Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

10.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Members of the Children’s, Young People and Education Committee, Officers and viewing members of the public to the online, virtual meeting.

11.

APOLOGIES

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A roll call of Councillors was undertaken by the Head of Legal Services.  Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Tom Usher. Councillor Adrian Jones present as substitute.

12.

MEMBERS CODE OF CONDUCT - DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on the agenda and, if so, declare and state what they were.

 

The following declarations were made.

Councillor Sarah Spoor

Personal interest by virtue of her parent representative on PCPW, a parent support group and her employment in a Liverpool City Region school.

Councillor Alison Wright

Personal interest by virtue of her membership of St Bridget’s Educational Trust.

Councillor Chris Carubia

Personal interest by virtue of his position as Chair of Governors of a Primary School.

Councillor Wendy Clements

Personal interest by virtue of her involvement in Early Learning.

Councillor Moira McLaughlin

Personal Interest in Item 10, holiday food and activities for school and nursery age children during holidays, by virtue of her role as a Trustee of the Charity ‘Feeding Birkenhead’

Councillor Jean Robinson

Personal Interest by virtue of her role in ‘Early Years’

Councillor Adrian Jones

Personal Interest by virtue of his role as a School Governor and his daughters employment as a teacher.

Councillor Paul Stuart

Personal interest by virtue of his position as a Wirral Foster Carer.

 

13.

MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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Minutes:

Resolved – That the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 20 October 2020 be agreed.

14.

PUBLIC AND MEMBER QUESTIONS

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Minutes:

The Head of Legal Services informed the Children, Young People and Education Committee that no public questions, or requests to make a statement had been made.

15.

PROPOSED RECOMMISSIONING OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Julie Webster, Director of Public Health introduced a report of the Director for Children, Families and Education that sought agreement to progress Public Health’s proposed commissioning intentions for 2021-2022 for Public Health services for children and young people. These services supported the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme for 0-19 years.

 

The proposals in the report linked to the delivery of the Wirral Plan 2025 and the statutory responsibilities of the local authority in respect of public health:  services which helped people live happy, healthy, independent and active lives, with public services there to support them when they needed it.

 

The Director of Public Health apprised Members that all Public Health contracts were subject to on-going evaluation as part of a clearly defined commissioning cycle, which is designed to maximise return on investment and improve outcomes. This methodology ensured that Public Health services (and contracts) were consistently and routinely tested against a range of criteria. Criteria against which contracts are tested include the following:

 

·  Evidence base e.g. academic research, engagement feedback, Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

·  Performance of targets e.g. financial and activity based and outcomes against plans and benchmarking information

·  Value for money

·  National policy and technical guidance e.g. Public Health Outcomes Framework

·  Strategic direction e.g. Wirral Plan strategic aspirations (narrowing the gap in life expectancy), delivery of Public Health outcomes through council services

·  Legal and contractual frameworks e.g. incorporate national updates to contract templates used for NHS providers.

 

Members noted that the following services were to be retendered during the 2021/2022 financial year as the current contracts concluded on the 31st August 2021:

·  Preventative and Early Intervention Secondary School Based Service for young people (counselling - Action for Children)

·  Confidential Young People’s Online Counselling and Advice Service (Kooth.com - Xenzone)

·  Healthy Child Programme (Health Improvement) for 0 -19 year olds (breastfeeding; healthy weight; substance misuse; sexual health and relationship education for professionals) (Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust)

·  Sexual Health Education for young people (Brook)

 

Members questioned the Director of Public Health on a number of matters within the report, and the Director responded accordingly. Members noted that the proposals would provide an opportunity to reconsider the funding and delivery models, enabling the potential release of cost savings and the refocussing of service delivery. The Director highlighted a correction in recommendation one of the report that should have stated a figure of £1,548,858.

 

It was:

 

Moved by Councillor Wendy Clements; and

Seconded by Councillor Moira McLaughlin

 

and

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  the Director of Public Health be authorised to re-commission contracts totalling £1,548,858 for four Children’s Public Health Programmes as detailed in paragraph 3.4 of the report, for initial one year contracts (1 September 2021 – 31 August 2022) with an annual value of £774,429 with the option of a one year extension for each; and

 

(2)  the short-term contract period proposed to enable a more collaborative and joint commissioning approach to be developed across the system be noted.

16.

SEND Strategy pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paul Boyce, Director for Children, Families and Education introduced his report that set out the Local Area Strategy for improving outcomes and life chances for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Appendix 1 to the report contained the SEND Strategy and Appendix 2 the contained the SEND Improvement Plan. The Director thanked Sue Talbot, Assistant Director: Education for her involvement in the preparation of the report and introduced two key officers who would update Members on the Strategy - Tarun Ghosh, Head of Service SEND and Inclusion at Wirral Council and Richard Crockford, Deputy Director for Quality & Safety Wirral CCG, and lead officer on SEND.

 

The report informed that for many families, feedback had indicated that the SEND reforms had brought about positive change, but for some the process had been troublesome and not easy to navigate.

 

The strategy focused on reducing inequality and links to two Council priorities:-

 

  • Brighter futures for young people and families – regardless of their background or where they live
  • Services which help people live happy, healthy, independent, and active lifestyles, with public services there to support them when they needed it.

 

It was reported that considerable consultation had been undertaken to determine the key priorities. Two SEND summits had been held with over 150 stakeholders across the Local Area attending. Feedback had been received from the SEND Youth Voice group, Parent Carer Partnership Wirral, parents, and SEN support young people. Over 250 young SEND people had engaged in the consultation and shaped the four priorities. The main priority was to improve the quality of provision and outcomes for young people with SEND. To do this the focus was on:-

 

  • Identifying needs at the earliest point and providing the appropriate support.
  • Ensuring that young people were ready for each stage of their school life and prepared for adulthood.
  • Increasing participation and engagement young people and their families. In doing so ensuring that all changes to policy/processes takes account of the views of young people, their parents, and carers as well as professionals.

 

Members questioned the officers on the content of the report, and the officers responded accordingly.

 

It was:

 

Moved by Councillor Wendy Clements; and

Seconded by Councillor Chris Carubia

 

and

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)  the Local Area SEND Strategy be supported; and

 

(2)  a copy of the Local Area SEND Improvement plan be circulated to Members following the meeting, with an update on progress to be presented to the January meeting of the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

17.

SEND - Self Assessment pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paul Boyce, Director for Children, Families and Education introduced his report, taken in conjunction with the previous item, that set out a summary of the Local Area Special Educational Needs / Disabilities (SEND) self-assessment that had been contributed to by representatives from education, health and social care, as well as feedback from young people, parents and carers.

 

The Director’s report informed that the Self Evaluation Framework (SEF) was a document that provides an ongoing evaluation of how successful the Local Area was at meeting the needs of SEND young people as well as the impact of services. Three questions are used to enable the Local Area partners, young people and parent/carers and all stakeholders to objectively reflect impact. The questions were:

 

  • How effectively does each service area identify children and young people who have (SEND)?
  • How effectively does each service area assess and meet the needs of children and young people who have SEND?
  • How effectively does each service area improve outcomes for children and young people who have SEND?

 

The SEF summary also linked with the four key priorities from the SEND Strategy 2020-24.

 

  • To improve the quality of provision and outcomes for young people with SEND.

 

To do this the focus was on:

 

  • Identifying needs at the earliest point and provide the appropriate support.
  • Ensure that young people are ready for each stage of their school life and prepared for adulthood.
  • Increase participation and engagement young people and their families. In doing so ensure that all changes to policy/processes takes account of the views of young people, their parents, and carers as well as professionals.

 

Members questioned the Director for Children, Families and Education on the content of his report, and the Director responded accordingly.

 

It was:

 

Moved by Councillor Wendy Clements; and

Seconded by Councillor Kate Cannon

 

and

 

RESOLVED - That

 

(1)  the SEND SEF Summary be noted; and

 

(2)  regular updates on the progress and impact to date around key priorities be presented to the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

 

18.

APPOINTMENT OF CORPORATE PARENTING BOARD MEMBERS pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Vicki Shaw, Head of Legal Services introduced the report of the Director of Law and Governance that apprised the Children, Young People and Education Committee, in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions and the terms of the Constitution, of the requirement to appoint Members to the Corporate Parenting Board of the Council for 2020 / 2021.

 

The report informed that under its Terms of Reference, the Children, Young People and Education Committee was responsible for the appointment of a Sub-Committee and Working Group of five (5) or more members of the Children, Young People and Education Committee, politically balanced, together with [two] non-voting co-opted young people with recent (within the last five years) direct experience of being looked after by, or receiving services as a care leaver from the Council, with delegated authority to exercise responsibility for the Council’s functions relating to the delivery by or on behalf of the Council, of Corporate Parenting functions with the exception of policy decisions which will remain with the Children and Young People’s Committee.

 

The Head of Legal Services apprised Members that the Corporate Parenting Board Membership (5 members) would comprise of political proportionality 2 (Labour):2 (Conservative):1 (Liberal Democrat).

 

The following nominations were received and agreed:

 

Labour

Councillor Kate Cannon

Councillor Tom Usher

 

Conservative

Councillor Wendy Clement

Councillor Alison Wright

Councillor Cherry Povall (Deputy)

 

Liberal Democrat

Councillor Chris Carubia

 

It was:

 

Moved by Councillor Wendy Clements; and

Seconded by Councillors Jean Robinsons and Chris Carubia,

 

and

 

RESOLVED - That

 

(1)  the Corporate Parenting Board be confirmed appointed for 2020-21, including the appointment of named deputies; and

 

(2)  the following Members be confirmed to serve on the Corporate Parenting Board in 2020-21, (names of the remaining deputies to be provided to the Head of Legal Services in due course).

 

Labour

Kate Cannon

Tom Usher

 

Conservative

Wendy Clement

Anne Wright

Cherry Povall (Deputy)

 

Liberal Democrat

Chris Carubia

19.

Holiday food and activities for school and nursery age children during holidays pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mark Camborne, Assistant Director Neighbourhood Safety and Transport introduced a report of the Director for Children, Families and Education that provided an update further to the proposal agreed by the Policy and Resources Committee regarding the provision of free school meals (FSM) in school holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic since March. The report also included next steps to develop a sustainable approach to the provision of FSM and support to eligible children and those on the cusp in the medium and longer term.

 

The report informed that the Policy & Resources Committee agreed a proposal for a project co-ordinated by local charity Neo Community (Feeding Birkenhead), working in partnership with schools and local community-based feeding groups and organisations, to provide food and activities to children eligible for Free School Meals over the Christmas 2020, February half-term 2021 and Easter 2021 holidays. This built upon learning from the operation of the Edsential Holiday Activity Fund over the summer, providing for adaptation of a successful model of delivery.

 

As noted at the Policy & Resources Committee and reported by the government after the report had been drafted, the Department for Work & Pensions announced on 8 November 2020 a significant package of extra targeted financial support for those in need over the winter period. This includes:

 

·  £170m COVID Winter Grant Scheme to support children, families and the most vulnerable over winter.

·  Holiday Activities and Food programme to be expanded, covering Easter, Summer and Christmas in 2021.

·  Healthy Start payments set to rise from £3.10 to £4.25 a week from April 2021.

 

The report further informed that the Government had also pledged additional funding of £16m for food distribution charities, with conversations with FareShare and others ongoing as to how this is allocated.

 

Wirral’s proposed allocation of the £170m COVID Winter Grant Scheme is £1,224,617; this was for the period 1 December 2020 – 31 March 2021. Through the Humanitarian Cell (Food Sub-Group), partners - agencies, local organisations and groups - have been engaged in the development of proposals for spend of the COVID Winter Grant Scheme.  The engagement and additional funding (provided by both the Holiday Activities Fund and COVID Winter Grant) had seen the agreed approach built upon and extended. 

 

Members questioned the Assistant Director Neighbourhood Safety and Transport, and the Assistant Director responded accordingly.

 

Members discussed nominations for the creation of a Working Group with key partners to explore options in relation to supporting children with food in the medium to longer term.

 

The following nominations were confirmed:

 

Labour

Councillor Jean Robinson

 

Conservative

Councillor Cherry Povall

 

Liberal Democrat

Councillor Chris Carubia

 

Independent

Councillor Moira McLaughlin

 

It was:

 

Moved by Councillor Wendy Clements

Seconded by Councillor Moira McLaughlin

 

and

 

RESOLVED - That

 

(1)  the approach set out supporting school and nursery age children over Christmas 2020 and February half term 2021, be noted;

 

(2)  to the creation of a Working Group, consisting of key partners and nominated Elected Members, to explore options in relation to supporting children with food in the medium  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Children, Young People and Education Work Programme pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Vicki Shaw, Head of Legal Services introduced the report of t Director of Law and Governance that informed that the Children, Young People and Education Committee, in co-operation with the other Policy and Service Committees, was responsible for proposing and delivering an annual committee work programme. This work programme should align with the corporate priorities of the Council, in particular the delivery of the key decisions which are within the remit of the Committee. 

 

It was envisaged that the work programme will be formed from a combination of key decisions, standing items and requested officer reports. The report provided the Committee with an opportunity to plan and regularly review its work across the municipal year. The work programme for the Children, Young People and Education Committee was attached as Appendix 1 to this report.

 

Members questioned the Head of Legal Services on the report and suggested a number of items for inclusion in the committee work programme that included:

 

  • integrated front door, and a standing item for dashboard information; and
  • information on referral rates.

 

The Chair informed the committee that Members could feed information through to her and party spokespersons at any time for consideration for inclusion on the work programme.

 

It was:

 

Moved by Councillor Wendy Clements

Seconded by Councillor Chris Carubia

 

and

 

RESOLVED - That

 

(1)  the Children, Young People and Education Work Programme for the remainder of the 2020/21 Municipal Year be noted; and

 

(2)  any additional suggestions for items for consideration be submitted to the Chair or Committee Spokespersons.