Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

2019/20 Work Programme Schedule

To note and agree the attached 2019/20 work programme schedule for the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel.

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the Work Programme for the municipal year 2019/20 to the Panel. She advised that meetings for the year will be thematic.  

 

Panel Members suggested the following be included in relation to the meetings listed:

 

Children in Our Care

Representation from Children in Care Council to give a short presentation and discuss actions they would like to see.

 

Education Outcomes

Information on the strategies implemented and their impacts on KS3 and KS4 attainment. 

 

Safeguarding

To receive an update from the knife action group.

Action: DCS

 

The Director of Children’s Services stated that an update from the knife action group would be going to the Community Safety Scrutiny Panel and the report on the effectiveness of Greenwich Risk Adolescent Safeguarding and Prevention Panel (GRASP) would include the update as one of the interventions used, with reference to and more detail around Greenwich RESET being provided to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel at its Safeguarding meeting.

 

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Community Safety commented that young people being invited to attend scrutiny meetings should include the caveat, if they are willing. 

 

The Panel sought clarification that the work programme for 19/20 was deliverable to ensure any changes required to facilitate its delivery could be considered at an early stage, in light of an agenda item being deferred to a later date.

 

The Cabinet Member responded that the report was not in a satisfactory format and had not progressed through the relevant clearance process which meant it was deferred at her request. She added that for future agenda items on the work programme she would work to deadlines.

 

Panel Members discussed the scope for the review into fixed term exclusions. The Panel asked that the following be included:

 

-      Comparative data at local and national level.

-      Breakdown of data by ethnic groups to identify overrepresented groups.

-      Information on the Local Authorities relationship with academies and their usage of fixed term exclusions.

-      Address any concerns of off-rolling in Greenwich schools

-      Provide analysis of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and to look at their underlying needs and support requirements.

-      Reports to clearly and informatively show the direction of travel, what interventions are currently in place to reduce fixed term exclusions.

-      Early involvement with parents.

-      Meetings with officers and school visits (cross section visit of schools nursery, primary, secondary, maintained and academies).

-      To monitor proposals of excluded children’s outcomes being tracked back to the schools.

-      Review policies of other Local Authorities and what they are doing to successfully tackle fixed term exclusions.  

 

At 7.15pm Councillor Okereke left the meeting.

 

In response to questions from the Panel, the Director of Children’s Services described the differences between permanent exclusions and fixed term exclusions adding that information on Pupil Referral Units would be included in the report. She stated that currently Children’s Services did not track every single child from the first time they were excluded but that there was support and resources in place to provide to schools to help them support those children to have the best education outcomes and experience. She explained that the managed moves process was in place and when a child had received a number of fixed term exclusions becoming increasingly at risk of progressing to a permanent exclusion head teachers of all the schools considered the needs of the child to support a move to another school. There was also an early help process for when a child had received more than a couple of fixed term exclusions which looked at offering additional support.

 

The Cabinet Member stated that the Panel needed to be clear in distinguishing between fixed term and permanent exclusions. 

 

The Assistant Director Strategy, Performance and Commissioning advised that the report would include clarification on the differences between a permanent exclusion and a fixed term exclusion.

 

The Director of Children’s Services stated that the Panel needed to consider and decide on the purpose of the review. Consideration should be given to whether it was about preventing fixed term exclusions and providing support to children and young people or about reviewing the process of fixed term exclusions.

 

The Chair expressed that the focus would be on prevention.

 

The Panel asked that the Chair of Community Safety Scrutiny extend an invite to Members to its meeting on 28 November 2019.

Action: CGO

 

The Cabinet Member stated that Children’s Services would assist in providing information for the review however, reminded the Panel that it was the role of the scrutiny officer to collect and analyse data on other local authorities.

 

Resolved –

 

That the Panel noted and agreed the Work Programme Schedule 2019/20

Supporting documents: