Manchester City Council

Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 24th June, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual meeting - Webcast at https://manchester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/485325

Contact: Rachel McKeon 

Media

Items
No. Item

19.

Councillor Sue Murphy

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair paid tribute to Councillor Sue Murphy, who had recently passed away, and the Committee paused to reflect on her life.

20.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 240 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020.

 

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Ofsted Subgroup held on 22 January 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair noted that an update had been requested about the work to address the issues arising from the decision to close Newall Green High School, including progress in finding new school places for the affected pupils, and asked that this be provided to Committee Members.

 

Decisions

 

1.         To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held

            on 4 March 2020.

 

2.         To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Ofsted Subgroup

            held on 22 January 2020.

 

3.         To request that an update on the work to address the issues arising from the decision to close Newall Green High School, including progress in finding new school places for the affected pupils, be circulated to Committee Members.

21.

Children and Education Services response to COVID-19 pdf icon PDF 575 KB

Report of the Strategic Director for Children and Education Services

 

This report provides an update on the impact, progress and response of schools, children and education services to the presenting challenges of COVID-19 with a specific focus on the support being provided to Manchester’s schools and those children considered to be more vulnerable than their counterparts.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services which provided an update on the impact, progress and response of schools, children and education services to the presenting challenges of COVID-19, with a specific focus on the support being provided to Manchester’s schools and those children considered to be more vulnerable than their counterparts.  The report noted that, through the learning and education system, children were informed about and understood environmental issues and the negative impact of carbon, promoting safe and healthy lives.

 

The Strategic Director of Children and Education Services referred to the main points and themes within the report which included:

 

  • An update on schools, early years settings, childminders and post-16 providers;
  • Initiatives to support children and young people, including the provision of laptops and support to children at transition stages in their education;
  • Support for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND);
  • Free School Meals;
  • Support for children who were not currently on a school roll;
  • An update on Children’s Services, including the impact of lockdown on demand, interface with the Family Court and work to support Our Children and Young People (Looked After Children and Care Leavers);
  • The potential impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of children and young people and how this was being addressed; and
  • The financial implications of COVID-19.

 

The Executive Member for Children and Schools recognised the achievements of Council staff and partners, including schools and early years providers, during this challenging time and welcomed the high quality of the data which had been provided to the Executive.  He also highlighted the work of the Director of Customer Services and Transaction and her team in putting in place the Manchester Free School Meals Scheme.  He reported that, while there had been some positive outcomes from the current situation, such as increased engagement from young people who preferred to communicate via digital means, there were many challenges for the Council and its partners to address.  He advised that these included most children not attending school, lower social work referrals and existing issues such as poverty and domestic abuse being exacerbated by the crisis.

 

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

 

  • Concern about children not being in school, including that there was variation in what support children were getting from their schools and how much learning they were doing at home;
  • Concern that mental health issues would increase as a result of the pandemic;
  • Preparations for children returning to school;
  • Concern that some children and school staff were in a high risk category or lived with someone who was, noting that data indicated that Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups were at higher risk of mortality from COVID-19;
  • What progress had been made in providing laptops to pupils who needed them;
  • Free School Meals (FSM), including recognising the success of Marcus Rashford’s campaign for FSM to be provided to eligible families over the summer holidays and to thank him for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Attainment and Progress 2019 pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Report of the Director of Education

 

This report provides an analysis of the 2019 outcomes of statutory assessment at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. The report also includes summary of performance according to groups by ethnicity. The final validated results became available in February 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Education which providedan analysis of the 2019 outcomes of statutory assessment at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. The report also included a summary of performance according to groups by ethnicity.

 

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

 

  • Early years outcomes;
  • Primary school outcomes;
  • Secondary school outcomes;
  • Post-16 outcomes;
  • Outcomes by groups, including disadvantaged children, those with English as an Additional Language (EAL), Our Children, children with SEND and children by ethnicity; and
  • Next steps.

 

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

 

  • That GCSE and A-Level results for 2020 would be based on teacher assessments as no examinations would be taking place, noting that the situation had been made more challenging by the move from modular assessments to a system where results were based on final examinations at the end of the course, and concern that pupils from BAME groups could be negatively affected due to unconscious bias;
  • How the Council could support schools to have a more inclusive curriculum that represented all communities in the city, commenting that this should not just be restricted to Black History Month; and
  • Request for an update on work to ensure young children were school ready.

 

The Head of Schools Quality Assurance and Strategic SEND outlined how GCSE and A-Level results would be assessed, which involved schools sending two pieces of each student’s work to the examination board, along with the grade they expected they would have received and a list ranking all students entered for that subject.  She advised Members that the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) was standardising grades against schools’ historic performance and that this was concerning for Manchester schools which had previously been failing but were now on a strong improvement journey.  She reported that attainment data was analysed by ethnicity and that this would continue with the 2020 results.

 

The Director of Education informed Members that there was some very good practice in Manchester of ensuring that the curriculum was relevant to all communities and that the data analysis of outcomes by ethnicity would be used to identify schools which had good practices and share that learning across the city.  The Executive Member for Children and Schools informed Members that discussions were currently taking place on how issues relating to Black Lives Matter and racial equality could be better addressed and that further information on the Council’s response could be provided to the Committee at a later date.

 

The Director of Education reported that the Council was involved in the Greater Manchester plan to improve school readiness but that a lot of young children had not been in early years settings over the past few months due to COVID-19, although schools were now able to re-open to nursery children.  She advised the Committee that the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Overview Report pdf icon PDF 421 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 alsoincludes 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.

 

The Chair informed Members that a decision had not yet been made about when the next meeting would take place but that Members would be informed.

 

A Member highlighted some of the Committee’s previous recommendations to which Members had not yet had a response and, while recognising the current pressure on officers, asked that a date be agreed by which a response would be provided.

 

Decisions

 

1.             To note the report.

 

2.             To request that a date be agreed by which officers would provide a response to the three recommendations which had been on the recommendations monitor for over a year.