Agenda and minutes

Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 25th March, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Luciane Bowker  Democratic & Electoral Services Specialist

Items
No. Item

45.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillor Emma Hobbs and Dame Kate Dethridge.

46.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 January 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 22 January 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

47.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

48.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.

 

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

Minutes:

There were no public questions.

49.

Member Question Time

To answer any member questions

Minutes:

There were no Member questions.

50.

Regional Schools Commissioner

To receive Dame Kate Dethridge, representing the Regional Schools Commissioner, and discuss the work undertaken by the Regional Schools Commissioner involving Wokingham’s academy and free schools.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Catherine Turton-Ryz and Tom Gregory who were representing the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) to answer questions in relation to academy schools in the Borough.

 

Tom Gregory stated that Martin Post was the RSC for the North West London and South-Central England regions.  Catherine Turton-Ryz and Tom Gregory were Team Leaders for the South Region, of which Wokingham was part of.

 

Tom Gregory stated that the RSC’s work involved overseeing the performance of academy schools and promoting better outcomes for children.  The RSC worked closely with the Education Funding Agency (EFA).

 

The Committee was invited to ask questions and during discussions the following comments were made:

 

·           Councillor Howe asked about the structure and powers of the RSC.  Tom Gregory stated that there were eight RSC’s across England and they were divided in regions.  Each reagion may be structured slightly diferently from one another, the South Region was structured with team leaders who were appointed to differed areas within the regions.  RSC’s looked into the academisation process of schools, facilitated changes and monitored the performance of academies.  The RSC’s powers in relation to maintained schools were limited to when a maintained school was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.  The RSC in this instance would intervene and direct the school into the academisation process.  The RSC worked alongside the EFA, which was the regulatory body;

·           In response to a question Tom Gregory stated that the RSC did not dictate the number of pupils for academy schools, but they would look at the financial forecast and potentially suggest different models if they believed that the proposed number was not sustainable;

·           In response to a question Catherine Turton-Ryz stated that currently they were working with three to ten academy applications from schools in Wokingham to join academy trusts, they working with headteachers and trust boards to facility this process;

·           Councillor Bray asked about the RSC’s involvement with the Northern House School.  Catherine Turton-Ryz stated that she had met twice with the school to talk about their improvement plan and how they were going to get out of special measures.  She was due to have another meeting with the school this week.  They were working to support the school and the headteacher to achieve the necessary improvements;

·           Catherine Turton-Ryz stated that ultimately, if things did not improve at the Northern House, the RSC would look to transfer the school to another academy trust;

·           Councillor Bray pointed out that changing the provider was not necessary the answer the problems;

·           Tom Gregory stated that it was the trust board that was accountable to the RSC and not schools or headteachers directly;

·           In response to a question Catherine Turton-Ryz reiterated that the RSC tended to challenge the trust board in terms of what was being done to improve the school, and not the schools directly.  The RSC had the power to go into schools, and they used to send an Education Advisor to schools, but this now happened on a smaller scale.  The RSC used Ofsted reports,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

School Performance Indicators and Ofsted Reports pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To receive a report containing details of schools performance and the latest Ofsted reports.

Minutes:

Gillian Cole, Principal Primary Advisor presented the School Performance Indicators and Ofsted Reports report which was set out in agenda pages 15-22.  She stated that the report contained summaries of the most recent Ofsted inspections since the last meeting of the Committee.

 

Gillian Cole explained the inspection process.  Most schools that had a ‘Good’ rating would receive a ‘section A’ inspection, this consisted of a one day monitoring visit to check that the school was still ‘Good’, the section A inspection did not have the power to change the rating of the school.  The section A inspection could trigger a ‘section 5’ inspection which was a two day inspection.  A section 5 inspection was recommended when it was believed that a ‘Good’ school could achieve ‘Outstanding’ or if it was believed that the school would not sustain a ‘Good’ rating if subjected to a two-day inspection.  This Ofsted inspection format had changed 18 months ago.

 

Councillor Bray stated that the parents of Bearwood Primary had been informed of the school’s recent Ofsted inspection result, even thought this information was not yet publicly available.  Gillian Cole stated that schools had to follow a process which involved informing the parents of the result before this was made public.  However, she was unable to comment as the result had not yet been published on the website, this would be available for the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED That the report be noted.

52.

Children's Services Performance Indicators pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To receive a report giving details of the Children’s Services Performance Indicators.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sarah Sesay, Performance Manager, Social Care presented the Children’s Services Performance Indicators report which was set out in agenda pages 23-33.

 

Sarah Sesay stated that this was the corporate quarterly report.  Concerns had been raised at the last meeting in relation to the fact that the data presented to the Committee was three to four months out of date.  The service was currently working on a different template which would enable the production of more timely information.

 

Sarah Sesay talked in more detail about the some indicators as listed below.

 

Indicators relating to the percentage of Wokingham Borough state-funded Schools with current Ofsted rating of Good or better.

Sarah Sesay stated that this indicator had improved for primary schools, with Keep Hatch Primary School moving from ‘Requires improvement’ to ‘Good’.

 

There had been no changes to any of the secondary schools’ ratings.  Therefore this indicator continued to be amber as not all secondary schools had a rating of ‘Good’ or better.

 

The Northern House continued with its rating of ‘inadequate’, the special schools indicator continued to be red.

 

EA3: Percentage of Early Years settings in Wokingham Borough with an Ofsted rating of Good or better

Two independent providers were rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.  These independent providers initially refused support from WBC, but were now agreeing to work with WBC staff on improvements.

 

Percentage of children who entered care in the period and were placed more than 20 miles from their home (excluding unaccompanied asylum seeking children, children placed with parents and children in receipt of short breaks support

This indicator was improving, and it was important to note that the numbers were very small.

 

Percentage of all children all children in care at the end of the period who were moved more than 20 miles from their home (excluding unaccompanied asylum seeking children, children placed with parents and children in receipt of short breaks support

This indicator was improving.

 

EA11: 12-Month rolling voluntary turnover of qualified Social Workers within Children’s Social Care and Early Intervention Service

The service was aware of the importance of a stable social work workforce and was taking action to address this.  A workforce development strategy was being further developed to focus on the retention of the best staff, this was in parallel with an active recruitment drive.

 

Percentage of referrals in 2018/19 which are repeat referrals within 12 months of the previous referral to Children’s Social Care

There was a positive improvement of this indicator and the target was met.

 

Percentage of children who become subject to a Child Protection Plan for a second or subsequent time within 24 months

There was a positive improvement of this indicator and the target was met.

 

Percentage of children who became subject to a Child Protection Plan for a second or subsequent time ever

This indicator was more difficult to achieve as a child may have been subject to a Child Protection Plan as a baby and then again at the age of 17, for example.  However this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To consider the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Forward Plan and dates of future meetings.

Minutes:

The Committee noted the forward plan and future dates of meetings.

 

The ‘Service Plan’ item was renamed ‘Continuous Improvement Plan’ and it was moved to the 17 September meeting.

 

Carol Cammiss confirmed that the service was currently developing a new format for the key performance indicators report, aiming to bring more up to date information to the Committee.  There would be new information for the June meeting even if the new template was not ready.

 

In response to a question Carol Cammiss stated that she was unable to disclose the result of the SEND Ofsted inspection as this was not yet in the public domain.  She stated that there had been no surprises and that Ofsted recognised that the new leadership structure was moving the service in the right direction.

 

The Committee asked for a review of the SEND Ofsted to be brought to the next meeting on 18 June.

54.

Exclusion of the Public

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) as appropriate.

Minutes:

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of the Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act as appropriate.

55.

Schools causing concern - part 2

Minutes:

The report was discussed in a part 2 session.