Adult and Children’s Services Cabinet Member – minutes – 6 December 2011

All Children’s Centres were subject inspections carried out by Ofsted over a five year period.  Inspections began in the summer of 2010.  The Framework of children’s centre inspection detailed what inspectors would look at during their visit.  Inspectors checked that centres:

  • knew their community and the sorts of services, activities and courses families living there needed;
  • offered those services, or gave families advice and support on where they could access them;
  • did all they could to help families use those services they needed most, especially the families that might find it hard to do so;
  • made sure that no groups of the community had been overlooked; and
  • had partnerships with health services, Jobcentre Plus, childcare providers and any other key services that joined up to provide the support families needed.

 

Barton Children’s Centre was inspected on 19 and 20 October 2011 against revised inspection guidance issued by Ofsted in September 2011. This was the first Children’s Centre to be inspected in North Lincolnshire against the new guidance. Descriptors against each of the judgement areas were notably tougher than previously, reflecting a general ‘raising of the bar’ in terms of required standards. The full report was now available on the Ofsted website. 

Ofsted provided a judgment on the overall effectiveness of each children’s centre.  The report detailed outcomes of the inspection and any areas for improvement. 

Resolved – (a) That approval be given to continue supporting improvements in the Barton Children’s Centre, and (b) that the Cabinet Member writes to the centre and makes suitable comments on the inspection report.

42 (42) SCHOOLS CAPITAL PROGRAMME UPDATE – The Director of Children and Young People’s Service submitted a report seeking approval on the proposed update of the capital programme for the service, and to increase the allocation within the Schools and Children’s Centres Investment Programme for the expansion of the junior site of Willoughby Road Primary School.

The schemes in the approved Capital Programme for Children’s Services 2011-14 (summarised in Appendix 1 of the report) were at various stages of completion and had been reviewed to ensure that the correct budget was allocated to each scheme. 

There was a rolling programme for school buildings and Children’s Centres which included many different projects. The programme identified the council’s responsibilities and duties relating to the maintenance of school buildings and ensuring a sufficient supply of school places. In addition, the following types of issues were identified as significant factors for consideration:

  • ensuring health and safety issues were addressed
  • ensuring buildings were suitable and fit for purpose
  • ensuring consideration as to how carbon impact could be reduced
  • ensuring poor performing buildings were removed from the school estate
  • ensuring buildings were rationalised were possible to reduce revenue costs

As part of the programme, funding was earmarked for the expansion of Willoughby Road Primary School (formerly Riddings Infants and Riddings Junior Schools). The original budget did not include the nursery unit. The feasibility had now been completed and the preferred option to maximise the benefits of amalgamation and to provide a more cost effective space included the nursery unit.

Resolved – (a) That the proposed Capital Programme, outlined in Appendix 1 of the report, be approved, (b) that the plans to incorporate the nursery unit in the whole school expansion project for Willoughby Road Primary School, be approved, and (c) that the proposal to utilise the additional capital receipt as part of the updated Schools and Children’s Centre Investment, as set out in the report, be supported.