Agenda and minutes

Children & Learning Overview & Scrutiny Sub-Committee - Thursday, 30th September, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Town Hall

Contact: Taiwo Adeoye - 021708 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 was no disclosures of interest at the meeting.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 358 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 6 July 2021 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.


The minutes of the meeting held on 6 July 2021 were agreed as a correct

record and signed by the Chairman.



Report attached.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report and presentation that updated on the Quarter One 2021/22 (April to June 2021) performance information.


The report provided an overview of the services performance against the 13 performance indicators that have been selected for monitoring by the Sub-Committee.


It was noted that 7 of the indicators have been given a Red Amber Green status; RAG status. Five (72%) have a status of Green, One (14%) had a status of Amber and one (14%) had a status of Red.


The presentation highlighted the following areas of strong performance.


The report indicated that in the academic year 2019/20, 9 school inspections were undertaken of Havering schools between September 2019 and March 2020, pre the COVID-19. It was stated that the seven primary schools that were inspected retained their 'Good' outcomes and the two secondary academies inspected improved from ‘Requires improvement’ to ‘Good’. This also resulted in an overall percentage of providers judged to be Good or Outstanding by OFSTED increasing by 2 percentage points, which was 5.2 percentage points above the national figure.


The Sub-Committee noted that the rate of both fixed term and permanent exclusions in Havering have remained below the rates for England as a whole in both primary and secondary based on the latest available published data.


It was explained that as a result of the Inclusions Service working very closely with Havering head teachers, and the new roll out of the Inclusions policy, there have been no permanent exclusions The Sub-committee was informed that the Inclusions policy has been designed with an extra measures put in place to support schools to find alternatives to fixed term and permanent exclusions.


The percentage of looked after children with 2 or more changes of social worker in the last 12 months was noted as within target as at the end of the quarter. The Sub-Committee was informed that since the start of the pandemic, Havering has seen an increased turnover of social work staff, which particularly impacted on social worker changes for looked after children during the fourth quarter of 2020/21.


It was stated that there are still a number of vacant posts in the long term teams and staff recruitment and retention remains a high priority for the service in 2021/22. It Actions that have been taken to date include a review of pay rates to ensure Havering remains competitive; faster turnaround times for interviews when locum CVs come in (due to the increasingly competitive market); further expansion of the ‘grown your own’ ASYE programme; and working with colleagues in Communications to explore how ‘Choose Havering’ could be used as an external branding for recruitment purposes.


The service has also launched a robust permanent recruitment campaign and over the longer term, there are plans to look more broadly at pay, terms and conditions and career progression for the social work workforce to ensure that Havering is presented as an employer of choice for the profession.


The following areas that required improvementwas outlined:


It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.



Report attached.

Additional documents:


At the request of the Sub-Committee, officer provided Members with a report that detailed an overview of the statutory responsibilities of the Local Authority (LA) with regard to ensuring education excellence.


The report explained that the service recognised and respects the diverse educational landscape and models of governance that now exist within the borough, which currently included:


·       a range of early years settings;

·       infant, junior, primary, secondary, tertiary and special provisions;

·       LA-maintained, academies, free-schools, stand-alone/local/national MATs, federations and faith schools.


It was explained to Members that additional quality assurance processes are likely to be taking place right across the sector (eg Ofsted, the Regional Schools’ Commissioner, MATs) and the service was keen to ensure that its quality assurance processes are proportionate, work in synergy with other regulators, and minimise any burden of duplication.


The report detailed that the Education Act 2011 outlined that the role of Local Authority in relation to all children and young people under the following 3 headings:


·       champions of vulnerable children and young people;

·       ensuring fair access to services; and

·       ensuring educational excellence.


In keeping with these principles, the service improve the well-being of young children and ‘reduce inequalities between young children in the borough. It was stated that this also included young children’s physical and mental health and emotional well-being; protection from harm and neglect; education, training and recreation.


Officers informed that the duties and related powers of the service with regard to settings, schools and colleges in the area are set out in the London Borough of Havering Quality Assurance Framework: Education Providers.


The Sub-Committee was informed that the service provides, challenge and support through direct provision or brokerage where needed to all providers in order to improve educational performance.


Officers explained that all the quality assurance processes are compatible with the service statutory responsibilities and are aligned with the latest DfE Schools Causing Concern guidance.


The Sub-Committee was informed that the service operates a flexible programme of quality assurance, proportionate to the quality of provision within any given institution.  The service reserves the right to exercise its powers flexibly and with discretion, depending on changing circumstances and the picture emerging from a wide range of evidence.

The following quality assurance processes are administered by the service:


Desktop Risk Assessment 


A desktop risk assessment is applied to all provisions to determine the extent of quality assurance scrutiny, based on a range of factors including:


·       Outcomes (standards and progress) in statutory tests or examinations, including trajectory / direction of travel

·       Other data (eg attendance;  persistent absence;  exclusions; financial management, etc)

·       Previous Ofsted and likely proximity to next inspection

·       Trajectory / direction of travel in relation to outcomes

·       Local Intelligence (e.g. quality of leadership and governance; complaints; safeguarding concerns, admissions and popularity;  financial management, record with vulnerable children, etc)


Quality Assurance Visit(s)


All schools, irrespective of governance, are entitled to receive an on-site QA visit with an experienced and qualified Quality Assurance Inspector from the LA, once each year (academic cycle).  The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.