Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Ofsted Subgroup - Wednesday, 2nd March, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension. View directions

Contact: Rachel McKeon 

Items
No. Item

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 293 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2022.

Minutes:

Decision

 

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2022.

9.

Local Government Association (LGA) Permanence Peer Challenge pdf icon PDF 439 KB

Report of the Deputy Director of Children’s Services

 

This report provides feedback from the recent LGA Permanence Peer Challenge.

Minutes:

The Subgroup received a report of the Deputy Director of Children’s Services which provided feedback from the recent LGA Permanence Peer Challenge.

 

The main points and themes within the report included:

 

  • The process;
  • Key messages from the review; and
  • Recommendations.

 

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

 

  • To note the improvements made since 2014 when Manchester’s Children’s Services were judged as “inadequate” by Ofsted;
  • The importance of Members continuing to undertake visits across Children’s Services;
  • Social Worker caseloads, including the variability of caseloads between Social Workers;
  • The number of agency staff; and
  • Whether Our Children and Young People (Looked After Children and Care Leavers) received priority for health services, for example dental appointments and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

 

In response to a Member’s comment that the report did not mention the pandemic, the Strategic Director of Children and Education Services informed Members that one of the peer reviewers had commented positively on staff not talking about the pandemic, reflecting that the service had continued to work face-to-face throughout, unlike many other local authorities.  He reported that the average caseload for experienced Social Workers was about 17.6, with the highest number being 25 and Newly Qualified Social Workers having an average caseload of 12 or 13, whereas in 2015 some Social Workers had 40 to 50 cases.    He advised that there were 36 agency staff across the Directorate and that this was the lowest level of reliance on agency staff across the region.  In response to a Member’s comments, he provided an update on progress in providing staff with suitable IT equipment.  He recommended that he and the Chair of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee have a discussion about future visits to the service, including making the visits more focused.  Members discussed the need to ensure the voice of the child was heard and the role of Our Year in engaging with children and young people.

 

A Member suggested that training should be arranged for Councillors in the new municipal year covering a range of topics, including the journey that Children’s Services had been on since 2014, noting that there would be new Councillors after the election.  The Strategic Director of Children and Education Services agreed that a session on Children’s Services could be provided to Members in the new municipal year, also covering the future plans for the service. In response to the question about health services, he informed the Subgroup that Our Children and Young People had a designated team of health professionals, that they had a good relationship with CAMHS and that additional services could be commissioned where needed.  He confirmed that Our Children and Young People were prioritised for access to health services, including dentistry.  In response to a further question, he reported that when they became Looked After, children received an initial health assessment and a Personal Education Plan. 

 

Decision

 

To note the report.

10.

Ofsted Inspections of Manchester Schools pdf icon PDF 450 KB

To receive a list of all Manchester schools which have been inspected since the last meeting and the judgements awarded.

 

To consider inspection reports for a selection of the schools.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Subgroup received a list of all Manchester schools which had been inspected since the last meeting and the judgements awarded.  The Senior Schools Quality Assurance Officer provided an overview of this information.

 

The Subgroup considered the recent Ofsted report for St Patrick’s RC Primary School, which had been judged as “good” at its most recent inspection in November 2021.  The Senior Schools Quality Assurance Officer reported that the school had been placed in special measures in 2009 then judged as “satisfactory” in 2011 and, following the change in the Ofsted Framework, judged as “requires improvement” on three subsequent inspections so, she advised, this inspection had been critical.  She outlined how a formal partnership with St Edmund’s RC Primary School had benefited both schools.  She highlighted some of the key points from the Ofsted report.  A Member welcomed the positive journey of this school to achieving a “good” judgement and suggested that the Subgroup could consider visiting the school.  A Member reported that some schools subsequently reverted to “requires improvement” at their next inspection and highlighted the need for local authority support to ensure that this did not happen.  A Member welcomed that phonics teaching was good at the school and that pupils were knowledgeable about climate change.  In response to a Member’s comments about the challenges faced by small schools, the Senior Schools Quality Assurance Officer informed Members that the Diocese of Salford was exploring the option of academising all its schools.  She advised that her team were conscious of the need to sustain improvements made and that the allocation of their time across different schools was regularly reviewed.

 

The Subgroup considered the recent Ofsted report for Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy which had been judged as “good”.  The Senior Schools Quality Assurance Officer highlighted some of the key areas within the report including that the school had been judged as “outstanding” for behaviour and attitudes and personal development.  She reported that the school was open to engagement with the local authority, for example, communicating messages about vaccination, although not with the Quality Assurance Team.  The Subgroup discussed single sex schools within the city, noting that there had been community resistance to a proposed move to make existing single-sex schools mixed-sex.  In response to comments from the Chair, the Senior Schools Quality Assurance Officer reported that the Director of Education had a positive working relationship with the Executive Principal, who was also the Executive Principal of the neighbouring Eden Girls’ Leadership Academy.  The Chair suggested that the Subgroup might want to visit Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy.

 

The Subgroup considered the recent Ofsted report for Rolls Crescent Primary School, which had been judged as “good”.  The Senior Schools Quality Assurance Officer informed Members that it had converted to an academy and that the predecessor school had also been judged as “good”.  She advised Members that the school worked collaboratively with the other schools in the same multi-academy trust.  She highlighted the main points from the report.  She advised that the school  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Terms of Reference and Work Programme pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit

 

To review the Terms of Reference and Work Programme of the Subgroup.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision

 

To approve the Terms of Reference and Work Programme.