Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Board (Children and Families)
Wednesday, 27th November, 2019 10.00 am

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)

Mr A Graham – Church Representative (Church of England)

Ms J Ward – Parent Governor Representative (Secondary)

 

Co-opted Members (Non-voting)

Ms C Foote – Teacher Representative

Ms D Reilly – Looked After Children / Care Leavers Representative

 

49.

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 against refusal of inspection of documents.

 

50.

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.

 

51.

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 late items. However, there was supplementary information in relation to agenda item 9 – Scrutiny Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling draft terms of reference.

 

52.

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:

No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made. However, it was noted that Debbie Reilly, a co-opted member representing Looked After Children and Care Leavers, made a declaration that in relation to item 8 – Future in Mind: Leeds Strategy and Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing, she was directly employed by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

 

53.

Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors C Gruen, A Marshall-Katung, W Kidger and R Stephenson.

 

The following Councillors were in attendance at the meeting as substitutes:

·  Cllr M Harland for Cllr C Gruen

·  Cllr D Ragan for Cllr A Marshall–Katung

·  Cllr P Latty for Cllr R Stephenson

 

Apologies were also received from the following co-opted members; Helen Bellamy, Anne Kearsley, Kate Blacker and Emma Holmes.

 

54.

Minutes - 23rd October 2019 pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 23rd October 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd October 2019 be approved as a correct record.

 

55.

Scrutiny Inquiry 'Is Leeds a Child Friendly City?' - Formal response to scrutiny recommendations pdf icon PDF 430 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services presenting the formal response to the recommendations arising from the Scrutiny Board’s recent Inquiry ‘Is Leeds a Child Friendly City?’

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Democratic Services presented a formal response to the recommendations arising from the recent Scrutiny Inquiry ‘Is Leeds a Child Friendly City?’

 

The Inquiry concluded in April 2019 with the Scrutiny Board’s conclusions and recommendations published in August 2019. Appendix 1 of the submitted report provided the formal response from the relevant Directorates for Members’ consideration.

 

In attendance at the meeting were:

  • Councillor Jonathan Pryor – Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment
  • Councillor Fiona Venner – Executive Member for Children and Families
  • Steve Walker – Director of Children and Families
  • James Rogers – Director of Communities and Environment
  • Sharon Yellin – Chief Officer/ Consultant in Public Health
  • Phil Mellen – Deputy Director for Learning
  • Sue Rumbold – Chief Officer for Partnerships and Health
  • David Feeney – Chief Planning Officer

 

The Chair expressed his view that this had been a good piece of work by the Scrutiny Board and in general had welcomed the positive responses to the recommendations.

 

The Board went through each of the recommendations as set out at Appendix 1 of the submitted report with the following key points highlighted:

 

Recommendation 1:

·  The Board welcomed the ongoing commitment towards exploring engagement opportunities between children and young people and the Scrutiny function in general, which would involve the Youth Voice Summit events where appropriate;

·  It was noted that the Youth Voice Summits during 2020 would be focused on climate change.

 

Recommendation 2:

·  In welcoming this recommendation, it was acknowledged that a number of reviews were now being undertaken to identify and strengthen engagement links with particular groups of children and young people.

 

Recommendation 3:

·  Both the Chair and the Director of Children and Families spoke on behalf of the Chief Executive to relay his acceptance and support for this recommendation;

·  As set out within the report, the Board noted the series of actions now being taken that were also linked to the ongoing Corporate Reporting Review.

 

Recommendation 4:

·  The Chief Planning Officer welcomed this recommendation and confirmed that young people were being fully involved in revising the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), which is a statutory document that sets out how the Council consults on planning applications and planning policy documents;

·  It was noted that the new SCI would be open to consultation next year.

 

Recommendation 5:

·  Acknowledging the close links with recommendation 4, the Chief Planning Officer explained that the revised SCI will have a section dedicated to the engagement of children and young people.  While it was noted that the Council is unable to set out requirements in this regard, the revised SCI is to set out why engagement and consultation with children and young people is important as well as showing how this can be done effectively and will include examples of good practice to inspire.

·  The Board welcomed that the new SCI would also include greater emphasis around early engagement.

 

Recommendation 6:

·  Reference was made to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) Your Views annual  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Future in Mind: Leeds Strategy and Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services presenting information surrounding the Future in Mind: Leeds Strategy and Local Transformation Plan (2015-2020), including details of the recently refreshed Plan.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Democratic Services presented information around the Future in Mind: Leeds Strategy and Local Transformation Plan 2015-2020. It sets the city’s vision, progress and next steps to improve the social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 0-25.

 

In attendance at the meeting were:

·  Councillor Jonathan Pryor – Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment

·  Councillor Fiona Venner – Executive Member for Children and Families

·  Steve Walker – Director of Children and Families

·  Sue Rumbold – Chief Officer for Partnerships and Health

·  Saira Mumtaz Jones – Health and Wellbeing Lead

·  Michelle Kane – Health Improvement Principal, Public Health

·  Dr Jane Mischenko – Lead Strategic Commissioner: Children and Maternity Care, NHS Leeds CCG

·  Hannah Beal – CAMHS, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

 

The Board was shown a presentation by Dr Jane Mischenko which provided Members with an overview of the progress that has been made against the 11 priorities set out within the Strategy and Plan. It was highlighted that all the work achieved could not have been undertaken without the assistance of all partners from across the city.

 

In consideration of the report and presentation, the following key points were raised:

·  The impacts of social media - it was acknowledged that social media was a complex area as increased accessibility to a digital world will have positive benefits in terms of learning and communication opportunities as well as the potential to be harmful, particularly to vulnerable young people. While recognising the need for social media providers to be made more accountable for the content of sites, particular importance was placed upon educating children and parents in the use of social media and making sure children have the resilience, information and power they need to make safe and informed choices about their digital lives.

·  Planned local event involving the Children’s Commissioner – linked to the above, it was noted that the Children’s Commissioner had produced a number of reports regarding children’s exposure to the digital world and that an invitation has been extended to the Commissioner to attend a planned local event themed on this issue in February 2020.

·  Effective transition from child to adult service provision – this was recognised as a challenging area with a need for significant review and transformation, as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. While acknowledging that this is a key priority within the current Transformation Plan, reference was also made to the developing all-age Leeds Mental Health Strategy and the expressed interest of the Adults, Health and Active Lifestyles Scrutiny Board to continue monitoring progress with the delivery of this new Strategy.

·  CAMHS support - Members were advised that the waiting list for CAMHS had reduced and was now 13.5 weeks.  The Board was also informed about the ongoing work aimed at continuing to reduce this waiting time further and to also intervene early to identify other appropriate alternative support provision.

·  Roll out of the Young People’s Resilience Programme across schools –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Scrutiny Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling - draft terms of reference pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services presenting draft terms of reference for the Scrutiny Board’s forthcoming Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Democratic Services set out the draft terms of reference relating to the Scrutiny Board’s forthcoming Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling.

 

In attendance at the meeting were:

·  Councillor Jonathan Pryor – Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment

·  Steve Walker – Director of Children and Families

·  Phil Mellen – Deputy Director for Learning

 

At the Board’s meeting in October 2019, the Director of Children and Families had presented a report setting out national concerns regarding the rising level of exclusions and elective home education as well as reflecting the position in Leeds linked to school based data. The Board agreed to undertake further scrutiny surrounding the issues linked to exclusions, elective home education and also off-rolling.

 

The draft terms of reference had been circulated and published in advance of the meeting as part of a supplementary information pack.

 

The Chair explained that following a request made by the Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment, the Board was happy to incorporate the following amendments to the draft terms of reference:

 

·  That ‘fixed term exclusions’ be used throughout paragraph 1.11 rather than just ‘exclusions’;

·  That the scope of the inquiry includes specific reference to addressing the practice of off-rolling;

·  That the words ‘or off-rolled’ be added after ‘number of children excluded…’ in paragraph 3.2;

·  Linked to the witnesses list, the reference to Head Teacher representation from local primary and secondary schools includes local authority and academy schools.

 

In consideration of the draft terms of reference, the Board also discussed the potential impacts surrounding excessive use of internal isolation, which could also lead to exclusions, and therefore requested that this be captured within the scope of the Inquiry too.

 

RESOLVED – That, subject to the above amendments being incorporated, the Board agrees the terms of reference relating to the forthcoming Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling.

 

58.

Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2019/20 municipal year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Head of Democratic Services was presented by the Principal Scrutiny Adviser, and set out the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the remainder of the current municipal year.

 

The work schedule was appended to the submitted report for Members consideration and agreement.

 

Further to item 9 of the agenda, the work schedule would be updated to include the Inquiry into Exclusions, Elective Home Education and Off-rolling. Linked to this, the Chair had requested an additional meeting in February to assist in completing this piece of Scrutiny work before the end of the municipal year.  It was agreed that this would be held on 5th February 2020 at 10.00 am.

 

With regard to the Board’s next meeting in January 2020, the Principal Scrutiny Adviser gave an overview of the expected agenda items.  Linked to the item surrounding the Leeds Offer for Post 16 education, including vulnerable learners, the Board was informed that it had been proposed that a small number of Board Members undertake a visit in early January to the Post 16 Meadows Park Partnership hosted at Benton Park School. However, this visit still remained subject to confirmation.  The Principal Scrutiny Adviser therefore advised that further details on this would be shared with Board Member in due course.

 

RESOLVED

(a)  To note the content of the report and agree the work schedule for the remainder of the municipal year.

(b)  To hold an additional meeting of the Scrutiny Board on Wednesday 5th February 2020 at 10:00 am (pre-meeting at 9.45 am).

 

59.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 at 10 am (Pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Children and Families Scrutiny Board will be on 22nd January 2020 at 10:00 am, with all Members invited to a pre-meeting at 9:45 am.

 

Chairs Comment

The Chair wished the Members of the Board a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

 

(The meeting concluded at 11.45 am)