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The Minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2017 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
It was confirmed 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.
RESOLVED: That the minutes are noted.
The minutes of the Halton Children’s Trust meeting held on 15 June 2017 were submitted to the Board for information.
RESOLVED: That the minutes be noted.
The Board received a presentation and summary on the provisional outcomes for Halton’s Children and Young People and their performance in comparison to unvalidated national data and North West regional data.
It was noted that the outcomes for children and young people were only comparable to 2016 results for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, and that these were to be treated with some caution as the new assessment processes experienced some unreliability in the first couple of years.
In summary the provisional outcomes showed:
· The Early Years Foundation Stage results – the Halton Gap to National had increased;
· Phonics results Year One – the Halton Gap to National had reduced;
· Key Stage One Reading, Writing and Maths – the Halton Gap to National at expected level;
· Key Stage Two Reading, Writing and Maths – the Halton Gap to National reduced across the board;
· GCSE Results – could not be compared to previous year due to new system;
· Post 16 Results A Level & BTEC – in line with national A*- E pass rate of 98% and increase of 6% on distinction grades from 2016 respectively.
Members were advised that progress data would be released in December and any schools that were below the floor standard and those meeting the coasting school criteria would be identified. These schools would be eligible for formal action by the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) and may be identified for an intervention plan that could lead to a sponsored Academy solution for the school.
The following queries/comments were made following the presentation:
The Good Learning Development (GLD) range was huge at 27% - 80%, what are we doing to improve this?
The School Improvement Team (SIT) would be challenging schools with poor results and making frequent visits to these schools to look at a range of data to understand what the reasons for this could be. Consistency across PVI and Local Authority (LA) schools would continue to be encouraged through information sharing and working together. A restructure of the LA teams was planned and a data tracking system would be implemented for the LA schools.
Key Stage 1 (KS1) is always a problem for Halton – what are we doing to address this?
Some schools indicated that part of the reason pupils did not perform well at KS1 was due to their low starting point but the SIT were looking into this and challenging schools. It was anticipated that through better data information sharing and sharing of good practice that results would improve.
Key Stage 4 Maths was disappointing do we know why?
We are asking schools to share data and information so that more detailed analysis can be undertaken. The results of the analysis would be brought to the November PPB.
Austerity cuts have affected staff levels – do we have the resources to deal with these issues?
An explanation was provided over the loss of the ESG and other funding reductions. It was explained that the LA now had ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
The Policy and Performance Board received an update on the work of Halton’s Child and Family Poverty Strategic Group and how this fed into the Liverpool City Region co-ordinated approach to addressing child and family poverty.
It was reported that growing up in poverty could affect every area of a child’s development and future life chances. The most disadvantaged children were less likely to achieve their academic potential, secure employment and gain a sense of future financial security. They were also more likely to suffer from poor health, live in poor quality housing and unsafe environments. It was noted that in 2010 Halton, alongside the other Liverpool City Region (LCR) leaders, agreed to adopt a City Region wide approach to tacking issues related to child and family poverty that would build on strong local and City Region partnerships. The Child Poverty and Life Chances Strategy for the LCR was launched in 2011 and subsequently in 2015, which represented a long term approach up to 2020; the national deadline to eradicate child poverty.
The report discussed Halton’s Child and Family Poverty Strategic Group and the agreed priorities for the LCR which were used to compile Halton’s Child Poverty Action Plan. The key issues around each priority area were discussed and presented in paragraph 4.4 of the report.
Following the presentation of the item, Members queried/discussed:
Strategic routes for school leavers getting into jobs – the Chair reminded Members that this was the subject of this year’s topic group ‘Further Developing Links between Halton’s Businesses and Schools’ as presented on the PPB agenda in January. A progress report would be brought to the next meeting of the Board. In the meantime those Members who had not yet attended one of the topic groups were invited to do so.
Entitlement to Free School Meals (FSM) – a discussion took place around the numbers of parents who did not claim these, despite being entitled to them, and the impact of this on schools.
Chair – a comparison with child poverty now and 7 years ago when the strategy was first introduced was suggested.
The Chair requested that if a presenting officer was unable to attend a meeting, then this should be delegated to one of their colleagues.
Further to Halton’s Child and Family Poverty Strategic Group, the Board noted that the Action Plan would be regularly monitored and evaluated for outcomes. The outcomes would also be fed back to this Board on an annual basis, as well as the LCR Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission.
RESOLVED: That Members note the report.
The Board received the outcome of the Joint Local Area Inspection of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) for Halton.
Further to the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission’s joint inspections on the effectiveness of local areas in implementing the SEND reforms, Halton was inspected between 27 and 31 March 2017. The report outlined the areas of focus of the inspection and its main findings.
It was noted that in order to respond to the areas identified for development, a local area joint action plan had been set. Members were advised that this would be monitored and reviewed by the SEN Strategic Partnership Board and a progress report would be provided to this Board in 6 months’ time.
Members queried the following in relation to the inspection:
Appendix A referred to an increase in the number of children and young people with social, emotional and mental health issues, was there an improvement on the waiting list time to see a therapist?
It was advised that there was a review of services for children with social, emotional and mental health issues. In addition a pilot had been undertaken with a number of schools to identify children at risk of absence from school due to social, emotional and mental health issues.
Although there had been staff shortages in the Bridgewater Centre, the vacancies for Occupational Therapists were being filled so it was hoped that these would bring down the waiting list time.
Exclusions seemed to be mostly SEND pupils – was there a tendency for non-LA schools to exclude SEND pupils more often?
The new exclusion framework states the tariffs in place for excluding pupils and provides schools with incentives to keep the children. The LA is asking for schools to evidence the steps taken up to the point of exclusion and asking them to advise the LA of the of the problems being experienced, so that officers can visit the school and child in question and perhaps intervene before the exclusion occurs.
Do we have the capacity to deliver the Action Plan discussed, given the amount of cuts to the budgets?
The cost of specialist education in Halton was 2.4m which would reduce considerably following the Government’s cap on the funding that could be transferred from the schools budget to the high needs budget. Additional funding would have to be requested from the Halton Schools Forum and Secretary of State for Education. A response from the LCR as a whole to the Secretary of State for Education was suggested.
RESOLVED: That the Board
1) Note the outcome of the Joint Local Area SEND inspection;
2) Approve the development of a Joint Action Plan to address the areas of development identified by the inspection; and
3) Request that a report on progress in 6 months’ time be presented to the Board,
The Board received the Performance Management reports for quarter 1 of 2017-18 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 2017-18 were agreed by Members and included in the Directorate Plans, for the various functional areas reported to the Board as detailed below:
· Education, Inclusion and Provision Services; and
· Children and Families Services
The reports detailed progress made against objectives and milestones and performance targets and provided information relating to key developments and emerging issues that had arisen during the period.
Members raised concerns with the overspend at the end of quarter one in the Children’s and Families Department; particularly with the out of Borough foster placements and out of Borough residential placements. It was reported that a budget working group was actively looking at ways to balance this year’s budget.
RESOLVED: That the first quarter performance management reports be received.