Agenda and minutes

Children & Learning Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee
Tuesday, 6th September, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Town Hall

Contact: Wendy Gough 01708 432441  Email:

No. Item



Members are invited to disclose any interests in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.  Members may still declare an interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.



There were no disclosure of interests.



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To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Joint Children and Health Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee held on 20th April 2016 and authorise the Chairman to sign them (attached).


To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Sub-Committee held on 27th April 2016 and 10th May 2016 and authorise the Chairman to sign them (attached).

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting of the Joint Children and Health Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee held on 20th April 2016 were authorised and signed by the Chairman.


The minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 27th April 2016 were authorised and signed by the Chairman.


The minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 10th May 2016 were amended and then agreed and signed by the Chairman.




The Sub-Committee are asked to note the Healthwatch Annual Report for 2015/16 (attached) as required by the Matters to be Addressed in Local Healthwatch Annual Reports Directions, 2013.


This report was deferred until the next meeting.




The Sub-Committee will receive Corporate Performance Information for Quarter 4 of 2015 and Quarter 1 of 2016 relevant to its remit (reports attached).


Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received the Corporate Performance Annual Report for 2015/16.  It was noted that there were 13 Corporate Performance Indicators that fell within the remit of the Sub-Committee.  Of the 13 indicators, 10 were rated Green and 3 were rated Red or Amber.


Eight of the indicators related to the SAFE goal, five of which were shown as having a green status, and three indicators were shown as having a red or amber status.  The Sub-Committee noted the highlights of the year, including that the child protection plans lasting more than two years continued to perform well with none of Havering’s children and young people falling into this category during 2015/16; and the percentage of children and families reporting that Early Help service made a positive and quantifiable difference to assessed needs is higher than targets, and also higher than the previous quarter.  The pilot had ceased and was moving forward with the Outcome Star being recently commissioned.


It was noted that there was a change in the monitoring of the percentage of children who waited less than 14 months between entering care and moving in with their adoptive families.  Stronger arrangements were being put in place however it was explained that delays may be beneficial for the child.


Five of the indicators related to the PROUD goal, all five were shown as having a green status.  The Sub-Committee noted the highlights of the year, including that apprenticeships remained on the increase as an attractive post-16 option and that the Council had continued to perform well in relation to the proportion of 16 to 19 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET).


The Performance dashboard was discussed and noted.  Officers explained that the decrease seen in the number of Child Protections Plans was due to more collaborative working with partners, rather than statutory interventions.  This was much better for the child.


The Sub-Committee noted that a consultation on customer satisfaction was being carried out across the Council.  This would be different in each service area.  Within Children’s Services, using the Outcome Star, a cohort of 25 children and families would be tracked over a two year period, to understand their experiences and the difference that the service and any interventions had made to their lives and how this was sustained. 


There were also plans to develop an “app” that children could use to give feedback on the care they received.


The Sub-Committee received the Corporate Performance Report for quarter 1 of 2016/17, in presentation form.  Officers explained that the new reporting cycled for performance information would now come, in presentation form to the Sub-Committee, then onto the Overview and Scrutiny Board before onto Cabinet.  This way the Sub-Committee would be able to scrutinise the information in a timely manner and report on any work of the Sub-Committee in line with the performance information.


The Sub-Committee noted that of the 15 Performance Indicators, data was available for 12.  The ratings for these indicators were, 7 had a rating of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.



The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Chairman will update the Sub-Committee on the work of the Local Safeguarding Children Board including the Wood report on the future of Safeguarding Boards (Government response to Wood report attached).



The Chairman of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board presented a report reviewing the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards to the Sub-Committee.


In December 2015, Alan Wood CBE was commissioned to undertake a fundamental review of the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) within the context of local strategic multi-agency working.  This included consideration of the child death review process, and how the intended centralisation of serious case review (SCRs) would work effectively at local level.  This had led to the Children and Social Work Bill going through the House of Lords, there would be major implications for the work of looked after children, care leavers, school mentors for looked after children, social work training and other provisions.


A link to the Bill would be circulated to all members of the Sub-Committee.


The Wood Review found agreements that the current system needed to change in favour of a new model that would ensure collective accountability across the system.  It was agreed that the following would be put in place:


·         Ensure engagement of the key partners in a better coordinated, more consistent framework for protecting children;

·         Ensure that arrangement are multi-agency in approach;

·         Existing statutory frameworks around multi-agency working would be strengthened and simplified.

·         Local Areas would have robust arrangements in place for how the key sectors would work together;


Where cases locally did not work effectively the Secretary of State had the power to intervene.


The Sub-Committee noted that the three key partners of the Board were the local authority, the police and the health service (CCG).  It was noted that the restructuring of the Metropolitan Police could have an impact on safeguarding.


The Serious Case Review was part of a national review to look at a change in culture.  Serious Care Reviews were of national importance in regard to safeguarding.  Whilst the Local Authority would still have to undertake the reviews, through the current LSCB, it would be decided centrally how this would be funded.


It was discussed that in the future the Child Death Overview Panels may be situated within Health (CCG) which would aid the working with neighbouring borough through the hospital.  It was not essential to go through the LSCB but the review would have to be undertaken and this was very successful in Havering.


Officers agreed that the board was very effective in Havering and investigations would have to be carried out to look at health devolution and the ties with neighbouring boroughs.

Members asked if the bill would propose better training for social workers.  Officers explained that the standards of higher education would be assessed in practice with a central set of standards.  An accreditation approach would be put in place and this was already being piloted by 31 boroughs.  Over the next five years nominations would be sought for staff to be accredited.


The Sub-Committee noted that currently Adults and Children’s social work was not linked.  It was agreed that DoLs were important to both when working with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.



The Sub-Committee will receive a presentation from officers on the apprenticeships available for 14-16 year olds and 16+ year olds.


The Sub-Committee received a presentation on apprenticeships available in Havering.  Officers explained that apprenticeships combined practical training in a job with study.  Apprenticeships can take from 1 to 4 years to completer, depending on their level.


It was noted that apprenticeships had equivalent education levels which had led to a shift in what qualifications were taken.  The levels were:





Equivalent educational level:



5 GCSE passes at grade A* - C



2 A Level passes


4,5,6 and 7

Foundation degree and above


6 and 7

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree


Officers stated that apprenticeships were available in all sectors and industries throughout England, and there were more than 170 different types of apprenticeships available offering over 1,500 job roles.   The jobs available were from a range of industry sectors from engineering to boat building, veterinary nursing to accountancy.


The Sub-Committee noted that traineeships were also available which could last up to six months.  Traineeships focussed on giving young people the skills and experience that employers were looking for with work preparation, English and Maths at its core for those who needed it, and a high quality work experience placement.  In addition the learner and the training provider could add flexible additional content to meet the needs of the business and the local labour market.


Officers informed the Sub-Committee that the Apprenticeship Levy would affect employers in all sectors.  The levy would only apply to organisations that paid an annual paybill in excess of £3 million.  The apprenticeship levy would be a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships.  Legislation would be introduced in Finance Bill 2016 which would provide for a levy to be charged on employer’s paybills at a rate of 0.5%.  The levy would be payable through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and would be payable alongside income tax and National Insurance.  Each employer would receive an annual allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment.


The levy would help to deliver new apprenticeships and would support quality training by putting employers at the centre of the system; the control of apprenticeship funding would be in the hands of employers through the Digital Apprenticeship Service. It was noted that employers who were committed to training would be able to get back more than they put in by training sufficient numbers of apprentices.


The Sub-Committee was provided with an overview of the provisions available within Havering.  It was noted that the Apprenticeship Provider Forum was working with its partners in promoting and supporting the development of Apprenticeship and Traineeship opportunities in Havering.  The promotion was taking place across schools and colleges within the borough and was developing an awareness campaign that informed and supported employers who were thinking of employing an Apprentice or engaging with Traineeships.  Work was also taking place with young people and adults developing them in preparation for these employment opportunities.


A list was tabled setting out the providers details for apprenticeships and traineeships within Havering.  These were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.



The Sub-Committee will receive an update on the English Baccalaureate (EBAC).


The Sub-Committee received a briefing paper on The English Baccalaureate (EBacc).  It noted that prior to 2010, there was a decline in pupils studying academic subjects at key stage 4.  The EBacc was introduced in 2010 however no adjustment was made until 2012 when schools accountability measures changed and so did the curriculum.  The EBacc was to address the fall in participation in these “facilitating” subjects which would allow pupils better access to further education.  In June 2015, it was announced that the DfE;s intention was all pupils who started in year 7 in September 2015 take the EBacc subjects when they reach their GCSE’s in 2020. 


The EBacc was made up of the following subjects:


·         English

·         Mathematics

·         History or Geography

·         The Sciences

·         A Language


The Sub-Committee was provided with the information of what pupils needed to do for each of the subject to be eligible to gain an EBacc. 


Officers explained that in 2014/15 Havering schools were not aware that they were not on the EBacc list, this had now changed.  The EBacc was to prepare Year 7 students for academic qualifications.  This was to increase the update in A –level qualifications in the case of Mathematics, Computer Science as well as Humanities and Languages.  The Sub-Committee noted that students would entered into the full EBacc upon starting in Year 7 and there was a pressure for all schools to carry out this process.  It was noted that what was best for the child and the school would be different.


In October 2013, the government announced that a new secondary accountability system would be implemented from 2016.  This included two new measures of school performance, Progress 8 showed progress from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school in eight qualifications; and Attainment 8 showed attainment in the same 8 subjects.  The government had announced that Progress 8 would replace 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics.  Progress 8 rewards schools for the good reaching of all their pupils.  The incentive to focus on particular groups of pupils are reduced, particularly those around the C/D grade boundary.


The Sub-Committee noted the progress of the EBacc against out statistical neighbours, London and the national figures.




To receive a presentation on the role of the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Co-ordinator.



The new Child Sexual Exploitation Co-ordinator introduced herself to the Sub-Committee and explained that she had been working in the Tri-Borough before coming to Havering.  The Sub-Committee was informed that the main functions of the CSE Co-ordinator were to maintain an overview of all cases open to social care where CSE an missing were a concern; provide consultation and advice for cases where CSE and missing was a concern; provide Quality assured decision making; maintain an operational overview of multi-agency partnership working and identify any gaps.


The CSE Co-ordinator would also be the Chairperson for the Operational CSE and Missing Panel.


The Sub-Committee was informed that there was prevalence across the borough with 34% of online CSE and 24% of boyfriend CSE.  This linked in the gangs in the borough and would be a key focus for the CSE Co-ordinator.    Common data sets would be established between the Police and social care and systems for recording, tracking and interventions with missing children would be reviewed.


It was noted that online CSE can change on an hourly basis and so it was essential that the service identified any possible perpetrators so that interventions could be put in place to disrupt that perpetrator and reduce the harm to the victim.


The Sub-Committee noted that all staff in Havering working with young people need to recognised CSE.  Information on what action to take and where to seek advice would be provided as would how to intervene whilst respecting the roles and responsibilities of others.


The following Quality Assurance forms in the borough would be responsible for responding to CSE:


·           Missing Children and CSE Working Group – own and monitor the CSE action plan.

·           Havering Safeguarding Children’s Board (HSCB) – Review the progress of the CSE action plan

·           Health and Wellbeing Board – Receive updates on the CSE action plan.


Members asked how the relationship with schools would work and the plan they had in place.  Officers explained that there was a small budget to ensure that there was a provision of CSE awareness in all schools by March 2017.  It was noted that the MACE group had looked at how all sectors of the economy were linking and involved with CSE, including Taxi firms and hotels.  Engagement was being made through the “Made Safe” Operation, where the actions of staff within these industries could be used to recognise patterns and intervention made. 


Members enquired how the information would be provided to the young people, and whether this would be web-based, as this was where most young people search for information.  Officers explained that they hoped to have a link on the website, but intervention in schools were being introduced and the CSE Co-ordinator informed the Sub-Committee that an information stall was held at the recent Havering Show.  A “silent secret” app was being developed for the local area which would give young people a point of access.


It was noted that given the profile of Havering, the data was very quickly out of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.



The Sub-Committee are asked to agreed the work programme for the 2016/17 municipal year (reprt attached).



The Sub-Committee agreed and approved its work programme for the municipal year. 



To consider any other item in respect of which the Chairman is of the opinion, by reason of special circumstances which shall be specified in the minutes, that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.


Officers informed the Sub-Committee that the CQC would be inspecting the Looked After Children service in August.  This would be in conjunction with the CCG and NELFT as well as the Local Authority.  Once initial feedback was received this would be provided to members.


Details of a recent restructure within Children’s Services was explained.  It was noted that there were a number of new officers appointed:


            Jane Carol – Intervention and Support Manager

Gary Jones  - MASH and Assessment Manager

Lisa Reid – Early Help Manager.


It was noted that the PRU was being reconfigured and the Olive Academy were taking responsibility.  It was confirmed that an update on the reconfiguration would be given at the next meeting.