Agenda and minutes

Children, Young People & Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD. View directions

Contact: Louise Connelly  01344 354047

No. Item


Minutes and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 251 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 13 June 2018.  The actions arising from the previous Panel meeting are appended to the minutes.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Children, Young People and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel held on 13 June 2018 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.



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 under the 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 items of urgent 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.


Early Help Family Hubs (youth provision) pdf icon PDF 733 KB

Members will receive a presentation about the work of the Early Help Family Hubs regarding youth provision by Helen Hunter, Transformation Project Manager, Children’s Social Care and Tom Wheeler, Consultant, Children’s Social Care.


Tom Wheeler, Consultant, Children’s Social Care, explained he had been asked to look at bringing together disparate teams from across the Early Help Support Service, alongside Karen Frost, Head of Early Intervention, Early Help and Communities. The process involved engaging with staff to design new models and principles. This was then worked up into an Early Help Family Hub model to maximise case holding capacity and multi-disciplinary co-working with the aim of increasing high quality outcomes for children and families. The youth service had been integral to this process of re-design. Interviews had taken place during the last two days to appoint two Locality Managers who would continue to take the project forward.


As a result of discussions the following comments and questions were made:

·         Members expressed concern about the same youth worker potentially working with a youth and their parents. It was acknowledged a young person may feel able to speak to a youth worker rather than a family member and confidentiality was critical. Nikki Edwards, Executive Director, People, confirmed there would be no difference from the young person’s point of view and the new way of working should afford better understanding of the whole community for workers.

·         Members queried if the excellent work of youth workers in Bracknell schools would continue and were informed there were no plans to remove that work or any work where evidence from teams and young people showed work was improving children or young people’s life chances.

·         Members requested assurances that Children’s Centres would continue to remain open to all families in the locality and were informed this was the intention.

·         Members were keen to see how the Youth Council fit into this process and were informed there would still be outreach work in schools, particularly around topics such as mental health and sexual health.

·         There were two youth specialists whose role was specifically to strengthen the relationship between Children’s Centres and schools.

·         Members queried if the team had looked at Family Hub Models elsewhere in the country and were informed Karen Frost, Head of Early Intervention, Early Help and Communities had visited other areas and looked at what fit with the Council plan.

·         Members asked if there had been any challenge around the new model, as there had been during consultation in July on the Stay and Play model. Tom Wheeler, Consultant, Children’s Social Care, acknowledged there had been some challenge from staff, particularly about change of contracts from term time only to full year contracts. The model had been revised to take into account issues raised and it was agreed current staff would continue on term time only contracts but new staff would be appointed on full year contracts.

·         Thom Wilson, Assistant Director, Commissioning, informed members the youth team had expressed a preference to work as a single team but agreement had been reached to integrate them into a multi-disciplinary team. The change to two teams, rather than four, was a direct result of feedback from staff. This had involved numerous  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Pupil Premium Task & Finish Group Update pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Members are asked to note the update report of the Pupil Premium Task & Finish Group.


Chair of the ‘Improving the experience and outcomes of Pupil Premium (double disadvantaged) children’ Task and Finish Group, Dee Hamilton, updated members on the work of the Group. So far there had been two productive meetings; agreement on the scope and a number of school visits undertaken by members.


Cllr Mrs Birch and Cllr Gaw said their visit to Uplands Primary School had proved very useful. They received a tour of the school and were shown the school’s comprehensive data management system which they thought would be useful to share with other schools as part of the work of the Task and Finish Group.


Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 6 July 2018.


Members noted the minutes of the Corporate Parenting Advisory Panel on 6 July 2018.


Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 142 KB

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


The following items contained in the Executive Forward Plan were discussed:


·         Item 1077871– members queried why there were two different dates on the report. It was clarified one date referred to the start of the consultation and the second date referred to the likely decision date. Members also asked if the statement could be clearer. Nikki Edwards, Executive Director, People, clarified the statement was kept vague until they knew the outcome of the consultation and decision by governors. More detail would be available in the future on this item.

·         Item 1078612 - Members asked if they could see the effect on school budgets of additional revenue costs. Cllr Mrs Birch, Chairman, assured members they would be able to as the item would be going to Executive before it was agreed.



·         Nikki Edwards, Executive Director, People, to provide an update on Special Educational Needs at the next meeting of the Panel on 9 January 2019.


Quarterly Service Report pdf icon PDF 966 KB

To consider the latest trends, priorities and pressures in terms of departmental performance as reported in the Quarterly Service Report for the first quarter of 2018/19 (April to June) relating to Children, Young People and Learning.


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


Nikki Edwards, Executive Director, People, informed members it had been an interesting last quarter as a directorate leading up to the creation of the People’s directorate.


Highlights included the opening of a new school in the Borough, an additional 10 beds available for care leavers; increased learning opportunities for adults and an advocacy service for young people.


Current priorities included recruitment of social workers. There were currently 11 vacancies in the department which would have been higher if additional investment had not been approved by members during the year. Sonia Johnson, Interim Assistant Director, Children’s Social Work, informed members they were almost fully staffed at the ‘front door’ and there were no vacancies in the family worker and social work teams. There were two vacancies which would shortly be filled in the Under 11’s safeguarding team.  There was more reliance on agency staff in the Over 11’s safeguarding team but some agency staff were requesting full time contracts. There were some early signs of outcomes improving for families accessing Early Help and this was expected to improve significantly before the next meeting in January.


Rachel Morgan, Assistant Director, Education and Learning, stated the Learning and Improvement Strategy was showing signs of impact but some Academy schools were not accepting the Borough’s most challenging children and this was an issue the Council would take up with the Regional School’s Commissioner, with whom they have a good relationship.


An external review of place planning had been commissioned to review local methodology and a report was expected within the next three/four weeks. Until this year place planning accuracy had been within 1% but the number of houses which had not come on stream as quickly as predicted had impacted forecasts, particularly for the number of primary school places required. Gareth Barnard, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Learning, said they had been able to add classes to existing primary schools in the past but this was not always possible with secondary school places and there would always be a tipping point where there were surplus secondary school places until additional houses were built over the next four/five years.


As a result of discussion the following questions and comments were made:

·         Members queried why 3.1.03 on page 52 was ‘amber’ when 3.1.03 on page 48 stated a new maintained nursery would be delivered from September. Nikki Edwards, Executive Director, People, clarified that the ‘amber’ status related to finding appropriate community facilities to allow PVI providers to provide the flexible 30 hours childcare requirement. Officers were working with schools, businesses and community groups to discuss options. It was agreed Karen Frost, Head of Early Intervention, Early Help and Communities would provide an update to members on this area of work before the next meeting.

·         Members requested a visit to Holly House and Rainforest Walk once improvements had been carried out.

·         Members queried why 150 young carers had not been through the targeted approach and if this was a resource issue. Sonia Johnson, Interim Assistant  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


School performance

To consider the restricted report detailing school performance 2018 which will be presented by Rachel Morgan, Assistant Director, Education and Learning.


The restricted report has been circulated to members separately.


RESOLVED that pursuant to Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended, and having regard to the public interest, members of the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the following item which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information under the following category of Schedule 12A of that Act:


(3)        By Virtue of Paragraph 3 ‘Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)’ (Item 12)


The Panel received a detailed report on the provisional 2018 exam and test performance data for Bracknell Forest Schools by Rachel Morgan, Assistant Director, Education and Learning. Key priorities were around leadership and raising expectations, especially for children in receipt of pupil premium funding.