Agenda and minutes

Children and Education Policy and Accountability Committee - Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Courtyard Room - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: David Abbott 

No. Item


Appointment of Co-opted Members for 2019-20

The Committee is asked to approve the appointment of the following Co-opted Members for the 2019-20 Municipal Year:

·         Eleanor Allen, London Diocesan Board for Schools

·         Nandini Ganesh, Parentsactive Representative

·         Nadia Taylor, Parent Governor Representative

·         Vic Daniels, Parent Governor Representative

·         Matt Jenkins, Teacher Representative


The Chair informed the Committee that Vic Daniels was standing down as a co-opted member due to other commitments.



The Committee approved the appointment of the following Co-opted Members for the 2019-20 Municipal Year:

·       Eleanor Allen, London Diocesan Board for Schools

·       Nandini Ganesh, Parentsactive Representative

·       Nadia Taylor, Parent Governor Representative

·       Matt Jenkins, Teacher Representative


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting and note any matters arising.


Matters Arising

Jan Parnell noted that the letter to schools congratulating them on their achievements would be going out by the end of term.


The Chair asked for careers guidance to be a future agenda item.


ACTION: David Abbott



The minutes of the meeting held on 25 March 2019 were agreed as an accurate record.


Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence or lateness.


Apologies for absence were received from Nadia Taylor and Eleanor Allen.


Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Asif Siddique (he entered the meeting at 7.11pm during Item 5).


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. 



There were no declarations of interest.



Children's Services Priorities for 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Children’s Services will give the Committee an overview of the key priorities and challenges for 2019-20 – as well as some of their achievements over the past year.


Steve Miley, Director of Children's Services, presented the report which gave the Committee an overview of the key priorities and challenges for 2019-20 – as well as some of the department's major achievements over the past year.


Steve Miley said he was very confident in the department's core services - social care had been rated good with outstanding features by Ofsted, the borough had excellent schools, and the recent SEND Ofsted review had been really positive. He stressed that this did not mean officers were being complacent - each service needed constant attention to maintain those standards. He then spoke about the areas that had been identified where changes needed to take place.


Services for adolescents

Officers explained that it was harder to get the outcomes the Council wanted with adolescents - both in education and social care. It was harder to achieve progress with older children because patterns of behaviour became entrenched and the roots of those issues often stretched very far back in their lives. The challenge was - could the Council design services that identified those children earlier so they could be better supported in school and with their family. It would require more intensive services than currently offered.


Emerging needs in mainstream education

Jan Parnell said there was a small but significant number of children who were disengaged from mainstream education. Officers were working closely with schools to improve inclusion in schools. They had commissioned a headteacher to put together a report on alternative provision to look at how to be more inclusive. There would also be an inclusion event for headteachers with expert speakers at Chelsea Football Club on 12 July.


Councillor Lucy Richardson said she applauded the emphasis on positive behaviour management - it was a key issue for parents. She asked if the Council could make this strategy transparent to everyone in the borough - particularly the third sector. Jan Parnell said she hoped to get a commitment that was broader than just schools at the conference. There was currently a pilot in 6 primary schools around mediating children's use of the internet, making it more positive. They were also running parenting classes in Children's Centres.


Steve Miley said there was an ambition for all services - and the wider community - to be trauma aware. To properly address challenging or troubling behaviour meant understanding the trauma behind it. Jan Parnell was developing a trauma-aware proposal with Early Help to broaden this work out.


Councillor Lucy Richardson asked if the Council had engaged with the 'Challenging Behaviour Foundation' - a charity for people with learning disabilities who have behaviour challenges. Mandy Lawson said the SEND team were working with the CCG on an intensive behaviour support offer that was based in the home and community (rather than clinic-based).


Matt Jenkins asked if there was more that could be done during school holidays. Jan Parnell noted that 16 primary schools were doing activities this summer but she wanted more. The Youth Offer will also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Outcome of the Joint Local Area SEND Inspection pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Officers will present the outcome of the recent Ofsted Joint Area SEND Inspection and the action plan that came from it.

Additional documents:


Mandy Lawson, Assistant Director for SEND, presented the report with Alison Markwell, Designated Clinical Officer, who was working across the CCG and the Council to improve partnership and pathways.


Alison Markwell informed the Committee that there were three key lines of enquiry:

·       Effective identification

·       Assessing and meeting needs

·       Improving outcomes - i.e. 'are we making a difference?'


The inspection took place in December 2018 and inspectors commended H&F on how strong the inspection was. The borough was sent a letter from the minister and he even tweeted his congratulations. The report was clear that 'outcomes had improved' and there had been a 'sea change' since the creation of sovereign arrangements.


Mandy Lawson and Alison Markwell discussed some of the key positive elements that were highlighted by the inspection:

·       One of the reasons the borough did well was its honest approach - the self-evaluation element was very strong.

·       Moving away from the shared services arrangements enabled the service to be redesigned based on feedback from parents.

·       Joint-commissioning was a fundamental tenant and that was done well in Hammersmith & Fulham.

·       Educational outcomes for SEND were very strong, the borough had good special schools and SEND pupils were well supported in mainstream schools.

·       Mandy Lawson reported that they had great support from Councillors during the inspection too which was a key priority for them.


The borough also had a strong partnership with Parentsactive - they have been very effectively holding the Council and the CCG to account. Co-production of services with parents was very strong, and officers wanted to develop that further with young people too. The SEND team were working closely with the Strategic Leads for Co-production to take that forward.


The main areas for development highlighted by the inspection were:

·       Integrating pathways - officers were working with health providers and children's centres to move this forward.

·       Improving SEND support for children without EHCPs.

·       Therapy - officers were looking to redesign speech and language therapy services.

·       Improving the Local Offer website.

·       Fixed-term exclusions in the secondary phase - an AP review had taken place and officers were doing behaviour work with schools to address this.

·       Inconsistently written ECHP - the bulk of EHCPs were transferred during shared services and were not done to the quality officers would have liked.

·       Reducing the waiting time for an ASD diagnosis.


An action plan had been written to address these issues and monitoring and governance processes had been put in place. There was a SEND inclusion board with the Managing Director of the CCG and the Director for Children's Services - and a SEND transformation group focussed on implementation.


Councillor Mark Loveday asked officers to talk through the 'red' action on the tracker - action 15 that related to identification, assessment and early intervention. Mandy Lawson said this was a universal service for all children involving health visits that could pick up on delays in communication, socialisation, and motor development. The service should have been delivered jointly between early years and health visitors but that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.