Agenda and draft minutes

Children & Learning Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Thursday, 4th March, 2021 7.00 pm


Contact: Taiwo Adeoye - 01708 433079  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 disclosures of interest.




The Sub-Committee noted the protocol on the operation of meetings during the Covid 19 pandemic restrictions.


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To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 8 December 2020 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.


The minutes of the meeting held on 8 December 2020 were agreed as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.



Report attached.


The Sub-Committee received an update report on the outcomes of the 2020 statutory assessments within the secondary sector. The report included headline figures for:  Attainment and Progress at GCSE and Attainment at A-Level.



The Sub-Committee received an update report on the outcomes of the 2020 statutory assessments within the secondary sector.  The report also included headline figures for attainment and progress at GCSE and Attainment at A-Level.


The report stated that that within Havering, there are 18 Secondary Academies, 6 Academy Sixth Forms, 3 Special Schools.


The Sub-Committee was informed that the Local Authority (LA) has a statutory duty to identify schools causing concern, those that are in decline or at risk of failure and to challenge and undertake timely interventions in schools to raise standards.

Where the LA has concerns about an academy performance, it will raise its concern initially with the school or directly with the Secretary of State via the Regional Schools Commissioner RSC and through Ofsted.

The main indicators at GCSE required Attainment 8 which is made up of 8 subjects. Grades 1-9 are translated into a numerical score, the total of which is Attainment 8. The average Attainment 8 score in Havering is compared with the Attainment of all pupils nationally.


It was explained that Progress 8 is calculated by the sum of the Attainment 8 results for all pupils in Havering, this score is compared with that of pupils all pupils nationally with the same KS2 attainment to create the P8 score which is the difference between the two.


It was noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer exam was cancelled in 2020.  In addition the Department announced that it would not publish any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2020. This meant that the performance tables were suspended.


The Sub-Committee was informed that students who were scheduled to sit GCSE and A/AS level exams in 2020 were awarded either a centre assessment grade (based on what the school or college believed the student would most likely have achieved had exams gone ahead) or their calculated grade using a model developed by Ofqual - whichever was the higher of the two.


It was explained that Key Stage 4 (GCSE’s) –attainment in Havering were above national.  The average Attainment 8 score in 2020 was 51.9 – marginally above as the national average of 50.2 this places Havering in the second quintile nationally and above the majority of its statistical neighbours.


Officers stated that outcomes have fluctuated over the last few years, with the ongoing changes in exams and methodology however it has remained consistently above national.


The Sub-Committee was informed that GCSE progress nationally will always remain static with state-funded schools being marginally below 0. The DfE have not published Progress 8 for 2020 and therefore it was not represented on the line graph of the table. Officers stated that the Fisher Family Trust data for 2020 shows that secondary schools in Havering delivered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.



Report attached.


At the request of the Sub-Committee, the Commissioning Programme Manager presented a report that detailed the management and engagement of providers offering Semi-Independent Living Accommodation in Havering.


It was explained that whilst the population of children in Havering is increasing, the number of new children becoming looked after has started to decline. The total number of looked after children was not reducing as the Young People are remaining lookedafter for longer periods of time.


It was stated that as a result of preventative work, the number of children coming into care at earlier ages was decreasing whilst the number arriving at 16+ has dramatically increased since 2014/15. This was partly as a result of a significant increase in unaccompanied asylum seeking children.


This has been putting pressure on service availability and leading to a significant number of older children being placed in semi-independent accommodation. There is a lack of residential and foster provision across London, in particular for teenage children and this was proving increasingly difficult to place children and young people close to their local area. It was also stated that the costs for residential provision are increasing and often local authorities are competing for the same placements.


In order to try and keep young people close to home, and in a bid to try and manage costs, local authorities (LA) are increasingly having to use semi-independent/unregulated provision.


The duties placed on LA’s require that the service have a responsibility for young people whom are care experienced up to their 25th birthday, increasing the number of young people requiring support.  


It was explained that semi-independent provision is not regulated by Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission however a placing authority have a responsibility to ensure the appropriateness of the provision and home for the young people being placed. This type of provision is mainly used for young people aged 16 and above. Semi-independent units are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


The Sub-Committee was informed that the service is developing a system that builds quality and assurance in to the services commissioned. It was noted that other local authorities could commission such provisions within Havering without prior knowledge and populated with young people from other boroughs. 


It was explained that services across Havering are working together to address the issues being caused by such provisions as there is no legal requirement for organisations to notify or seek approval from the LA in which they are setting up. The Planning, Licencing, Community Engagement and Joint Commissioning Unit (JCU) are working together to develop a better approach to managing such provisions. Teams are sharing intelligence to map and identify known provisions.


The Sub-Committee was informed that the JCU are working closely with the providers of services to develop a better understanding of expectations on both sides. There were plans underway to introduce a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) by the beginning of July 2021, allowing better control over provider quality and cost for those young people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.



Report attached.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received the quarter three performance indicators (PIs) update. The PIs are the standards by which performance of services are measured within the Council.


The update provided an overview of performance against the six performance indicators currently monitored by the Sub-Committee in 2020/21.


The report outlined that all six of the indicators have been given a Red Amber Green status; RAG status - two rated Green, one rated Amber and three indicators rated Red.


The report provided the following highlights:


It was stated that the percentage of contacts progressing to Early Help is down compared with the same point in the previous year but has risen compared to the previous quarter, which coincided with pupils returning to classroom based learning in September.  An Early Help worker was now based in the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to support and improve the identification of cases that would benefit from Early Help intervention.

The Sub-Committee was informed that the most prevalent reason for contacts remains as  domestic abuse but during COVID-19 the service have seen an increase in contacts regarding mental health (both child and parental) and a decrease in contacts concerning neglect. It was noted that this trend was being explored further through the local safeguarding partnership.

The Sub-Committee was informed that data on the percentage of Looked After Children (LAC) with an up to date pathway plan in place is reviewed weekly. It was mentioned that this, coupled with the role of the Independent Review Officer in ensuring that a pathway assessment has been completed by 15 years and 9 months, has led to sustained improvement against this indicator. It was noted that in addition to the timeliness of plans, there remains a focus on ensuring that young people are engaged with the pathway planning process and that their voice is evident.

The service reported that during the quarter, there was a reduction in the percentage of care leavers (aged 18+) with an up to date pathway plan was recorded. This is attributed to a combination of challenges associated with remote working, virtual visits and some of the young adults experiencing a level of disengagement due to lockdown restrictions. However, every care leaver does have a pathway plan and a clear strategy is in place for the review of post 18 pathway plans. Leaving Care Team managers are also being more robust in reviewing pathway plans.

The Sub-Committee was informed that the percentage of LAC cases with supervision in the last three months hasremained above target throughout the quarter. It was explained that performance in this area is closely monitored by the Head of Service and Group Managers and discussed at weekly performance meetings. The service's supervision policy was reviewed during 2020 and the expectation is now that case supervision on LAC cases should take place at a minimum every two months. From April 2021, performance will be reported against this new standard.

The report outlined the following areas of potential areas for improvementwas outlined:

The report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.