Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

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Contact: Jasmine Kassim  Email: or tel: 020 8921 5146

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.



An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Radha Rabadia.


Urgent Business

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


There was no urgent business.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 40 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.

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Resolved –


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


Full Joint Inspection of Youth Offending Work in Greenwich pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Members to note report of Full Joint Inspection of Greenwich Youth Offending Service (attached as Appendix 2), and scrutinise the action being taken to make further improvements to Youth Offending Work  set out in the Improvement Plan (attached as Appendix 1), submitted to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation.



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The report was introduced by the Senior Assistant Director (Safeguarding and Social Care, Children’s Services) on behalf of the chair of the Greenwich Youth Offending Service (YOS) Management Board.  He gave a background of the work of the YOS Board, advising that it was operating collaboratively as a multi-agency group across departments within the Council. 


The Head of Youth Offending Service presented the report, outlining the outcomes of the Full Joint Inspection (FJI) of the YOS.


In response to questions raised, the Head of YOS advised the Panel that the findings from the FJI were focused on how well the YOS was protecting the public, young people and victims of crime. 


In response to questions, Officers reported that that there had been periods of stability in relation to gang activities in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Following several arrests resulting in custodial sentences which destabilised gang activities, there had been some violence between some factions.  The Violent and Organised Crime Unit (VOCU) funded by the Council worked very closely with other agencies, including schools.  Early intervention and the partnership arrangement to support and educate young people about the dangers were vital in the effort to deter them from joining gangs.


The Senior Assistant Director said that information sharing within the multi-agency arrangements was effective as indicated by inspectors’ judgements about the strong partnership approach.  The Head of YOS was continuing to improve management oversight to ensure expected outcomes.


In relation to Restorative Justice, Officers advised that YOS staff were undertaking accredited training with the University of Greenwich.  It was confirmed that a new post within the team would work solely with victims.  In addition, Children’s Services were developing the use of restorative approaches as a practice tool across the service.  It was agreed that Members would consider case studies to see the impact of restorative approaches.


Action: the Head of YOS


Officers responded to a question about domestic violence, confirming that a programme within the YOS, with the aim to change the behaviour before young people becomes adults, was linked to work with parents and carers.


The Head of YOS added that in compliance with its statutory obligations, the YOS was working with parents and carers of young people and other agencies to prevent re-offending and integrate them back into the community.  As part of the arrangements, a package of support would usually be developed in partnership with Probation, mental health, housing and substance misuse services, to help young people gain access to education, health care, training, accommodation, and employment on their release from custody.


On behalf of the Panel, the Chair thanked officers for the work undertaken in relation to the Improvement Plan that was submitted to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).  It was noted that an update on the Plan would be incorporated for scrutiny as pat of next year’s work programme.


Action: Scrutiny Officer

Resolved –


That the report of the Full Joint Inspection of Youth Offending Work in the Royal Borough of Greenwich be noted.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Children and Young People Plan Performance Monitor 2015/16 - Q3 Reporting pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Members to scrutinise the performance of the partnership of services for children at the end of the third quarter in 2015/16.

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The Assistant Director (Commissioning and Resources) of Children’s Services presented the report to the Panel, highlighting performance in relation to the third quarter.


Commenting on the report, Members recognised that the commissioning arrangements had considered the socio-economic demography of the Royal Borough, but highlighted that a third of the country's children were living in poverty.  Members were of the view that local authorities across the country should increase efforts to close the gap between affluent families and those experiencing poverty.


In response to a question, the Assistant Director acknowledged that fixed term exclusions were high and, for some schools, this is evident also in absence data. Schools were taking the issue seriously and local authority practitioners were working with schools and individual pupils to look at how the impact of exclusion had changed behaviour of pupils.


The Assistant Director confirmed that the report on peer-on-peer abuse was considered by the Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board. 


Action: Assistant Director


On behalf of the Panel, the Chair thanked the Assistant Director for the report and responses to questions raised. 


Resolved –


That the quarterly performance monitor for the Children and Young People Plan be noted.



Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms - In-depth Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Members to note the information and evidence received by the Project Team on the implementation of the SEND Reforms, and agree that the recommendations identified by the Project Team are reported to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

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The meeting noted that as part of the 2014/15 work programme, the Panel agreed to undertake in-depth scrutiny of Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND).  It was recognised that as a result, a Project Team was set up, and that Councillor Linda Bird was leading on the work.


The Panel recognised that the work was a statutory requirement aimed at supporting young people with SEND in view of the Children and Families Act 2014 and regulations under the Care Act 2014.


Councillor Bird addressed the meeting, highlighting findings as a result of the in-depth review.  Councillor Bird stated that as a result of the findings, the Project Team had outlined the following recommendations to assist in meeting the Council’s statutory obligations:


a.            that professionals should make better use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) geared towards a person-centred approach to aid work planning and reviews;

b.           that schools in the Royal Borough Greenwich (Royal Borough) should continue to provide training tospecial educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos) and other teaching staff to help them with their work in assessing and planning and monitoring the progress of children with SEND in respective schools;

c.            that national Parent Voice agency should continue to support and develop the Royal Borough’s Greenwich Parent Voice to be representative of all parents and carers of children and young people with SEND;

d.           that steps should be taken to enhance partnership, and wherever possible form new partnership arrangements to deal with children and young people with SEND within the Royal Borough, with a focus achieving common objectives for their benefit;

e.            that work with service providers and schools in the Royal Borough should encapsulate an all-encompassing offer based on local need, and that it should be uploaded and kept up to date on the Council’s website;

f.             that steps should be taken to bring an awareness to children and young people, 16 Plus and over of their rights when developing their pathways to support them towards plans for further education or employment from year 9 (age 14) onwards;

g.            that partnership work should include objectives that would be aimed at plans to support children and young people into adulthood


Councillor Bird continued by stating that the Project Team was suggesting that Parent Voice operating within the Royal Borough should be nominated for the Council's Civic Award.  Councillor Bird commented parents’ involvement in the work was vital in providing a profile of their children.


Action: Scrutiny Officer/Members


On behalf of the Panel, the Chair thanked Councillor Bird for her effort in leading the work.  It was agreed that a bi-yearly progress report would be submitted to the Panel with a final report by 2017.

Action: Scrutiny Officer


Resolved –


That the report relating to the in-depth review of Special Education Needs and Disability be noted.


Commissioning Future Reports pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Members to note the work items that are scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel on 5 April 2016 outlined in the body of the report, and identify any specific themes or lines of enquiry to be covered.


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Resolved –


That the work items that had been scheduled to be presented to the meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel on 5 April 2016, be noted.