Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Children and Families)
Monday, 8th April, 2019 1.30 pm

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Contact: Angela Brogden (0113 37 88661)  Email: Angela.brogden@leeds.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

CO-OPTED MEMBERS (VOTING)

 

Mr E A Britten – Church Representative (Catholic)

Ms J Ward – Parent Governor Representative (Secondary)

 

CO-OPTED MEMBERS (NON-VOTING)

 

Ms D Reilly – Looked After Children and Care Leavers

 

79.

Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25* of the Access to Information Procedure Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded).

 

(* In accordance with Procedure Rule 25, notice of an appeal must be received in writing by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting).

Minutes:

There were no appeals.

 

 

80.

Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1.  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.

 

2.  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.

 

3.  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-

 

RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:

 

No exempt items have been identified.

Minutes:

There were no exempt items.

 

 

81.

Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.

 

(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)

Minutes:

There were no formal late items, however copies of the School Organisation Advisory Board (SOAB) Terms of Reference were circulated to Members during the meeting.

 

 

82.

Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any disclosable pecuniary interests for the purposes of Section 31 of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraphs 13-16 of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.

 

However, Co-opted Member Jackie Ward wished it to be noted that she was a Member of the School Organisation Advisory Board (SOAB). Councillor Ragan informed Members for their awareness that the item to be discussed was within her ward boundaries. The Chair also informed Members for their awareness that he took part in the Executive Board meeting on 20th March 2019 as a non-voting substitute Member.

 

 

83.

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Gruen, Bruce, Lennox and Stephenson. Notification was received that Councillors Brooks, Ragan, McKenna and P Latty would be in attendance as substitutes. Co-opted Members Kate Blacker, Andrew Graham, Celia Foote, Helen Bellamy, Anne Kearsley and Claire Hopkins also sent their apologies.

 

 

84.

Call In Briefing Paper pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To consider a report from the Head of Governance and Scrutiny Support advising the Scrutiny Board on the procedural aspects of Calling In the decision.

Minutes:

The Head of Governance and Scrutiny Support submitted a report in relation to the procedural aspects of the call in process.

 

Members were advised that the options available to the Scrutiny Board in respect of this particular called in decision were as follows:

 

Option 1- Release the decision for implementation

 

Having reviewed this decision, the Scrutiny Board may decide to release it for implementation. If the Scrutiny Board chooses this option, the decision will be immediately released for implementation and the decision may not be Called In again.

 

Option 2 - Recommend that the decision be reconsidered

 

The Scrutiny Board may decide to recommend to the decision maker that the decision be reconsidered. If the Scrutiny Board chooses this option a report will be submitted to the decision maker.

 

In the case of an Executive Board decision, the report of the Scrutiny Board will be prepared within three working days of the Scrutiny Board meeting and submitted to the Executive Board. Any report of the Scrutiny Board will be referred to the next Executive Board meeting for consideration.

 

In reconsidering the decision and associated Scrutiny Board report, the Executive Board may vary the decision or confirm its original decision. In either case, this will form the basis of the final decision and will not be subject to any further call-in.

 

Failure to agree one of the above options

 

If the Scrutiny Board, for any reason, does not agree one of the above courses of action at this meeting, then Option 1 will be adopted by default, i.e. the decision will be released for implementation with no further recourse to Call In.

 

RESOLVED – That the report outlining the Call In procedures be noted.

 

 

85.

Learning Places Programme Update and Secondary School Place Requirements for East Leeds. pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To consider a report from the Head of Governance and Scrutiny Support presenting background papers to an Executive Board decision which has been called in in accordance with the Council’s Constitution. This relates to the Learning Places Programme and Secondary School Place Requirements for East Leeds.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Governance and Scrutiny Support submitted a report that presented background papers to an Executive Board decision which had been called in in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

 

The decision had been called in for review by Councillors Dan Cohen, Colin Campbell, Thomas Leadley, David Blackburn and Mark Dobson.

 

The Scrutiny Board considered the following written information:

 

-  Call In request received 28th March 2019

-  ‘Learning Places Programme Update and Secondary School Place Requirements for East Leeds’ Executive Board report and appendices, 20th March 2019

-  Minute 177, Executive Board, 20th March 2019

 

The following were in attendance:

 

-  Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment

-  Steve Walker, Director of Children and Families

-  Tim Pouncey, Chief Officer, Resources and Strategy

-  Viv Buckland, Head of Service Learning Systems, Children and Families

 

As the Nominated Lead Signatory to the Call In, Councillor Cohen addressed the Board and highlighted a number of issues to be considered. Councillor Cohen clarified that the Call In was only in relation to the dissolution of the School Organisation Advisory Board (SOAB), rather than the other elements of the decision. Councillor Cohen also noted that the Call In request had been signed by representatives of all opposition parties, and felt that this was due to the shared value of independent review and opportunities for residents to have their voices heard. Members were provided with some of the historical context to the SOAB, including the rationale behind the introduction of the Board in 2007 following the conclusion of the School Organisation Committee (SOC). Councillor Cohen informed Members that he felt that the reasons for dissolution as set out in the Executive Board report (20th March 2019) were based on procedural matters, such as low Member turnout and limited resource, which should have been given more attention before the decision was taken to abolish SOAB. Concerns were raised regarding the lack of clarity around whether a new mechanism would be introduced to fulfil the function of SOAB, or if there was an expectation for the Call In function to be used as the sole form of oversight for school closures, openings or expansions. Councillor Cohen also commented on the timing of the decision to dissolve SOAB, following its criticism of the recent proposal to expand Moor Allerton Hall Primary School.

 

Following the introduction by Councillor Cohen, the Board agreed to release all other elements to the decision other than the following:

 

d) That approval be given to the dissolution of the School Organisation Advisory Board (SOAB), as a non-statutory function with immediate effect.

 

Members were given the opportunity to ask questions / provide comment to Councillor Cohen at this stage. Discussions included:

 

·  Members queried whether recommendations made with an average turnout of 3 Members were representative of the body, and were informed that the quorum for SOAB was a minimum of two Members. However, Councillor Cohen recognised that there may be scope for a refresh of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85.

86.

Outcome of Call In

In accordance with Scrutiny Board Procedure Rules, to consider the Board’s formal conclusions and recommendations arising from the consideration of the called-in decision.

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Board considered whether or not to release the decision for implementation. A vote was subsequently held and the Scrutiny Board agreed (by majority decision) that the decision be released.

 

RESOLVED –

 

a)  That the decision be released for implementation.

b)  That the Director of Children and Families provides a report to the Scrutiny Board at its first meeting of the new municipal year clarifying the existing process and other potential alternative options for  objections to be considered following the publication of a statutory notice of a proposal to close, open or make prescribed changes to a school 

 

 

87.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Wednesday, 24th April 2019 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)

Minutes:

Wednesday, 24th April 2019 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)