Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

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

Contact: Nassir Ali  Email: tel: 0208 921 6160

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.



There were no apologies for absence.


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 34 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:


Resolved –


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


Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meeting held on 08 November 2017.


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.


Resolved -


That the minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Panel held on 08 November 2017 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.


Education achievement and standards 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 446 KB

To note the context of the report and the areas for improvement.

Additional documents:


The report was introduced and summarised by the Senior Assistant Director, Inclusion Learning and Achievement. She stated that the presentation from Saint Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive highlighted some positive initiatives that were replicated in other schools. she added some schools visit STMCC to share and present ideas.


In response to a question, the Senior Assistant Director highlighted the national issue of white British disadvantaged boys consistently performing lower than other groups confirming this was the same in Greenwich. She advised the panel that additional needs was a factor leading to bespoke offers and the use of sophisticated forensic analysis tools to monitor pupil progress. She continued that advice and guidance was being offered at the earliest possible stage and quality first teaching was implemented.


The Head of Performance Analysis Service stated that disadvantaged pupils were doing well in Greenwich overall as the percentage gap between their achievement and other groups was less compared to national figures. she added that the Black & Ethnic Minority groups successes was being looked at to find best practices and encourage progress in other groups.


In response to a question, the Senior Assistant Director confirmed that an area of focus was building on the strengths of the Primary Schools and incorporating the ideas into the Secondary Schools for example year 6 maths strategies were being used for 6 form retake maths. She stated that  some teachers were cross phased across Primary and Secondary Schools and the transition of children was made clearer.


The Chair thanked the officers and commented on the improvement of the format of the report.


Resolved –


That the report be noted.






Regional Schools Commissioner - Presentation pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To consider the presentation from the Regional Schools Commissioner. 

Additional documents:


The item was presented by the regional schools commissioner South East and South East London (SESL) who confirmed he had been in the role for 3 years having previously worked in Universities and as a civil servant in the Department for Education. He stated that Regional School Commissioners were created as a result of the expansion of the academy’s to facilitate school improvement and build system capacity.


The Regional School Commissioner (SESL) advised the Panel of the tasks he carried out as part of his role which included: making decisions on behalf of the Secretary of State on academies, supporting Multi Academy Trust (MAT) development, challenging MAT performance, identifying regional school improvement priorities as the chair of Sub Regional Boards and advising Ministers on Free Schools and local intelligence. He added he was advised by a Headteacher’s Board and worked in partnership with Local Authorities to make schools work as children were at the heart of decision making.


The Regional School Commissioner (SESL) confirmed that the South East and South London region was fairly large and contained thousands of academies with areas of strength and some with issues. He provided the Panel with statistics from page 5 of the presentation and advised that the region was relatively strong educationally compared to the northern parts of the country.  He added he was proud of the overall performance of the schools and confirmed that London was the strongest sub region.


The Regional School Commissioner (SESL) stated that he works with 22 Local Authorities and the Royal Borough of Greenwich was not a concern highlighting that the Early Years and Primary Provision in the Borough was one of the highest standard in the country. He added that a child growing up in Greenwich had a good start in life and advised the Panel of the Statistics which showed a mixed performance in secondary schools.


The Regional Schools Commissioner (SESL) stated the aim was to raise the standards in secondary schools through strong governance and leadership and a focus on teacher recruitment and retention. He added that attendance, behaviour and tracking of data were also key areas and St Thomas Moore was an example good practices. He stated that the variation of GCSE results within schools was on the agenda of school leaders as the schools that achieved consistency across all subjects tended to do better overall.


The Regional School Commissioner (SESL) confirmed that the Department for Education provide national support in the form of the Teaching School Alliance and the Strategic School Improvement Fund used for projects like Maths Hubs. He added that the Local Authorities role was mainly in areas of safeguarding, admissions, place planning, attendance and providing advisory services to schools. 


In response to a question, the Regional School Commissioner confirmed that he has the ability to intervene and hold people to account as part of his statuary role. he has the ability to issue warning notices and request action plans from independent schools that are failing the independent schools standards,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


St Thomas More School - Presentation pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To consider the presentation from the Executive Head Teacher of St Thomas More School.


Additional documents:


The Panel was addressed by the Executive Principal of St Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive (STMCC)  and the extended leadership team, who presented on 5 areas of education at STMCC; behaviour for learning, curriculum, targets, raising attainment, teaching & learning, teacher training, character development and extracurricular provision.


The Executive principal confirmed that STMMCC had a progress 8 Score of +1 and was ranked 28/6300 schools in England and Wales. He agreed with the Regional School Commissioners comments on the leadership in schools and stated that STMM was benefiting from Local Authority involvement, initiatives and funding that were put in place years ago. He continued that the school was working in partnership with 2 primary schools within the Borough.


In response to a question on the admissions policy , the Executive Principal confirmed that STMCC offer places to Catholic children before admitting other applicants stating that Looked After Children were given priority at each stage. 


The Executive Principal confirmed that the portion of children eligible for free school meals was around 13%, which was half of the national average. he stated that these pupils did not perform as well as the other students but expected this to improve adding that the school policy is to subsidise trips  and school uniform.


In response to questions, the Executive Principal confirmed that students were encouraged to report incidents of bad behaviour as the reputation of the school lies with the pupils. He explained there was  a Police Officer in the school who students could report any issues including ones that occurred outside of school hours.


With regards to weekend workshops, the Executive Principal confirmed that the budget surplus was used to pay the teachers  adding that the sessions were not compulsory and held on a need by need basis. He stated that the workshops were not used as a drop in service.


In response to a question, a member of the STMCC leadership team confirmed that they do not use supply teachers as they have cover supervisors who are trained in house. She added that STMCC actively seek to develop the careers of teachers within the school and retain 100% of the staff they train.


In terms of the scope for expansion, the Executive principal confirmed STMCC was a 4 form entry school who admit 124 students. He stated their application for Condition Improvement Funding, to allow for a expansion of 1 or 2 forms, had been unsuccessful.  He added that the need for expansion of schools in the north of Greenwich was not on the government plan as not all schools were full.


In response to a question, a members of the STMCC leadership team confirmed that careers advice was provided to pupils from year 7 onwards and  a number of organisations were invited to give presentations at assembly’s including the Police. He added the main aim was to teach students to be good citizens and make a positive contribution to society.


The panel stated that the achievements of STMCC were extremely impressive and welcomed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Commissioning of Future Reports pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To note the scheduled work programme.

Additional documents:


The Chair advised Panel Members of the forthcoming meetings of the Panel confirming that the April meeting would be cancelled and items moved to the March meeting. She also requested that the March be rescheduled due to the availability of the Cabinet Member.

Action: CO