Agenda and minutes

Venue: Professional Excellence Centre, Acre Lane, Bromborough

Contact: Tracy Little  Children and Young People's Department

No. Item


09:00 Apologies and Introductions


09:00 Declarations of Interest


Bev Morgan and Emma Dodd declared an interest in minute items 79 and 80, as they represent commissioned services.


Bev Morgan and Councillor Sheila Clarke declared an interest in minute item 81 as they are members of the Child Poverty Steering Group.



09:05 Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB


Amendments to the minutes:


Item 68 Andrew Davies noted that there was no managed moves policy in place for Primary schools but that one was in development.


Item 71 Lyn Loughran noted that she was a volunteer at the Birkenhead youth club and that she does not oversee the running of the club.



09:10 Positive Contribution Strategy Group Annual Update pdf icon PDF 100 KB


Maureen McDaid introduced the report.  The report illustrates the breadth of the agenda and the commitment of partners to this outcome area. Meetings are held bi-monthly where progress by group members in implementing the Positive Contribution section of the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) is monitored and emerging issues identified and actioned. The group also drives the commissioning for Priority Area Three in the Early Intervention Grant Priorities – risk taking behaviour in children and young people.  Young people were full members of the commissioning panel.


Jane Owens asked if young people members of the commission panel had any time off school. Maureen McDaid replied that training was held in the evening and the panel members had left school.


One emerging issue identified by the Strategy Group was the increase of first time entrants (FTE) into the Youth Justice System, where analysis identified that 26% of the increase was due to fare evasion on transport. The Youth Offending Service and Transport Police worked together to secure agreement to triage those evading fares and identify more appropriate intervention.


David Armstrong and Derek Kitchin agreed that they would raise the issue of fare evasion by young people at WASH.


Two case studies were outlined in the report relating to involvement of young people in youth sports night and Wirral youth theatre dance. The studies demonstrate how a planned approach will address individual young people’s needs.


David Armstrong noted that the Youth Theatre had a varied brief with a large number of different themed events; he had seen a number of productions and was very impressed.


Councillor Ann McLachlan agreed, she had visited on a number of occasions and the young people had produced outstanding work.


Maureen McDaid noted that young people were working on a risk taking behaviour drama production.  This will take place in schools.


Andrew Davies noted that the Woodchurch Case Study was very positive.


The Alcohol Intervention Programme (Alcohol All Right?) has over 100 workers trained to deliver interventions to help young people assess their alcohol use and to identify appropriate actions.  A poster and leaflet campaign is in place.


Councillor Ann McLachlan requested that the alcohol campaign material was circulated to the Board for information.


Resolved - The Board note the report.



09:40 Community Budgets Update pdf icon PDF 66 KB


Maureen McDaid introduced the item. Wirral has registered involvement in the Government’s Community Budget initiative. The Government has set up a ‘Troubled Families’ Team.  This team sits in the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).


A project proposal is in development due to go to Cabinet in March. Work is underway with partners to identify the families. In February an £20,000 will be available to support this work.


The Government is also launching a payment by results project.  This project is under development.  If Wirral is involved in this project there will be some additional funding.


The Government’s aim is for the project to support families to become work ready, reduce school non attendance and increase young people’s attainment.


Bev Morgan asked how it fitted with the European Social Fund (ESF) work programme.  Maureen McDaid said that it would tie in with the ESF work programme and the Child Poverty Strategy.  There are a number of complementary projects.


Pat Higgins raised partnership working involvement.  Maureen McDaid said that partners would be involved through families having a co-ordinating key worker. This should streamline how professionals work with families with a high level of need to give a more efficient use of resource.


Sue Brown asked about identification.  Maureen McDaid said that partners would be involved in the identification of the families.


Bev Morgan asked if families had a choice.  Maureen McDaid noted that families had a choice to be involved.


Councillor Sheila Clarke asked when the identification would be completed.  Maureen McDaid said that the project plan has to be submitted by March 2012.


David Armstrong noted that nationally the initiative has grown with the introduction of new elements.  The initial proposal is to target in one specific area which is suggested to be Seacombe where there are specific challenges.  This is for the initial pilot.


Chief Superintendent John Martin noted that police resources had been put into Birkenhead area which cannot currently be moved.  David Armstrong noted that it would be possible to align the two projects.


Jane Owens noted that it can be difficult for some families to agree they need help.  The use of terminology and labels is important and ensure all partners have the same message. Sue Brown noticed that the initiative could be discussed with the Community Safety Partnership.


Councillor Ann McLachlan noted that the importance of this is to have shared ownership. Maureen McDaid noted that all partners would be asked to contribute to the task.


Resolved - The Board note the report.




09:50 Commissioning Update pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:


Maureen McDaid introduced the report which outlined the monitoring of the Early Intervention Grant commissioned services.


In Priority Area 1 Parenting/ Compromised Parenting improvements have been made in the two areas underperforming in quarter one and the rag rating has been changed to amber. A highlight for Q2 is the parenting courses for parents with children and young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) where 691 families have been supported to ensure better outcomes.


In Priority Area 2 – Short Breaks for Disabled Children all projects are delivering effectively and are rated as green or amber.


In Priority Area 3 – Risk taking behaviour in children and young people. One area the outreach play service the project had been stalled as additional staff were required. Maureen McDaid noted that in the next commissioning round additional checks would be involved to ensure staffing resources in place.


D Kitchin offered the Wirral Hospitals School as a venue for any ‘big nights’ future events. Kathryn Podmore requested information on the re-direction of resources.


Contract rules mean there is not an opportunity to change the contracts to deliver more, however all information will be used to inform the next commissioning round. Where units had not been delivered money would be claimed back.


David Armstrong noted that an OFSTED Inspector is visiting the Council to discuss Wirral’s commissioning practice as it is viewed as “good practice”.


Resolved - The Board note the report.



10:05 Child Poverty pdf icon PDF 21 KB

Additional documents:


Bev Morgan and J Morgan introduced the item.  Wirral is producing a Child Poverty (CP) Strategy and Action Plan. Cabinet will receive quarterly reports on the progress and the Children & Family Party working Party (CFPWP) will remain involved.


Councillor Ann McLachlan noted that Child Poverty is a priority in the draft corporate plan.


Jane Morgan updated on the work of the CFPWP in steering production of the strategy and action plan. A draft strategy is in place with further work is underway to ensure there is synergy between partners to maximise the impact of activities. The Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) met last week and considered the draft strategy. The strategy is being aligned with the Liverpool City Region strategy.


The work being developed in children’s services delivered through the Children and Young People’s Plan overseen by the Children’s Trust Board will be included in the strategy and action plan.  Other multi-agency groups work would also be involved and neighbourhood plan consultation findings.


There is opportunity to embed best practice from all agencies and other areas. The “What Worked” project is in place which has carried out analysis on projects that supported those getting employment.  Focus groups are underway.  The report will be shared across partnerships when completed.


Governance arrangements for the delivery of the strategy are under development.  Cabinet will be reported to and the LSP and The Children’s Trust Board will be involved.


Jane Morgan would circulate copies of the Liverpool City Region strategy to the Board.


Bev Morgan noted that the Child Poverty training module is in pilot stage an e-Learning module is planned and developments will be led through the Workforce Strategy Group.


David Armstrong noted that a school readiness pilot research project is being developed with Wirral Schools in Birkenhead.  This is being supported by CYPD.


Kathryn Podmore noted that the families of young people also required inclusion in the action plan. Jane Owens noted that a briefing for school governors would be useful.


Councillor Ann McLachlan stated the importance that all partners fully engage with this to ensure we have a joined up approach.


Resolved - The Board note the report.



10:45 Safeguarding Board - Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 50 KB


Elizabeth Hartley presented the report.  We are still awaiting Munro Review material information regarding progressing the Munro recommendations.


The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) development day was held last week which reviewed key messages from the Munro review and the implications. Final national Munro recommendations information is still required. The LSCB is developing some process to capture more feedback and meeting with front line practitioners from all agencies. Munro presents opportunities but also a number of challenges for partners. Some of the main challenges were:


-  Reviewing local policies and procedures

-  Developing safeguarding supervision across the partnership

-  Agreeing performance management information and implementing systems for collection


The Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) will enter into a Pan-Merseyside group as of February 2012 which will allow better analysis through a wider footprint area, enhance learning and enable better awareness raising in terms of preventative work. Wirral CDOP will run parallel for the first year with the new group to ensure good practice.


Pat Higgins noted that Wirral has a new neonatal service which takes cases from across the region.  She noted that a balance must be met to ensure local issues are still retained with the new board.


Councillor Sheila Clarke queried if health services that were shared with Cheshire were included in the new CDOP.  Pat Higgins noted that the decision was taken for the Pan Merseyside group, Liverpool Alder Hey was a key health service.


LSCB is also carrying additional work including Section 11 Safeguarding Audit, adult and children’s safeguarding work is being aligned and the LSCB Annual Report and Business Plan is under development.


Resolved - The Board note the report.



11:05 Connexions pdf icon PDF 177 KB


Vivian Stafford introduced the update item on developments in Careers, Education and Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG).


There is a national changing policy landscape, responsibility for the delivery of CEIAG in schools has changed with the passage of the Education Act, 2011. Schools have become responsible for provision of CEIAG for their young people from Sept 2012. Schools are expected to deliver CEIAG through ‘career directed learning’ or ‘cross curricular careers learning’ and to include young people from year 9 to 11. Schools are expected to work with the Council and providers of IAG to support young people without the need for legislation.


For Local Authorities (LAs):

·  They will retain their statutory duty to encourage, enable or assist young people’s participation in education or training.

·  Early Intervention Grant to be used to support the engagement of vulnerable young people and those at risk of disengagement.

·  Expected to have regard to the following guidance when organising services:

·  Tracking and supporting young people.

·  Work with JobCentre Plus to ensure NEET receive a complimentary package of support.

·  No expectation that LA’s will provide a Universal service from September 2012.

·  LA’s IAG support to target vulnerable young people aged 16 to 18 only.

·  There is an expectation that LA’s will work with schools to ensure vulnerable young people receive the support that they need.

·  LA’s will expect to receive data from schools relating to their young people.


A National Careers Service will be established from April 2012.The service will include online and telephone support plus some face-to-face guidance support for people aged 19+. It builds on the Next Step adult IAG service and the national Connexions Direct service. The recently revised Matrix Award will be the recognised standard.


A number of challenges were outlined:

·  Providing a service for young people from 1st April through to the 31st August 2012.

·  Delivering the 2012 September Guarantee.

·  The interface with the school or academies offer pre-16 from September 2012.

·  Ensuring smooth data transfer of learner information – informing the NEET count and September Guarantee.

·  Ensuring synergy with the National Careers Service


Currently the Council procures a universal service for all young people and a targeted service for young people not in education, employment and training (NEET) and vulnerable groups.  The changing policy landscape in CEIAG is significant for schools and Secondary Headteachers have been briefed.  Schools should develop or procure a service from a provider that best suits their children’s requirements.


Councillor Sheila Clarke asked about the current GM Connexions contract.


Vivian Stafford replied that an in-year reduction and a supplemental agreement to enter into discussions regarding developing a service in 2012 was agreed with Connexions in June 2011. Discussions were in place from September 2011. A parallel procurement process was entered into to mitigate risk. By 31 January 2012 the potential service with the current provider will be agreed.


Vivian Stafford noted that although the LA contract price would be reduced we are buying a different service and schools would be purchasing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.