Children’s Services Cabinet Member – minutes – 2 July 2008
63(12) OFSTED INSPECTIONS – The Service Director Learning, Schools and Communities submitted a report on the outcome of Ofsted inspections at the following schools:
- Winteringham Primary School
- East Halton Primary School
- Castledyke Primary School, and
- Bottesford Infant School
The schools had been inspected as part of the routine Ofsted inspection cycle of schools. Full copies of the reports had been placed in the political group offices.
Resolved – (a) That approval be given to continue supporting improvements in the schools inspected above, and (b) that the Cabinet Member writes to the schools and makes suitable comments on the reports.
64(13) ANNUAL INSPECTION OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE CHILDREN’S HOMES – The Service Director Children, Strategy and Partnerships submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the outcomes of inspections of four of North Lincolnshire’s Children’s Homes completed between September 2007 and February 2008.
The inspections of the Children’s Homes were carried out by Ofsted inspectors and were the second series of annual inspections they had undertaken since taking over the role from the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
The inspections were carried out under statutory responsibilities given by the Care Standards Act 2000, against outcomes for children set within the Children Act 2004 and relevant National Minimum Standards.
The inspectors gathered evidence from a variety of sources, from a range of professionals and from both children and staff within the homes and by scrutiny of relevant documentation.
Details of the process undertaken during each inspection were set out in the report, including areas for action and improvement required by the inspectors.
Resolved – That the outcomes of the inspections of Children’s Homes be welcomed.
65(14) FOSTERING AND ADOPTION STATEMENTS OF PURPOSE – The Service Director, Children, Strategy and Partnerships submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the revised Statements of Purpose for fostering and adoption in North Lincolnshire.
The fostering and adoption service was required by regulations to have in place a Statement of Purpose (SOP) that was reviewed on and annual basis and updated as appropriate. The SOP had been changed to reflect the five outcomes and the continued work of the two teams.
The SOP for the service reflected the legislative role and function and how locally the council aimed to deliver the two extremely valuable services. The SOP would ensure that the council were able to continue to work toward children being able to live in a permanent or stable family as an alternative to being able to live with their own. The service also worked with adults who required information about the fostering and adoption process and those considering becoming either adoptive or foster parents.
The SOP outlined the principles, aims, objectives and service capacity of the fostering and adoption service and act as a baseline for the council, the children and families, adults and Ofsted.
Resolved – (a) That the fostering and adoption Statements of Purpose be approved, and (b) that the service’s contribution to children in care in North Lincolnshire be noted.
66(15) CHILDREN’S HOMES STATEMENTS OF PURPOSE 2008/09 – The Head of Children’s Services submitted a report seeking approval for the revised Statements of Purpose for children’s homes in North Lincolnshire.
Children’s homes were required by the Children’s Homes Regulations 2001 to have in place a Statement of Purpose (SOP) that was reviewed on an annual basis and updated as appropriate.
The SOP for all homes had been revised to reflect the Every Child Matters, Outcomes Framework and reflect the specific accommodation needs of children within North Lincolnshire.
The SOP outlined the council’s vision seeking to allow children and young people to return to live within their own or alternative family home whilst achieving a high standard of care for the children whilst they were in council accommodation. It outlined the principles, aims, objectives and service capacity of each home and was a baseline for performance management for the council and the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
Resolved – That the Statements of Purpose 2008/09 for children’s homes within North Lincolnshire be approved.
67(16) REVIEW OF HOME TO SCHOOL TRANSPORT POLICY – The Service Director Children, Strategy and Partnerships submitted a report advising on the outcome of stakeholder consultation on the proposed changes to the home to school transport policy previously considered by the Cabinet Member, and recommending changes to the policy.
At a meeting on 10 March 2008, the Cabinet Member considered a report reviewing two aspects of the home to school transport policy (minute 40 refers):
- The incorporation of the new duty to extend entitlement to free transport to pupils from low income groups
- Transport provision made to voluntary aided schools within North Lincolnshire
The decision was taken to consult stakeholders on the extension of entitlement and the phasing out of the denominational transport policy to take effect from September 2009, and that a recommendation be submitted to the Cabinet Member once views had been obtained.
Letters were sent out to all relevant stakeholders requesting feedback to the proposed changes, the closing date for comments was extended to 23 May 2008. Meetings had taken place between the Cabinet Member, officers, representatives of Catholic schools and the Nottingham Diocesan Director for Education.
The report gave details of the responses received from stakeholders and issues of concern.
Resolved – (a) That the incorporation of the entitlement to free transport for children from low income groups into the Home to School Transport policy, in accordance with the Education and Inspections Act, be approved, and (b) that the phasing out of the Denominational Transport Policy, with effect from 1 September 2009, be approved.
68(17) CONSULTATION ON DELIVERING BUILDING SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE – The Service Director Learning, Schools and Communities submitted a report considering the council’s response to a government consultation on how Building Schools for the Future (BSF) could be delivered in Wave 7 onwards.
BSF aimed to rebuild or remodel every secondary school in England over a 15 year period. At present, projects at each council level were grouped into ‘waves’. These represented groups of schools that received the investment at roughly the same time. In some councils all schools were in a single wave, others were grouped in consecutive waves, or in waves separated by a number of years (as was the case in North Lincolnshire).
The government had already announced its investment plans up to Wave 6. These had been determined broadly on two criteria: attainment levels and social disadvantage. Before issuing details of wave 7 onwards, the government had launched a consultation on proposals to modify the current arrangements. The proposed responses from the council were shown on the reply form appended to the report.
Resolved – That the Building Schools for the Future consultation as identified in the report be approved .
69(18) YOUNG PEOPLE’S EDUCATION CENTRE – ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT – The Service Director Learning, Schools and Communities submitted a report seeking approval for the creation of a part-time Administration Assistant within the Young People’s Education Centre.
Since the amalgamation of the Young People’s Education Centre and Newdown Personalised Learning Suite, the need for support to ensure the smooth day to day handling of administration across both sites had become paramount.
The creation of the post would support the Young People’s Education Centre, mainstream link schools and vulnerable students placed in the provisions.
Resolved – (a) That the creation of the post of part-time Administration Assistant (grade 3) be endorsed, and (b) that the report be referred to the Corporate Services Cabinet Member for approval.
70(19) ESTABLISHMENT OF THE POST OF LOCAL SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN’S BOARD CHILD DEATH OVERVIEW PANEL CO-ORDINATOR – The Service Director Children, Strategy and Partnerships submitted a report seeking approval for the creation of the post of Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Child Death Overview Panel Co-Ordinator.
The Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) had been established in line with The Children Act 2004. As part of the statutory responsibilities of the LSCB it was required to implement a Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) from 1 April 2008. The LSCB had undertaken work with partner agencies to look at the implementation of a CDOP in North Lincolnshire. The CDOP would be responsible for reviewing all unexpected child deaths in North Lincolnshire and having oversight of all child deaths. The panel would be required to function in line with the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006, chapter 7.
The role of the postholder would be to co-ordinate and administrate the CDOP to ensure effective discharge of its functions. This would include acting as a central point of contact in implementing the rapid response procedures to ensure timely and sufficient exchange of information between medical services, Police, the Coroner and a possible range of other agencies that could have been involved with the deceased and their family.
Resolved – (a) That the creation of the post of Local Safeguarding Children’s Board Child Death Overview Panel Co-ordinator be endorsed, and (b) that the report be forwarded to Corporate Services Cabinet Member for approval.
The following item contains exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).
71(20) TO CHANGE THE STATUS OF TWO FIXED TERM SECRETARIAL POSTS – The Service Director Children, Strategy and Partnerships submitted a report seeking approval to make permanent two fixed term secretarial posts within the Children, Strategy and Partnerships (CSP) Management Team.
The Children’s Services Management Team within Children, Strategy and Partnerships was supported by a dedicated secretarial team. At present, two of the posts within the secretarial team were filled on fixed terms contracts, which were due to end during this calendar year.
The posts were originally created on a fixed term basis to provide additional capacity to support the growing remit of the service. There was a continued need for the services that the posts delivered to the Children’s Services Management Team. The remit of the posts had become more complex as a result of rapid government policy changes and the widening partnership responsibilities.
Resolved – (a) That the proposals to change to the status of the two secretarial posts to permanent be endorsed, and (b) that the report be referred to the Corporate Services Cabinet Member for approval.
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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.