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· The Chairman informed the Sub-Committee that Councillor Lawal had submitted a Councillor Call to Action on the consultation for the Children’s Centre Re-Design. The Sub-Committee would have to consider the matter at a meeting to be organised before the decision was made by Cabinet.
· The Chairman was meeting with Senior Officers to discuss Topic Group on relevant work areas.
· Councillor Holt informed the Sub-Committee that she recently retired from teaching.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
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.
Mr Ian Rusha declared he was a governor at the Corbets Tey School during consideration of the report on SEND Travel Assistance.
The Sub-Committee received a report that outlined the key issues in respect of the provision of travel assistance for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
It was noted that the Education Act 1996 requires Local Authorities to make suitable and where eligible, free travel arrangements for ‘eligible children’ as they consider necessary to facilitate attendance of school or college and this duty underpins the Council’s policy. There was a requirement to refresh and re-publish the Council’s policy annually.
The Council’s policy was written in conjunction with the following regulations:
· Education Act 1996
· Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 0-25 years Code of Practice 2014
· Home to School Travel and Transport Guidance 2016
· Post 16 Transport to Education and Training 2019
The Council’s policy was underpinned by the following principles:
· It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly
· The use of existing provision such as free travel on public transport will be encouraged wherever possible
· Students who are able to travel independently, use public transport or be transported to school by a parent/guardian or other appropriate person are encouraged to do so
· Students who have additional travel needs are offered the most independent and personally enabling solution for their situation
· All travel options are explored for students and any assistance offered will look at what is efficient and effective, both in terms of sustainability and cost – where travel assistance is provided, the most cost-effective mode of transport that meets the individual’s needs must always be used
· The travel needs of students will be reviewed regularly to ensure the arrangements are still appropriate for their assessed needs
Most children and young people will access school and college without additional assistance from the Council. Where assistance is given, it should be seen as part of a plan of support that encourages children and young people to become more independent and resilient in their future lives.
As part of the Transport for London service, children and young people in full time education can travel free and at a discounted fare on public transport, up until they turn 18 and finish education. Children under five can also travel for free on public transport with a fare paying adult. For support above and beyond what is available for free from Transport for London, the Council may provide further travel assistance.
The eligibility criteria sets out who is defined as eligible for support from the Council, which is applied in conjunction with the Council’s principles for offering travel assistance. The eligibility criteria and the type of travel assistance that may be offered differs depending on the age of the student, their needs and the circumstances of the family.
The types of travel assistance available to children and young people, following a local authority assessment, include:
· A free space on the travel training programme to build confidence travelling and gain the skills required to do so independently, or with support
· Reimbursement of fuel for an identified person to perform ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
The Sub-Committee received a report that provided an update on Havering Adult College, including performance outcomes for 2018-2019.
The Sub-Committee noted that Havering delivers adult and community learning (ACL) through Havering Adult College. The College receives two direct grants to fund its operation, one from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and one from the General London Authority (GLA), which enables the service to deliver a range of courses aimed at learners aged 19+ who could be resident in the borough, or attend from outside of the borough.
The report indicated that in the academic year 2018-19, Havering Adult College delivered learning opportunities to 4368 learners. The achievement rate for learners overall was 98.79%, based on the Management Information System data returned to the ESFA for that year.
The last three Ofsted inspections have found the provision to be Good, and with some excellent features.
The report outlined that Havering Adult College presently offers a broad curriculum to the public, covering key areas of learning; specifically, Digital & Computer Skills, Languages (including BSL), Creative & Performing Arts, GCSEs (English, Maths, Science, Psychology), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Floristry & Horticulture, Personal Wellbeing and Fitness, Counselling, Food & Drink, Teacher Training, History & Modern Culture, and Teaching Assistants.
A key objective of the Skills for Londoners Strategy is to increase the number and diversity of adult learners in London gaining skills to participate in society, and progress into further/higher or additional education.
The following eight areas of reform under the devolution of the AEB in London were outlined:
1. Eligibility for full-funding for people in low-paid work
2. Basic English and maths skills
3. English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
4. Basic digital skills
5. Adult & Community Learning (ACL)
6. Support for disadvantaged learners
7. Support for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
8. Addressing London’s sectoral and occupational skills needs
The report informed the Sub-Committee that the College was proposing to focus on the following key occupational areas that were anticipated to be introduced following the pilot year of 2019-20:
· Health and Social Care
· Tourism, Hospitality and Retail
· Creative and Digital
· Finance and Professional services
The Sub-Committee noted that the College was part of the Local London (Eastern London) Region, aligned to the following priority outcomes identified through the Local London Steering Board:
- Supporting in-work low paid residents to up-skill, secure new qualifications and progress into higher paid work
- Supporting unemployed and economically inactive residents (particularly those with disabilities and long term health conditions)
- Supporting lone parents who are struggling to secure and maintain part-time/full-time work at a reasonable wage
- Supporting residents whose first language is not English, for whom it is a barrier to employment and accessing educational opportunities
- Supporting residents both younger and older with SEND needs
- Supporting skills development for: construction, digital, health and social care, cultural and creative industries
The Sub-Committee noted the following In-Year Outcomes for Learners:
1. 4368 learners recruited overall during 2018-19, retention was excellent ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
The Sub-Committee received a report that provided progress made to improve School Admissions & Inclusions arrangements across all Havering’s Schools/ Academies and Alternative Provisions.
The report noted that the Local Authority had a statutory duty to provide pupils who have been Permanently Excluded an education from day 6 of the exclusion. The Inclusion Team work with schools/academies to avoid permanent exclusion where possible and offer other alternative pathways to support pupils.
The Sub-Committee noted that the Attendance, Behaviour and Traveller Support Service, an Early Help Education Service monitors pupil attendance where the attendance of pupils falls below the acceptable level in school.
The service works closely with parents to overcome barriers to school attendance whether it was medical, social, and emotional or for any number of reasons. Whilst there are legal routes open to local authorities where parents do not ensure that their children receive a suitable education, these legal sanctions were generally a last resort after a period of working alongside parents and professionals to reduce/remove any barriers to good school attendance.
The report outlined that the Early Help Attendance Behaviour and Traveller Support Service performs the school welfare checks for students. Children Missing Education (CME) were monitored and tracked through the Attendance Service as a statutory function.
The report informed that the levels of overall absence and persistent absence (PA) have reduced in Havering in the past 5-year period and only remain slightly higher than London and national averages. It was stated that unauthorised absence was slightly below London average in both primary and secondary schools over the 5-year trend which was a positive step in the right direction.
The Sub-Committee noted that in the last academic year, the Attendance, Behaviour and Traveller Support Service led on an attendance project with the key aim of sharing outstanding practice within schools and academies across key stages with a focus on challenging the rationale for authorising absence; this resulted in an Attendance Summit that was attended by thirty Schools and Academies.
The following key measures around attendance/absence were set by as indicators:
Primary School Absence Data in Havering (Summary Past 5 years):
Secondary School Absence Data in Havering (Summary Past 5 years):
The Sub-Committee noted the comments of the report.