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The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2016 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The Board was advised that no public questions had been received.
The minutes relating to the Children, Young People and Families Portfolio which have been considered by the Executive Board since the last meeting of this Board were attached at Appendix 1 for information.
EXB2 – What will happen to the three children left at the resource base in Westfield Primary?
They would continue to receive the same support they do now until they complete their primary education at Westfield Primary School.
EXB19 – When would the travel policy for children with SEND be effective?
Following the 8 week consultation with parents, carers, educational establishments and other interested parties, a report would be taken to Executive Board in January with the findings for their consideration. A report following the consultation would also be brought to this Board.
RESOLVED: That the minutes be noted.
The minutes of the Halton Children’s Trust meeting held on 28 April 2016 were submitted to the Board for information.
RESOLVED: That the minutes be noted.
The Chair presented the Children, Young People and Families Policy and Performance Board’s Annual Report for 2015-16.
He wished to place on record his thanks to Members and Officers for their commitment, support and hard work carried out throughout the year.
RESOLVED: That the 2015-16 Annual Report be received.
The Board received a presentation from the Operational Director, Education, Inclusion and Provision, on the Early Years in Halton Review, which was commissioned by the British Association for Early Childhood Education. Halton also participated in an OFSTED thematic called “Unknown children – destined for disadvantage?”
Members were advised that despite the majority of early years settings in Halton being judged as good or outstanding, there was insufficient improvement in progress in narrowing the gap between Halton and National figures.
The Review was carried out between January and April 2016 and included those in early years settings, health and services in Halton. It was found that there was some excellent practice in early years in the Borough with dedicated staff determined to improve life chances of the youngest children and their families; and improvements in the quality of provision had been made over recent years. There were however some findings highlighted from the Review that could be attributable to the lack of improvement in early years. It was noted that these findings would be used to develop a shared vision driven by a 0 to 5 Strategic Board, who would agree key performance indicators within an early Years Action Plan. Further, the quality of support for settings, schools and families would be looked at as well as developing cross sector working and encouraging partnerships.
The One Halton Child Development Group was discussed which consisted of partners such as Public Health, Schools, parents, CCG and The Health Improvement Team. Members were also informed of the Early Years Review by Nottinghamshire Council, (who had received lottery funding) and it was hoped that they would visit the Board at the next meeting.
The following points were made arising from the presentation and following Members questions:
· There was sufficient provision in Halton for 2, 3 and 4 year olds but some parents chose not to send their children for different reasons; such as transport issues or not being able to get into their preferred setting;
· The hardest to reach parents presented challenges as some were unable to communicate effectively and therefore missed opportunities for early years education;
· With regards to targeting homeless units and domestic violence centres; these and others would be identified by the One Halton Group;
· One Member said that over the years a number of local playgroups had become closed due to statutory educational requirements for all early years settings and the educational qualifications now necessary to work or run an early years provision; and
· The relationship between Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) settings and schools needed to be improved.
The Chair thanked Officers for the presentation and invited them to present and update at a future meeting of the Board.
RESOLVED: That the Board noted the presentation and comments made.
The Board received a report from the Operational Director – Education, Inclusion and Provision, which provided a summary of changes to this year’s school assessment process.
The provisional outcomes for Halton’s Children and Young People and their performance in comparison to invalidated National Data and North West Regional Data were also presented to the Board.
The presentation included information relating to:
· Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) results;
· Phonics results year one;
· Changes to Key Stage One and Key Stage Two Assessment 2016; Key Stage One: Reading, Writing and Maths (Expected Standard);
· Key Stage One: Reading, Writing and Maths (Working at greater depth);
· Key Stage Two: Reading, Writing and Maths (Expected Standard);
· Key Stage Two: Writing (Working at greater depth);
· GCSE results; and
· Post 16 results: A Level and BTEC
Mark Parkinson referred Members to an article in ‘Schools Week’ that discussed the moderation of schools. The article could be found at: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/councils-launch-investigation-after-ks2-results-show-worrying-trend/.
Members noted that Halton’s GCSE results had improved 2% (although could not be compared to national data yet) and the post 16 results were doing very well. The key focus for improvement was early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
RESOLVED: That the presentation is received.
The Board received a report from the Director of Children’s Services updating them on the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) activity by schools in Halton.
It was noted that Halton’s approach to early intervention depended on all partners ensuring that the delivery of universal services played a key role in identifying and supporting children, young people and families when issues first emerged.
The report went on to discuss the CAF process, the support available to school staff undertaking level 2 support to families, and developments in early intervention in Halton.
The following queries were made by Members:
Was there any data that showed how many CAF’s came from individual schools?
Primary schools currently lead on 84% of the open CAFs and secondary schools lead on 22% of open CAFs but there was no data that stated which particular schools they came from.
How is the success of these measured?
If the CAF has achieved its aims, the child should not progress to children’s social care as the intervention and support has addressed the needs. Some families’ circumstances may change and the child may need a further CAF in the future; this may be right for that child and family but this is monitored to ensure support was at the right level. The new ECAF recording system would improve the tracking of outcomes for all CAFs.
The identity of the Lead Professionals is not clear on the chart on 3.2.2, will this improve?
Yes, a new system will be introduced which would be more robust and provide live data.
RESOLVED: That the Board
1) notes the report;
2) notes the support available to staff in schools to complete and lead on CAF’s; and
3) notes the developments underway to support early intervention across the Borough.
A report from the Director of Public Health was presented to the Board that provided a summary of the health and wellbeing and health needs of children and young people and their families in Halton.
Members were referred to page 35 which provided various data of the health outcomes of children and young people in Halton. The report also discussed:
· Infant mortality;
· Low Birth Weight;
· Smoking at time of delivery;
· Dental Health;
· Child Development;
· Teenage conception of deliveries;
· Admissions to hospital due to alcohol;
· Appendix 1 – Health outcomes for children and young people in Halton comparing 2016 CHIMAT data to the 2015 profile; and
· Appendix 2 – an example of a children’s Ward health profile (The Grange).
The report was discussed by the Board and the following queries/comments were made:
· Working mothers needed to be encouraged to breast feed for as long as possible; some new mothers are under pressure to return to work quickly after the birth of their child due to financial pressures, which can discourage breastfeeding;
· Leaflets could be distributed in workplaces to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the positive health impacts for baby throughout life. Work was underway with workplaces to help employers to understand how they can support their staff with young babies;
· All mothers are given a choice on whether or not to breastfeed and would be supported by the health visitor either way. Services strived to give women the information required to make a fully informed decision;
· Challenges regarding child obesity being higher than the national average were noted, as was the work of the Healthy Child Programme which was addressing this;
· An example of a children’s ward health profile was attached at appendix 2; however all ward profiles could be accessed on the following link: www.halton.gov.uk/JSNA;
· Paragraph 3.12 (Child Development) was highlighted as a priority area and examples of the work being carried out in this area was explained. It was noted that the first 1001 days of a child’s life were a critical period of brain growth and adverse events, such as a neglect, will impact upon the growth of the brain and the child will suffer the effects of this for the rest of their life;
· With reference to the 90% take up of free education for 3 and 4 year olds in Halton and why this was not higher, this could be attributed to access problems such as living too far away from the settings and transport issues;
· Why was there an increase in the numbers of Children in Care (CIC) – this was for a number of reasons other than poverty, such as parents with alcohol and drug dependencies; mental health issues and learning disabilities. Overall the profile had changed across the North West region, not just in Halton; and
· The gap in the numbers of teenage pregnancies reported and the numbers of live births was due to terminations.
The Chair thanked the Public Health representative for her attendance and they ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
The Board received the Performance Management reports for quarter 1 of 2016-17 and were requested to consider and raise any questions or points of clarification in respect of these.
It was noted that the key priorities for development or improvement in 2016-17 were agreed by Members and included in the Local Authority’s Business Plan, for the various functional areas reporting to the Board as detailed below:
· Children and Families Services; and
· Education, Inclusion and Provision.
The report detailed progress against service objectives and milestones and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during this period.
Officers highlighted the following emerging issues from the reports:
· Policy announcements for children’s services relating to: The Children and Social Work Bill and Putting Children First and Educational Excellence Everywhere; noting the implications for a probable changing role and statutory duties for local authorities;
· The review of the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board;
· The deferral of the new National Funding Formula for schools and high needs; and
· The publishing of Halton’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Strategy (SEND).
RESOLVED: That the first quarter performance management reports be received.