Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms, Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Bennington and Mary Capon.





The Chairman reminded the Committee that the Declarations of Interest made at the meeting on 8th July 2015 were taken as read.  There were no additional declarations of interest.




RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 19th January 2016 be agreed and signed as a correct record, and that matters outstanding be noted.



To hear questions to the Committee received in writing by the Democratic Services Team by 5.00pm on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the scrutiny committee.



No questions had been received.




To hear questions to the Portfolio Holder received in writing by the Democratic Services Team by 5.00pm on Wednesday 2nd March 2016 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the Portfolio.



No questions had been received.





The Portfolio Holder started his updated by thanking the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Committee for their support throughout the municipal year and by noting how quickly the year had seemed to pass.  Since the last meeting of the Committee there had been a renewed focus on funding issues with the Secretary of State for Education announcing that there would be a review of school funding with the aim of introducing a fairer funding model for schools.  The Portfolio Holder reported that he considered this to be a positive step.  To this end, the Portfolio Holder, Director of Education and Director of Finance (as Section 151 Officer) had been attending a number of meetings with colleagues in other Local Authorities in order to bring influence during the consultation process.  The Portfolio Holder reported that he believed that the London Borough of Bromley was in an excellent position to take a lead in terms of the impact of the academy programme on education funding. 


During the previous week, pupils had received confirmation of their Secondary School place allocation for the 2016/17 academic year.  84% of pupils in Bromley were allocated either their first or second choice of school.


There continued to be a focus on Adult Education and the Portfolio Holder had met with Ofsted for discussions surrounding future provision.  The Portfolio Holder also reported that he had received a great deal of correspondence concerning the reorganisation of the Service and that he would be replying to all the letters and emails that had been received.


Finally, the Portfolio Holder had attended a meeting with Early Years Representatives.  All issues raised at the meeting would be taken forward.


The Vice-Chairman, with the endorsement of the Chairman and the Committee reported that the Committee would support the Portfolio Holder and Colleagues in other Local Authorities in their efforts to engage with the Secretary of State for Education regarding a fairer funding model for schools.


RESOLVED that the Portfolio Holder update be noted.


Update on Youth Offending Services Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:


Report ED16019

Members considered a report which provided an overview of the progress of the Youth Offending Service (YOS) Improvement Plan.  The updated Improvement Plan demonstrated that work had progressed on all planned actions with the exception of 7(d) - Create a service user forum for current and former young people to enable the service to consult effectively - which had been delayed due to other work priorities including the planning and implementation of an IT upgrade. The service continued to work hard to introduce further improvements identified in the plan.  Due to a reduction in the Youth Justice Board (YJB) grant during 2016/17 and the need to meet the local savings target it was necessary to reorganise the service to ensure that the team could continue to provide a seamless service.  As part of the reorganisation, a decision had been taken to end the NACRO contract to provide an Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS) programme.  The contract would end on 31 March 2016 after which the ISS programme would be provided in-house by YOS staff ad managed by one of the Operational Managers.  From April 2016 there would no longer be funding to enable an in-house substance misuse worker or a CAMHs worker.  In addition the post of “Counsellor” would also be ending.  Instead from 1 April 2016, any young person being assessed as being in need of any of these services would be referred to the Bromley Well Being Service, or the Bromley Young People’s Substance Misuse Service.  The post of Parenting Worker would also cease from 1 April 2016 with all future referrals for parenting support being directed to the Bromley Children’s Project.

Members noted that the service was in the initial phase of planning the implementation of Asset Plus, the national assessment tool used by Youth Offending Services.  In addition, Members also noted that the YOS Management Team undertook a thematic audit in December 2015 using police intelligence on young people known to the service who were at risk of being involved in transporting drugs across county lines.  The audit had looked at 4 cases and found that Assets were being completed within National Standards timescales.  The majority of Assets were judged to be ‘good’. The quality of active engagement work being carried out with young people and parents/carers to inform the initial assessment was either good or outstanding. Partnership working on safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of the young person was judged to be ‘good’ in all cases where this was relevant. The quality of the Intervention Plan for the majority of cases was either ‘satisfactory’ or ‘good’.

The Interim Head of the Youth Offending Service reported that good progress on the current YOS Improvement Plan had been made and that action to develop the next Improvement Plan was being taken by the Management Board.  Once the Plan had been developed it would be shared with the Committee.

A number of Members expressed concerns surrounding the reduction in cases that met the standards required in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.



The Education Portfolio Holder to present scheduled reports for pre-decision scrutiny on matters where he is minded to make decisions.



Basic Need Update Report pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:


Report ED16030


Members considered a report providing an update on progress in delivering the Council’s Basic Need Programme that supported the provision of sufficient pupil places through improvements to and expansion of Bromley Schools and the forward programme for the period 2015-18.


The Council received Basic Need Capital Grant from the DfE to support the delivery of sufficient school places, with a total of £70.9m so far allocated for 2011-2018. The next tranche of Basic Need Capital funding was due to be announced by Government in early 2016, but the announcement had been delayed and was not now expected until after Easter 2016.


The Basic Need capital programme also included capital contributions from a range of other capital funding programmes including Seed Challenge, Access Initiative and Suitability along with Section 106 contributions. The detail of S106 contributions was included within Approval of Procurement Strategy for Basic Need Projects and the Glebe School Expansion and Allocation of Section 106 Funding to education agreed by the Executive on 2 April 2014.


There were currently schemes to the value of £85m either Completed or Projects in Delivery (Funded). These had been allocated £71.7m from the Basic Need Capital Scheme and £10.9m from other sources as detailed in the report. There was currently a £2.4m budget shortfall for these schemes, but this could be covered by the programme contingency.  The updated budget contained a contingency of £750,000 to cover the costs of any primary bulge classes required for September 2016. However, potential space for bulge classes had been identified at a number of schools and it was hoped that call on this contingency could be minimised. In addition, a new scheme had been added at Castlecombe School. This project was the first phase in expanding the school to 2FE in KS2 and providing certainty of a place from 2017 to parents of pupils transferring from Dorset Road Infants School.


The increase in overall programme value reflected the increase in the estimated final cost of individual schemes as well as the addition of project management costs related to the programme’s delivery. The estimated costs of the scheme at Poverest Primary School had increased during the design development stage due to the need to address the topography of the site and provide a multi-use-games-arena to satisfy Sports England by substituting for playing field lost.  At Stewart Fleming Primary School costs had increased as a result of dealing with the constrained nature of the site, having to undertake more structural surveys and the phasing of works. As a result the scheme was likely to be delivered as two distinct projects. These increases in estimated final cost would be reported to the Executive.


The Committee noted that 45 projects within the Basic Need Programme had now been completed, with other significant projects such as Beacon House, Clare House Primary School and Parish CE Primary School nearing completion.




a)  the update list of schemes as outlined at section Appendix 1 of the report be noted;


b)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71a


Authorisation to Enter into Dynamic Purchasing Agreement with the South London consortium for the Purchasing of Independent Specialist SEN Placements



This Item was withdrawn following the publication of the agenda.


SEND Reforms - Draw Down and Carry Forward of Grant Funding pdf icon PDF 136 KB


Report ED16020


Members considered a report seeking approval for the carry forward of the SEN Implementation (New Burdens) Grant 2015/16, the London SEND Regional Lead Grant 2015/16, and the SEN Implementation (New Burdens) Grant 2016/17.  The Committee noted that at its meeting on 24 March 2015, the Executive approved the drawdown of £148,000 of the non-ring-fenced £176,000 SEN Implementation (New Burdens) Grant 2015/16, with the £28,000 remainder to remain in the Council’s Central Contingency for drawdown at a later date.  It was now requested that this £28,000 be carried forward and drawn-down into the 2016/17 budget.  A second non-ring-fenced grant was received for 2015/16, the SEND Regional Lead Grant of £62,000, which replaced the previous SEND Pathfinder Grant, and which was approved for drawdown by Executive on 14th October 2015.  Due to the lateness in the grant announcement and the time required to recruit temporary skilled staff, there was a projected underspend of £15,000 on the SEND Pathfinder Grant in 2015/16, and a £80,000 underspend on the SEN Implementation (New Burdens) Grant.  It was requested that these underspends were carried forward to the 2016/17 budget.  In addition, confirmation of further funding had recently been received, with the Council allocated £210,000 SEN Implementation (New Burdens) Grant 2016/17.  It was requested that £180,000 of this was drawn-down to the 2016/17 budget with the remaining £21,000 to remain in Central Contingency for drawdown at a later date if required.  This would provide a total of £303,000 funding for 2016/17.  The funding would be used to continue the extra capacity to deliver the transitions of statements to EHC plans or pupil resource agreements;  review current SEND services and provisions; embed the new policies and practices; develop robust systems for recording and monitoring the EHC process, Personal Budgets and ensure the workforce had a clear understanding of policy and practice. A total of £32,000 would be provided to third parties, and £271,000 used to employee a total of 7 FTE temporary staff.


RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to


  (a)  Approve the carry forward and drawdown of £28,000 grant for 2015/16 to the 2016/17 budget.

  (b)  Approve the carry forward to 2016/17 of the underspends in 2015/16 of £80,000 and £15,000 as detailed in the report.

  (c)  Approve the drawdown to the 2016/17 budget of part of SEN New Burdens Grant 2016/17 of £180,000, with the remaining £21,000 to stay in contingency ring-fenced for drawdown at a later date if required as detailed in the report.

  (d)  Approve the drawdown to the 2016/17 budget of part of SEN New Burdens Grant 2016/17 of £180,000, with the remaining £21,000 to stay in contingency ring-fenced for drawdown at a later date if required as detailed in the report.




The items comprise:


  • Minutes of the Education Budget Sub-Committee meeting held on 14 January 2016
  • Contract Activity Update


Members and Co-opted Members have been provided with advance copies of the briefing via e-mail.  The briefing is also available on the Council's Website at the following link:


Additional documents:


The Education Briefing comprised three reports:


  • Minutes of the Education Budget Sub-Committee meeting held on 14 January 2016
  • Contract Activity Update
  • Summary of the Select Committee Report on the Role of the Regional Schools Commissioner.





Update on Under Performing Schools pdf icon PDF 117 KB


Report ED16018


Members considered a report which provided an update on school performance and the implementation of the local policy of Academy conversion.  Since the last meeting of the Committee there had been a short inspection of Pratts Bottom Primary School which had retained its ‘Good’ outcome.  There had also been a monitoring visit of Grays Farm Primary School.  However, the 5 ‘Requires Improvement’ and 2 ‘Inadequate’ schools had not received inspections which were now overdue.


The Committee noted that Burwood School and Burnt Ash Primary School had converted on 1 February 2016 and there were a further six schools that were due to convert before September 2016.  If these conversions went ahead 82% of Bromley Primary Phase schools would have converted by the end of the 2015/16 Academic Year (excluding special school).


The Director of Education reported that two more schools had received inspections although the outcome of the inspections could not yet be made public.


RESOLVED: That the report be noted.


Elective Home Education (including children's safeguarding issues and missing children) pdf icon PDF 282 KB


Report ED16007


The Committee considered a report providing contextual information regarding Elective Home Education and Children Missing in Education including data appertaining to students within the Local Authority who fell within those categories.


It was compulsory for every child of school age to receive a full time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs they might have.  Over the past three years, there had been a consistent nationwide increase in the number of families choosing elective home education for all or part of their child’s education.  In the 2013/14 academic year, 171 pupils had been identified as receiving elective home education in Bromley.  This was for a range of reasons including an elective home education ethos, lack of progress at existing provision, bullying or health issues.


The Local Authority had no statutory rights to inspect home education provision but continued to be responsible for the safeguarding of children and young people.  Where a parent or carer chose to electively home educate their child, they were required to confirm their intention in writing to their child’s Head teacher, who then notified the Local Authority.  Once the Local Authority was notified, the Child Missing Education Officer would make initial contact with the family to ensure that they were fully aware of their education responsibilities, that the child had no unmet needs and that there were no safeguarding concerns.  The Education Advisor would undertake a follow up visit within 2-10 weeks, and if this visit was deemed satisfactory, further visits would be made at approximate six monthly intervals.  Should a family fail to engage with the Education Advisor and there was no evidence of a suitable education being provided to a child, the case was referred back to the Children Missing Education Officer to instigate a School Attendance Order.  Students who wished to return to mainstream education from elective home education were supported via the Fair Access Protocol. 


The Chairman noted that The Times Newspaper on Saturday 5 March had a whole page dedicated to Home Education and asked that this information be circulated to the Committee.


The Senior Education Welfare Officer provided three anecdotal case studies of elective home education in action.


In response to a question, the Senior Education Welfare Officer reported that it was important to note that once a parent had declared that there child was in elective home education they were considered to have an education base and would not be considered a priority for school places. 


The Chairman queried how parents of pupils that were GCSE age dealt with the provision of specialist equipment for subjects such as science.  The Senior Education Welfare Officer reported that there was no onus on parents to follow the National Curriculum so this data was not collected by the Local Authority.  However some parents did have access to specialist equipment and provision through established educational organisations such as the Open University.


In response to a question surrounding the academic achievements and future success of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.


Young People not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) and Strategies for Increasing Participation pdf icon PDF 263 KB

Additional documents:


Report ED16017


The Committee considered a report providing an update on the provision of support for young people who were identified as not participating in education, employment or training (NEET) or being at risk of not participating in education, employment or training, and the strategies in place to increase the participation of young people following the implementation of the Education and Skills Act 2008, under which all young people aged 16 and 17 years would be required to participate in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 years from September 2013 and 18 years from September 2014.  The Education and Skills Act 2008 also introduced duties on Local Authorities to promote the effective participation of young people in education, employment and training in their area and to make arrangements to identify young people not participating in education, employment or training.


The participation of young people aged 16 to 18 years in education, employment and training (EET) was recorded on a national database, from which statistical returns were provided to the Department for Education on a monthly basis around the number of young people who were not participating in education, employment or training or whose status was ‘not known’.


The total 16-18yr cohort for December 2015 was 10503.  The monthly adjusted NEET performance for Bromley for December 2015 was 344 (3.4%)  The December 2015 figures for NEET and ‘Not Known’ showed a significant improvement on December 2014 performance.  Statistical neighbour comparisons also indicated that Bromley’s December 2015 NEET performance for academic age 16-18 year olds was better than the average statistical neighbour performance of 3.8% and Bromley’s Not Known figure of 6.5% was much better than the average statistical neighbour performance of 9.1%.


Participation levels for young people of academic age 16 and 17 showed an increase in December 2015 compared with December 2014 and a number of activities had contributed to this including tracking process to identify young people’s participation in EET, support for young people who were NEET or at risk of NEET to access EET, and action plan to increase 16-18yr old participation rates.


The Committee noted the statistics provided in the appendices to the report.  The Chairman queried why Darwin Ward had such a low proportion of 16-17 year olds as meeting the requirements for participation.  The Committee heard that there were 9 young people in the ‘not participating’ cohort and this small number skewed the statistics.  Of the 9 young people in the cohort, 3 were NEET and 6 were unknown.


In response to a question, the Youth Support Programme Manager reported that it was slightly too early to determine whether there was more engagement from young people resulting from the expansion of Bromley College.  Officers would have a better perspective in a couple of months.  The Director of Education clarified that Bromley College had a good range of subjects for young people that were ready to engage however to date there was no sophisticated provision for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.


Bromley Adult Education College Update pdf icon PDF 249 KB


Report ED16025


The Committee considered a report setting out the criteria to be used for selecting the 2016/17 adult education curriculum in addition to an overview of the forthcoming devolution and area review plans for all post-16 education funding.  It was expected that this would influence future funding allocations and the type of provision for which they could be used from the academic year 2017/18 onwards.  The report also provided an update on the progress made in relation to the Equality Impact Assessment Plan.


Planning for the 2016/17 curriculum would start in March 2016.  The criteria used to determine the range of subjects would need to take into consideration  the recommendations in the Ofsted Inspection report of March 2015, the local priorities of Bromley council, national priorities for publically funded post-16 education providers, and the Skills Funding Agency Funding Rules for 2016/17.


It was envisaged that in 2016/17 all courses would meet one or more of the following criteria:


·  Provide progression into employability and/or further study

·  Lead to recognised qualifications

·  Meet national and local learning and skills priorities

·  Contribute to learners’ improved mental and/or physical health

·  Adhere to the principles of community engagement, particularly with regards to disadvantaged residents and communities in the Borough

·  Suitable accommodation and resources, either on BAEC premises or off site

·  Generate fee income or add value to the public grant through the Pound Plus principle.


The Head of Bromley Adult Education reported that a separate area review process for adult learning was being undertaken.  This would involve either a London-wide approach or a London regional approach and was seen as a very positive development.


The Chairman noted that some students who had been undertaking specialist courses had expressed concerns surrounding the relocation of specialist equipment.  The Head of Adult Education reported that in the coming days alternatives for the larger pieces of equipment would be considered.  Officers would soon begin liaising with organisations who could be in a position to take the larger pieces of equipment.


Members noted that prior to the reorganisation that had been agreed by Executive, the criteria for the adult education curriculum would have included a bullet point about providing leisure and recreational courses.  However, following the reorganisation of the Service, the majority of the curriculum would focus on disadvantaged adults.


In response to a question, the Head of Adult Education reported that part of the support programme for tutors would involve assisting them with finding suitable alternative accommodation and then signposting service users to the provision that was available.  The aim was to signpost service users through Bromley Council’s website and the Adult Education website. 


Members were informed that the curriculum was currently being developed and would be planned by the end of April 2016.  It would take longer to identify the provision that was externally available through tutors who no longer work with Bromley Adult Education.


In order for the Committee to have a clear understanding of the shape of Adult Education in the future the Chairman asked that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.




The Committee considered the annual report of the Education PDS Committee for 2014/15.  It was noted that the annual report would be provided to the Executive and Resources PDS Committee on 16th March 2016 and to Full Council on 11th April 2015. 


RESOLVED that the annual report of the Education PDS Committee be approved.



Education PDS Work Programme pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:


Report ED16027


The Chairman reported that in the 2016/17 municipal year there would be a new structure for the Committee.  The Committee would become the Education Select Committee with Portfolio Holder decisions being dealt with outside of the formal meetings.  Portfolio Holder decisions would be circulated to all Members by email prior to the decision being taken, once circulated decisions could be referred to Committee for further debate if necessary, either at a scheduled meeting of the Education Select Committee or an Executive and Resources PDS Committee meeting.   After decisions had been taken by the Portfolio Holder the usual ‘call-in’ rules would apply.


The Portfolio Holder would continue to provide an update to every meeting.


The Committee would consider topics at each meeting.  It was envisaged that at each meeting there would be a Short Item (a brief topic for the Committee to consider within a half an hour time slot) followed by the  Substantive Item (the main focus of the meeting) comprising evidence gathering, witness sessions etc., being brought an end with a summary by the Chairman.  Following the meeting the Chairman would produce a report outlining the Committee’s findings and this would be circulated to all Members by email.  The report could then be forwarded to Full Council for further debate if necessary.


For the first meeting in July 2016 it was suggested that the Short Item would be an ‘Overview of the Issues Affecting the Department’.  Suggestions for topics for future meetings included:


The Changing Education Landscape

Youth Offending Service

Identifying and Tackling School Under Performance

Troubled Families Initiative

Children’s Centres

Adult Education Outcomes

Helping Hard to Reach Group

Elective Home Education


Members were asked to forward their suggestions for further topics for consideration.


RESOLVED: That the Work Programme and the new structure for the Committee in 2016/17 be noted.



The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.



RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it was likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.



Authorisation to Award Contract for Top Up Places for SEN


Report ED16026


The Committee considered a report seeking authorisation for award of a Funding agreement for the delivery of specialist school places for pupils with special educational needs.


RESOLVED: That Executive be recommended to approve the proposals.


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