Children, Families & Learning Cabinet Member – Minutes – 7 July 2017

43 (43) SCHOOL ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS FOR 2019/20 COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED SCHOOLS – The Director: Learning, Skills and Culture submitted a report seeking approval to consult with the governing bodies of community and voluntary controlled schools in respect of proposed changes to the council’s admission arrangements for the 2019/20 academic year, prior to a full public consultation, and to suggest changes to the admission arrangements of own admission authority schools for the 2019/20 academic year to keep them consistent with the council’s arrangements for its schools.

The council was required to determine by 28 February 2018 its admission arrangements for the academic year 2019/20, including admission numbers, for each community and voluntary controlled school.

Admission arrangements were to describe how school places were allocated, especially with reference to the oversubscription criteria. This confirmed how applications were prioritised when the number of applications exceeded the number of places available.

The admission number referred to the number of school places that the admission authority must offer in the relevant age group of the school.

The School Admissions Code 2014 required that oversubscription criteria must be reasonable, clear, objective, procedurally fair, and comply with all relevant legislation, including equalities legislation.

Governing boards would be consulted during the Autumn Term 2017 regarding the proposed 2019/20 admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools. The consultation would include full details of proposed admission numbers and oversubscription criteria.

Resolved That Option 1, as set out in the report at paragraph 3.1, to consult on the proposed arrangements in Appendix 1, be approved.

44 (44) OUTCOME OF OFSTED INSPECTION POPPYFIELDS NURSERY – The Director: Adults and Community Wellbeing submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the outcome of the Ofsted inspection held at Poppyfields Nursery on 25 April 2017.

Poppyfields Nursery was part of West Street Children’s Centre, and was run by the council.

The nursery was last inspected on the 31 March 2015 and was graded as a ‘GOOD’ provision.

The nursery opened from Monday to Friday during term time only. Sessions were from 9am until 4pm. The nursery provided funded early education for two, three- and four-year-old children.

It was the responsibility of the registered person to ensure that the provision complied with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and care known as the early year’s foundation stage.

The report set out the findings of the inspection, including a summary of strengths and areas for improvement.

Resolved – That the Cabinet Member writes to the management and staff at Poppyfields Nursery regarding the outcome of the inspection.

45 (45) APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY SCHOOL GOVERNORS – The Director: Learning, Skills and Culture submitted a report considering the appointment of suitable candidates to serve as local authority governors.

Boards of governors were the key strategic decision-making body for schools.  It was the board’s role to set a school’s strategic framework and to ensure that all statutory duties were met.  There were currently 71 boards of governors within North Lincolnshire serving both schools and academies.  A number of schools were federated, which meant that a governing body oversaw the running of two schools.

In accordance with the School Governance Regulations (2012) maintained schools’ boards were constituted from the following governor categories:

• Parent Governors
• Head Teacher
• Staff Governor
• Local Authority Governor
• Foundation Governor

When a Local Authority vacancy occurred, the relevant board identified the necessary skills, knowledge and experience that would be required of the successful candidates.  The council was then able to match the board of governors’ needs against the perspective candidate’s application.

Resolved – That the three applicants as listed at Appendix 1 to the report be appointed as Local Authority Governors on the schools listed, subject to the relevant DBS checks.

46 (46) REQUEST TO ESTABLISH TWO FULL-TIME TEMPORARY POSTS FUNDED BY DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION GRANT FUNDING – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report seeking approval to establish a Humber Social Work Teaching Partnership (HSWTP) Project Support Officer and Project Development Manager.

The council was the lead partner in the recently-formed Humber Social Work Teaching Partnership. This partnership sought to improve the quality and effectiveness of social work university and post-qualifying training, in order to ensure the most vulnerable children, adults, families and communities of North Lincolnshire continued to benefit from high-calibre and skilled social workers. As accountable body, the council hosted and was responsible for the effective leadership, management and administration of the project.

The HSWTP was awarded DfE grant funding in November 2016 of up to £892,120. This funding was time limited, for the period to 31 March 2018.

The current project team comprised one full-time agency project lead and additional support from permanent members of council staff via grant-funded backfill arrangements. The first phase of project set-up had been completed, however moving forward in order to ensure the delivery of outcomes agreed with the DfE, and in line with the implementation plan milestones, the project required additional focused project support and project management capacity.

Resolved – That the posts of Humber Social Work Teaching Panel Project Development Manager and Project Support Officer, as set out in the report, be approved.

47 (47) ANNUAL REPRESENTATION AND COMPLAINTS REPORT 2016/17 –The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report presenting the Annual Representation and Complaints Report 2016-17 for social care services for children in line with statutory requirements.

There was a statutory requirement to present an annual report on representations and complaints received about services delivered under the Children Act 1989.

These statutory procedures gave service users, or representatives acting on their behalf, the right to make representations about services.  There was a requirement that councils addressed these representations, through a three stage procedure for complaints for social care services for children.

The Children Act procedure set out three stages under which complaints could be investigated and heard. The guidance specified the timescales for dealing with complaints at each stage.

Resolved – That the Annual Representations and Complaints Report 2016/17 for children’s social care services, be received and approved.