Adult & Children’s Service Cabinet Member – Minutes – 17 November 2011

Resolved – That the following persons be appointed as Authority School Governors, subject to the relevant CRB checks: 

Bottesford Junior School – Mr P Raspin
Broughton Infant School – Cllr I Glover
East Halton Primary School – Mrs G Harper
The Hibaldstow and Scawby School’s Federation – Mrs R Rylatt
Kirton Lindsey Primary School – Mrs B Spencer
The Music Support Service – Mrs M Lee
North Axholme School – Mrs S Clark
Priory Lane Junior – Mr C Hornsby
Winterton Comprehensive School – Mrs L Stevens
Worlaby Primary School – Mr B Shephard 

33  (33) APPOINTMENT OF ADDITIONAL GOVERNOR – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report seeking approval of the appointment of an additional governor to Scunthorpe Church of England Primary School governing body. 

Scunthorpe Church of England Primary School required an additional governor.  The person appointed would help to support the schools improvement. 

Resolved – That the following persons be appointed to the position of additional governor to Scunthorpe Church of England Primary School governing body, subject to the relevant CRB checks:         

Mr P Edworthy 

34  (34) ANNUAL REPRESENTATIONS AND COMPLAINTS REPORT 2010-11 – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report presenting the Annual Representations and Complaints Report, as required by the Children Act 1989 and the Representations Procedure Regulations (England) 2006. 

There was a statutory requirement to present an annual report covering the representations and complaints received by Children’s Services in the year 2010/11. Details of the complaints received and actions taken were set out in the report. 

Resolved – That the Annual Representations and Complaints Report for Children and Young People’s Service be received and approved. 

35  (35) OFSTED INSPECTIONS OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE SCHOOLS – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the outcomes of the Ofsted inspection for Sir John Nelthorpe – A Specialist Technology College for Science, Mathematics and Computing. 

The schools had been inspected under the Section 5 Ofsted inspection schedule for 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 school inspected above, and (b) that the Cabinet Member writes to the schools and makes suitable comment on the reports. 

36  (36) OFSTED INSPECTIONS OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE CHILDREN’S HOMES – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the outcomes of the recent Ofsted inspections of three North Lincolnshire Children’s Homes. 

All Children’s Homes were subject to annual inspections carried out by Ofsted inspectors. Since the previous children’s home inspections reported to the Cabinet Member Ofsted have revised their Children’s Home inspection processes and a new inspection framework was implemented in April 2011. These inspections were all carried out under the new framework. 

The report was to inform the Cabinet Member of the inspections of the three ‘mainstream’ Children’s Homes.  

Inspections were carried out under the statutory responsibilities given by the Care Standards Act 2000, and against the Outcomes for Children set within the Children Act 2004 and National Minimum Standards for Children’s Homes, also revised April 2011. 

As under the previous framework, each home had two inspections per year; they were now described as a ‘full’ inspection and an ‘interim’ inspection, both were unannounced. 

Inspectors gathered evidence from a variety of sources, including a range of relevant professionals, children and staff within the homes and through the scrutiny of relevant documentation. Inspectors prioritised the gathering of views from children as a primary focus of the inspection.

The report detailed outcomes of the inspection and any areas for improvement. 

Resolved – That the outcome of the latest inspections of the Children’s Homes be noted. 

37  (37) ADOPTION SERVICE SIX MONTHLY BUSINESS REPORT APRIL-SEPTEMBER 2011 – The Director of Children and Young People’s Service submitted a report summarising the work of the Adoption Service between 1 April 2011 and 30 September 2011. 

The Adoption Service operated under the regulatory framework of The Adoption and Children Act 2002, The Adoption Agency Regulations 2005 and the National Minimum Standards 2011 (Adoption), which came into force in April 2011. The service was inspected by Ofsted under these standards every three years. The last statutory inspection of service took place in June 2009. The outcome of the inspection was very positive with the service receiving a rating of ‘Good’ with no requirements or recommendations. 

There was an expectation within the regulatory framework that a business report was presented to the Cabinet Member for information.  Until this year, this was required annually. The new National Minimum Standards now required this report to be provided every six months. This was the first six monthly report and covered the period 1 April 2011 to 30 September 2011. 

The report gave details of the main responsibilities of the Adoption Service and progression made over the past six months. 

Resolved (a) That the report be noted, and (b) that the continued development of the council’s work in Adoption be supported.

38  (38) BUILDING SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE (BSF): USE OF CONSULTANTS – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report confirming historic levels of use of consultants associated with delivering the council’s BSF programme and to set out a strategy for the use of consultants in the future. 

On 6 July 2009, the former Children’s Services Cabinet Member approved the award of a series of contracts to form a contractual framework between the council and the LEP to deliver the BSF programme (minute 123 refers).  The contracts required the council to perform a number of key roles to protect our ongoing interests and ensure optimum service delivery.  The work was particularly intensive during the phase of work to secure BSF funding and to appoint the LEP (2006 to 2009).  During that period, the council procured services from consultants totalling £1,751,091.  This consisted mainly of ICT, legal, technical and financial support that the council did not have the internal capacity or expertise to deliver.  ‘Pre LEP appointment’ annual expenditure on consultants peaked in 2008/09 at £856,672.  

The BSF Programme Director had investigated the need to engage consultants, the availability of internal council resources and alternative means of support available.  The report set out the outcome of these investigations. 

Resolved – (a) That the historic level of use of consultants associated with delivering the councils BSF programme, as set out in the report, be noted, (b) that the use of consultants in quarters one and two of 2011/12 be noted, and that regular reports on the use of consultants associated with delivering the councils BSF programme be received, and (c) that the strategy for the use of consultants in the future, as set out in appendix 1 of the report, be approved.

The following item contains exempt information, as defined in paragraphs one and two of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). 

39  (39) DIVERSITY SERVICE REVIEW PROPOSED POLICY AND GUIDANCE NOTES – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report seeking approval for the deletion of and creation of posts within the Diversity Service as part of an essential restructure.  

The Diversity Service worked with vulnerable and underachieving learners from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds, including Gypsy/Roma/Traveller (GRT) pupils, children for whom English was an Additional Language (EAL) and children who were Electively Home Educated (EHE). The Diversity Service was previously funded through a combination of central government funding: the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG), and Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG); and through local buy-in by schools through Service Level Agreements.

Changes to national and local funding for the educational support for children who speak EAL and children from BME backgrounds meant that the Diversity Service had a budget shortfall. Central government no longer allocates an EMAG grant, and the DSG funding added to this year’s SLA income leaves a budget pressure of approximately £50,000. Five primary schools bought in EAL support from the Diversity Service through Service Level Agreements, and DSG funding was agreed by the Schools Funding Forum to support the needs of new arrivals in schools with numbers too low to trigger funding. 

Service delivery commitments and statutory functions needed to be balanced with budget pressures to ensure reductions in costs did not impair service capacity to meet the needs of vulnerable children.  Therefore it was essential that a review took place. 

Full details of the proposed restructure, including financial implications, were set out in the report and accompanying appendices. 

Resolved – That Option 3, as set out in the report, be approved.

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.