Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

21.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Christopher Pierce and Mrs Joan McConnell.  Councillor Julian Bennington attended as substitute for Councillor Pierce. 

22.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded the Committee that the Declarations of Interest made at the meeting on 25 May 2016 were taken as read.

 

Councillor Bennington declared that he was a governor at Charles Darwin Primary School.

23.

MINUTES OF THE EDUCATION SELECT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 15 SEPTEMBER 2016 pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2016 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

24.

QUESTIONS TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND COUNCILLORS ATTENDING THE MEETING

To hear questions to the Committee received in writing by the Democratic Services Team by 5.00pm on 11th January 2017 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the Committee.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

25.

QUESTIONS TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND COUNCILLORS ATTENDING THE MEETING

To hear questions to the Portfolio Holder received in writing by the Democratic Services Team by 5.00pm on 11th January 2017 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the Portfolio.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

26.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER UPDATE

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder gave an update to Members on work being undertaken across the Education Portfolio.  A number of visits to primary schools in the Borough had been undertaken since the last meeting.  From these visits it was clear that a number of the schools offered high quality provision and achieved excellent results.  The Portfolio Holder highlighted concerns around the widening gaps in achievement and reported that this would be a key focus for the Portfolio.

 

Since the last meeting the Portfolio Holder had attended the Bromley Trust Academy (BTA) Awards Ceremony.  The Portfolio Holder highlighted how pleasing it was to see the young people being rewarded and recognised in this way for their achievements.

 

Arrangements were in place for the next meeting of the School Place Planning Working Group.  The first meeting would take place on 7th February 2017 and an email had been sent out to members of the Committee in relation to membership of the working group.  The Portfolio Holder stressed the importance of this work and the need to identify more school places across the Borough.  Members attention was drawn to the consultation that was currently being undertaken in relation to a Health and Wellbeing School in the Borough which was an exciting and innovative initiative.  The Portfolio Holder also reported that, with the support of colleagues in Education, an appeal had now been lodged in relation to the refusal of the planning application relating to Farnborough Primary School.  Two school planning applications were due to be considered by the Development Control Committee at its next meeting.  One was recommended for approval and one for refusal but efforts would be made to support the schools to get their applications approved by the Committee.  The Portfolio Holder stated that he believed that the need for the additional capacity that these applications would deliver had been firmly established.  In response to a question concerning community use of school sites, the Portfolio Holder reported that a number of schools were opening their facilities for wider community use in an effort to engage with and inspire parents and pupils.

 

The Portfolio Holder reported that 8 out of the 10 remaining primary schools in the Borough were in the process of converting to academy status.  Consideration now had to be given to how the support for the remaining schools was configured as the Local Authority was now reaching the tipping point where in was no longer viable to maintain the current level of support for so few schools.

 

Since the last meeting the Community Learning Advisory Consortium (CLAC) had been established. The Consortium, chaired by the Portfolio Holder, was tasked with supporting the adult education service to target and gain access to the most vulnerable adults in the Borough so that the funding received could be prioritised for those most in need of learning interventions. The consortium met for the first time in October 2016 and the next meeting was planned for 21 February 2017.

 

Inspectors would be back to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

EDUCATION SELECT COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD17011

 

The Committee considered its work programme for 2016/17.  Members noted that the update it was due to receive on the Youth Offending Service improvement Plan had been postponed until 23 March 2017.  At the next meeting Members of the Committee would be asked to complete a short questionnaire concerning their experience of the select committee process in order to evaluate the pilot.

 

RESOLVED: That the updated work programme be noted.

28.

EDUCATION PORTFOLIO PLAN 'RAG' RATING pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered an information briefing which provided the Education Portfolio Holder and the Select Committee with an update on progress against the 2016/17 Academic Year Education Portfolio Plan priorities as agreed following the Education Select Committee meeting on 15th September 2016.

 

A member raised concerns surrounding the objective of reducing exclusions suggesting that the objective should be reworded to differentiate between short-term and permanent exclusions.  The Director of Education agreed that the objective should be reworded to place an emphasis on reducing permanent exclusions.  It was important that schools were identifying pupil needs as early as possible.  There were currently a worrying number of primary permanent exclusions as children should have their needs identified early in order for the right support to be provided.  Members discussed the challenges faced by schools in terms of delivering an engaging offer for all pupils with a narrowing of the curriculum.

 

In response to a question relating to respite offered prior to a permanent exclusion the Director of Education reported that there was a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in the Borough which was an academy.  This offered both primary and secondary provision.  The Local Authority had a contract with the PRU and purchased a number of places.  Schools were then able to refer through the Core Panel which also provided the opportunity for consideration of whether respite would be appropriate.  A Member suggested that it would be helpful for the Committee to be provided with information concerning the total number of applications made by schools for respite and the number of these applications which had been successful.  This would help the Committee to evaluate the success of the interventions.

 

In relation to Priority 3 – Encouraging excellent educational opportunities from the early years through to further and higher education for all Bromley children and young people, including those with Special Education Needs – the Chairman requested that the Committee be provided with information (ward by ward) on the number of children (including percentages) that had to go out of the Borough for their education.

 

The Chairman noted that at a future meeting the Committee would be evaluating the reforms to Adult Education that had been implemented.

 

29.

SUPPORTING UNDER PERFORMING PUPILS WITNESS SESSION pdf icon PDF 569 KB

(A)  RACHAEL DUNLEY, BROMLEY CHILDREN’S PROJECT MANAGER

 

(B)  JAKI MOODY, PRIMARY ADVISOR

 

(C)  KIERAN OSBORNE, CHAIRMAN, SCHOOLS PARTNERSHIP BOARD

 

(D)  JULIA CAVALLI OR MARY ÇAVA, HEADS OF SEN

 

(E)  HELEN PRIEST, HEAD TEACHER, BROMLEY VIRTUAL SCHOOL

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman was pleased to welcome Ms Rachael Dunley, Bromley Children’s Project Manager; Ms Jaki Moody, Primary Education Advisor for English; Mr Kieran Osborne, Chairman of the Schools’ Partnership Board; Ms Mary Çava, Joint Head of SEN; and Ms Helen Priest, Head Teacher of Bromley Virtual School to the meeting.  In advance of the meeting the Committee had been provided with a range of written evidence including a report providing an overview of performance in Early Years, KS1, KS2, GCSE and A-Level, a report providing an overview of the outcomes of pupils with statements of SEND/EHC Plans, a report providing an overview of the education outcomes for LBB children in care, a report providing an overview of early years including information on families accessing children’s centres and, an articles from October 2016, November 2016, and December 2016 editions of The Times Magazine.  In addition to the information provided in the agenda the Committee were provided with supplementary information on transition from early years into schools and some further information about the pupil premium including a scholarly article about why it is so difficult to know about the impact.

 

Ms Jaki Moody, Primary Education Advisor for English

 

As part of its review, the Committee explored the accuracy of data in relation to the performance of pupils in receipt of free school meals (FSM) compared to the accuracy of other available data such as ethnicity, English as a second language and immigration status.  The Primary Education Advisor for English confirmed that there was a range of data that could be used to track performance and different conclusions could be drawn when analysing different data.

 

The Chairman of the Schools Partnership Board suggested that the group that was the main cause for concern in relation to underperformance was white working class boys.  The Committee heard that the ‘perfect storm’ in terms of underperformance was white, working class boys identified as having special educational needs.

 

The Pre-School Settings and Early Years representative suggested that it would be helpful for Members of the Committee to be provided with information on all the assessments that were done in pre-school settings before the end of the Foundation Stage.  This could include the number of referrals for SEN as this was the group of children identified as not making the progress expected in the earliest stage of education.

 

The Committee explored the new system of assessment that had been introduced in 2016.  This had considerably raised the bar in terms of expected achievement and a number of children, especially those that had been struggling to meet expectations had not had sufficient time to adapt to the new assessment criteria in order to demonstrate improvement in performance.  As a result of this, in 2016 there had been an increase in the gap between the achievement of pupils eligible for FSM and those that were not eligible.  In 2015 the gap had narrowed.  The Chairman noted that in relation to KS 4, when narrowing the Attainment 8 measure down  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

COMMITTEE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Minutes:

The Committee agreed that a further meeting be arranged once the minutes had been published to enable Members to contribute to the report that would be presented to the next Council meeting.

 

Original Text: