Adult & Children’s Services Cabinet Member – Minutes – 2 February 2012

All Children’s Centres were subject to an Ofsted inspection on a five yearly cycle.  The inspections were carried out under Part 3A of the Childcare Act 2006, as amended by Section 199 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. 

Frodingham Children’s Centre was inspected on 16 and 17 November 2011, against revised inspection guidance issued by Ofsted in September 2011.  This was the second Children’s Centre to be inspected in North Lincolnshire against the new guidance.  It was a phase one children’s centre, providing the full core offer of services to a community that was in one of the 30 per cent most deprived areas in the country. 

The inspection reports gave a judgement on the overall effectiveness of the provision and the capacity for sustained improvement. 

The report gave full details of the outcomes of the inspections. 

Resolved – (a) That the improvements in the Frodingham Children’s Centre continues to be supported, and (b) that the Cabinet Member writes to the Children’s Centre manager and makes suitable comments on the inspection report. 

53  (53) OUTCOME OF THE CHILDREN’S SERVICE ASSESSMENT BY OFSTED – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report seeking to inform the Cabinet Member of the outcomes of the Children’s Service Assessment November 2011. 

Ofsted had a statutory responsibility to undertake an annual assessment of all council’s Children’s Services.  They had developed a performance profile, which was used to inform the assessment.  Guidance was published each year on any changes in how the profile had been compiled. 

The report gave details of how the performance profile was complied, along with outcomes of the assessment, including strengths and areas for further improvement. 

Resolved – (a) That the significant areas of strength identified in the letter from Ofsted be noted, and (b) that the plans for improvement be supported. 

54  (54) STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICE 2011/12 – The Director of Children and Young People’s Service submitted a report seeking endorsement for the Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) Striving for Excellence Improvement Plan 2011/12. 

The CYPS had a strong vision Safe Children Supported Families Transformed Lives. The Striving for Excellence Improvement Plan 2011/12 set out the service’s priorities for improvement in 2011/12.  The six strategic priorities of the Children and Young People’s Plan 2010/13:

  • Raise Aspirations;
  • Children and Young People Feel Safe and are Safe
  • Best Start;
  • Close the Gaps
  • Celebrate and Engage Children and Young People, and
  • One Vision One Workforce

 

provided the framework for the improvement plan. 

The priority areas for improvement action in the plan are identified from:

  • Outcomes of the service’s self assessment (review of Striving for Excellence Plan 2010/11)
  • The Ofsted Children’s Service Assessment letter (November 2011)
  • Transformation of services to deliver the child’s single journey (Professor Munro’s report)
  • The need to develop the workforce to deliver transformed services

 

Outcomes from the Adolescent Lifestyle Survey had been used to ensure the views of the users of the service were fully considered within the self assessment. 

To ensure that the service made the required progress to deliver the improvement plan, the Turning the Curve Results Based Accountability methodology was being used and progress against the plan would be subject to Quarterly Performance Reviews. 

Resolved – That Striving for Excellence Improvement Plan Children and Young People’s Service be endorsed for publication, distribution and action. 

55  (55) FOSTERING SERVICE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE – The Director of Children and Young People’s Service submitted a report seeking approval of the revised Statement of Purpose for fostering in North Lincolnshire. 

The Fostering Service was required by The Fostering Service Regulations 2011 and the National Minimum Standards (Fostering Services) – updated and introduced 1 April 2011 – to have in place a Statement of Purpose that was kept under review and where appropriate, revised. 

The Statement of Purpose was an integral component of the three yearly inspections of the service undertaken by Ofsted.  The next inspection of the service was due in 2012.

Following various appointments to the Fostering Services team, the Statement of Purpose for fostering had been reviewed and amended in accordance with statutory duties place on councils by the regulations and minimum standards referred to previously. 

Resolved – That the revised Fostering Service Statement of Purpose be approved. 

56  (56) WINTERTON COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HOUSE – SURPLUS TO REQUIREMENTS – The Director of Children and Young People’s Service submitted a report seeking to declare  the school house at Winterton Comprehensive School surplus to the service’s requirements. 

The school house at Winterton Comprehensive School had been vacated by the caretaker.  Previously, the tenancy of the house had been offered to caretakers for the better performance of their duties.  The school did not anticipate requiring future caretakers to occupy the house and governors had declared the house surplus to the school’s requirements.  There was no alternative use of the building within the Children and Young People’s Service. 

Resolved – That Option 1, as detailed at paragraph 4.1 of the report, be approved and the building be declared surplus to the requirements of the service from December 2011. 

57  (57) AMALGAMATION CONSULTATION PRIORY LANE INFANT SCHOOL AND PRIORY LANE JUNIOR SCHOOL – The Director of Children and Young People’s Service submitted a report seeking approval to commence formal consultation on the amalgamation of Priory Lane Infant School and Priory Lane Junior School. 

Following discussions with the governing bodies of Priory Lane Infant and Junior Schools regarding school reorganisation, it had been resolved that the council should seek permission to undertake a formal public consultation in relation to the proposed amalgamation. 

In order to amalgamate community schools, the council must follow statutory regulations.  The regulations required that public consultation be undertaken.  The consultation allowed the council an opportunity to seek stakeholders’ views regarding the creation of a through-primary school. 

The report detailed the way in which the consultation would take place and the methods that could be used to amalgamate the two schools. 

Resolved – That Option 1, to undertake public consultation regarding the proposed amalgamation of Priory Lane Infant and Junior Schools, be approved. 

58  (58) OUTCOMES OF PILOT OFSTED INSPECTION OF NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Director of Children and Young People’s Services submitted a report seeking to inform the Cabinet Member and summarise the findings of the ‘pilot’ Ofsted inspection of North Lincolnshire Adoption Services which took place between 28 November and 2 December 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. 

In June 2011 Ofsted published a draft revised framework for inspecting adoption services. As part of their consultation on this framework, they invited councils to bid to pilot the new inspection format. The aim of this was to test out the inspection process, how well the revised framework could be used by Ofsted to make judgements on the service and receive feedback from councils who were inspected. They were an important part of the council’s evaluation of all the materials that made up the framework for the inspection of local authority adoption agencies and voluntary adoption agencies which would be used from April 2012. North Lincolnshire was one of the councils chosen. This took place at the end of November 2011.

Although the report from the pilot inspection was not a formally recognised inspection report, it was completed in the same way as for a full inspection of the service and included the inspectors’ judgments and recommendations for further improvements. 

Resolved – (a) That the positive outcome of the pilot inspection be noted, and (b) that the continuing support of the Cabinet Member be welcomed, enabling the Adoption Service to continue providing successful services.

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.