Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 8th January, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Council Antechamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Rachel McKeon 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minute's Silence - Councillor Harland

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee held a minute’s silence for Councillor Andy Harland, who had recently passed away.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 241 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

 

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 December 2019.

3.

Updated Financial Strategy and Budget Reports 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 462 KB

Report of the Chief Executive and the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer

 

This report provides an update on the Council’s overall financial position and sets out the next steps in the budget process, including scrutiny of the draft Budget proposals and Budget report by this Committee. Each Scrutiny Committee will receive a budget report aligned to its remit, showing the main changes proposed to delivery and funding. The services to be considered by each scrutiny committee are shown at table four. The report also outlines the officer proposals for how the Council could deliver a balanced budget for 2020/21, the details of which will be discussed at the relevant scrutiny committees.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive and the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer, which provided an update on the Council’s overall financial position and set out the next steps in the budget process. In doing so, the report outlined officer proposals for how the Council could deliver a balanced budget for 2020/21.

 

In conjunction with the above, the Committee also received and considered the draft  Council Business Plan for 2020/21 and the Children and Education Services Budget 2020/21.

 

Officers highlighted that the 2020/21 budget would be a one year roll over budget. It would reflect the fact the Council had declared a climate emergency and would also continue to reflect the priorities identified in the previous three-year budget strategy.

 

Taken together, the reports illustrated how the directorate would work to deliver the Our Corporate Plan and progress towards the vision set out in the Our Manchester Strategy.

 

The Executive Member for Children and Schools informed Members of the context of the budget proposals, reporting that children’s services were under pressure across the country with the Local Government Association (LGA) reporting a 140% increase in demand nationally, while funding had reduced.  He reported that the child population in Manchester had increased significantly, creating increased budget pressures, but that the Council had made investing in children’s services a priority.  He drew Members’ attention to some of the key proposals within the report.

 

Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -

 

  • The reliance on the social care reserve to fund services and was the Council lobbying the government for more funding;
  • The volatility of the budget;
  • The commissioning strategy for placements;
  • Recruitment and retention of Social Workers;
  • Whether there was a tipping point at which so many maintained schools had converted to academies that it was no longer financial viable for the Council to support the remaining maintained schools;
  • The reduction in the number of adoptions in 2018/19; and
  • Plans to remove the Council’s funding to the Manchester Foundation Trust (MFT) for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and to use the funding to support the development of provision for children with high and complex needs, recommending that the Committee should consider these issues at a future meeting.

 

The Head of Finance advised Members that the social care reserve was being used over a three year period.  She reported that this spending was not sustainable and that, while efficiencies were expected to be made, they would not be sufficient to fund services once the reserves had been used.  She reported that this approach was being taken with the expectation that the national government would produce a longer-term budget strategy to address the pressures councils across the country were facing in funding children’s services.  She informed Members that the Council was lobbying the government in relation to the Fair Funding Formula.  The Chair advised Members to continue to lobby the government for additional funding.

 

The Strategic Director of Children and Education Services advised Members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

The Manchester Inclusion Strategy - Preventing Exclusion and Supporting Children and Young People to Thrive Implementation Update pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Report of the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services

 

This report provides a further update on the Manchester Inclusion Strategy which was formally launched in November 2019. The report provides a brief overview of activities to implement the strategy and provides a more detail on the Every Child Project which is working with nine Secondary Schools. The report provides information about the Strategy Steering Group and key areas of work going forward. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services which provided a further update on the Manchester Inclusion Strategy which was formally launched in November 2019. The report provided a brief overview of activities to implement the strategy and provided more detail on the Every Child Project. The report also provided information about the Strategy Steering Group and key areas of work going forward.

 

Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:

 

·         Strategy Launch Event;

·         Inclusion Strategy Implementation Plan and Steering Group; and

·         The Every Child Project.

 

John Rowlands from the Greater Manchester Academies Trust provided the Committee with further information on the Every Child Project, which was one of the strands of the Manchester Inclusion Strategy implementation plan and was initially focusing on growing the understanding and meeting the capability needs of all Year 7 pupils across nine secondary schools in the city.

 

Some of the key points and themes that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:

 

·         That the reduction in exclusions in Manchester, while exclusions nationally were increasing, demonstrated that the strategy was already having a positive effect;

·         What was new in this strategy that was not being done before;

·         The positive impact of the UNICEF Rights Respecting Award;

·         Behaviour management issues in primary schools, the need to support children through the transition from primary school to secondary school and whether primary schools should be involved in the Every Child Project;

·         The importance of supporting young people post-16 in order to prevent them from becoming Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET); and

·         To welcome that academies, as well as maintained schools, were engaging in this work.

 

The Executive Member for Children and Schools informed Members that the Inclusion Strategy was not just a Council Strategy and was not a single piece of work.  He advised that what was new about the strategy was that it brought together all the different work which was taking place to address this issue.  John Rowlands reported that schools were not just looking at the data but were now talking about the broader context, including what had led to a child’s previous exclusions, what strategies could be put in place to support the child and what could be learnt and improved from looking at earlier behaviours.

 

The Virtual School Head advised Members that the Every Child Project was one element of a multi-faceted strategy which was building on excellent work which was already taking place within Manchester.  She informed the Committee that work was taking place to look at the primary sector and the transition from primary to secondary school.  She acknowledged the importance of supporting young people post-16, reporting that the Virtual School was already working to address this for Our Young People (Looked After Children and Care Leavers).  She highlighted that the Inclusion Strategy steering group included representatives of post-16 institutions.

 

John Rowlands advised Members that the Inclusion Strategy considered the whole of the child’s life rather than taking their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Out of School Settings pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Report of the Director of Education

 

This report updates the Committee on the DFE (Department for Education) Pilot Project on Out of School Settings which aims to:- 

·         Support Local Authorities to test approaches to mapping, identifying, and intervening in out of school settings

·         Improve understanding of risks and intervention approaches in out of school settings; and

·         Consider how existing legal powers can be best utilised, and identify any gaps in the current legislative framework.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Education which provided an update on the DfE (Department for Education) Pilot Project on Out of School Settings which aimed to support local authorities to test approaches to mapping, identifying and intervening in out of school settings, improve understanding of risks and intervention approaches in out of school settings and consider how existing legal powers could be best utilised and identify any gaps in the current legislative framework.

 

Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:

 

  • Manchester Award for Supplementary Schools;
  • Pilot DfE Project on Out of School Settings and building on successes through the pilot;
  • Legislation;
  • Initial mapping of out of school settings;
  • Safeguarding arrangements in Manchester;
  • Training for out of school settings providers;
  • National concerns and the Council’s responses;
  • Findings to date; and
  • Strengths and challenges in Manchester.

 

Some of the key points and themes that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:

 

  • To welcome the work that had taken place in Manchester on out of school settings over many years, noting that this had enabled the Council to take part in the DfE’s pilot project;
  • To welcome the benefits to children of being able to participate in a wide range of out of school activities, while recognising the challenges this presented in ensuring there were appropriate safeguarding procedures in place;
  • Request for further information on the Safe After School campaign;
  • The information that was available on a ward basis;
  • Whether the good practice in Manchester could be shared with other Greater Manchester authorities; and
  • The legal powers available to the Council, noting the limits of these powers and also the challenge of different legislation being the responsibility of different services.

 

The Safeguarding Lead for Education reported that the Safe After School campaign aimed to raise the awareness of parents and communities about safeguarding in out of schools settings so that parents who were planning to send their child to an out of school setting knew the right questions to ask to check that appropriate safeguarding measures were in place.   She reported that a range of resources were being developed including flyers to be delivered to schools, libraries and other venues, as well as being available electronically.  She advised that, once these were ready, she would also circulate them to Members of the Committee.  She confirmed that the Youth Engagement Team had mapped all provision that they were aware of in each ward, including supplementary schools, and offered to circulate this to Members.  The Executive Member for Children and Schools supported a Member’s suggestion that officers liaise with Neighbourhood Managers to gather information on out of school settings in particular wards and to progress information-sharing through Ward Co-ordination.  The Chair welcomed the proposal to share information with Ward Councillors through Ward Co-ordination.  He advised any Member with concerns or information about a setting in their ward to raise this directly with officers.  A Member suggested that this information could also be shared with schools and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Delivering the Our Manchester Strategy pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Children and Schools

 

This report provides an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities as set out in the Our Manchester Strategy for those areas within the portfolio of the Executive Member for Children and Schools.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Executive Member for Children and Schools which provided an overview of work undertaken and progress towards the delivery of the Council’s priorities as set out in the Our Manchester Strategy for those areas within the portfolio of the Executive Member for Children and Schools.

 

The Executive Member for Children and Schools referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:

 

·         Leaving Care Service;

·         Inclusion Strategy;

·         Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND);

·         Early Years;

·         Budget and staffing;

·         Poverty and homelessness;

·         Complex safeguarding;

·         Young carers; and

·         Climate change.

 

In response to a Member’s question, the Executive Member for Children and Schools informed Members about work to expand school places for children with SEND, advising that this work was still ongoing.

 

A Member welcomed that the report included information on work to address climate change.  She advised that the Council should provide more leadership to schools on this issue and requested that further information on this be provided in a future report.  The Executive Member for Children and Schools reported that tackling climate change was a shared responsibility, not just the responsibility of the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport, and highlighted how the relevant Executive Members were working together on a Young Person’s Summit on this issue which was focused on taking action.  He reported that the Director of Education had met with the Manchester Climate Change Agency and had asked them to work with schools on some specific aspects of this.

 

In response to a Member’s question, the Executive Member for Children and Schools reported that homeless families and families who were at risk of homelessness were key issues of concern for him and that increased focus was being given to addressing these issues.

 

Decision

 

To thank the Executive Member for Children and Schools for his report.

7.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 447 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

This report provides the Committee with details of key decisions that fall within the Committee’s remit and an update on actions resulting from the Committee’s recommendations. The report also includes the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee is asked to amend as appropriate and agree.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit was submitted. The overview report contained key decisions within the Committee’s remit, responses to previous recommendations and the Committee’s work programme, which the Committee was asked to approve.

 

Decision

 

To note the report and agree the work programme, subject to the additional items agreed at the meeting under previous items of business.