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


09:05 Declarations of Interest




09:05 Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 693 KB


Due to staff illness section 11.0 of the minutes had information missing, this would be amended and the minutes would be completed as soon as possible.



09:10 Attainment for Academic Year 2012-13


S Talbot introduced a presentation on standards in Early Years and Key Stages 1 and 2.


OFSTED Inspection highlights gave an overall positive picture with 86% primary, 68% secondary schools (including academies) and 92% of special schools are judged good or better.


Early Years and Foundation Stage results were outlined including analysis by district.  Areas for continuing development are pupils on free school meals (FSM) and looked after children (LAC).  The level of development of children is also a focus.  A priority is for children to get expected or accelerated levels of progress. Data is analysed at pupil and school level and support provided to schools and foundation teachers.


At Key Stage 1 there is an increase in attainment and narrowing of gender and FSM gaps. There is a focus on children eligible for FSM not achieving level 2+ to improve this outcome in the future. District results were outlined, all results are analysed at school level.


Future development includes targeted work at schools with FSM gap, focus on 2b+ and looked after children.


At Key Stage 2 there has been a steady increase over the last four years.  The FSM gap has increased in reading but narrowed in writing and maths.  The % of pupils making the expected 2 levels of progress in writing and maths has increased.


The areas for development include the FSM gap particularly in reading and LAC attainment and a focus on achieving two levels of progress.  Training and bespoke schools support is in place.  A tracking system is in place for LAC and challenge is being provided.


R Curtis asked about pre-school LAC.  Sue noted that some health visitors had identified speech and language issues and that help in children’s centre has been made available.


S Talbot now oversees Targeted Services school improvement and has supported the development of target services. The new structure will ensure greater links into transition between school phases.


S Dainty noted that the new approach will give an exciting shift in working between primary and secondary schools and schools were enthusiastic about the changes.


Councillor Clements asked about 2 year old funding and FSM wok.


Sue replied that we had 683 2 year olds at the moment in a pilot and further funding would develop this work further.


J Owens asked about the use of pupil premium and how it was monitoring schools.


Sue replied that the LA had a two pronged approach.  Review of published information and analysing what the money is spent on and evidence of the impact of this. Appropriate challenge can then be put in place.  J Owens noted that governors would like advice so that they can ensure this area can stay high on the agenda.


R Longster noted the additional funding schools received for LAC.  Sue replied progress officers are monitoring this linked to the school improvement team.


Councillor Smith noted that £14m pupil premium was in place in Wirral and was positive regarding the LA approach early good challenge and support.


Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


09:30 Public Health Commissioning for Children 2013-14 pdf icon PDF 101 KB


R Curtis presented the paper which outlines Health Visiting (HV) Service and Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programmes.


Locally there has been a period of investment in HV and FNP.  The service now reaches 90% of children.  The next stage is to develop how the data can be collected from this work.  This would allow this data to influence the planning for early years services.


In 2009 HV could not be recruited.  The new policy is to increase the number of qualified HV.  The impact of this is that to stay within the budget the numbers of other unqualified staff will be reduced.


J Hassall requested greater clarity on the proposals as the current service is working well and is positive cost effective model.


R Curtis noted the recent funding allocation had a £2m disparity with current situation. A piece of work is being carried out across the north of England to review spending and costs in each area. A balanced budget must be achieved.


J Hassall noted the impact on safeguarding with the change.


R Curtis noted an impact assessment will be developed for each option.


K Podmore asked if less money was coming into Wirral.


R Curtis said yes there was less money; Wirral had previously invested heavily so the new funding is significantly less than this.


V McGee asked how lobbying was carried out and if the CCG had the responsibility to influence this.


R Curtis noted there was a lot of lobbying underway but the central message is the funding will not increase.


R Curtis noted that the disruption to the system that would occur should not be under estimated.  This is a very complex situation.


Councillor Smith suggested that the board should write to all MPS regarding this.  The Board agreed.


V McGee suggested this should be monitored going forward on a quarterly monitor of actions and the impact of the change.


Resolved: R Curtis would draft a letter from the Board to be agreed by the Chair


10:00 Development of an Early Years Strategy pdf icon PDF 113 KB


R Curtis outlined the draft multi-agency strategy “Starting well in Wirral: A Joint Commissioning Strategy for children’s public health services 0-5 years 2013-2015”. The aim is to finalise this by end of October for approval by the Children’s Trust Board (CTB) and the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWBB).


J Graham asked the board to feed into the strategy and provide advice on governance of the strategy. There was a general discussion regarding the structure of the Children’s Trust (CT) strategy groups overseen by the CT Executive. The current arrangements would be reviewed by the Being Healthy Lead J Graham to ensure an appropriate group to oversee governance was defined.


J Hassall asked if the right people were currently on the working group.


R Curtis suggested further representations could be sought by J Graham and herself.



The Board noted the report. 

J Graham would ensure governance of the strategy would be defined through the CT Executive.



10:30 Review of the Memorandum of Understanding and Board Membership pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:


N Clarkson introduced the annual review of the memorandum and membership. The memorandum had been reviewed in light of organisational structural changes and the WCT and WSCB protocol had been reviewed with the WSCB manager.  The membership has been reviewed as suitable in the current format.


There was a general discussion regarding the Children’s Trust sub-groups and the board requested clarity on their operation.


J Hassall noted that new staff are joining the local authority who would join the groups and that the CT Executive would be reviewing and refining the sub groups at their next meeting.



The Board agreed the new memorandum and requested no changes to the membership.

J Hassall as Chair of the CT Executive would report back on this item at the next meeting.




10:45 Wirral Council Budget Options pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:


J Hassall introduced the Families and Wellbeing council budget options. They are officer budget options.  As a council in 2014/15 a £27.5m saving is required.


Some options span a number of years - these are in addition to the restructure and removal of manager roles.  A further project in this area will also be carried out by the council.  The council is also undertaking a shared service project with Cheshire West and Chester Council.


In 2012 previous budget options had been agreed some of which will be implemented in future years.  The consultation at the time impacted on the options taken by the Council


J Hassall outlined the key options in this consultation impacting on children including:


Accommodation for 16-17 year olds including care leavers

There was a discussion regarding 16-17 homelessness and the monitoring of those in need.  The numbers have been approximately 90 children with different levels of need.  Work is ongoing with providers to ensure the right type of accommodation is required.  The proposal is to improve the provision.


Working in partnership with schools

Including areas of school crossing patrols, school improvement, education social welfare service and school staff early retirement. Councillor Smith noted the 20% government reduction in funding for school improvement services which penalised areas like Wirral which deliver an excellent service.


Early Intervention to Support Families

There was a general discussion that early identification across all partners was crucial to intervening early and working to prevent escalation. This approach could save money.


Careers Advice and Guidance

K Podmore noted the recent Ofsted report which criticising CEAG services in schools and the importance of ensuring young people received good guidance.


Children’s Centres

B Morgan noted that this was a concern ensuring that the right families would access services effectively.

Councillor Clements wanted evidence from other areas that had closed their centres and the impact on early intervention effectiveness.

J Hassall noted that D Gornik who was joining CYPD as the lead for Targeted Services had some experience of this in her previous role.


Family Parenting and Youth Commissioning


Reducing Funding for Substance Misuse and Teenage Pregnancy

R Longster noted all the options were extreme and could potentially lead to contradictions particularly around early intervention.


J Hassall asked the board to contribute to the consultation.


J Graham noted that Public Health were producing a paper on the consequences of the options which could be provided to the board.


Resolved: The Board agreed to respond to the consultation as appropriate.