Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms, Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Philippa Gibbs  020 8461 7638

Items
No. Item

22.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies were also received from Angela Leeves (Early Years Representative).

 

23.

APPOINTMENT OF CO-OPTED MEMBERS pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD18164

 

The Committee considered a report seeking confirmation of the Primary Parent Governor Representative on the Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That Michelle Fribbens (Primary Parent Governor Representative) be appointed as a Co-opted Member to the Children, Education & Families Select Committee for 2018/19 with voting rights;

24.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

Councillor Neil Reddin declared a pecuniary interest in Minute 35 (Proposed Contract Extension - Sen Transport and Non-Sen Transport) in respect of a client.  Cllr Reddin left the meeting for the duration of the item.

25.

MINUTES OF THE EDUCATION, CHILDREN & FAMILIES SELECT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 16 OCTOBER 2018 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 October 2018 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

26.

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

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to the Chairman of this Committee must be received in writing 4 working days before the date of the meeting and must relate to items on the agenda.  Please ensure questions are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Thursday 6th December 2018.

Minutes:

No questions were received.

27.

MATTERS ARISING, UPDATE ON PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS, AND WORK PROGRAMME pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

Report CSD18180

 

Members considered a report dealing with the Committee’s business management.  The Committee requested an update on the Youth Offending Service at its January meeting and an update on St Olaves at its March meeting.

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

  1. Progress on matters arising from previous meetings be noted; and
  2. The 2018/19 work programme be agreed.

 

28.

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

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to the Children, Education & Families Portfolio Holder must be received in writing 4 working days before the date of the meeting and must relate to matters for discussion on the agenda for which the Portfolio Holder has responsibility.  Please ensure questions are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Thursday 6th December 2018.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions.

29.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER UPDATE

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Families, Cllr Peter Fortune, attended the meeting to respond to questions from the Committee. The Portfolio Holder gave a brief introduction highlighting the following issues –

 

  • The temporary site for Bullers’ Wood School for Boys had opened in September and the boys had settled in well.  A Public Enquiry to determine the second planning application had taken place and the outcome of the Enquiry was expected by 16th January 2019.
  • A new Director of Education had been appointed and would start in January 2019.  The Portfolio Holder thanked the Interim Director of Education, Gillian Palmer, for her exceptional work over the past year.
  • A meeting had taken place with the Chairman of the Spring Partnership MAT.  Any ongoing work would be fed back to the Committee.
  • The Portfolio Holder had attended the London Youth Games where Bromley had retained its title.  The Portfolio Holder encouraged Members of the Committee to attend any future Games if possible.
  • Meetings had been held with Primary and Secondary Head Teachers to discuss ongoing funding issues.  The Portfolio Holder stressed the need for the Local Authority to work collaboratively with schools in order to lobby where necessary.
  • The Portfolio Holder had been in touch with the Education for the 21st Century Trust and the Regional Schools Commissioner to ask that the Local Authority be kept updated in relation to ongoing investigations.  The Portfolio Holder reported that the DfE had appointed external trustees to monitor the Trust.
  • Since the last meeting the Portfolio Holder had visited a number of schools.
  • The Corporate Parenting Fun Day had been a success and the young people had really valued the attendance and participation by Members.
  • During the Practice Week that had been held the Portfolio Holder had spent a day with the Court Team seeing the valuable work that the Team did.
  • Social Worker recruitment was going well and the positive messages coming from the Local Authority were having an impact.
  • The Trailblazer funding had been secured.
  • During November, Ofsted had come in for an unannounced three week inspection of Children’s Services.  The quality assurance process was currently underway and until this was complete the final outcome of the inspection would not be known.  However, during the feedback session the Inspectors reported that they had found no evidence of inadequate practice.  In addition to this the inspectors recognised that social workers knew the children well.  Recognising that the improvements that had been delivered within Children’s Services were the result of hard work and improvement across the Council, the Portfolio Holder thanked all Members and staff for their hard work and support.

 

Cllr Fortune then responded to questions, making the following comments –

 

  • The Local Authority had submitted an application to the Secretary of State for Education for a disapplication request for the transfer of £1m from the Schools Block of the DSG to the high Needs Block.  It had been important to explain to Head Teachers why the transfer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

SHORT ITEM: PRESENTATION BY THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION CONCERNING 2018 EDUCATION OUTCOMES

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from the Interim Director of Education concerning the 2018 education outcomes across Bromley.  The presentation is attached at Appendix A.

 

In response to questions the Director of Education confirmed that the Local Authority was working with schools to reduce the disadvantaged gap.  Whilst there was a correlation between lack of take up in 2 year old funding within disadvantaged groups and progress later in school, there were a number of reasons why parents did not take up the offer for 2 year old funding (which unlike funding for  year olds was not a universal offer).  Some parents believed that 2 years old was two young, for some parents there were more complex reasons, whilst some parents were simply not aware of what was on offer.  The Department was working with Children and Family Centres to support parents to access the services for which they were eligible and Officers were identifying ways in which this group could be targeted.

 

The issue of permanent exclusions had been a sharp focus for the Local Authority over the last year.  The Department had been challenging schools over exclusions and working with them to identify other forms of redress.  There was also a need for the Local Authority to work on a more diverse offer of alternative provision. 

 

The Chairman thanked the Director of Education for her presentation and for all the advice she had provided to the Committee over the year.

 

31.

SUBSTANTIVE ITEM: SCRUTINY OF THE EDUCATION BUDGET pdf icon PDF 466 KB

WITNESSES:

 

(A) ADE ADETOSOYE, DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ECHS, LBB

 

(B) DAVID BRADSHAW, HEAD OF ECHS FINANCE, LBB

 

(C) GILLIAN PALMER, INTERIM DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, LBB

 

(D) ROB BOLLEN, HEAD OF STRAGEGIC PLACE PLANNING, LBB

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had been provided with a comprehensive report in advance of the meeting.  Included within the report was the background to the budget, the current 2018/19 forecast, information about population growth, and information around the accuracy of school place planning forecasting. 

 

The Chairman welcomed Mr Ade Adetosoye, Ms Gillian Palmer, Mr David Bradshaw and Mr Rob Bollen to the meeting.  Members of the Committee explored a number of themes and issues with the witnesses.

 

The Head of ECHS Finance introduced the report highlighting that the overspends within the budget were mainly around Transport.  The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) remained an issue, especially in the High Needs Block, however in the main Bromley remained low cost.  Historically Bromley had been poorly funded and as a result of this it had been necessary to identify ways to efficiently deliver services.

 

In terms of pupil projections, the Head of Strategic Place Planning reported that whilst there had been a slight dip in primary numbers, a trend evidenced across London, the size of the pupil population would continue to grow.  The real challenge for the Local Authority would be around migration.  This was one of the unknowns, due to external factors such as Brexit, and would remain a risk for the Local Authority.

 

The Chairman noted with interest that the growth in the number of secondary pupils in Bromley was significantly lower than other London Boroughs.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director (ECHS) highlighted to the Committee that the budget was predicated on the need for the Local Authority to deliver its statutory duties.  These statutory duties were the minimum services that the Local Authority was required to deliver.

 

SEN Transport

 

The Director of Education explained that the request to extend the existing contract would enable a root and branch review of the current SEN Transport provision.  Over the past few years Members of the Committee had supported a continued drive to support greater independent travel and transport.  Supporting independent travel and transport would continue to be a theme as the new contract was being developed.  One key risk with the new contract that had already been identified was that of increasing fuel costs.  Over the past few years whilst fuel costs had increased Officers had worked hard to minimise the impact on the cost of the contract.  As the new contract was tendered there would need to be an awareness of the possible impact of increased fuel costs on the cost of the contract.

 

The Chairman emphasised the importance of ensuring that as costs increased each bus was utilised to the maximum and this would necessitate further consideration of how to combine Adult Passenger Transport and Children’s Passenger Transport.

 

In response to a question concerning the need to ensure that the staff on the buses were properly trained, the Director of Education confirmed that the need for adequate training was stipulated in the contract.  Expectations were clear and DBS checks for staff were mandatory. 

 

A Co-opted Member queried whether there had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) ORDER 2006, AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

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.

Minutes:

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.

33.

PRE DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXEMPT EXECUTIVE DECISIONS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following exempt reports where the Executive was recommended to take a decision:

33a

AUTHORISATION FOR EXEMPTION TO CONTINUE THE CONTRACT FOR COMMUNITY WELLBEING SERVICE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Minutes:

The Committee provided comments for the Executive concerning authorisation for exemption to continue the contract for community wellbeing services for children and young people.

 

33b

PROPOSED CONTRACT EXTENSION - SEN TRANSPORT AND NON-SEN TRANSPORT

Minutes:

Report ED18089

 

The Committee considered the report and supported the recommendations.

 

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 743 KB

 

Original Text: