Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms, Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

27.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Angela Wilkins, Mary Capon (Co-opted Member representing the Church of England), Joan McConnell (Co-opted Member for Catholic Schools), Emmanuel Arbenser (Parent Governor Representative), and Councillor Tom Philpott.  Councillor Ian Dunn attended as substitute for Councillor Wilkins.

 

Following the meeting, apologies were received from Councillor Alan Collins and Aaron Regisford.

 

The Committee extended its congratulations to Councillor Tom Philpott and his wife on the birth of their son.

 

28.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no additional declarations of interest.

29.

MINUTES OF THE EDUCATION SELECT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 17 OCTOBER 2017 AND MATTERS OUTSTANDING FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17th October 2017, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

 

The Committee agreed that it would refer responsibility for the monitoring of responses to recommendations made by the Select Committee at previous meetings to the Education, Children, and Families Budget and Performance Monitoring Sub-Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That responsibility for monitoring responses to recommendations made by the Select Committee at previous meetings be referred to the Education, Children, and Families Budget and Performance Monitoring Sub-Committee.

 

30.

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 Thursday 18th January 2018 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the scrutiny committee.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

31.

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 Thursday 18th January 2018 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the Portfolio.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

32.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER UPDATE

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Education, Children and Families, Cllr Peter Fortune, addressed the Committee highlighting work undertaken within the Portfolio since the last meeting.

 

·  A number of schools had been visited by Ofsted inspectors with a high number of schools being assessed as either Good or Outstanding.

·  Efforts were being made across the Portfolio to ensure that the Local Authority was more visible to schools and that schools were aware of the support that the Local Authority could provide.

·  Harris Academy had recently hosted A National Citizen Service (NCS) event which had been attended by the Portfolio Holder and Minister Tracey Crouch MP.

·  A review of SEN provision across the Borough continued.

·  Provisional results from Key Stage 4 had been good with over ¾ of schools achieving above the national average.  2017 had seen strong academic results across the Borough.

·  In terms of building new schools in the borough, challenges continued.  The planning application for the Shaw Academy had been rejected by the Development Control Committee, and the application for Bullers Wood School for Boys was due to be reconsidered by the Development Control Committee on Thursday 25th January 2018.

·  There had been a positive outcome from Ofsted’s 5th Monitoring Visit of Children’s Services.  The letter received from Ofsted following the visited recorded that “no inadequate practice had been found and some aspects of Good practice had been identified.”

·  The Portfolio Holder had met with the Independent Chairman of the Bromley Safeguarding Children’s Board.

·  The Portfolio Holder had attended a meeting of the Living in Care Council and continued to attend the regular meetings of the Children’s Service Improvement Governance Board.

·  Members of the Committee were urged to go and see the fantastic work that was going on out in the Community.

·  Finally, the Portfolio Holder had extended his congratulation to his Executive Assistant, Councillor Tom Philpott, and his wife on the recent birth of their son.

 

The Portfolio Holder responded to questions, making the following comments:

 

·  As yet, it was not clear whether Shaw Academy would appeal the decision of the Development Control Committee to refuse the planning application and the best case for the Bullers Wood application would need to be presented to the Development Control Committee on Thursday.

·  A comparison of Bromley’s exam results with the top 10 authorities in the Country would be circulated to Members following the meeting.

·  Over the next few years the Local Authority’s relationship with schools in the Borough needed to fundamentally change.  The Local Authority needed to ensure that it was visible to schools, would work to overcome issues collectively, and was able to facilitate relationships with the wider Bromley partnership.

·  It was expected that in September 2018, there would be no primary schools in the Borough that were not academies; there would be only three schools maintained by the Local Authority (2 Special Schools and 1 Secondary School).

·  A date for the School Place Planning Working Group would be set once information had been collated and analysed.

 

Action  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

EDUCATION SELECT COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Minutes:

Report CDS18015

 

The Committee considered its work programme for the 2017/18 municipal year.  The Chairman highlighted that the end of the current term of office for councillors was drawing near, with elections due to take place in May 2018.  It was already clear that there would be at least 20 new Members of the Council following the elections.

 

It would be for the new Committee in the 2018/19 municipal year to determine the Committee’s ongoing work programme.

 

A Members emphasised the importance of attending the site visits that were arranged and set out at Appendix 2 of the report..

 

RESOLVED: That the work programme 2017/18 be noted.

34.

SCRUTINY OF THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Minutes:

The Interim Director of Education, who had been in post for just over two months, outlined her background and responded to questions, making the following comments:

 

·  The current Director would only be in post for a limited time and was working with the Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Education, Care and Health Services to permanently recruit to the post of Director of Education.

·  The previous Schools Partnership Board had been superseded by the rejuvenated Bromley Safeguarding Children Board and the Children’s Executive Board which was chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive and included representatives from partner organisations such as the Police, Health, Schools, Early Years, and Further Education, amongst others.

·  Schools were under no legal obligation to have a relationship with the Local Authority.  Therefore it was important for the Council to work in partnership with Schools and highlight its commitment and responsibilities towards schools.  Since joining the Council the Director of Education had identified that schools were keen to have a relationship with the Local Authority but they needed greater clarity surrounding lines of responsibility for vulnerable children.

·  In terms of developing a relationship with schools the way forward was to demonstrate that the Local Authority and Schools in the Borough had common objectives and could work together.  That a collaborative approach to working could bring about improvement.

·  The majority of academy trusts had followed non-statutory guidance on the construction of governing bodies and were concentrating on ensuring that people with the right skill set were appointed to governing bodies.  In terms of increasing the number of Local Authority Governors across the Borough, the way forward was for the Local Authority to make itself visible and demonstrate that an individual with a local authority background could bring valuable experience to a Governing Body.

·  The two biggest challenges for the future Director of Education were firstly, addressing the gap that currently exists between the highest achieving pupils in the Borough and those whose achievement was at risk.  In order to do this pathways would need to be mapped to bring clarity to the tiers of support and ensure that children received the right support.  Secondly, SEN provision needed to be reconfigured across the Borough, including alternative provision.  The alternative provision market would need to be stimulated and a quality assurance mechanism put in place. 

 

The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the Director of Education for her update.

35.

WITNESS SESSION: EARLY INTERVENTION AND TROUBLED FAMILIES

(A)  RACHEL DUNLEY – HEAD OF SERVICE EARLY INTERVENTION AND FAMILY SUPPORT, LBB

 

(B)  DEBORAH COLE – TEAM MANAGER (CHILDREN AND FAMILY CENTRE AND FSPP), LBB

 

(C)  BARRIE CULL – INTERNAL AUDITOR, LBB

 

Minutes:

The Committee had been provided with a range of written evidence in advance of the meeting.  This included a report explaining the early intervention offer in Bromley and setting out the background to the Tackling Troubled Families agenda and how this had been integrated within Early Intervention and Family Support Services, the Ofsted Inspection Framework, An executive summary of the review into integration and opportunity in isolated and deprived communities undertaken by Dame Louise Casey DBE CB, and Breaking the Lock: a new preventative model to improve the lives of vulnerable children and make families stronger.  In addition to this the Select Committee was  provided with feedback that had been received from families attending Children’s Centres and some relevant Case Studies.

 

The Chairman was pleased to welcome Rachael Dunley, Head of Early Intervention and Family Support (LBB), Deborah Cole, Team Manager: Children and Family Centre and FSPP (LBB), Barrie Cull, Internal Auditor (LBB), PS Alex Komoroczy (Metropolitan Police), and PCSO Sue Kennedy (Metropolitan Police) to the meeting.

 

Opening the discussion, the Chairman emphasised that it had always been the case that early intervention was critical and it was noted that recently the Independent Chairman of the Bromley Safeguarding Children Board had described Bromley’s Early intervention Service as “the jewel in Bromley’s crown”.

 

The Head of Early Intervention and Family Support set out the background to the Bromley Children’s Project which was now in its 22nd year and had evolved over time and now encompassed a number of family support services.  In recent years the service had become much more responsive to the needs of children and their families as well as the schools who provide valuable support to children.  The Bromley Children’s Project was now able to evidence the changes that were being made to the lives of families across the borough and the ways in which these families were engaging with the services that were offered.  In 2016/17 over 20,000 unique individuals had accessed the service.  That total had already been exceeded in 2017/18 with two months of the year left to run.  The aim of the service was to make a difference to families across the Borough and be able to evidence the difference that was being made.  One area that had been identified for improvement was ensuring that school were kept informed.  To address this, information events were being held for schools which aimed to highlight the services that were on offer.  Enhanced visibility of the service would ensure that families would get support as early as possible.

 

The Team Manager at Castlecombe Children and Family Centre outlined her role to the Committee and provided an example of early intervention at work, highlighting that with the right support it was possible for families to make sustainable changes that would provide long term benefit.

 

PC Alex Komoroczy, and PCSO Sue Kennedy, who covered the wards of Mottingham, Chislehurst and Bickley, outlined the involvement of the Police in early intervention work explaining that weekly contact  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

COMMITTEE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Minutes:

The Chairman requested that Members forward any proposed recommendations for inclusion in the report to the Committee Clerk.  Once the report and recommendations had been drafted the report could be approved by the Committee via email and referred to Full Council.

 

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