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To receive apologies for absence, including notifications of any changes to the membership of the Board.
It was reported that, in accordance with the wishes of the Independent Group and Conservative Group, the membership of the Sub-Board had been amended for this meeting to include Councillors Loxton and Foster instead of Councillor Mills and Barnby respectively. Apologies for absence were also received from Councillor Dudley, Laura Colman and Claire Platt (Co-opted Members) and Ed Wright (non-voting Co-opted Member).
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of the Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Board held on 25 July 2022.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Board held on 25 July 2022, were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
To receive update on the progress of the implementation of the action plan arising from the Written Statement of Action following the Torbay Local Area Special Educational Needs (SEND) Joint Inspection.
(Note: Rachel Williams, Divisional Director of Education, Learning and Skills will be present for this item.)
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Law, and the Director of Children’s Services, Nancy Meehan, provided an update as set out in the submitted report on the implementation of the Torbay Local Area Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Joint Inspection Written Statement of Action (WSOA). It was noted that a lot of activity was being carried out but the impact this was having on the children and young people was not being seen, this was challenged by the Department for Education (DFE) on their recent monitoring visit. Partners were working together to review and challenge the reports to the SEND Strategic Board and where reports had previously been marked as green but had not resulted in a difference to the children and families this was being changed to amber. Sessions had also been held for all leads looking at an impact based response using data to evidence change. The next monitoring visit was due on 25 January 2023. They responded to the following questions:
· How the recent Ofsted Inspection on Paignton Academy was being addressed and supported, particularly in respect of SEND.
· What work was being done with all schools to help reduce the number of exclusions.
· How the community and voluntary sector could support the WSOA and work with students in a more positive way.
· The impact around changes to Burton and Brunel Academies and how partners were supporting children and families affected.
That the Sub-Board acknowledges the need for cultural change and welcomed the honest approach of the Director of Children’s Services and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and requested an update on the Written Statement of Action to be presented in March, following the next monitoring visit, the update to include details around the difference that is being made to children and families and what more can be done to work with the community and voluntary sector.
(Note: during discussion of the item in Minute 14, Councillor Douglas-Dunbar declared a non-pecuniary interest as a Governor of Burton Academy and Mike Cook and Councillor Law declared a non-pecuniary interest as Governors at Brunel Academy.)
To receive a report on Childcare Duty Sufficiency within Torbay.
(Note: Rachel Williams, Divisional Director of Education, Learning and Skills will be present for this item.)
Emma Kerridge, Senior Early Years Advisor, outlined the submitted Childcare Duty Sufficiency Report, which provided an update in respect of early years need and provision over the past 12 months. Members noted the high take up of two year old funding with 85% of eligible children accessing funding compared to a national average of 72%. 84% of providers were good or outstanding with 11% still awaiting their first inspection. The Senior Early Years Advisor responded to Members’ questions in relation to the following:
· One third of families were single parent how do we ensure that they are aware of the support and provision on offer and what was being done to highlight services to them.
· The report covers children up to the age of 14 years, what support does this cover.
· Was there a charge for holiday clubs.
· 11% of women smoke during pregnancy, which was higher than the national average, what was the national average and was vaping data also collated.
· The report highlights one school requiring improvement, what support was provided to help the school.
That the Cabinet be recommended to approve the submitted Childcare Duty Sufficiency Report subject to the inclusion of the national average of women smoking during pregnancy and consideration being given to future reports to include statistics around women vaping during pregnancy.
To review the progress in implementing the actions arising from the five Child Friendly Task and Finish Groups to support the Child Friendly Torbay Vision.
(Note: Sarah Pengelly - Project Manager HAF (Holiday, Activities and Food Programme) will be present for this item.)
Sarah Pengelly (Project Manager) presented a progress update on Five Child Friendly Task and Finish Groups as set out in the submitted report and responded to questions in relation to the following:
· Where were we in the timeline for the Sub-Groups, particularly the Where I Live Sub-Group.
· The Future Planning included an agreement in place with all strategy holders to see whether children and young people have been considered, it was vital that this was embedded in everything that we do.
· The importance of making careers more viable and to create more opportunities for people to have careers within Torbay.
· There was an ambition to ensure that young people sit on all the Sub-Groups with an aim that in the future young people would lead the Sub-Groups.
· The process to develop the child friendly work was a slow process, three years was a long time for a young person.
· What could be done to review the covenant for Tessier Gardens which prohibits children from entering the gardens.
· What was the timeframe for the safer spaces.
The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Law, advised that she was meeting with UNICEF on 1 December 2022, who were the official curators of the worldwide child friendly initiative. If the Council joined up with them they would then provide support and train officers and community groups around the child and young people’s priorities reflected in our Groups. A presentation had also been provided to Torbay Champions showing the place that our young people have in the Torbay Story and work was being done with the Place Partnership Board to see how this could be joined up with the main Torbay Story.
The Sub-Board was advised that Frank Tsyplek had now been appointed to the Youth Trust in a paid capacity to help represent the voice of the young person in addition to being a non-voting Co-opted Member on the Sub-Board.
That the Cabinet be recommended to ensure greater involvement in the Child Friendly Sub-Groups with young people, with a view to young people taking the lead on the Sub-Groups in the future.
To receive an update on Exploitation.
(Note: Katie Buckley – Team Manager, Exploitation Team will be present for this item.)
Katie Buckley, Exploitation Team Manager, outlined the submitted presentation which provided an update in respect of criminal and sexual exploitation of children and young people in Torbay, along with the multi-agency support and action being taken to address this.
The Exploitation Team Manager responded to the following questions:
· Did the Make Safe project include visits to coach and railway stations, other accommodation, food outlets and visitor attractions.
· There had been an increase from 79 to 104 people identified as vulnerable to exploitation and an increase in child sexual exploitation with 28 identified as vulnerable to both, how was this seen as an improvement.
· Could a table be provided to show the date that a young person was identified as being vulnerable and then when they had been supported to show that they were no longer vulnerable to show the impact of the work being done by the multi-agency partnership.
· How was data and intelligence shared across the partnership to ensure that all relevant agencies have the up to date information, e.g. when a young person goes missing.
· How can we collectively work upstream to make young people less exploitable and work at a street level in youth spaces, ensuring that there were safe places for young people to go.
· How can we help young people to understand that they are being exploited.
· What was being done to educate young people about exploitation.
That the next update on exploitation include comparative data to demonstrate the improvements and impact to young people who are vulnerable to exploitation.
To receive an update on Elected Home Education and the backlog of cases and the progress and work with other authorities.
(Note: Dan Hamer – Head of Service – Vulnerable Pupils will be present for this item.)
Dan Hamer, Head of Service (Vulnerable Pupils), presented the follow up report on Elective Home Education (EHE). He informed the Board that as of the morning of the meeting there were 332 home educated children in Torbay.
The Head of Service (Vulnerable Pupils) responded to questions in relation to the following:
· Was the reason for dissatisfaction with the school challenged any deeper to provide more detail.
· Was bullying given as a reason for parents choosing to home educate their children.
· What action was being taken to reduce the number of children EHE.
· Was data collected to show the number of young carers being home educated.
1. Transfer all basic information regarding live Elective Home Educated (EHE) cases to Capita by January 2023.
2. Use the new system for all new cases from go live – 23rd November 2022.
3. Plan and record all reviews for the next 12 months by January 2023.
4. Continue to develop proactive work to limit the numbers choosing EHE through dissatisfaction with schools.
5. Develop a process that transfers children assessed as not receiving suitable education to a Child Missing Education (CME) process.
6. Develop reporting tools from the data now the system is starting to hold all information.
7. Create links between the CSS module and Liquid Logic and Early Help systems to ensure officers have the latest status to inform assessments.
To receive an update on the implementation of the actions of the Sub-Board and consider any further actions required (as set out in the submitted action tracker).
The Sub-Board noted the submitted action tracker. The Democratic Services Team Leader, Teresa Buckley, advised that Minute 8 (2) was being chased and a response would be circulated to Members in due course.
“2. that the TASH (Torbay Association of Secondary Headteachers) and TAPS (Torbay Association of Primary Headteachers) be recommended to ensure that governor and staff training includes awareness of the impact of exclusions on young people and to consider reviewing the curriculum across all schools (working together) to ensure it meets the needs of all children.”
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