Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Children and Families) - Wednesday, 25th November, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Angela Brogden (0113 37 88661)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item



Mr E A Britten - Church Representative (Catholic)

Mr A Graham - Church Representative (Church of England)

Ms J Ward – Parent Governor Representative (Secondary)

Ms K Blacker – Parent Governor Representative (Primary)




Ms C Foote – Teacher Representative

Ms H Bellamy – Teacher Representative

Ms D Reilly – Looked After Children and Care Leavers


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).


There were no appeals.




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.


There were no exempt items.




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.)


There were no late items.




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.


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.




Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.


There were no apologies.


At this point in the meeting, the Chair highlighted to the Board that, due to other work commitments, Emma Holmes had taken the decision to step down as the Board’s Young Lives Leeds (YLL) representative.  It was agreed that the Chair would write to Emma to thank her for the contribution she has made to the work of Scrutiny Board.  The Chair explained that the Board is awaiting details of a nominated representative to fill the YLL position.



Minutes - 7th October 2020 pdf icon PDF 297 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 7th October 2020.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 7th October 2020 be approved as an accurate record.




Future in Mind: Leeds Strategy Refresh pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To receive a report from the Head of Democratic Services presenting information surrounding the refresh of the Future in Mind: Leeds Strategy.

Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that presented information surrounding the refresh of the Future in Mind: Leeds Strategy.


The following were in attendance:


-  Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Children and Families

-  Councillor Julie Heselwood, Deputy Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment

-  Julie Longworth, Deputy Director of Children and Families

-  Val Waite, Head of Learning Inclusion

-  Karen Jessup, Principal Educational Psychologist, Children and Families

-  Dr Jane Mischenko, Strategic Lead Commissioner, Children and Maternity, NHS Leeds CCG

-  Jess Evans, Senior Commissioning Manager, Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing, NHS Leeds CCG


The Executive Member for Children and Families introduced the report, recognising the need to prioritise development trauma services as highlighted by the impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health. The Executive Member welcomed Members input on the development of the Future In Mind Strategy moving forward. 


The Strategic Lead Commissioner provided an outline of the strategy refresh and gave a particular explanation surrounding the proposed 7 priority areas and the 6 key underlying principles on which the work carried out must be founded.  The Board was also advised that the Leeds strategy is not a single agency strategy and begins at conception, continues throughout childhood, and a child’s transition to adulthood, to ensure that people are consistently supported throughout stages of their lives, avoiding gaps of provision.


The Senior Commissioning Manager then delivered a PowerPoint presentation on how the future healthcare needs of children in relation to mental health have been impacted by changes made to meet COVID-19 demand. Members were advised that fewer referrals were made during the initial lockdown period, but have now increased back to normal levels and the majority of services have been re-established to respond.


Members discussed a number of matters, including:


·  Crucial role of schools in identifying social, emotional and mental health needs. Members recognised the importance of schools in ensuring that issues are identified early and the relevant support is provided, and a need for continued focus on encouraging school attendance.

·  Partnership working and cluster support. In response to a query, Members were advised that alongside schools, and during periods of school closure as a result of the pandemic, specialist services within cluster partnerships have continued to identify mental health issues within families, and the strength of the multi-agency response throughout the pandemic was noted in both identifying wellbeing needs and working restoratively with families.Related to this, it was noted that non-statutory services, including youth work and third sector support services, are often more accessible to and trusted by families, particularly minority groups, and are key to contributing to the multi-agency response to young people’s mental health.

·  Engaging with young people and their families. Members noted the importance of communicating effectively with young people and their families to reduce stigma and raise awareness of services and resources. Members were advised that a number of social media campaigns have taken place during the pandemic to reach out and let people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2020/21 municipal year.

Additional documents:


The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that invited Members to consider the Board’s Work Schedule for the remainder of the current municipal year.


The Principal Scrutiny Adviser noted that during the last meeting, Board Members requested that the Scrutiny Board Chair and the Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment send a joint letter to the Department for Education and Ofqual relaying their views and concerns surrounding plans for statutory pupil assessments during 2021. It was noted that a copy of this letter was appended to the report and a response letter received by Ofqual this week had been shared with Board Members in advance of the meeting.  While acknowledging that the Board was still awaiting a response from the Department for Education, the Chair proposed that an update on this matter be scheduled for the Board’s next formal meeting.


RESOLVED – That the work schedule be updated to reflect the requests

made by the Board during today’s meeting.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

Wednesday, 6th January 2021 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)


Wednesday, 6th January 2021 at 10.00 am (pre-meeting for all Board Members at 9.45 am)