Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel - Monday 8th November, 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Georgina Moore 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Name of Member

Type of Interest

Item/Nature of Interest

Councillor A Hellaoui


Items 4 and 5, member of three governing bodies



Minutes - Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel - 4 October 2021 pdf icon PDF 307 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 4 October 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.



Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) - Further Evidence pdf icon PDF 747 KB

The Scrutiny Panel will receive an overview of how early years providers work with the Local Authority to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and promote equality of opportunity for children in their care.


A number of officers and representatives from early years settings were in attendance to provide the scrutiny panel with:

·         an overview of how early years providers work with the Local Authority to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and promote equality of opportunity for children in their care


The Strategic Lead for the Inclusion and Specialist Support Service advised that the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 stated that early years providers were required to have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. Those arrangements needed to include a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. The benefits of early identification were widely recognised - identifying need at the earliest point, and then making effective provision, improved long-term outcomes for children. It was highlighted that further information on the benefits of early identification was detailed in the submitted report.


It was highlighted that local authorities were required to ensure that there was sufficient expertise and experience amongst local early years providers to support children with SEN. Local authorities often made use of local area SEN Coordinators to provide advice and guidance to early years providers, on the development of inclusive early learning environments. The submitted report included information on the work that had been undertaken to develop provision for children with SEND. An outreach model had been developed, which involved the Early Years and Primary Support Service (EYPSS) visiting early years settings to develop the skills and knowledge of staff members, ensuring more children were able to access mainstream provision. As a result of that work, there had been a significant increase in the number of children with SEND accessing mainstream provision and a reduction in those needing to access the local area’s specialist provision at the Cleveland Unit, which had been previously based at James Cook University Hospital and was now based at Hemlington Initiative Centre. The re-location had occurred as a result of the pandemic.


Members were informed that, across Middlesbrough, there were 38 Private, Voluntary & Independent (PVI) settings and 42 school nurseries. There were also 21 full-time equivalent places across 5 specialist assessment nurseries. Those included two special schools, two mainstream schools with resource bases and the Cleveland Unit, which was a Child Development Centre and had been judged by Ofsted as Outstanding 5 times in a row.


The Early Years and Primary Inclusion Lead advised that the EYPSS worked with children from birth until 11 years old. The service was delivered by the Local Authority, however, a multi-agency approach had been adopted. Most importantly, the child and their family were involved/consulted, in addition to health colleagues (e.g. health visitors, speech and language therapists, consultant pediatricians and GPs etc.) and early years settings/schools. The aim of the service was to identify needs at the earliest opportunity, provide early assessment, deliver interventions to promote the best outcomes for each child and their family, support inclusion in a mainstream setting of parents’ choice (where possible) and identify the most appropriate setting if an alternative  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/29


Education and Covid-19 Recovery

The Executive Director of Children’s Services will provide a verbal update.


The Executive Director of Children’s Services advised that a letter had been send out to schools at beginning of term, advising that a ‘business as usual but with caution’ approach could be taken. It was added that schools were advised to continue to promote hygienic practices and observe of social distancing where possible.


The Head of Achievement advised that the 12-15 vaccination roll-out was underway, however, there had been delays encountered. The timescale of November had lapsed, therefore, January 2022 had been identified for full rollout. Only 11% of 12-15 year olds had been vaccinated in Middlesbrough and public health was working tirelessly to address that. Alongside the school roll-out, the NHS was encouraging families to approach their GPs for vaccinations. All secondary schools had been fully briefed and were engaged with the vaccination roll-out, however, only 2 schools had been able to take part in the programme so far, due to national delays.




Overview and Scrutiny Board - An Update

The Chair will present a verbal update on the matters that were considered at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on Wednesday 20 October 2021.


The Chair advised that at the last meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, held on 20 October 2021, the Board had considered:


·         the Executive Forward Work Programme;

·         an update from the Executive Member for Regeneration;

·         an update from the Chief Executive;

·         updates from the Scrutiny Chairs;

·         the final report of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel on Cultural Events in Middlesbrough;

·         the Revenue and Capital Budget - Projected Outturn Position as at Quarter One 2021/2022;

·         the Strategic Plan 2021-2024 - Progress at Quarter One 2021/2022; and

·         scrutiny chairs' training.