeguarding and Social Care Head of Quality and Improvement provided a presentation on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997-2013 and the implications for RBG.

 

In response to a question from the Chair, Councillor Barbara Barwick the Senior Assistant Director stated that the legal milestone for when a child becomes and adult is their 18th birthday. He also confirmed that there were arrangements in place around the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

 

In response to a Member question the Senior Assistant Director stated that schools were very aware of vulnerable children at risk of exploitation and harm and that a drop in school attendance might be an indicator of concern. He continued that schools were proactively identifying and assessing the level of risk of vulnerable children. He added that it was important that people working with children kept an open mind about the possibility of sexual exploitation.

 

In response to a Member question the Head of Quality and Improvement stated that self-esteem was the consistent theme in vulnerable children and that schools are alerting Safeguarding and Social Care when they thought there was a child at risk of sexual exploitation. One school is holding a conference on International Girls’ Day with a theme of building a sense of confidence for healthy young women.

 

In response to a Member question the Chair, Councillor Barbara Barwick stated that further Safeguarding Training was being arranged for Members and dates would be confirmed.

 

 

Resolved

 

That the report be noted.

 

8.

Children and Young People Plan (CYPP) Quarterly Performance Monitor: Quarter 1, 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

The Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel is asked to review the attached CYPP performance monitor for Quarter 1 (Q1), 2014/15, including comments on changes in performance and the action being taken.

The Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel is asked to note new and revised performance measures.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Commissioning and Resources introduced and summarised the report.

 

In response to a question by the Chair, Councillor Barbara Barwick, the Assistant Director Commissioning and Resources confirmed that action was being taken to address performance currently rated as red. The Director of Children’s Services commented that the Children’s Trust Board have set themselves the more challenging target of meeting London performance where this is better than national performance. The Director of Children’s Services also confirmed that the Children’s Trust Board had received the report previously and their comments were included in the monitor.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director of Commissioning and Resources confirmed that Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group are focusing on reducing preventable admissions to A&E for children.

 

Resolved

 

That the report be noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

Commissioning discussion - reports scheduled for 18 November and 16 December 2014 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

The Panel is asked to note the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the next meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel (C&YP SP), which is scheduled to take place on 18 November and the Corporate Parenting Panel scheduled for16 December 2014; the changes to the work programme for the 18 November meeting; and to identify any specific themes or lines of enquiry to be covered by reports on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer introduced and summarised the report.

 

The Chair, Councillor Barbara Barwick commented that there had been changes made to the programme.  The November meeting of the Panel will not take place in a school, but a separate time will be set to visit John Roan School. She asked Members to note that the January 2015 meeting would be held in a Children’s Centre. Members were made aware that the16 December 2014 meeting would be a Corporate Parenting Panel

 

In response to a question from the Chair, the Director of Children’s Services stated that the visit to the John Roan School could still go ahead if DBS checks had not all come through beforehand, as Members would be accompanied by staff.

 

The Chair concluded by stating that there would be an in-depth report on educational results and achievements at the next meeting.

 

Resolved

 

That the report be noted.