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


Cllr Tony Smith welcomed the members to the meeting and apologies were received from

J Martin, B Walker, V McGee, L Loughran, J. Owens, G. Batchelor.


He also advised of the following changes to the Board membership. 


·  Suzanne Edwards, General Manager, Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust will cover the Board from November to April 2014 for Val MGee.

·  Sandra Christie, Director of Quality & Nursing, has replaced Lisa Cooper as the representative for Wirral Community NHS Trust. 

·  Tracy Little has handed over the administration of the Board to Tessa Woodhouse and will attend in her capacity as Performance Manager.



09:05 Declarations of Interest


Bev Morgan, Homestart Wirral, declared an interest as a commissioner in relation to Agenda item 5.



09:05 Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 702 KB


These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

Action 5. Public Health Commissioning for Children 2013-14. 

The draft letter was outstanding. 


Action: J. Webster agreed to progress.



09:10 Secondary Attainment for Academic Year 2012-13


The Board received the presentation on the latest position on KS4 and KS5.


5+A*-C inc. English and Maths

Overall results have risen steadily since 2008.  The LA continues to perform significantly above the national average, as it has done since 2008.





The gap has widened significantly and the rise in overall results is largely due to improvement in girls’ results; boys’ results remain unchanged since 2010.



The gap has narrowed steadily from 2008 to 2012 but has widened significantly in 2013.  This was the result of the non-FSM improving and the non-FSM result falling (for the first time since 2008).


3 Levels Progress

Overall: the LA result is broadly unchanged, but still significantly higher than national, despite significant increase in the national result.

Gender: Girls continue to significantly outperform boys, especially in English (national trend) the Gap has narrowed significantly in English, but has widened in Maths.

FSM: The gap is essentially unchanged in English, but has widened significantly in maths, largely due to deterioration in performance of FSM pupils.


4 Levels Progress

Overall: LA results in English up slightly though a smaller rise than national.  However, the LA figure remains significantly above the national trend.

The LA result in Maths rose faster than national, and remains significantly above national.

Gender: Girls continue to significantly outperform boys.  Gap narrowed significantly in English but widened significantly in maths.

FSM: Gap widened slightly in English but significantly in maths.



Graphs were displayed showing data for A level and equivalent qualifications.

Total points per student remain significantly lower than national. 

Girls continue to do significantly better than boys; non-FSM continues to do significantly better than FSM (FSM status at KS4).



LA similar to national though there was a dip in 2013.

Girls significantly outperform boys.

Non-FSM students significantly outperform those on FSM.


2+ A* - E

As with 2+A*-B but the gaps are much narrower.


D. Gornik asked if there was any evidence if the number of children in FSM had increased as a result of the economic decline.  It was advised that there was no information available as the FSM indicators had changed.  It was also advised that claiming FSM is not automatic and parents are canvassed by the schools to register their claim.


Cllr Smith asked if there is a difference between claims in primary and secondary areas.  The information was not readily available but could be obtained.  Cllr Clements asked if there was any information available regarding the decline in FSM in secondary schools.  K. Podmore advised that many post 16 yr olds who are eligible for FSM do not take up FSM as they would prefer to have the support in other areas, such as bus passes.


J. Hassall asked for the number in the cohort and J. Webster offered the services of Public Health to help with any analysis of data/statistics.


J Hassall commented that there is a national drive to look at the poorer performance that children and young people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


09:25 Commissioning Update pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received an update on the performance of the Children’s Commissioning Services which have been commissioned until 30 April 2014.  J. Monty advised that on commissioning the services performance measures were agreed and put in place.  The areas that were commissioned are noted below and performance covers the first two quarters.


PA1: Parenting and Family Support

It was reported that one of the commissioners was not meeting the performance target but this was a newly established service and relied on referrals from social workers.  Work is ongoing with the Provider and plans have been put in place to impact on the referral issue.


PA2: Short Breaks for Disabled Children

Two organisations with four services between them have not met performance targets due to both a change in management, or the summer period and staff changes.  These two providers will be closely monitored and an updated report will be available for the next quarter.


PA3: Youth Challenge

One programme, Targeted Support, has not met agreed targets but plans are in place and the performance will be monitored.


PA4: Statutory Service

One commissioner is not achieving but is heavily dependent on referrals from social workers.  Discussions have taken place with the provider and plans are in place to help achieve the required target.



The Family Role Model Homestart programme has been re-profiled with the expectation that outputs will be met in the final two quarters.


Cllr Clements asked what actions were in place to support youth advocacy for LAC leaving care and J. Monty gave assurance that all young people who were entitled to a visit had received one.  Cllr Clements further commented on the contracts running only for a year and would therefore be subject to disruption shortly.  J. Monty replied that these programmes were part of the budget options and ideally would like them to be rolled over for a further year to minimise any disruption.  The budget option consultation period closes on 16 December and will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting.  It was noted that performing contracts will receive consideration for roll-over.


M. Kilcoyne asked what steps were being taken to increase the rate of referrals from social workers.  She was advised that work was ongoing with providers, locality managers and other senior managers in Social Care.  B. Morgan stated that referrals were starting to come through and that once the profile of the service was raised then referrals would be forthcoming.  J. Hassall requested an update on this programme at the next meeting.


Action: J. Monty to provide an update for January 2014 meeting


The Board noted the report




09:40 Our Children Deserve Better - Prevention Pays pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:


J. Webster provided the Board with a brief summary of the Chief Medical Officer’s report related to the health and wellbeing of children and young people and giving them the best start in life.  She further advised that Public Health had a strong history of producing annual reports and that the Wirral report had recently been issued.  The CMO’s report illustrates that the variations across the country are still vast.


J. Webster highlighted the sections in the report with actions that various organisations should take and asked that the report is taken as a reference point for the work going forward and to ensure the findings in the report are reflected in local plans. 


D. Gornik asked how this would sit with the JSNA and she was advised it would influence it and the recommendations would be reflected in the JSNA. 


K. Coxhead advised that one of the areas mentioned in the report was parenting and highlighted that this support was key with children with ADHD. D Gornik added that parenting support is at the heart of the prevention strategy and one family approach.  J Webster noted that parenting has been a key issue in the latest round of consultations for the re-commissioning of the 0 – 19 yr healthy child programme; the keynote being about parenting at all ages of a child’s life not just 0-5 yrs.  J Webster noted that the level of parenting support should be streamlined and aligned across the partnership.  The Board’s attention was also drawn to Recommendation no. 7 of the report which calls for efforts to narrow attainment gaps in education complement efforts being made to narrow health inequalities.


Cllr Smith added that it would be useful to know the availability of parenting courses across the borough and that a report be submitted to the March meeting. 


Action: K. Coxhead to submit a report (to include funding sources) to the March Board.


The Board noted the report.



09:55 Safeguarding Board - Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 73 KB


The Board received an overview of the latest developments from the Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) with particular reference to the new OFSTED inspection framework and the differences to previous frameworks.


J. Hassall advised that the inspection would now not occur before Christmas. Inspections now last four weeks.  This new process will look at the experiences of children and young people with the emphasis being on “so what” and not so much as process.  Social workers will be observed going about their duties and case files will also be audited.


K. Jones took the opportunity to remind the Board of the Joint Development Day on 6 December which will be facilitated by Professor Jan Howarth from Sheffield University.  He also advised that the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) multi agency sub group of the WSCB has been established and will oversee the implementation of the CSE Action Plan.


The Board was also updated on the Critical Incident Reviews and Serious Case Reviews and were informed that once the reports have been finalised they will be shared with the relevant agencies.


K. Jones also shared a preview of the campaign posted being developed to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.  The following comments were noted and would be taken into consideration.

  • Males need to feature in the posters.
  • Could the text be reflected in plain English in order to ensure that the message was clearly understood.


The Board note the report.


10:10 Child Poverty pdf icon PDF 57 KB


The Board received the report in which it was advised that the School Community Hub project was approved by Cabinet in June 2013.  The activities delivered by the School Community Hub will be informed by the needs identified by the families and the wider community.  In order to take an asset based approach the Hub will be located within a primary school and will be funded for 12 months.  Four schools have been shortlisted and interviews are imminent.  The start date will be January 2014 and the successful school will work closely with the new Targeted Service.  Report will be submitted to the Board on a regular basis.


B. Morgan advised that spaces are still available on the ‘Train the Trainer’ course around child poverty training.  This course is free to partners.


The Board note the report.


10:40 Youth Voice


L. Davidson and K. Druker gave an overview of the Youth Voice Conference and Youth Parliament which took place recently.  The Board was advised that the theme for the Youth Conference was ‘Respect’ and this was the result of a recent consultation. Schools and other organisations that involve young people were invited and of those who attended 87% rated the conference 7 or above.


The Board heard from the 3 peer educators regarding their roles and overall experience gained during and leading up to the events.  Their topics on the day covered children and the media, work with young males (particularly around alcohol and drugs) and working with people with special needs.  They all said how much they had enjoyed the experience and how much confidence they had gained. 


They also had the opportunity to understand democratic processes and practice their debating skills at the Youth Parliament.  Forty nine young people attended and 91% of these rated the conference 7 out of 10. 


The motions from the young people included.


1. Upton Hall School (first motion)

Michael Gove is destroying the educational system of this country.


2. Wirral Youth Theatre Creative Development   

Media literacy should be taught in all schools to enable young people to understand and interpret what they see to ensure that negative and sexualised marketing does not affect their self-esteem and identity.


3. South Wirral Young People

The new Youth Zone proposed to be built in central Birkenhead will cost Wirral Council £2 million of capital funding and a further £400,000 each year to support its running costs.  Do you not think that the money would be better spent upgrading existing youth facilities across Wirral?


4. Weatherhead High School and Wirral Grammar Boys

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) should be brought back into schools, funded through cuts to MPs salaries and expenses.


5. Upton Hall School (second motion)

I agree with Russell Brand that the current political system is broken and revolution is the only way forward.


The presentation ended with the recommendations that a revision of the Charter of Participation and Engagement should take place shortly and also to create a Participation Reference Group.  The Youth Voice Group recommended promotion, planning & delivery, training for other young people, staff and Elected Members and evaluation.


J. Webster advised she was a member of the ‘hot seat’ and said she found the questions pertinent and very relevant to the current situation.  Feedback will be used in developing future service specifications around children and young people.


In summary J. Hassall commented that the events get better year on year and thanked the peer educators for all their work and participation in making the events so successful.


D. Gornik as a newcomer to Wirral endorsed these comments and was extremely impressed by the whole event and the level of respect and support the children had displayed for each other.


Cllr Smith thanked the group for all the work they had done and their involvement and as an attendee how much he  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


11:00 Youth Offending Inspection pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received an overview of the report of Short Quality Screening of Youth Offending work in Wirral. 


The inspection themes were

  • Reducing the likelihood of re-offending
  • Protecting the public
  • Protecting the child or young person
  • Ensuring that the sentence is served
  • Operational management


Key strengths were noted as:

  • The quality of PSRs prepared for the courts
  • The engagement of children and young people and parents/carers in assessments
  • The use of a wide range of sources to inform and verify assessments
  • The attention paid to encouraging and achieving compliance.  Different tactics were employed, and mostly these were successful.  Enforcement was used only as a last resort
  • The assessment and consideration of diversity factors
  • There were several examples of positive initial outcomes for children or young people


The most significant areas for improvement were

  • Planning for work to manage risk of harm to others and reduce vulnerability
  • Management oversight of the quality of assessments and plans.


Overall the report found a very positive picture in Wirral Youth Offending Service and the service will now focus on post-inspection work on the identified areas requiring improvement.


Cllr Smith welcomed the very positive report and thanked colleagues for their work in this area.


The Board note the report.


11:15 Targeted Services Progress


D Gornik introduced herself and gave a brief background to the targeted services project.  She added that the family support services have been remodelled to better coordinate a multi-agency support to families through a single lead professional approach focussing on the whole family at a community level.  This integrated approach is already showing benefits.


She tabled a position paper which can be used to generate discussion and feedback would be welcome.  The document outlined the following key points:

·  Services integral to the new targeted approach

  • Success to date
  • Drivers for change
  • Challenges and strengths
  • What the partnership still needs to do
  • What success would mean


D Gornik noted that following her appointment she has noticed that there is a very strong evidence of political support on the Wirral and to ensure we are doing the doing the best for children, young people and the family.  Also the willingness to do things differently is widely accepted across the Council. J. Hassall reinforced this by saying the service is not exclusively a Council service and its success depends on it being embedded across all partners.


Cllr Smith requested that an update is submitted to the Board.


Action: D. Gornik to submit an update on Targeted Services to a future meeting.


The Board note the response.


11:35 Report of Children's Trust Structure pdf icon PDF 107 KB


N. Clarkson outlined the background to the current position with regard to the WCT sub groups in order that they remain fit for purpose and to ensure that key priorities of the new CYPP 2013-16 are delivered.


Work is ongoing as changes in the public sector continue.  The areas under review are Staying Safe and Achievement and Economic Wellbeing and the associated sub groups.  It was confirmed that there are no plans to amend the structure and operation of the Being Healthy Strategy Group.


The Board was also advised of the work being undertaken by the Participation Champion.  The review will be carried out by the CTE and the proposed changes submitted to the March Board for sign off and implementation by April 2014.


P. Sheridan asked if the LAC groups were being involved.  N. Clarkson confirmed that discussions were underway to ensure that the work regarding LAC education, employment and support was incorporated into the restructure.


The Board note the report.


11:50 CYPP Quarter 2 Performance Report pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:


Tracy Little reviewed the report and advised that of the 21 indicators being reported, 5 are new measures that would be baseline in 2013.  Of the 16 measures 13 were rated GREEN, 1 is AMBER and 2 are RED against target.


RED: Prevalence of breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks

Work continues with Homestart and it was also noted that the target had been reviewed and had been reduced.  J. Webster also confirmed that there has been a great deal of investment and effort put into this programme. Viv Harrison gave details of the breastfeeding App that has been developed by the Community Trust.


RED: Rate of CP Plans per 10,000 population (0-17)

This has increased over the year compared to the previous quarter. A full audit of all current child protections plans will be undertaken before Christmas.



The Board note the report.