To consider and discuss a report from the Head of Democratic Services on potential sources of work for the Scrutiny Board.
The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report on potential sources of work and areas of priority within the Board’s terms of reference.
The following information was appended to the report:
- Best Council Plan 2020-2025
- Leeds Children and Young People’s Plan 2018-2023
- A summary of the Council’s 2021/22 budget proposals relevant to the remit of the Children and Families Scrutiny Board.
The following were in attendance:
- Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education
- Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships
- Councillor Mary Harland, Executive Member for Communities
- Sal Tariq, Director of Children and Families
- Julie Longworth, Deputy Director of Children and Families
- Tim Pouncey, Chief Officer Resources and Strategy
- Ruth Terry, Chief Officer Social Work
- Val Waite, Head of Service, Learning Inclusion
- Dave Clark, Head of Service, Learning Improvement
Suggestions for future areas of work from Members and officers in attendance included:
· COVID-19 Recovery. It was suggested that the Board may find it helpful to retain the approach adopted last year in terms of receiving regular updates on how the Children and Families Directorate is working with partners and communities in continuing to address the impacts of Covid-19 across its service areas. However, it was also suggested that the Board may wish to focus on recovery actions linked to education settings and issues surrounding mental health, access to food and resources and attainment gaps, which are particularly linked to disadvantaged groups. Related to this, Members noted the importance of access to extracurricular activities and sports facility access for all age groups that aid the development of young people’s softer skills, resilience, and self-esteem.
· Youth Work Review. It was suggested that the Board oversee the implementation of recommendations of the recent Youth Work Review in Leeds.
· Future in Mind Strategy. In reference to previous sessions, Members noted that an update report to the Board has already been scheduled later in the year to focus on the Future in Mind Strategy and young people’s mental health and well-being.
· Early Help and Prevention. Members were advised that a review of early help and prevention resources and programmes is ongoing, and the directorate would welcome the Board’s contribution. Related to this, it was noted that a recent inspection found that in Leeds, BAME boys and young men in prisons often have had no contact with services prior to sentencing, which evidences the need for early help and prevention resource in this area.
· Climate Emergency. Recognising young people’s concern about addressing the Climate Emergency, Members suggested the Board looks in greater detail at related topics such as journeys to school.
· Addressing Sexual Harassment. Members suggested that the Board may wish to explore how, as a city, the issue of sexual harassment is being addressed with young people and particularly in terms of approaches being adopted within schools.
· Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). Members suggested the Board revisits how EHCPs for children are being quality assured and reviewed and how families are being engaged in that process.
RECOMMENDED – That the contents of the report, along with Members comments, be noted.