Children, Families & Culture Cabinet Member – Minutes – 23 January 2020

11 SEND INCLUSION PLAN ANNUAL REPORT 2018/2019 – The Director: Learning, Skills and Culture submitted a report seeking approval for the SEND Inclusion Plan Annual Report 2018/19.

North Lincolnshire’s Inclusion Plan for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) was aligned very closely with the vision and priorities for ‘All Our Children 2020’ set out in the North Lincolnshire Education and Skills Plan.
The annual report summarised the work the council had undertaken in 2018 – 2019 to implement the SEND delivery plan and highlight achievements. The report went beyond raising educational standards because for children and young people with SEND all partners had a very important role. By further developing these relationships and through joint planning and delivery of support, the council was confident that outcomes for children and young people with SEND would be further improved.

– That the SEND Inclusion Plan Annual Report 2018/19 be approved.

12 INDEPENDENT REVIEWING SERVICE ANNUAL REPORT 2018/19 – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the Annual Report of the Independent Review Service 2018-19, and seeking approval to publish the Annual Report as per statutory guidance.

The work of the Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO) was a statutory function as detailed in the Independent Reviewing Officer Handbook 2010. The Independent Reviewing Service delivered the following functions to all Children in Care within North Lincolnshire:

• To undertake an initial Child in Care review within 20 working days of a child entering care
• To undertake further Child in Care reviews within three months and thereafter six monthly
• To determine if a review was required following any significant change in a Child in Care’s circumstances
• To undertake visits to Children in Care to ascertain their understanding of their care plan and to gather their views, wishes and feelings
• To ratify care plans and offer independent advice and recommendations
• To fulfil records and decisions distribution requirements

The Annual Report 2018/19 followed a standard format and set out a range of information about the service, including the extent to which it complied with regulation and best practice, and what the service helped the council to learn about the broader provision for Children in Care.

Key points were as follows:

(i) Children in Care in North Lincolnshire benefited from a timely, good quality review of their care plan by an experienced, skilled, and well trained IRO. They were encouraged and supported to chair their own meeting, to attend, and to contribute their views.
(ii) Robust systems of management oversight, quality assurance, dispute resolution, case allocation, and performance management helped ensure that the service was effective and responsive.
(iii) Operating within a child-focused organisational culture with outstanding services to children in care meant that IROs were able to prioritise children’s participation and engagement, and provided challenge and support to multi-agency teams to promote best outcomes.
(iv) The IRO service in North Lincolnshire was statutorily compliant and added value to a robust child in care system.

– (a) That the key points in the Independent Reviewing Service 2018/19 Annual Report be noted, and (b) that the Annual Report be published as per statutory guidance.

13 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 on the governing bodies of Baysgarth School, The Belton Wroot Federation and The St Barnabas’ and St Helena’s Federation.
Governing bodies were the key strategic decision-making body for schools. It was the governing body’s role to set a school’s strategic framework and to ensure that all statutory duties were met. The Department for Education identified three main duties, which were:

• ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
• holding the head teacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils, and the performance management of staff
• overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

Local authority governors must have:

• an interest in the future education and wellbeing of all children
• the skills and desire to make a difference
• a willingness to accept responsibility
• an ability to work in a team, ask questions, listen and learn
• time and commitment to undertake governor duties
• a commitment to fulfil the Nolan principles which relate to Standards in Public Life.

When a local authority governor vacancy occurred, the relevant governing body identified the necessary skills, knowledge and experience that would be required of the successful candidate(s). All potential applicants (including re-appointments) were required to complete an application form identifying their skills, knowledge and experience. The council nominated suitable candidates to the school and the governing body decided whether the nominee met their requirements. The governing body may choose to reject or appoint the candidate accordingly.

Resolved – That the applicants detailed in Appendix 1, Table 3 be nominated for appointment to the governing bodies of Baysgarth School, The Belton Wroot Federation and The St Barnabas’ and St Helena’s Federation.