Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Children's Services and Safeguarding)
Tuesday 17th March, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room - Bootle Town Hall, Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 7AE. View directions

Contact: Debbie Campbell,  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

46.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bennett, Evans, Murphy, Pitt and Thomas; Mr. M. Byrne, Healthwatch; Mrs. S. Cain, Independent Advisory Member; Ms. C. Christie, Healthwatch; Ms. C. McDonough, Parent Governor Representative; and Father D. Seddon, Archdiocese.

 

47.

Declarations of Interest

Members are requested at a meeting where a disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest arises, which is not already included in their Register of Members' Interests, todeclare any interests that relate to an item on the agenda.

 

Where a Member discloses a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, he/she must withdraw from the meeting room, including from the public gallery, during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest, except where he/she is permitted to remain as a result of a grant of a dispensation.

 

Where a Member discloses a personal interest he/she must seek advice from the Monitoring Officer or staff member representing the Monitoring Officer to determine whether the Member should withdraw from the meeting room, including from the public gallery, during the whole consideration of any item of business in which he/she has an interest or whether the Member can remain in the meeting or remain in the meeting and vote on the relevant decision.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests were received.

 

48.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2020, be confirmed as a correct record.

 

49.

Bi-Annual Report and Review of Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Report of the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 18 of 24 September 2019, the Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education, summarising the progress in relation to the Children’s Social Care Improvement Plan for the period 1 April 2019 to 30 September 2019.

 

The Plan identified three key objectives, as follows:

 

1.       Ensure frontline practise is consistently good, effective and focused on timely, measurable outcomes for children.

2.       To improve management oversight at all levels to ensure effective services for children and young people to receive good quality supervision.

3.       Ensure that frontline services are sufficiently resourced and the workforce appropriately skilled to enable high quality work to be undertaken with children and young people.

 

Following on from the Ofsted Inspection of Services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers during April 2016, Ofsted had undertaken a two-day focused visit under the Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Services on 27 and 28 September 2018. Inspectors looked at the local authority’s arrangements for children in need and children subject to a plan, with a specific focus on services and practice for children who might be on the edge of care. The Joint Targeted Area Inspection and progress would be reported on in the annual report as it was outside of this timeframe.

 

The Children’s Social Care Bi-Annual Report and Review of Improvement Plan 1 April 2019 – 30 September 2019 was attached to the report. The Bi-Annual Report outlined progress in relation to the three key objectives identified above, together with information provided by the performance data.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following:

 

·       Methods by which social workers were able to further develop professional curiosity and ensure that the voice of the child was heard.

·       Referrals relating to criminal exploitation of children and young people and the difficulties in obtaining evidence.

·       Difficulties for social workers having to attend court cases in Liverpool and associated issues of car parking.

·       The increase in the number of Sefton Looked After Children.

·       The number of care leavers living in suitable accommodation.

·       The high standard of services particularly associated with foster care.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That regular updates in relation to the progress of the Children’s Social Care Improvement Plan be continued to be received by the Committee.

 

50.

Children and Young Peoples Plan 2015- 2020 - Priority One – Yearly Review of Educational Attainment Level pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report of the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education.

 

The Appendices to the report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 43 of the Health and Wellbeing Board of 11 March 2020, the Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education, on the Children and Young People’s Plan 2015-2020 and on progress against Priority One of the four priority areas of the current Plan, namely “To ensure that all children and young people have a positive educational experience”.

 

The report set out educational attainment in Sefton, broken down into Nursery and Primary; Secondary and Special Schools Key Stage 4; and post-16 education. Actions undertaken by the local authority to support and challenge schools appropriately were outlined. The following appendices were attached to the report:

 

·       Nursery and Primary School analysis 2019;

·       Secondary and Special Schools analysis 2019; and

·       Post-16 Analysis 2019.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following:

 

·       The performance of a number of secondary schools within the Borough had been a cause for concern for some considerable time. Academies were independent of local authority control, although work did take place with most secondary academies to support and challenge them.

·       Teach First was a charity working to end educational inequality. Its influence was limited due to set criteria for both schools and participants.

·       Could representatives of some secondary schools be invited to attend the Committee, in order to explore the issue of school performance?

·       The National Curriculum and examination-based qualifications were not necessarily suitable for all pupils, although it was hoped that the introduction of T Levels from September 2020 could offer vocational training to some pupils.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)      the report be noted; and

 

(2)      the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education be requested to explore the possibility of inviting representatives of secondary schools to attend a future meeting of the Committee, in order to discuss school performance.

 

51.

Corporate Parenting Board Annual Evaluation pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 45 of 19 March 2019, the Committee considered the report of the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education providing a summary overview of the Sefton Corporate Parenting Initiative in Sefton.

 

The report included updates on four key aspects, namely:

 

·       Ensuring greater, multi-agency, clarity regarding the role and responsibilities as Corporate Parents;

·       Strengthening of multi-agency partnerships;

·       Increased accountability and scrutiny; and

·       Increased involvement of young people and foster carers in the strategic development and scrutiny of services.

 

A Board Evaluation – Activities Report 2019, was attached to the report.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following:

 

·       The One Vision Housing (OVH) Local Protocol offered a service from OVH Independent Living and started working with relevant young people from the age of 17, in order to prepare them for independent living and to find appropriate accommodation. Support could stay in place until the young person reached the age of 25.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the report be noted.

 

52.

Climate Emergency - Update Report pdf icon PDF 961 KB

A presentation to be given by the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 42 of 28 January 2020, the Committee received a presentation from theSection Manager Energy and Environmental Management, Corporate Resources, on Climate Emergency Information and initial baseline results. The presentation outlined the following:

 

·       Climate Change;

·       Greenhouse Effect;

·       Carbon;

·       Offsetting;

·       International Context;

·       Quantifying Sefton’s Emissions;

·       Key Features;

·       Scope 1 and 2:

o   Council Operations;

o   How the information was collected and what is included;

o   Big emitters, some examples;

o   What does 15,547 tonnes equate to;

·       Scope 3 what is included:

o   Children’s Services;

·       Evaluating the Baseline;

·       Next Steps;

·       Contact Details;

·       Why a CO2 Focus; and

·       Offsetting - Diagram.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following:

 

·       The reduction of damaging activities, such as mass tree felling, would require global action rather than limited action by a small number of nations. The Council could play a role by ensuring that products were environmentally sourced and sustainable.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the presentation be noted, and the Section Manager Energy and Environmental Management be thanked for her attendance.

 

53.

Performance Reports for Key Children's Services pdf icon PDF 957 KB

Integrated Performance Reports by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 34 (2) of 12 November 2019, the Committee considered Integrated Performance Reports for Key Children's Services, submitted by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group. The Integrated Performance Reports set out information on:

 

·       Alder Hey Children’s Mental Health Services;

·       Improve Access to Children & Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMH);

·       Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) baseline established – Specialist CAMHS Improvement Trajectory;

·       Waiting times for Urgent Referrals to Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Services – 4 weeks;

·       Waiting times for Urgent Referrals to Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Services – 1 week;

·       KPI off Target – KPI 5/3 Speech and Language Therapy;

·       Recovery Plan Speech and Language Therapies (SALT) waiting times*;

·       SALT waiting times* are reducing; and

·       KPIs on Target or Better – KPI 5/1 Dietetics, KPI 5/2 Occupational Therapy and KPI 5/3 Physiotherapy.

 

*Waiting times for all open cases.

 

Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG; and Kerrie France, Assistant Clinical Director, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, attended the meeting to present the Integrated Performance Reports and to respond to questions/issues raised by Members of the Committee. It was reported that the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) pathway would start to be delivered from 1 April 2020.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following:

 

·       What was the average age of children accessing services?

·       The range of services provided by Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and services offered within a community-based setting.

·       The difficulties associated with the transition stage and continuity, for young people aged 16-19, when service provision changed from Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust to Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

·       Although Ormskirk District General Hospital provided a children’s A&E service, it was not possible to take children and young people experiencing mental health issues to that facility.

·       Adults could experience delays for in-patient facilities. The Clock View facility provided an adult in-patient facility in Walton.

 

RESOLVED:That

 

(1)      the Integrated Performance Reports be noted; and

 

(2)      the Chief Officer for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG be requested to obtain a breakdown of ages of children accessing the services outlined within the Integrated Performance Reports for Key Children's Services.

 

54.

Review of Looked After Children and Safeguarding - Update pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Joint presentation by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Sefton and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, providing an update on actions being undertaken since the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Review.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 34 (2) of 12 November 2019, the Committee considered a joint presentation by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Sefton and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, providing an update on actions being undertaken since the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Review of Looked After Children and Safeguarding in Sefton.

 

Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG; and Helen Case, Designated Nurse, for NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, attended the meeting to present the update; to report on the progress of actions remaining “red” or outstanding; and on the task and finish group that would review the management and oversight of the action planning process.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the joint presentation be noted.

 

55.

Cabinet Member Report pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer in relation to the most recent report of the Cabinet Member – Children, Schools and Safeguarding for the period January – March 2020. The report outlined information on the following:

 

·       Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND);

·       Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) of services for children in Sefton;

·       St Teresa’s Consultation; and

·       Sefton and Knowsley Youth Music Hub.

 

Councillor J.J. Kelly, Cabinet Member – Children, Schools and Safeguarding, attended the meeting to present his update report and highlight aspects of it.

 

Members of the Committee asked questions/raised issues on the following:

 

·       The value of the Sefton Music Service, particularly as a way for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to express themselves. A representative of the Music Service could be invited to a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)      the Cabinet Member update report be noted; and

 

(2)      the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education be requested to explore the possibility of inviting a representative of the Music Service to a future meeting of the Committee.

 

56.

Work Programme Key Decision Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Chief Legal and Democratic Officer, seeking the views of the Committee on the draft Work Programme for the remainder of 2019/20; identifying any items for pre-scrutiny by the Committee from the Key Decision Forward Plan; noting the progress to date by the Persistent Pupil Absence Working Group; and receiving an update on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

A Work Programme for 2019/20 was set out at Appendix A to the report, to be considered, along with any additional items to be included and agreed.

 

There were two Decisions within the latest Key Decision Forward Plan, attached to the report at Appendix B, that fell under this Committee’s remit, and the Committee was invited to consider items for pre-scrutiny.

 

The report set out progress to date made by the Persistent Pupil Absence Working Group, comprised of Councillors Bennett, Carragher (Lead Member), Keith and Mrs. Cain, Independent Advisory Member. The Committee was advised that the Working Group meeting scheduled for 18 March 2020 had been cancelled.

 

Further to Minute No. 10 of 12 November 2019, the report set out an update on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

(1)      the Work Programme for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be agreed;

 

(2)      the following items be considered for inclusion within the Committee’s Work Programme for 2020/21:

 

the Interim Director of Children’s Social Care and Education be requested to explore the possibility of:

 

(a)      inviting representatives of secondary schools to attend a future meeting of the Committee, in order to explore school performance; and

 

(b)      inviting a representative of the Music Service to a future meeting of the Committee, in order to hear how music enhances the experience of pupils;

 

(3)      the contents of the Key Decision Forward Plan for the period 1 December 2019 – 31 March 2020, be noted;

 

(4)      progress made to date by the Persistent Pupil Absence Working Group be noted; and

 

(5)      the update on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted.