Agenda and minutes

Children, Young People & Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Easthampstead House, Town Square, Bracknell, RG12 1AQ

Contact: Kirsty Hunt  01344 353108

No. Item


Apologies for Absence/Substitute Members

To receive apologies for absence and to note the attendance of any substitute members.


It was noted that Cllr Nick Allen would substitute for Cllr Mrs McCracken


Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Children, Young People and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel held on 10 January 2018. 



RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 10 January 2018 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.


Arising from the minutes, it was noted that the panel would be visiting three children’s centres on 17 May 2018.



Declarations of Interest and Party Whip

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests and the nature of that interest, including the existence and nature of the party whip, in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.


Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.


Any Member with an Affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest relating to any items on the agenda, nor any indication that Members would be participating whilst under party whip.


Urgent Items of Business

Any other items, which pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.


There were no urgent items of business.


Public Participation

To receive submissions from members of the public which have been submitted in advance in accordance with the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


No submissions had been made by members of the public under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme for Overview and Scrutiny.


Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on  8 December 2017 and 16 March 2018.

Additional documents:


The Panel noted the minutes of the Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel meeting of 8 December 2017 and 16 March 2018.


School Improvement Accountability Board pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 8 February 2018.


The Panel noted the minutes of the School Improvement Accountability Board meeting held on 8 February 2018.



Childminders Update

To receive a verbal update on childminders.


Karen Frost gave a verbal update on Childminding and the new 30 Hours entitlement.


It was reported that there are currently 201 childminders in the borough which was increasing. The quality of childminding in the borough was good with 99% of childminders having a Good or better Ofsted inspection. On average, the charge was between £5 - £6 per hour.


The new childcare entitlement, enabled parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours of childcare if both parents were working a minimum of 16 hours and neither one earned more than £100k a year which meant most of the borough were eligible. The number of child minders who had taken up the scheme had increased from 50 to 83.


In response to comments and discussion, the following points were noted:

·         Template business models were being provided to childminders by the Bracknell Forest Council team. Currently a new portal was being created to help them create

·         It was confirmed that analysis had been undertaken into demand for childminders however it was acknowledged that it was challenging to get accurate data because parents weren’t sure if they needed to be in work in order to get the code for childcare.

·         There wasn’t believed to be a gap in the number of childminders currently although there were areas of demand particularly in Binfield and Warfield. It was confirmed that a sufficiency questionnaire was being circulated to providers and children’s centres to assess demand.

·         It was noted that parents who gained employment in September, would miss the cut off date for the codes to access the childcare and wouldn’t be able to receive funding until January which the Panel found concerning.

·         It was requested that the application deadlines for each term were circulated to the Panel

(Action: Karen Frost)

·         Concerns were also raised that where parents lost their job, there would be a 3 month grace period before funding was withdrawn.

·         The funding was being advertised through Town and Country Magazine and Children’s centres which it was hoped would increase uptake.


Examination and Test Performance in Bracknell Forest Schools during the Academic Year 2016/17

To receive a verbal update on the examination and test performance in Bracknell Forest Schools during the academic year 2016/17.


Rachel Morgan, Chief Officer for Education and Learning, circulated restricted information updating panel members on the Bracknell Forest LA Assessment and Performance Data from July 2017.


Members discussed the borough’s current results for Early Years Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 4.


The panel questioned when pupils would start benefitting from the data provided and it was confirmed that work began with schools as soon as the initial SATS results were received, although the results couldn’t be compared with national averages until much later. The School Accountability Board would be holding schools to account from the earliest opportunity.


Following questions and discussion the following was noted:

·         The quality of school leadership had an impact on school results and performance and could result in improvements.

·         GCSE results had changed from grades A-E to 1-9.

·         The results included all maintained schools and academies, but did not include private schools.

·         The Maths programme implemented in Primary schools had been successful and a similar programme in English could improve results.

·         The responsibility for the curriculum was up to each individual school and could not be specified by Bracknell Forest Council.

·         Nationally, girls out performed boys in Key stage 4 and this was also the case in Bracknell Forest.



The panel welcomed visits to primary schools in the borough who were performing well on results and pupil progress. In particular, the board would visit Owlsmoor Primary School along with the School Improvement accountability Board.


The panel asked if a school cohort could be tracked over a number of years to see the progress being made and it was confirmed it would be possible once there were three sets of data available from next year.


Any further questions would be emailed to Rachel Morgan directly.



Larchwood Short Break Unit Annual Inspection

To receive a verbal update on the Larchwood Short Break Unit Annual Inspection.


It was decided to postpone this item until the next meeting as the annual inspection report had not been released yet.


Family Safeguarding Model

To receive a presentation on the Family Safeguarding Model.


Lorna Hunt, Chief Officer for Children’s Social Care, presented to the panel on the Family Safeguarding Model (FSM).


The model created multidisciplinary teams which would include specialists, trained staff in motivational interviewing and had a different approach to risk. The model was launched in October 2017 following a successful bid for funding.


In Hertfordshire, the results of the model after 18 months included; a reduction in repeat Domestic Abuse, increased school attendance and decreased expenditure.


The Model had four key elements; a multi-disciplinary family safeguarding team (including substance recovery workers, Domestic Violence workers, clinical psychologist and mental health workers), a core skills set including motivational interviewing, a structured approach to assessing a parent’s ‘capacity to change’ and an outcomes based performance framework.


It was confirmed that all the specialist roles had been recruited to.


The panel received information on a number of case studies which helped to illustrate how the model worked.


The next steps for the model would be identifying a new cohort. The team would also be discussing with partner agencies a business model for continuing the programme.


Following the presentation a number of questions were asked by the panel and the following points noted:

·         The panel requested the results of the evaluation and it was requested this would be put on the agenda for September.

·         It was noted that currently data was split across West Berks Council and Bracknell Forest Council and reported back to Hertfordshire, however it was requested the data is split out so it could be scrutinised by the panel..

·         It was noted that some mother’s were reluctant to use traditional groups for alcohol abuse as they were dominated by men and individual home visits were offered in these cases. They would also receive mental health.

·         It was noted that where families separate, a housing issue could be caused, however a Housing surgery was available to provide advise and there had been positive outcomes from residents using the service.

·         It was confirmed that all new families were put into the next cohort and were chosen by Herfordshire Council

·         The number of cases was currently higher than recommended and this presented a potential risk to the model working affectively.


Quarterly Service Report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the latest trends, priorities and pressures in terms of departmental performance as reported in the Quarterly Service Report for the third quarter of 2017/18 (October 2017 to December 2017) relating to Children, Young People and Learning.


Please bring the previously circulated Quarterly Service Report to the meeting.  Copies are available on request and attached to this agenda if viewed online.


Panel members are asked to give advance notice to the Overview and Scrutiny Team of any questions relating to the QSR where possible.


Lorna Hunt gave an update on the Quarterly Service Report and the key updates were:

·         Children in need were those who were suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. Neglect was the highest in this category at 49%.

·         The number of children in care increased from 116 in March 2017 to 146 in February 2018.

·         Children on a child protection plan had decreased from 171 in March 2017 to 105 in March 2018. 21% of children of a child protection plan were moved into care so they could be protected. Some had also been transferred to another local authority.

·         The panel were shown ward data for children on child protection plans and who were looked after.

·         Placement stability was currently at 56% which was below the national average. It was noted that these figures were based on only 11 children and some of the moves were due to moving from residential to foster care, being placed for adoption or placements where the foster carers could no longer meet the needs of the child.

·         OFSTED found that plans were very ‘child-centred’ and rate them very highly.

·         It was noted that actions were being taken to address placement stability, including commissioning ‘Cornerstone’ to assist with recruitment and training of Foster Carers.


Members of the panel would email the team directly with any questions or queries they had.


Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider scheduled Executive Key and Non-Key Decisions relating to Children, Young People and Learning.


The panel noted the items on the Executive Forward Plan.