Agenda and draft minutes

Children, Young People & Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel
Wednesday, 25 September 2019 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Louise Connelly  01344 354047

Items
No. Item

15.

Minutes and Matters Arising

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Children, Young People and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel held on 12 June 2019. 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the Minutes of the Children, Young People and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Panel held on 12 June 2019 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.

 

Matters arising

Members enquired about Kooth, an online support service for young people. It was noted during the last meeting that the contract for Kooth was due for renewal at the end of September 2019. Members stated they had anecdotal evidence the service had proved useful. Dr Barnard offered to send a written response to members about the renewal of the Kooth service.

 

 

 

16.

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.

Minutes:

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.

17.

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.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

18.

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.

Minutes:

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

19.

Youth Crime pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Andrew Cranidge, Deputy LPA Commander and Alison O’Meara, Head of Community Safety, Early Years and Communities will be attending to provide a further update about youth crime in the Borough. This presentation will be made available during the meeting.

Minutes:

In addition to the presentation provided by Andrew Cranidge, Deputy LPA Commander and Alison O’Meara, Head of Community Safety, Early Years and Communities the following points were highlighted:

·         Whilst no area could be crime/incident free, Bracknell Forest was Bracknell a very safe place to live.

·         The first piece of analysis showed no explicit links to drug activity although it was suspected in some of the cases.

·         It was recognised that not all incidents were reported to the police and, therefore, local intelligence and practitioner experience was also relied upon. The Community Safety Partnership (CSP) would be monitoring this as part of their new three year plan.

·         Some secondary schools were the main locations of violence but this was expected due to the significant number of young people spending most of the day together over a full school year. The numbers were also very low.

·         Assault with injury was classed as anything from a slight scratch or reddening of the skin to a broken bone.

·         The second piece of analysis was more detailed and looked at all youth crime.

·         Police defined youth crime as one where the suspect was aged between 0-17 at the time of the offence.

·         The gap in the red line on slide 5 was due to poor data quality.

·         There had been very little change in the number of youth crime incidents over the past three years.

·         Most common victim and offender profile was male, white, British and aged between 13-15 years.

·         Peaks times of incidents were 1.00pm and 3.00pm.

·         No seasonal trends were identified for the year analysed.

·         Of the incidents that had taken place at the two secondary schools, there were no common suspects, no weapons used, victims were both male and female and all incidents were reported by parents.

·         Comparator data for the previous period was poor quality but they had analysed 10 months subsequently and it showed similar patterns.

·         Analysis of repeat violence highlighted issues around a few properties/families and supported accommodation for young people. Initiatives were in place to deal with these repeat locations.

·         Weapon use was not any higher for young people than for all other age groups, although it was acknowledged even one was too many.

·         A four-tiered violence programme of work including theatre tours, practitioner training, exclusion prevention and targeted 1:1 work had begun in Bracknell Forest.

·         The Community Safety Partnership were awaiting more information on the Serious Violence Surge Funding and Violence Reduction Unit Funding which had recently been granted by the Home Office. 

·         The Community Safety Partnership would provide a further update on all its priorities at the Crime and Disorder Committee in June 2020.

·         Jo Graves, Operational Manager: Children’s Social Care informed members about the preventative methods they used to divert young people away from crime. It was noted that the prevention service could not be used when police investigations were underway. 

·         Nikki Edwards stated youth crime figures should be considered in context of a school age population of 18,000 in Bracknell Forest Council.

Following a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Permanency pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Sonia Johnson, Assistant Director, Children’s Social Care will provide an update about achieving permanency (placements) for children and young people in Bracknell Forest. The presentation will be provided at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Sonia Johnson, Assistant Director, Children’s Social Care provided a presentation as a follow up to a session at the previous meeting on how achieving permanency for children looked after worked in Bracknell Forest.

  • Sonia Johnson stressed reunification would always be the first option. If this was not possible workers would look at adoption, followed by Special Guardianship, usually by a family member or sometimes a foster carer who had built a strong relationship with the child. Workers always opted for the least restrictive form of placement as Special Guardianship, for example, meant families did not have to have child looked after meetings, etc. For some children long term fostering was best to meet the child’s needs where the Council became the Corporate Parent for a child.
  • Children aged 7+ were unlikely to have their needs met by adoption and this was an issue nationally, particularly children with special educational needs or disabilities.
  • When thinking about permanency needs social workers needed to think about the therapeutic need separately to permanency needs. Ensuring a foster placement had an official long-term match was also important.
  • Children looked after benefitted from everyday activities.
  • Children’s Social Care vacancy rate was low, three currently, down from 19.
  • BFC had changed how they recruited workers and gauged their commitment to try and ensure stability of worker for each child.
  • Members watched a film made by children in care who were members of SILSIP ‘Say It Loud, Say It Proud’.Members’ praised the children taking part and agreed it was a useful tool to attract quality, reliable social workers to Bracknell Forest.
  • Nikki Edwards, Executive Director: People asked members to note the HR package for attracting social workers to the Borough was up for renewal next March/April.
  • The aspiration was for no or even lower numbers of social workers in Children’s Social Care by Christmas this year.
  • It was noted the Supervision Policy for Children’s Social Care staff had been agreed by the Executive recently.

 

21.

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 27 KB

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

Minutes:

Members received and noted the scheduled Key and Non-Key Executive Decisions relating to Children and Young People.

22.

Exclusion of Public and Press

To consider the following motion:

 

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:

 

(1)        Information relating to any individual  (Item X).

(3)        Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

Minutes:

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:

 

(1)        Information relating to any individual  (Item 10).

23.

School Performance

To consider the restricted report detailing school performance 2019 which will be presented by Rachel Morgan, Assistant Director, Education and Learning.

 

The restricted report will be circulated to members at the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

Rachel Morgan, Assistant Director: Education and Learning provided a summary of unvalidated school performance data for 2019 and key priorities for the team