Agenda and minutes

Children and Education Policy and Accountability Committee
Monday, 12th March, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: David Abbott  020 8753 2063

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 336 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2018 were approved.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Alan De’Ath.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Marcus Ginn, Councillor Elaine Chumnery, Councillor Caroline Ffiske, Matt Jenkins, and Nandini Ganesh.

3.

Declarations of Interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.  The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee. 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

4.

Skills for Young People - Youth Council Discussion

H&F’s Youth Council will lead a discussion on improving skills for young people in the borough.

Minutes:

Hiba Al Moosawi (H&F’s Youth Mayor) and Emma Ghanem (Youth Council member and Youth Parliament candidate) addressed the committee and said one of the Youth Council’s key manifesto commitments was on improving work experience in the borough. They highlighted how important work experience was to young people – both to understand what path to choose in higher education or training and for accessing employment. To understand the issue in more depth the Youth Council held a workshop with young people to discuss their experiences of work experience and what could be improved.

 

The feedback from the workshop showed that most young people found work experience through friends and family – which disadvantaged pupils without those connections. In response to this the Youth Council proposed a centralised website that collated work experience from all over the borough that all schools could access and cascade to their pupils.

 

Young people felt work experience in the areas of education, politics and business were lacking. They also found that some providers weren’t teaching pupils useful skills – they were just left to make coffee or do the photocopying. They also noted that work experience with age limits was an issue for pupils. Some placements were only for those over 16 for example.

 

The Youth Council proposed a leaflet that was sent to all young people in the borough that signposted to a central pool of work experience opportunities. They also wanted the Council to reach out to businesses and organisations to increase the number of high quality placements.

 

Steve Miley (Director for Children’s Services) applauded the proposals and said officers would consider them. He asked for clarification, what was the ideal length of time for a placement and when they would be most useful (i.e. what school year)

 

Hiba Al Moosawi (H&F’s Youth Mayor) said work experience was vital in years 10 and 11 (14 to 16 yrs. old) and the placements needed to be a week or two so there was the time to learn new skills and really understand what the job entails.

 

Vic Daniels noted that a potential obstacle for businesses was the issue of liability. The Council could provide support and insurance for businesses to encourage them to offer placements. The Chair noted that she had previously worked for H&F organising work experience and the Council’s insurance used to cover work experience if it took place during term time. She asked officers to check if this was still the case – and how it worked for Academy Schools.

 

Steve Miley asked how many pupils were looking for work experience each year. The Youth Council members said most young people wanted it but many didn’t speak up about it because they felt their voices didn’t make a difference.

 

Councillor Sue Macmillan addressed the committee and said she thought good quality work experience was incredibly important for young people to help them chose their path for the future. She noted that when companies were hiring, those with relevant work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Tackling Gang and Knife Crime in H&F pdf icon PDF 310 KB

This report sets out the gang and knife crime profile of the borough for children and young people aged under 18. It also highlights H&F’s action plan in response to knife crime.

Minutes:

Alison Sabaroche (Family Support and Child Protection Service Manager) presented the briefing on gang and knife crime in relation to children and young people aged under 18 in the borough. She noted that tackling these issues was done in partnership between the Metropolitan Police, Community Safety, the Youth Offending Team, and Family Services. Representatives from each area had been invited to share their experiences with the Committee.

 

The statistics for H&F showed that, while there was an upward trend in incidents, the number of incidents was not as significant as neighbouring boroughs. In terms of gang activity – the most significant problem was between the areas in the north of the borough (White City and Shepherd’s Bush) in conflict with the Ladbrook Grove area in Kensington & Chelsea.

 

Pat Defreitas (Gangs Unit) explained that he provided a rapid response service – in the aftermath of an incident he would meet the young person involved (whether at home or in hospital), engage with them and try and build a relationship to then divert them away from crime – offering services and support. The Chair asked how long he would be involved with a particular young person. Pat Defreitas said it depended on the case – but if they were engaging he would try to keep the relationship going as long as there was a risk.

 

Nadia Taylor asked what work was being done with the community to lure people away from crime. Alison Sabaroche said they did offer programmes aimed at the affected communities – including workshops for young people that led to AQA qualifications. The Safeguarding Children’s Board also organised a parent’s event so they could speak about their fears. Many parents contacted the youth offending team because they were worried about their children’s safety or involvement in gang activity.

 

Nadia Taylor suggested young people who had turned their lives around could be used as mentors or coaches for at-risk young people. Alison Sabaroche said it was a possibility and would be considered.

 

Councillor Alan De’Ath commented that the profile on page 10 of the agenda – that said the typical young person who carried a knife was black male and aged 16 years old – was very problematic. He asked what the deeper connections were between these young people (family breakdown, victims of domestic violence etc.). Alison Sabaroche agreed that many were victims themselves, many carried knives for protection. H&F had to make young people feel safe in their schools and on the streets. It was vital to get involved with these young people as early as possible to have a chance at changing their lives. Alison noted that they had visited Brent Council who were doing advanced predictive modelling that drew on a wide range of data to identify those most at-risk. There were many factors that added to this problem – family issues were significant but it could also be peers, the environment they grow up in. There wasn’t one answer.

 

Councillor De’Ath noted that lack  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

School Performance Report 2017 pdf icon PDF 632 KB

This report provides the outcomes of the Summer 2017 assessments and examinations in Hammersmith and Fulham’s primary and secondary schools, and the current position with regard to Ofsted school inspections.

Minutes:

Richard Stanley (Deputy Director of Education) and Jenny Bax (Principle Lead Advisor, School Standards) presented the report. Richard Stanley highlighted another year of very strong results that showed the strength of the partnership working between the schools and the Council. Jenny Bax noted that H&F’s secondary schools had been ranked top in London for the English Baccalaureate – and ranked fifth nationally for Key Stage 2. Progress had also been made closing the gaps between vulnerable young people and the main cohort – and post-16 progression figures were strong, with low numbers of NEETs (young people not in education, employment, or training).

 

Vic Daniels asked what influence the Council could have on schools going forward – given the increasing number of Multi-Academy Trusts. Richard Stanley said it came down to establishing good partnerships - keeping headteachers within the borough’s ‘family of schools’ so that they participated in meetings, discussions, and maintained service links. The Council also needed strong relationships with the academy sponsors and the regional schools’ commissioner.

 

The Chair thanked education officers and the borough’s headteachers for another set of impressive results.

 

RESOLVED

1.            That the Committee reviewed and commented on the school performance details in the report and the school improvement priorities identified.

 

2.            That members noted the main performance headlines:

·         In secondary schools, the percentage of students achieving all key indicators was above the national average, and Hammersmith and Fulham were ranked top in London for performance in the English Baccalaureate;

·         Overall performance at all Key Stages in schools in Hammersmith and Fulham continues to be well above national averages;

·         In primary schools, at Key Stage 1 and 2, the percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics was above the national average in all three subjects;

·         The gap in outcomes for children in receipt of the pupil premium remained smaller than the national gap at Key Stage 2;

·         The proportion of schools judged to be good or outstanding has improved to 93% is and above the published national average.43% of school are judged to be outstanding compared to 21% nationally.

7.

Director's Update Report pdf icon PDF 357 KB

This report provides a brief overview of recent developments in the Children’s Services department.

 

Minutes:

Steve Miley (Director for Children’s Services) presented the update report and highlighted the following points:

·         Education Health and Care Plan Transfers – All draft plans had been sent out as of 12 March and the service was on track to hit the DfE’s target date of the end of March. However, there was some feedback that the creation of the plan was too remote and the language too opaque. This would be a key area of improvement for the service when it was brought back in-house to H&F on 1 April.

·         Youth Offending Team – The team had it’s ‘priority’ status removed thanks to a lot of hard work and partnership working with the Police to get the first-time offender figures down.

·         The Family Support Service (FSS) was officially launching at the end of the month. The FSS, led by Peter Watt, would be a new kind of service that brought together the disparate players in the landscape (early help, schools, health etc.) to support families more effectively.

 

Eleanor Allen said the SEN discussions at the school where she was a governor often raised the difficultly of accessing educational psychologists. Steve Miley said he expected this to improve after H&F came out of the tri-borough. The Administration had invested more money in educational psychologists and the service was planning to use them in a different way. Families should be able to access them at an earlier stage, without the bureaucracy of an Education Health and Care Plan.

 

The Chair asked for an update on Moving On (H&F coming out of the tri-borough arrangements with Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea Councils). Steve Miley said the formal arrangements ceased at the end of March. H&F was now in a position to run all of the necessary services on a sovereign basis. He added that the Council was using this opportunity to start again and do things better. A key part of this was listening more to the experience of users and responding to their feedback.

8.

Cabinet Member's Verbal Update

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Macmillan updated the Committee on her activities as Cabinet Member for Children and Education since the last meeting:

·         She had continued with her school visits – including St. Stephens CE Primary School.

·         On 9 March she launched a new initiative to give all new-borns in the borough a library card (automatically as their births were registered).

·         She attended the inaugural H&F Civic Awards and presented awards for best teacher (who organised support for Grenfell students) and best social worker (for CSE work).

·         The Stephen Wiltshire Centre (Disabled Children’s Resource Centre) officially opened its doors on 12 March.

 

Councillor Macmillan then thanked Councillor Caroline Needham for her years of hard work as Chair of the Committee. The high-quality scrutiny in those meetings had helped steer the work of Children’s Services – improving outcomes for children and young people in the borough. Of particular note was her work with the Youth Council and involvement in Youth Take-Over Day that had led to flourishing youth participation in H&F. On behalf of the whole Council she thanked Councillor Needham for her service and wished her the very best in her retirement.