Children, Families & Culture Cabinet Member – Minutes – 30 March 2020

19 APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY SCHOOL GOVERNORS The Director: Learning, Skills and Culture submitted a report seeking consideration of the appointment of a suitable candidate to serve as local authority (LA) governor on the governing body for Killingholme Primary School and sought consideration for the re-appointment of the candidate on the governing body for The Bridge 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 authorities 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 LA 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 LA 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 applicant detailed in Appendix 1 Table 2 of the report be nominated for appointment to the governing body of Killingholme Primary School, and the applicant detailed in Appendix 1 Table 3 of the report be nominated for re-appointment to the governing body of The Bridge Federation.

20 REGIONALISATION OF ADOPTION AGENCY (RAA) – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report seeking formal support for the next steps in entering the L3R partnership which would enable North Lincolnshire Council to work with and develop the RAA model. Entering the partnership would enable North Lincolnshire to have an equal partnership role and enable the Council to represent children, families and North Lincolnshire in the developing agenda and work with colleagues to develop the model.

In June 2015 the government announced changes to the delivery of adoption services by proposing that all adoption services should consider adoption services being delivered on a “regional” basis by 2020. The rationale for this was to ensure improved outcomes for both adopters and children.

North Lincolnshire was part of the Department of Education (DfE) pilot to explore moving towards the regionalisation of adoption services.

The Council had continued to work with other Local Authorities to meet the government mandate to become a RAA and in line with a model that enabled the Council to continue to provide the Council’s adoption function, deliver improved outcomes and at best value. North Lincolnshire continued to provide an adoption service which made a positive impact, as evidenced by the outcomes and performance.

The DfE continued to reaffirm their policy intent and for all Local Authorities to be part of a Regional Adoption Agency by the end of 2020.

The Education and Adoption Act 2016 detailed the legislation, which was now enforceable, how direction could be given for one or more authorities to enter into arrangements for their functions to be either carried out on behalf of another, or other Local Authorities, or Adoption Agencies.

North Lincolnshire had been exploring the possibility of joining the L3R regional adoption arrangement with Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Rutland Councils.

Resolved – (a) That permission to continue to proceed with exploring North Lincolnshire joining the L3R arrangement and the now agreed Partnership (YOS) Model be granted, (b) that formal discussions be entered into in order to fully understand agreements and expectations, once agreement received, and (c) that a final decision be sought as to whether to become part of the arrangement once discussions have been concluded.

21 NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL SELF EVALUATION OF THE EXPERIENCES OF CHILDREN IN NEED OF HELP AND PROTECTION, AND OF CHILDREN LOOKED AFTER AND CARE LEAVERS 2018/19 – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report to note and seek approval of the North Lincolnshire Council Self-Evaluation of the Experiences of Children in Need of Help and Protection and of Children Looked After and Care Leavers 2018/19, updated in September 2019.

The Ofsted framework, evaluation criteria and inspector guidance for the inspection of local authority children’s services 2018 system included “local authorities sharing an annual self-evaluation of the quality and impact of social work practice”.

The self-evaluation was utilised by Ofsted to inform and identify areas for further exploration within the inspection framework, including focused visits that looked at a specific area of service or cohort of children, full inspections (standard or short) where judgements were made and joint targeted area inspections (JTAI). It also formed the basis of their annual engagement meeting with the Director of Children’s Services.

Resolved – That the North Lincolnshire Council Self-Evaluation of the Experiences of Children in Need of Help and Protection and of Children Looked After and Care Leavers 2018/19, updated in September 2019, be noted and agreed for publication.