Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes.

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

Contact: Anthony Soyinka  Email: tel: 0208 921 2230

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.



Apologies were received for Councillor Gary Dillon and Pauline Sheath.


Apologies for lateness were received for Councillor Angela Cornforth.


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 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.

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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.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the meetings held on 06 February 2018 and 22 March 2018.


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.

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Resolved -


That the minutes of the meetings of the Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Panel held on 6 February 2018 and 22 March 2018 be agreed and signed as a true and accurate records.


Children and Young People Plan Quarter 4 2017/18 Performance Monitor pdf icon PDF 249 KB

To note the performance monitoring and the reporting schedule set out.

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The Interim Assistant Director, Early Help, introduced the report to the Panel, providing an overview of the 2017-20 Plan and reflected on the position at the end of the first year.


The Health Improvement Principal discussed the percentage of women smoking at time of delivery. He presented figures in relation to the Maternity Unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for the year 2017/18, stating that 11% was above the London average and one of the highest in England. He provided a further breakdown of the percentage by ethnicity and age stating the data showed that younger mothers were more likely to engage in smoking during pregnancy and this was prevalent amongst young white women from deprived communities. 


In response to questions raised, the Health Improvement Principal confirmed that work was undertaken within schools in partnership with Charlton Athletic to provide education on smoking cessation and to discourage young people from taking up smoking. He advised the problem was entrenched in particular communities and tackling it had proven challenging, especially if smoking was normalised within families. He confirmed that a partnership action plan had been developed as a result of a smoking symposium held in September which brought together National experts, leads across the borough and services through the council and partners.


The Health Improvement Principal confirmed that the figures in the report related to the smoking of tobacco and did not include marijuana, he added that Addaction had been commissioned to offer support to young people in schools regarding Drugs and Alcohol misuse, a service which was available to all schools. That school nurses were also on hand to offer additional support and further support services for young people were also available at The Point.  


In response to questions raised, the Health Improvement Principal stated that Richmond represented one of the best boroughs in terms of lower rates of women smoking during pregnancy. He informed the Panel that Greenwich currently placed second after Barking & Dagenham in terms of higher rates and there was a correlation between these figures and levels of deprivation. He stated there had been a reduction in smoking prevalence across the overall population, however a more in-depth look at the population identified inequalities at the lower levels. To address this, GP stop smoking services had been recommissioned and would also provide additional targeted Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


The Health Improvement Principal stated that with regards to breastfeeding prevalence at 6 – 8 weeks from birth, Greenwich had become the first London Borough which had achieved UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation. Adding that data showed similarities between the cohort of women less likely to breastfeed and those smoking at time of delivery. He informed the Panel a symposium would be held in the Autumn of 2018 to identify ways to improve this.


The Health Improvement Principal confirmed that Greenwich had dropped out of the top 5 under-18 conception rate within London and was now placed at number 10. That the Under 18 conceptions figure had previously been in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


2018/19 Work Programme Schedule pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To note and agree the attached 2018/19 work programme schedule for the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel.

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The Chair introduced the Work Programme to the Panel.


A Panel Member suggested that reports included in the Work Programme should provide further details on previous/current positions, actions taken and outcomes to better understand the progress made in relation to specific issues. 


Panel Members discussed the scope for Children and Young Peoples Council & Children in Care Council to attend the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel meeting 8 November 18 in relation to the Fostering and Adoption Annual report.


With regards to Education Standards and Achievement, a Panel Member proposed inviting high achievers in exam results to attend.


The Cabinet Member for Adult’s Social Care, Health and Anti-Poverty stated she would like to be informed of any cross-cutting portfolio items on future agenda.


Resolved –


That the Panel noted and agreed the Work Programme Schedule 2018/19.


Cabinet Member's Priorities pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To receive a verbal update by the Cabinet Member on his priorities for the year 2018/19.


The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools gave a verbal update on his priorities for the year 2018/19. He stated that there were five key priorities which were as follows: 


1)   The transformation of secondary and sixth form educational outcomes to ensure consistent progress on Greenwich’s outstanding KS2 results, especially for pupil premium students.

2)   Supporting all young people to become resilient, responsible and confident as active citizens in their communities.

3)   To promote healthy eating, exercise and an improved environment to improve weight management (reducing obesity) and mental wellbeing.

4)   To continue to reduce the number of Looked After Children(LAC) and improve the educational attainment of LAC and those children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

5)   To promote the Greenwich Family of Schools and the quality and range of services offered by Royal Borough of Greenwich to schools, to resist further academisation while ensuring the best outcomes for all young people.


In response to questions, the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools stated that following a meeting with the regional school’s commissioner he was awaiting further details regarding the 18 schools who had reversed academisation. He added the reversal demonstrated that there was a procedure, albeit a narrow window to reverse an order, further stating that Government should be lobbied for a change of policy. In relation to academies he advised that he recognised it was part of the panels role to hold non Council services to account.


The Panel raised concern that plans to reduce the number of Looked After Children would transfer responsibility to families without providing adequate support to address the complex needs of the children concerned. In response the Cabinet Member clarified that the aim was to support the current cohort transitioning into adulthood and to reduce the amount of Children becoming Looked After Children in the future. He would have a discussion with relevant Officers regarding Special Guardianship Orders and housing priority and report directly to Panel Members.

Action: Cabinet Member

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools agreed that research and additional work needed to be done to further promote a Greenwich education as previously done in the past, which had the positive effect of turning Greenwich to a net importer rather than a net exporter. He added that students going on to Grammar Schools generally fared no better than those attending Greenwich Schools.  


With regards to the roll out of Universal Credit across Greenwich and its impact on children, he stated that the Cabinet Member forAdult’s Social Care, Health and Anti-Poverty was leading on strategy to support people transitioning to Universal Credit. He added it was expected that children who would be affected by this transition would already be in receipt of free school meals however, understood this might not be the case. He stated he would investigate further and provide the Panel with answers and issue guidance to schools to ensure no child goes hungry.

Action:Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools


The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.