Children and Education Services Proxy Indicators March 2020 - October 2020
- Meeting of Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 2nd December, 2020 10.00 am (Item 52.)
Presentation of the Deputy Director of Children’s Services and the Strategic Lead SEND and School Improvement
This presentation provides proxy indicators in relation to the performance of Children and Education Services.
The Committee received a presentation of the Deputy Director of Children’s Services and the Strategic Lead (SEND and School Improvement) which provided proxy indicators in relation to the performance of Children and Education Services.
The Deputy Director of Children’s Servicesreferred to the main points and themes within the presentation, which included:
· The rate of Children in Need;
· The rate of Child Protection Plans (CPP) and the percentage of children required a second or subsequent CPP; and
· Average Social Worker caseloads.
The Strategic Lead (SEND and School Improvement) provided an overview of the education data within the presentation. She also informed Members about changes to the way school attendance was being recorded, which meant that the attendance figures could not be directly compared to the previous figures. She reported that the Department for Education (DfE) had introduced a new attendance code of ‘X’, which was used if a pupil was self-isolating or a group of pupils had been sent home due to a COVID-19 case within the group. If a pupil tested positive for COVID-19, she advised that they would then be classed as ‘I’ for ill. She reported that pupils with the ‘X’ code were not classed as either present or absent so were excluded from the overall attendance figures. Therefore, she informed Members, while the school attendance rate was 94% overall, only 84% of pupils were present in school.
The Executive Member for Children and Schools informed Members that he had written to the Secretary of State, recommending that national assessments should not take place next year and should be replaced by teachers’ assessments, as some pupils had been required to spend a number of weeks self-isolating while other pupils had not been affected by this. He expressed concern that Manchester children could be disproportionately affected compared to pupils in areas with lower infection rates and also that pupils from less privileged backgrounds would have already been disadvantaged when studying at home during the first lockdown. In response to a question from the Chair, the Executive Member stated that he had not yet received a response to his letter. A Member advised that it was important for Members to lobby on this issue.
A Member commented that, while social workers’ caseloads had increased recently, they were still a significant improvement on the situation a few years ago.
In response to a Member’s question, the Deputy Director of Children’s Services advised that there was no comparator data available on Children Missing from Home.
In response to a Member’s question, the Director of Education advised that the Children Missing from Education referred to in the presentation slides were children whose families had recently applied for a school place, as new families were moving into the area all the time, and they were still in the process of being offered a school place. She advised that some children were offered places through the In Year Fair Access Protocol and, for others, the School Admissions Team would look for the most suitable vacancy for a maximum of four weeks before offering a place. She also advised that, where a child had an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), her service had to consult with the school prior to offering the place.
To thank officers for the presentation.