Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms, Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Mary Cooke and Aaron Regisford.  Councillor Stephen Wells and Tajana Reeves attended as their respective substitutes.

 

2.

APPOINTMENT OF CO-OPTED MEMBERS 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

The Select Committee considered a report which sought confirmation of the appointment of Co-opted members to the Education, Children and Families Select Committee for 2017/18.

 

The Chairman reported that Mrs Alison Regester had tendered her resignation from the Committee earlier in the day.  Mrs Regester had sat on this and other Committees as Pre-School and Early Years Representative for nearly twenty years and the Chairman thanked her for the dedication and support she had shown to the Council and the residents of the Borough during those twenty years.  The knowledge, expertise and insight she had brought to committee meetings had been invaluable and her involvement would be missed.  The Committee wished Mrs Regester the very best for the future.

 

RESOLVED: That

 

1.  Mr Emmanuel Arbenser be appointed, with voting rights to the Education, Children & Families Select Committee for 2017/18 as Special School Parent Governor.

 

2.  Mrs Mary Capon representing the Church of England and Mrs Joan McConnell representing the Roman Catholic Church be appointed as Co-opted Members to the Education PDS Committee for 2017/18 with voting rights;

 

3.   The Mr Aaron Regisford be appointed without voting rights to the Education, Children & Families Select Committee for 2017/18as Young Peoples Representative.

 

4.   That a Pre School and Early Years Representative be sought for 2017/18.

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Councillor Nicholas Bennett JP declared that he was a Governor of London and South East College and of Southborough Primary School.

 

Councillor Stephen Wells declared that he was a Member of the Foundation Court of St Olaves and St Saviours School.

 

Mrs Alison Regester, Pre-School Settings and Early Years representative, declared that she ran a private day nursery in the Borough. 

 

Mrs Joan McConnell, Church representative, declared that she was a Governor of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.

 

Mrs Mary Capon, Church representative, declared that she was an employee of the Aquinas Church of England Education Trust, that her husband was a governor at Newstead Wood and her daughter attended Newstead Wood.

 

Councillor Chris Pierce declared that he was a Governor at St Philomena’s Catholic Primary School.

 

Councillor Peter Fortune declared that he was a Member of the Court of University of Kent and that his wife was a teacher at an academy in the Borough.

 

Councillor Kim Botting declared that she was a Governor at Blenheim Primary School.

 

Councillor Neil Reddin declared that he had children who attended schools in the Borough and that his wife was a Governor of two primary schools in the Borough.

 

 

 

 

4.

MINUTES OF THE EDUCATION SELECT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 23 APRIL 2017, 9 MAY 2017 & 10 MAY 2017 pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings of the Education Select Committee held on 23rd March 2017, and 9th May 2017 and the Education, Children & Families Select Committee on 10th May 2017, were agreed and signed as a correct record.

5.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Minutes:

The Select Committee noted an updated report setting out responses to previous Select Committee recommendations.

6.

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 22nd June 2017 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the scrutiny committee.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

7.

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 22nd June 2017 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the Portfolio.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

8.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER UPDATE

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder gave an update to Members on work being undertaken across the Education Portfolio.

 

Since the last meeting the Portfolio Holder had been on a number of visits.  This included an informative and interesting visit to Glebe School which had been hosted by the Head Teacher, Mr Keith Seed.  The Portfolio Holder reported how the School did wonderful work with children with Special Educational Needs.  During the visit the Portfolio Holder had attended an internal Council meeting which bought together staff and students to discuss issues.  The Portfolio Holder had also been invited to visit Westminster Academy which was run by the Harris Foundation.  A number of Bromley children attended Westminster Academy.  A further visit made by the Portfolio Holder was to the Bromley Rotary Club Education Day which had involved a debating society.

 

The Portfolio Holder had also attended Link and LA Governor Forums.  These had been arranged by Michelle Graydon at the Octavo Partnership and the Portfolio Holder conveyed his thanks to Ms Graydon for arranging these sessions.

 

The official report setting out the outcome of the inspection of the Bromley Youth Offending Service (YOS) had now been published and recognised the progress that had been made in improving the YOS.  The Service had gone from 1 star to 3 star with one element judged to be 4 star.  The Portfolio Holder conveyed his thanks to the staff and management of the YOS for their work in driving improvement.

 

In relation to Children’s Services, managers had been working hard to recruit staff and deliver the Council’s Caseload Promise.  The Portfolio Holder had recently filmed a recruitment video to encourage more social workers to join the Council’s workforce.  The Portfolio Holder had also attended an Apprenticeship Day and had actively encouraged potential staff to join Bromley.  The Council was now working hard to improve communication with Partners in order to drive further service improvement.  To this end, the Portfolio Holder had attended a constructive meeting with the Independent Chairman of the Bromley Safeguarding Children Board to discuss work being undertaken to deliver the actions within the Children’s Service Improvement Plan.

 

In April, the Portfolio Holder, along with the Leader of the Council, Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive, and Chairman of the Children’s Service Improvement Governance Board, had attended a Quality and Improvement Practice Week.  This provided Members and the Senior Management Team with the opportunity to see first-hand the work undertaken with children and families.

 

The Portfolio Holder reported that the third Ofsted Monitoring visit had been undertaken in May 2017, and the letter setting out the outcome of the Visit (which was contained in the agenda papers for the meeting) demonstrated that the Service was now moving in the right direction although there was still more work to be done.  The Portfolio Holder confirmed that Frankie Sulke, the DfE appointed Children’s Commissioner for Bromley, had now completed her allotted time with the Council and had submitted her report to the DfE, although due to Ministerial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

8a

Progress on Implementing Children's Service Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 315 KB

Minutes:

Report ED18009

 

The Select Committee considered a report which set out the progress that had been made in addressing the 18 Recommendations that had been made by Ofsted following the inspection of the Council’s services for Children in Need of help and protection and Children Looked After.  The Ofsted inspection had taken place between 11 April 2016 and 5 May 2016 and following its inspection Ofsted had found the Council’s services to be inadequate in all areas.

 

The Council had developed a Children’s Service Improvement Plan in conjunction with partner agencies and this had been submitted to Ofsted in September 2016.  The Plan had contained 10 priorities and 306 actions, reflecting work needed to address the 18 Ofsted recommendations.  Ofsted acknowledged that the Improvement Plan was ambitious for children and young people in the Borough, extending beyond the recommendations made by Ofsted.

 

The report considered by the Select Committee provided a comprehensive update on the actions taken to date in response to each of the 18 Ofsted recommendations.

 

The Chairman requested that when reports were written the author of the report consider their audience and ensure that acronyms and technical terms were clearly set out to assist readers with limited knowledge in their understanding of the issues.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

9.

EDUCATION, CHILDREN & FAMILIES INFORMATION ITEMS pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee noted the information items that had been circulated in advance of the meeting.

 

10.

EDUCATION, CHILDREN & FAMILIES SELECT COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 358 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD17099

 

The Committee considered its work programme for 2017/18 and noted the recommendations for items for consideration made by the Education Select Committee on 9 May 2017.

 

The Chairman highlighted that the name of the Sub-Committee had been changed to reflect the extended remit of the Sub-Committee.  There was still one vacancy on the Sub-Committee should any Member wish to join.

 

The Pre-Schools and Early Years Representative noted that later in the year the Select Committee would be considering the 30 Hour Challenge.  This was a big change for the sector and was a significant challenge for providers.  50% of Pre School Settings were indicating that they would offer “some” of the additional hours but it was not yet clear how many additional hours providers would be in a position to offer.  Mrs Regester urged Ward Members to contact the pre-school settings in their wards in order to get regular updates.

 

The Chairman asked that a complete list of Early Years Settings in the Borough, broken down by ward, be provided to the Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That the recommended work plan for 2017/18 set out in the report be endorsed.

11.

Adult Education Update pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

The Select Committee considered a report which provided an overview of the impacts arising from the 2016 restructure of the Council’s adult education service.

 

On 10 February 2016 the Council’s Executive endorsed the reorganisation of the adult education service, known as Bromley Adult Education College (BAEC).  The reorganisation encompassed a refocusing of the curriculum offer to increase the level of resource used to support vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, a reduction in staffing levels across the service, and withdrawal from the Widmore Centre in Bromley.  The Widmore Centre had operated as the main administrative centre for the Service since September 1998.  The Kentwood Centre became the new administrative centre for the Service with effect from August 2016.  The Governing body of BAEC was dissolved at the end of the 2015/16 academic year and a new body, known as the Community Learning Advisory Consortium (CLAC) was formed.  CLAC was chaired by the Portfolio Holder for Education, Children & Families and had representation from various sections of the local community, other teams with the Education Care and Health Services (ECHS) Department and the BAEC student body.

 

Whilst the restructure reduced the volume of courses open to public enrolment, BAEC continued to retain a reasonably wide range of provision within its mainstream offer for members of the public.  Up to the end of April 2017, a total of 462 courses had taken place.  The accredited provision on offer retained a strong focus on English and maths, including GCSE and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).  Managers continued to work in partnership with Job Centre Plus to offer specific training and qualifications for unemployed adults, including Universal Job Match, CV writing and interview skills.

 

Work was underway to address areas for improvement identified during the Ofsted inspection in February 2017.  This formed the key process of a post inspection action plan.  Ofsted had concluded that the reorganisation of the Service had been well managed and successful with regard to bringing about a closer integration of the work of adult education with that of the Council.  Many of the areas for improvement identified by Ofsted in February 2017 had been highlighted by the Service as part of its own self-assessment process and actions to address the issues built into a quality improvement plan. 

 

The Committee noted that the restructure had clearly helped to focus the work of BAEC, ensuring it was well placed to help the Council meet its stated aim of focusing support on the Borough’s more vulnerable residents and enabling a more joined up approach with that of other Council Services.

 

In response to a question, the Head of Service for Early Years, Schools Standards and Adult Education reported that a number of pressures on the Service had appeared in the Autumn Term following the relocation of key staff and functions.  It had taken time for staff to adjust to the different ways of working and much of the Autumn Term had been taken up with getting used to the adjustments.  However, there was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

CHILDREN'S SERVICE LANDSCAPE IN BROMLEY WITNESS SESSION

(A) JIM GAMBLE, CHAIRMAN, BROMLEY SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN’S BOARD

 

(B) ISOBEL CATTERMOLE, CHAIRMAN, BROMLEY CHILDREN’S SERVICE IMPORVEMENT GOVERNANCE BOARD

 

(C) ADE ADETOSOYE, DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: EDUCATION CARE AND HEALTH SERVICES, LBB

 

(D)  JANET BAILEY, INTERIM DIRECTOR: CHILREN’S SERVICES, LBB

Minutes:

The Committee had been provided with a range of written evidence in advance of the meeting.  This included a report providing an overview of the work of the Bromley Safeguarding Children’s Board, a report setting out the role of the Children’s Service Improvement Governance Board, a report setting out the aims and objectives of the ‘Towards Excellence for Children in Bromley’ initiative, a letter setting out the outcome of the third Ofsted Monitoring Visit in relation to Children’s Services in Bromley, and an overview of the Bromley Children’s Service Department.  A written submission had also been received from Ravenswood School and this was tabled at the meeting.

 

In addition to the written evidence contained within the agenda pack provided to the Committee, the following information was also tabled at the meeting:

 

·  A chart detailing the Children’s Service Leadership and Governance Arrangements for Partnership working;

·  Terms of Reference for the Safer Bromley Partnership Strategic Group

·  The Constitution of the Safer Bromley Partnership

·  The Safer Bromley Partnership Strategy 2016-2019

·  Bromley Safeguarding Children Board Structure 2017

·  Membership of the Safeguarding Children Board (June 2017)

·  Youth Offending Service Governance Arrangements

·  Membership of the Youth Offending Service Management Board

·  Terms of Reference of the Youth Offending Service Management Board

 

The Chairman was pleased to welcome the following witnesses to the meeting:

Mr Jim Gamble QPM, Independent Chairman of Bromley Safeguarding Children’s Board

Mrs Isobel Cattermole, Independent Chairman of Bromley’s Children’s Service Improvement Governance Board

Mr Ade Adetosoye, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Education, Care and Health Services

Mrs Janet Bailey, Interim Director of Children’s Social Care

 

Jim Gamble QPM, Independent Chairman of Bromley Safeguarding Children Board

 

In providing details of his professional background, Mr Gamble explained to the Select Committee that he had been a professional Police Officer in Northern Ireland and during his career had worked in the anti-terrorist intelligence unit in Belfast, before becoming Deputy Chief Constable of the National Crime Squad, which later merged into the Serious Organised Crime Agency. 

 

Throughout his career, Mr Gamble had been involved in combating child sexual exploitation and he was responsible for one of the earliest reviews into Child Sexual Exploitation – Operation Ore.

 

In 2013, Mr Gamble was appointed as the Independent Chairman of City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board which in September 2016, became the first Local Safeguarding Children Board in the country to receive an ‘Outstanding’ judgement, following an Ofsted inspection. 

 

Mr Gamble was appointed Independent Chairman of Bromley Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) in January 2017.  The Committee heard how Mr Gamble relished the challenge presented by Bromley in terms of implementing improvements to safeguarding practices across the Borough.  Mr Gamble highlighted that there was a clear apatite and enthusiasm to learn and improve in Bromley coupled with optimism.  The role of Independent Chairman of the Safeguarding Children Board was one of scrutiny, challenge and broader partnership working.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman of the Select Committee concerning the actions that had been taken since taking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

COMMITTEE CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Minutes:

It was agreed that the first half an hour of the Education Children and Families Budget and Performance Sub Committee would be set aside for consideration of recommendations arising from the Committee’s review of the Children’s Service Landscape in Bromley.

 

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