Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Mary Capon.  Cllr Philpott also sent his apologies.



Education Select Committee Co-Opted Members 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 122 KB


Report CSD16114


The Committee considered a report outlining Co-opted Membership appointments to the Education PDS Committee for 2016/17.


The Chairman welcomed Mr Arbenser, the new Special Schools Representative to his first meeting.


The Committee extended its congratulations to Mrs Regester who would be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of her day nursery on Friday 16th September 2016.


Mrs Regester thanked the committee and, in relation to the recommendation before the Committee, noted that her representation extended beyond Pre-School settings to include Early Years and Childcare.  It was agreed that the resolution of the Committee would be amended to reflect this role.




1.  That the following Parent Governor Representative appointments be made to the  Education PDS Committee for 2016/17 with voting rights:


·  Ms Mylene Williams, Primary Parent Governor

·  Emmanuel Arbenser, 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 2016/17 with voting rights;


3.  The following Education PDS Co-opted Membership appointments be made to the Education PDS Committee for 2016/17 without voting rights:


·  Mrs Alison Regester as Pre-School Settings, Early Years and Childcare Representative

·  Miss Tajana Reeves as Young Peoples Representative





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


Further to the declarations that had been made at the previous meeting, Cllr Kim Botting noted that she declaration that she had made as a Governor at Blenheim School had not been recorded in the minutes.


In relation to the substantive item on the agenda, Councillor Bennett declared that he was a Governor of Bromley College.




RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 25 May 2016 be agreed, and signed as an accurate record.



Additional documents:


Report CSD16129


The Committee considered a report setting out the responses that had been received following the publication of the Select Committee’s first report – the Education Landscape in Bromley.  The purpose of this enquiry was to examine the role of the Council in education once all maintained schools had become academies.  The Committee made 12 recommendations in total.  The Portfolio Holder for Education and the Director of Education provided responses to eight of the recommendations.  The Portfolio Holder for Renewal and Recreation provided responses to three of the recommendations.  The Development Control Committee considered the Select Committee’s report at its meeting on 6th September 2016 and the relevant minute, attached at Appendix A, was tabled at the meeting.  The Executive considered the Select Committee’s report at its meeting on 14th September 2016 and the Chairman indicated that Members had broadly supported the recommendations that had been made.


The Chairman noted the blandness of some of the responses that had been provided by the Portfolio Holder for Education and the Director.  In response, the Portfolio Holder indicated that he was happy to put some more flesh on the bone of the responses.


In relation to the response provided to recommendation 2.2, the Chairman sought more information about the Schools’ Partnership Board and the Portfolio Holder explained the role of that Board and emphasised its importance as a mechanism for supporting and increasing collaborative working.  The Portfolio Holder confirmed that representations had been made to a number of agencies concerning strengthening the requirement and duty to co-operate.  The Senior Education Welfare Officer reported that earlier in the year, the Government had published guidance with elements of legislation making it compulsory for all schools to report data to the Local Authority.  The Education Department in Bromley was currently in the process of establishing systems to ensure that data was received from school.  The Portfolio stressed that within the Government’s Academy agenda Bromley was a leader in the field but as a result of this Bromley was to a certain extent having to navigate its way in the dark. 


In response to a question, the Director of Education confirmed that invitations to the Schools’ Partnership Board had been positively received.  As the document that had been tabled (attached as Appendix B to the minutes) demonstrated, a range of agencies would be represented on the Board including the Regional Schools Commissioner, Primary, Secondary and Special School Head Teachers, Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group, Public Health, the Police, the Virtual Headteacher amongst others.  The Director of Education confirmed that the Harris Academy Trust would also be represented on the Board and it was clear that there was a determination amongst all the agencies to work collaboratively for the benefit of all young people in the Borough.


In relation to recommendation 2.4, the representative for Catholic Schools highlighted that the position of the Government in relation to the criteria for establishing new faith schools had now significantly changed and this was a huge relief  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.



To hear questions to the Committee received in writing by the Democratic Services Team by 5.00pm on Friday 9th September 2016 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the Select Committee.




No questions were received.



To hear questions to the Portfolio Holder received in writing by the Democratic Services Team by 5.00pm on Friday 9th September 2016 and to respond.  Questions must relate to the work of the Portfolio.



No questions were received.




The Portfolio Holder updated the Committee on the work being undertaken across the Education Portfolio.  The Committee heard that the Summer months had been busy with meetings with a number of partners and agencies taking place.  The Portfolio Holder had met the Regional Schools Commissioner and discussed data collection and the tipping point for compulsory academy conversions.  The Portfolio Holder had also met the Education Funding Agency to discuss new schools that were opening.  The Portfolio Holder stressed that the Council’s Education Department had no control over where new schools in the Borough were located as this decision rested with external agencies.  A number of new schools for the Borough had been approved but did not yet have a location and this presented challenges.


The Portfolio Holder reported that there were eleven remaining maintained Primary Schools in the Borough.  It was important that the Local Authority worked with the schools to identify a way forward and that good relationships were developed and maintained.


The Key Stage 2 results across the Borough had been phenomenal with Bromley being ranked 3rd nationally for achievement.  The Education Department was currently contacting secondary schools for Key Stage 4 results as there was no duty on the schools to automatically provide this information.  The results that had been seen by the Department had so far looked positive.  It was anticipated that the Schools’ Partnership Board would assist with the flow of this type of information between the Local Authority and schools.


Disappointingly, there was evidence that the gap in attainment between the those pupils in the Borough in receipt of Free School Meals and those not was widening.  The Portfolio Holder stated that in a Borough such as Bromley the situation was very concerning and work would need to be undertaken with hard to reach groups in order to reverse this worrying trend.  The Chairman of the Select Committee indicated that this was something that could be reviewed by the Committee at its meeting in January when the Committee would consider the help provided to underperforming pupils.




Additional documents:


Report ED17010


The Portfolio Holder for Education presented the draft portfolio priorities and aims for the 2016/17 academic year with priority outcomes reflecting the Building a Better Bromley vision for the children and young people within the Borough.  The Plan also set out the direction of travel for education within the Borough.


In considering Priority 3, aim 3f, a Member asked the Portfolio Holder to confirm whether any primary maintained schools would be forced to convert to academy status, either through the principal of ‘critical mass’ or for any other reason.  In response the Portfolio Holder confirmed that he did not foresee any schools within the Borough being forced to convert as the local authority was seeking to work and communicate with schools in order to achieve 100% voluntary conversion.  In response to a question concerning the position of the department in relation to special schools, the Portfolio Holder reported that one such school had already converted.  The Portfolio Holder viewed special schools slightly differently to mainstream schools as it was essential to ensure that all the necessary support mechanisms were in place prior to the schools embarking on academy status.  In response to a question of what would happen in the event that schools did not convert, the Director of Education, acknowledging that there was currently a period of changing Government policy, highlighted that the Education White Paper published by the previous Conservative Government had indicated that once a local authority had reached tipping point schools would be forced to convert as part of a multi academy trust.  The position for special schools was different as these schools worked directly with the Local Authority’s Special Educational Needs department.  It was the intention of the Local Authority to work with all schools to identify the best way forward.


In response to a question concerning any learning that LB Bromley could take from the investigation that had been conducted into test results at Harris Academies in Tottenham, the Director of Education confirmed that within Bromley there were robust moderation processes in place to ensure that test results accurately reflected performance.  The Local Authority was in the process of commissioning a new provider for this moderation but the Director was confident that standards of moderation would remain high.  A number of Headteachers within the Borough had indicated that they felt over moderated this Summer but the Director stressed that this robust process should give the Local Authority, parents, pupils and schools confidence in the Bromley results that had been published.


In response to a question from the Chairman concerning is thoughts on grammar schools, particularly in the North of the Borough, the Portfolio Holder confirmed that he was broadly supportive of grammar schools and would welcome applications for such schools.  The Portfolio Holder reported that he believed that grammar schools would be well received by a number of residents within the Borough.  In making these comments that Portfolio Holder stressed the need to ensure that the was a range of provision across  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17a




Report CSD16131


The Committee considered its work programme for 2016/17 and noted the following amendments:


·  The meeting of the Education Budget Sub Committee due to be held on 27 September had been rescheduled to take place on 1 November 2016.

·  In January 2017, the substantive agenda item was Helping Under Performing Pupils.

·  An item “Review of Select Committee Processes” would be scheduled for the Committee’s meeting in March 2017.


In respect of pupil place planning, the Portfolio Holder confirmed that he would be chairing a Cross Council working Group that would be convened to review this issue.  The Working Group would be established in the coming weeks.


RESOLVED: That the updated work programme be noted and agreed.



(a) Neil Miller, Headteacher, Bromley Beacon Academy and Bromley Trust Academy


(b) Jenny MacDonald, Senior Education Welfare Officer, LBB


(c) Debbie Partington, Lead Teacher for Home and Hospital Tuition, LBB


(d) Kevin Grant, Home Tutor, Alternative Education and Welfare, LBB


The Chairman was pleased to welcome Mr Neil Miller, Headteacher Bromley Beacon Academy and Bromley Trust Academy; Ms Jenny MacDonald, Senior Education Welfare Officer, LBB; Ms Debbie Partington, Lead Teacher for Home and Hospital Tuition, LBB; and Mr Kevin Grant, Home Tutor, Alternative Education and Welfare, LBB.  In advance of the meeting the Committee had been provided with a range of written evidence including a report providing an overview of alternate education in Bromley, a written statement from a home educator based in the Borough, an article on home education from a July 2016 edition of The Times Magazine and an article entitled Call to Review Home School Rules from the 4 August edition of the Municipal Journal.  In addition to this, Mr Neil Miller had provided supplementary information on Bromley Beacon Academy and Bromley Trust Academy under separate cover.


Neil Miller, Headteacher, Bromley Beacon Academy and Bromley Trust Academy


Mr Miller reported that staff had been busy preparing and making ready the new provision over the Summer months.  The report provided to the Committee in advance of the meeting set out the present structure of the provision at Bromley Educational Trust.


Mr Miller explained that Bromley Beacon Academy was not an Alternate Provision but stressed that it was important to understand the differences between the provisions.  Bromley Beacon Academy was greatly expanding at a rapid pace and, pleasingly, significant improvements had come with this expansion.


Bromley Trust Academy was an Alternate Provision.  Last year every pupil had finished Key Stage 4 with at least one qualification.  The positive results that had been achieved showed a great improvement in terms of progress being made.  Attendance had also improved, although the data for previous years had been incorrectly recorded which meant that this improvement was not evidenced in the statistics provided to the Committee.  Significant improvements had also been made in terms of behaviour, with the number of emergency call outs to Bromley Beacon Academy reducing from 58 in 2013/14 to 2 in 2015/16 and a similar reduction with BTA.  Positive feedback was received through the Parent Survey and last year every Year 11 student had undertaken at least one week’s work experience which has previously never happened.  Mr Miller outlined the key risks to Bromley Beacon Academy and the Chairman suggested it would be helpful if Mr Miller could provide a further written submission setting out the key risks in more detail along with suggestions surrounding recommendations that the Committee could make in order to address these risks.


The Chairman recalled that when Members had last visited the pupil referral unit (PRU) approximately 5 years ago, the unit had been in a state of flux with high levels of post-registration truancy; the Chairman sought assurances that this type of truancy was now under control.  In response, Mr Miller suggested that no comparison could be made with the present provision and the PRU five years ago as it would be akin to comparing apples with pears.  Mr Miller stated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.




The Committee agreed that it would await the minutes from the meeting and the additional evidence provided by the witnesses prior to formally drawing up and agreeing recommendations.  The Chairman would draft the report and, if necessary, a further meeting could be held in order to agree the report and the recommendations.

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Appendix B pdf icon PDF 82 KB


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