Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Georgina Moore
Declarations of Interest
Minutes - Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel - 8 November 2021 PDF 312 KB
The minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 8 November 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) - Further Evidence PDF 297 KB
The Scrutiny Panel will receive:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>a record of the points discussed with Parents4Change, following an informal meeting with the Chair and Vice-Chair on 23 November 2021;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>details of how children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families are fully involved in discussions and decision-making about the services and the support they receive through meaningful and ongoing co-production; and
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>case studies that demonstrate how the views, wishes and feelings of the child/young person and their parents have impacted on the delivery of services and support.
The Strategic Lead for the Inclusion and Specialist Support Service and the Head of Inclusion, Assessment and Review were in attendance to provide the scrutiny panel with:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>details of how children and young people with SEND and their families were fully involved in discussions and decision-making about the services and the support they received, through meaningful and ongoing co-production; and
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>a case study that demonstrated how the views, wishes and feelings of the child/young person and their parents had impacted on the delivery of services and support.
The Strategic Lead for the Inclusion and Specialist Support Service advised that the submitted report contained detailed information on coproduction with families and the work that had been undertaken in partnership with Parents4Change.
It was commented that the report included a website link, which provided access to a video that had been developed with Parents4Change, parents/carers and young people. The video captured the voice of families, sharing their feedback regarding support they had received across education, health and social care. Members heard that a new video would be created with families in 2022, which would be placed on the Local Offer website.
In terms of coproduction and the SEND Code of Practice, it was advised that when carrying out functions in relation SEND, local authorities were required to have regard to a series of core principles:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>the importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions, and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>the need to support the child or young person, and the child’s parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes and preparing them effectively for adulthood.
The scrutiny panel was advised that effective coproduction enabled young people, parents/carers and professionals across multiple agencies and sectors to work together as equal partners to design, plan, deliver and review support and services in order to achieve shared outcomes.
Coproduction recognised children and young people, parent/carers and professionals as assets who all had important contributions to make due to their differing knowledge, skills and experience.
In respect of the approach to coproduction in Middlesbrough, the following points were made:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>To support the implementation of the SEND reforms, services across education, health and social care had worked closely with parents, young people and families to consider how best to implement the reforms across Middlesbrough. Themed working groups had been set up to understand each aspect of the reforms and how to develop and implement them across the local area.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Initially, the key areas focused on the establishment of systems and processes for assessing needs, the format of the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) template and reviewing of EHCPs. Parents4Change, Middlesbrough’s local parents’ forum, had been actively involved throughout the ... view the full minutes text for item 21/34
Education and Covid-19 Recovery
The Executive Director of Children’s Services will provide a verbal update.
In summary, the Director of Education and Partnerships advised that:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>a meeting had been held with secondary Heads to plan for a peak in Covid-19 rates;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>additional meetings would take place throughout the week, with all school heads, to determine a collective response and way forward;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>disruption of education and the oversight of vulnerable children were a key focus;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>some schools had reported significant staff absences, which had sometimes resulted in partial closures of schools;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>the Local Authority and schools would focus initially on managing disruption until the Christmas break, when it was hoped that, due to school closure, the spread of Covid-19 and the number of cases would decrease;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>a communication had been sent to schools, from the Local Authority (Education and Public Health), which outlined a range of control measures that required implementation in preparation for pupils returning to school in January, for example - more frequent testing, the wearing of masks, bubbles and the cancelling of events that may increase transmission; and
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>planning would primarily focus on regular testing and encouraging vaccine uptake in respect of eligible students and staff members.
In response to a Member’s query regarding the cancellation of Christmas events and the impact on parents/carers, the Head of Achievement advised that staff absence in some schools had been more significant than others, therefore impacting on the risk assessment process and resulting in the cancellation of events.
Overview and Scrutiny Board - An Update
The Chair will present a verbal update on the matters that were considered at the meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 9 November and 7 December 2021.
The Vice-Chair provided a brief update on the matters that had been previously considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Board on 9 November and 7 December 2021.
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.
A Member acknowledged the cessation of the Governor Development Service. Staff members were commended and thanked for the valuable support they had provided.