10:45 Strategy Group Annual Update
V Stafford presented the Social and Economic Well Being (SEWB) Strategy Group annual report. She reported that since taking the strategic leadership of the group a review had been undertaken and the group had been reformed to incorporate the existing 14-19 Partnership and the SEWB group. This has strengthened the group which is well attended with strong representation across the partnership.
The key SEWB performance indicators were outlined which provided a mixed picture. Challenges remain around ensuring young people access education, employment and training (EET) opportunities, Level 3 attainment and the attainment gap at Level 3 between young people eligible and not eligible for free school meals. The importance of Level 3 achievement at age 19 was stressed as this is a key factor for young people to progress to high level achievement and higher skilled jobs. The group are clearly focused on the challenges and activities underway are outlined in the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP).
Work with the attainment of care leavers at 19 has been a focus for the team and a year on year increase has been achieved. The 2012/13 target is stretching at 65% but will bring Wirral in line with comparators. The 2012/13 cohort is significantly larger than in previous years which presents challenges but new tracking and assessment arrangements are in place.
The September Guarantee is currently the highest is has been for Wirral at this point in the year, which means all young people have a guaranteed place in learning in September 2012.
The local offer for young people with complex learning difficulties has improved and has reduced the numbers of young people sourcing provision out of borough.
The provision for NEET includes the ‘New Futures’ offer which is in place to encourage young people to learning. There is funding from New Horizons (Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership) to deliver up to 4000 opportunities across the Liverpool City Region targeted at the hard to reach young people. A new contract has been secured to improve outcomes for young people aged 16-17 who have no GCSEs through the Youth Contract.
V Stafford reported that due to the different funding streams in operation there is now a national change in the landscape in the way that provision is being offered. As a result some local provision is being delivered via contractors and subcontractors that are not monitored via the 14-19 team.
M Parkinson added that the landscape could mean that a child has a number of key workers from different organisations. V Stafford noted that the outcome could be that a child is “in learning” but not progressing.
Councillor W Clements asked if we can engage with providers. V Stafford replied that they have been invited and are requested to engage with the SEWB team, thought this is not written into contracts. As the 14-19 partnership is no longer statutory there is no longer a requirement to write this into contracts.
A big challenge for the SEWB is the change in funding streams related to young people who have high dependency which can affect their transition arrangements.
S Brown asked what the board could do to support the SEWB group related to the areas highlighted.
M Parkinson noted that the board members through their respective groups could champion the need for appropriate progression routes for young people at key transition points.
M Parkinson thanked V Stafford and the SEWB group for their work.
Resolved: The Board agreed to support SEWB in approaches to providers and requested a further report is brought to a future board.