Agenda and minutes

Children and Education Policy and Accountability Committee - Tuesday, 19th July, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Main Hall (1st Floor) - 3 Shortlands, Hammersmith, W6 8DA. View directions

Contact: David Abbott  Email:

No. Item


Appointment of Co-opted Members

To appoint the following co-opted members for the 2022-23 Municipal Year:

·       Eleanor Allen, London Diocesan Board for Schools

·       Nandini Ganesh, Parentsactive Representative

·       Nadia Taylor, Parent Governor Representative

·       Matt Jenkins, Teacher Representative




The Committee agreed the appointment of Eleanor Allen, Nandini Ganesh, Nadia Taylor, and Matt Jenkins as co-opted members for the 2022/23 Municipal Year.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Nadia Taylor and Matt Jenkins.


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 Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 241 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting.



The Committee approved the minutes of the previous meeting held on 31 January 2022 as an accurate record.


Committee Terms of Reference (To Note) pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To note the Children and Education Policy and Accountability Committee’s terms of reference.


The Committee noted the terms of reference.


Youth Voice Update - July 2022 pdf icon PDF 624 KB

This item provides an update on the work of the Youth Council and Youth Cabinet.


Brenda Whinnett (Youth Voice Coordinator) presented the Youth Voice update report. She informed members there had been a newly elected Youth Cabinet following elections in March. She gave an overview of the work of the Youth Cabinet and Youth Council. She noted that they had identified four areas of focus for their manifesto:

·       Staying Safe

·       Life-skills

·       Work experience and employment opportunities

·       Mental health and emotional wellbeing.


The Youth Council would be working with a range of professionals to take their priorities forward over the year.


Brenda Whinnett informed members of the planned Takeover Challenge Day scheduled for November 2022. The event would give young people a wide range of different challenges and opportunities to give their views, ideas, and feedback in fun and creative ways. Young people’s views would then be fed into the policies and practices within Children Services and the wider Council.


Nandini Ganesh asked if the Youth Council meetings would be accessible for those with special educational needs and disabilities. Brenda Whinnett said the meetings would continue to be accessible. They had done training with young people on inclusion to ensure their meetings and events were accessible to as many people as possible. Brenda Whinnett added that she had been working closely with special schools in the borough, holding sessions with young people there to ensure they felt comfortable engaging with Youth Council meetings.


Brenda Whinnett said she would share the Youth Council’s draft manifesto with members and a more detailed plan at the end of September 2022.


ACTION: Brenda Whinnett


The Chair and members thanked Brenda Whinnett for her work with the Youth Council.


Ofsted Focused Visit - January 2022 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

This item provides an update on Ofsted’s Focused Visit in January 2022. Ofsted undertakes these visits between standard and short inspections to evaluate performance management and oversight, supervision, quality assurance, and professional development of the workforce.


Amana Gordon (Operational Director, Children and Young Peoples Service) presented the item on the Ofsted focused visit that took place on 19 and 20 January 2022. The visit focused on the effectiveness of the Council’s services and arrangements of the Front Door including:

·       Arrangements of Early Help

·       Contact and referrals

·       Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and shared services

·       Thresholds for statutory interventions

·       Effectiveness of supervision and management oversight

·       Quality assurance and performance management


Amana Gordon said the inspectors felt the visit had been overwhelmingly positive with many strengths and some exemplary practice displayed. The main area of improvement related to social work caseloads in the child assessment service. In response to this the services had put together a business case for additional resource to address capacity and ensure more effective service delivery. Support had already been secured for significant additional resource and preparations for recruitment of a fourth Front Door team were underway.


Nandini Ganesh asked if the inspectors had spoken with families and children and if so, what process was followed to select those families. Amana Gordon said the inspectors were given a list of all Front Door cases and they selected a sample to evaluate. The service would then arrange sessions for the families to meet with inspectors and provide feedback.


Nandini Ganesh and Councillor Mercy Umeh asked for more information on the fourth Front Door team and the impact on casework. Amana Gordon said the addition of a fourth team would reduce the number of cases for each social worker and allow them to be more effective.


Councillor Umeh asked how families were supported through the assessment process. Amana Gordon said it could be difficult for families to recognise they needed social work intervention and there were statutory processes the service had to follow. Social workers did their best to explain the process and options to families, but families also had the option to request independent advocacy.


Councillor Aliya Afzal-Khan asked what additional resources had been identified and what support was available to social workers when under pressure. Amana Gordon said support for social workers was given by senior management through supervision and there was a clinical team that provided support and practice workshops.


The Chair asked how recruitment for the new Front Door team would be managed considering shortages in the sector. Amana Gordon said recruiting social workers was a challenge, but she said it was beneficial to be able to recruit the whole team at once – it showed significant investment by the Council and a commitment to reducing caseloads. The goal was to recruit permanently rather than rely on short-term locums. The Chair suggested officers work with the Business Intelligence team on predictive modelling to support recruitment and caseload management.


ACTION: Amana Gordon


Councillor Afzal-Khan asked what percentage of H&F’s social workers lived in the borough. Jacqui McShannon (Strategic Director of Children’s Services) said there was a West London Step Up to social work programme which encouraged social workers to train with West London  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Summer in the City 2022 - Summer Activities for Children and Young People pdf icon PDF 8 MB

This item provides an overview of the Summer in the City holiday activity programme.


Peter Haylock (Director of Education) and Marcus Robinson (Programme Lead, Children’s Services) presented the item on the Summer in the City programme. Peter Haylock noted that it was the second year of the programme that provided free holiday activities and events for children aged 4 to 18 (and up to 25 years for those with additional needs) during the summer holidays.


Marcus Robinson gave an overview of last year’s programme. It had covered five weeks and during that time around 16,000 meals were served and over 70% of children eligible for free school meals attended. 439 hours of food and nutrition education had been provided and 2293 hours of activities had been delivered.


Marcus Robinson then gave an overview of the 2022 delivery plan. He noted that over 16,000 sessions were planned across five weeks. The programme had been promoted through the Council’s website, online advertisements, social media, banners displayed around the borough, video screens, and targeted promotion through schools and Council teams. The providers delivering the sessions had also done their own direct promotion and engagement with families.


Marcus Robinson noted that addition to the Summer in the City programme, the Council would be working with schools to distribute grocery vouchers worth £45 each for children eligible for free school meals and other vulnerable children. Through the Council’s partnership with Magic Breakfast, officers were also working with primary schools and nurseries to provide deliveries of breakfast boxes to vulnerable families.


Councillor Lucy Richardson welcomed the programme and asked how officers ensured it didn’t go over capacity. Marcus Robinson said a smaller programme of events had been run during previous school holidays to which gave an insight into the level of demand. There were also some contingencies in place if there is a sudden increase in demand.


The Chair thanked officers for their work on the programme. She thought it would be valuable for some elements of the programme to run throughout the year and suggested officers look into corporate sponsorships to support it.


ACTION: Peter Haylock / Marcus Robinson


Dates of Future Meetings

To note the following scheduled dates:

·       21 November 2022

·       30 January 2023

·       27 March 2023



The Committee noted the following dates of future meetings:

·       21 November 2022

·       30 January 2023

·       27 March 2023