Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting re: SEND Review, Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Children's Services and Safeguarding)
Monday 1st July, 2019 4.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Bootle. View directions

Contact: Debbie Campbell,  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Note: Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Adult Social Care and Health) are invited to attend 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Carragher, Spencer, Thomas and Webster; Mr. Stuart Harrison, Diocese; Father Des Seddon, Archdiocese; Ms. Victoria Ellis-Jones, Parent Governor Representative and Ms. Machalla McDermott, Parent Governor Representative.


From Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Adult Social Care and Health), apologies were received from Councillors Carr and Cluskey.



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.



In accordance with Paragraph 9 of the Council’s Code of Conduct, the following declaration of personal interest was made and the Member concerned remained in the room during the consideration of the item:




Minute No.

Nature of Interest


Councillor Howard


Minute No. 3 SEND Ofsted/CQC Revisit


Her partner currently has a supply teaching placement at Rowan Special School.











SEND Ofsted/CQC Revisit pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Chief Executive.


Further to Minute No. 38 of 30 January 2018, the Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive informing the Committee of the outcome of the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) joint local area special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) re-visit.  This was undertaken in Sefton between 15 to 17 April 2019 and the revisit was a follow-up to the SEND Inspection held in 2016. The report set out the background to the matter; details of the re-visit by Ofsted and the CQC; key actions since the re-visit; together with conclusions. The re-visit highlighted that partner agencies needed to significantly improve outcomes for children and young people and support parents and carers through improvements to joint working, transparency and health system responsibility.


The five areas of weakness identified at the time of the initial inspection during November 2016 were as follows:-


  • Poor progress made from starting points by pupils with a statement of special educational needs or an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan at Key Stages 2 and 4.


  • Poor operational oversight of the Designated Clinical Officer across health services in supporting children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families.


  • Lack of awareness and understanding of health professionals in terms of their responsibilities and contribution to Education Health and Care Plans.


  • Weakness of co-production with parents, and more generally in communications with parents.


  • Weakness of joint commissioning in ensuring that there are adequate services to meet local demand.


The Joint Inspection Letter was attached to the report at Appendix A and set out the findings of the Inspectors who re-visited Sefton during April 2019 to decide whether the local area had made sufficient progress in addressing the areas of significant weakness identified at the time of the initial inspection. Inspectors were of the opinion that sufficient progress had not been made to improve in the areas of weakness identified at the time of the initial inspection. In addition, Inspectors considered that local area leaders had not made sufficient progress to improve each of the serious weaknesses identified at the initial inspection.


Since the outcome of the re-visit, a Joint SEND Continuous Improvement Board (SENDCIB) had been established comprised of the Council’s Chief Executive; the Chief Officer of the two local Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health Leaders. The SENDCIB would be chaired by an elected Member. The Terms of Reference for the SENDCIB were set out at Appendix B to the report and included the need to ensure that an Improvement Plan was in place to respond to the partner weaknesses. The Improvement Plan would need to be submitted to the Department for Education by 28 June 2019. Action had also been taken to recruit to vacant and additional posts created to meet the EHC Plans 20-week statutory timescale for production and to manage the backlog of EHC Plans.


The Health and Wellbeing Board would hold the system to account and it was anticipated that this Committee would provide robust challenge and additional  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.