Agenda and minutes

Children Young People and Families Policy and Performance Board
Monday, 10th June, 2019 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Civic Suite, Town Hall, Runcorn. View directions

Contact: Ann Jones on 0151 511 8276 or e-mail 

No. Item

The Chair welcomed new Board Members Councillors M. Bradshaw and Teeling to the Children, Young People and Families Policy and Performance Board.  He also thanked Councillor Horabin for her years of support and dedication to the Board as she had stepped down for her Mayoral year.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 88 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2019 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.





The Board was advised that no public questions had been received.




Additional documents:


The minutes relating to the Children, Education and Social Care Portfolio, that had 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.


SSP Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:


The minutes relating to the Halton Children’s Trust meeting held on 14 March 2019 were presented to the Board for information.


RESOLVED:  That the minutes be noted.




Children, Young People and Families PPB Annual Report pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair presented the Children, Young People and Families Policy and Performance Board’s Annual Report for 2018-19.


          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 2018-19 Annual Report be received and noted.




High Needs Review pdf icon PDF 68 KB


The Board received a presentation from the Operational Director – Education, Inclusion and Provision, which summarised the High Needs Strategic Planning Review which was undertaken by Peopletoo, and funded using a revenue funding grant provided by the DfE. 


The first phase of this work took place between May and October 2018, so had now been completed.  Participants included children and young people, parents and carers, Resource Bases, Special Schools, the PRU, primary and secondary headteachers, key inclusion officers, colleagues from health and strategic managers, who all helped inform the review.


The presentation provided: a summary of the aims of the review; understanding the SEND population; findings relating to Special Schools, Resource Bases, the pupil referral unit (PRU), Out of Borough placements, exclusions; and contributions from health practitioners.   It also outlined the key findings and recommendations of the review. 


Members were presented with the next steps to be taken to improve the offer and the outcomes for children and young people with SEND in Halton to ensure good, quality sustainable support, that allowed pupils to be educated within their own community alongside their peer groups.


It was noted that Executive Board had since approved the recommendations and Peopletoo had been commissioned to undertake the next phase of the project.


Members discussed:


·       The links between Resource Bases and mainstream schools and how pupils moved between the two;

·       The transition of pupils from the PRU to mainstream education and the fact that some found this difficult to do;

·       For some pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD’s) it was more appropriate that they accessed mainstream education rather than be placed in special schools;

·       The medical needs of some children applied a great deal of pressure on schools and this should be recognised and supported by health colleagues; it was noted that the CCG had been a participant of the review;

·       82% of excluded pupils were found to have special educational needs.  It was queried how many of these had ASD’s;

·       The importance of educating more of our pupils with SEND in the Borough where possible.


One Member suggested that a sub group of the Board was needed so that the Board could devote more time to this important issue.  It was suggested this was considered as a Scrutiny Topic.


RESOLVED:  That the presentation and update on the first phase of the review be received and an update on the progress of the review be provided at the next meeting.




Neglect Strategy 2017-19 pdf icon PDF 63 KB


The Board received a report and accompanying presentation from the Operational Director – Children and Families, informing of the impact of the Neglect Strategy 2017-19 and the next steps in responding to the impact of neglect on children and families. 


The presentation outlined to Members the definition of neglect and the six classifications of types of neglect (i.e. medical neglect, nutritional neglect, emotional neglect, educational neglect, physical neglect and lack of supervision and guidance).


The impacts of neglect were discussed and the vulnerability factors such as disabilities, sexual or criminal exploitation, cultural differences, parental mental health, domestic abuse, substance misuse and living in poverty.   Following a Members query, cycle or generational neglect had been found, after interviewing parents with a history of neglect themselves.


The Board heard the current priorities and discussed the next steps, which included the review of the strategy by multi agency partners and the  involvement of children, young people and families in the review.  The new Strategy would be launched in 2020 with focus on how context and risks external to the family could be better mitigated.


Members queried:


How prevalent was neglect in Halton in comparison with other neighbouring boroughs?

It was on par with them presently, although Halton had seen some reduction.


Was neglect confined to any particular Wards?

No, neglect was found in all Wards in the Borough, not just in our deprived areas.


Registered Social Landlords and other agencies could do more to identify neglect?

Officers advised that there were training courses already in progress for partner agencies in this respect.


The Chair requested the new Strategy be presented to the Board once it was ready.


RESOLVED:  That the presentation be received and noted.



Early Outcomes Fund pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received a report from the Strategic Director – People, which outlined the Early Outcomes Fund (EOF) and Halton’s successful bid in receiving a part share of this fund. 


It was reported that in July 2017, the Secretary of State for Education set an ambition to halve the proportion of children who did not achieve at least expected levels across all goals in the ‘communication and language’ and ‘literacy’ areas of learning at the end of reception year by 2028.  This ambition built on the work announced in the Paper: Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential: A plan for improving social mobility through Education, published in December 2017, which set out plans to close the word gap in the early years.


The report summarised the context of the bid, the evidence of local self-assessment which underpinned the bid and the proposed content of the bid.


It was noted that Halton had been awarded a total amount of £582,750.77, which would be paid over the lifetime of the Programme – from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. 


Details on the ‘TALK Halton’ Project; the task and finish group; and the strategic board, all set up as part of the overall strategy, were discussed in the report.


Members queried:


How would children be identified for this project?

Practitioners would pick them up; key people who have received speech and language training to do this particular job.  It was hoped that 100% of all 4 year olds, 75% of all 3 year olds and 50% of all two year olds would be screened by the end of the project, so that each child’s need was identified.


Was the voluntary sector involved?

Yes they are most definitely involved with the project.


If the Project was successful, does the Council have the capacity to continue to deliver it, as the funding was just for one year?

All partners made a commitment to continue the principles which underpin the project once the funding had finished.  The DfE were keen for us to introduce ‘strategic change’ which would also ensure that long-term change was effected. 

Investment would be made into training and upskilling staff; including training in the use of the Wellkomm Toolkit which was key, and its use would be continued.  More effective support at universal level would result in more capacity at targeted level.


There are areas in Halton that were more in need than others, will they be targeted and how will you ensure parents will engage?

This project was aimed at upskilling early year practitioners and in the development of a ‘total communication approach’ in early years settings.  It was not primarily aimed at parents.  It was important however that parents did engage and they would be encouraged to do so, through the work going on in our Children’s Centres and the Adult and Family Learning Team. 


Members agreed that a progress report be submitted to the Board in January and the Chair suggested that it include some sustainability  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Performance Management Reports - Quarter 3 of 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:


The Board received the Performance Management reports for quarter 3 of 2018-19 (1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018).  Members 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 2018-19 were agreed by Members and included in the Local Authority’s Business Plan, for the various functional areas reported to the Board as follows:


·       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.


Due to the fact that these reports related to quarter 3 Officers provided Members with highlights of quarter 4, in particular relating to: Halton’s new Behaviour Support Service; the Centralised Placement Team; Ofsted’s new framework; Children in Care data; foster carers recruitment update; and the client recording system update.  Explanations were also provided on queries relating to the revenue budget as at 31 December 2018.


It was noted that the Performance Management reports for quarter 4 would be sent to Members following the meeting.


RESOLVED:  That the quarter 3 Performance Management reports for 2018/19 be received.