Venue: Mandela Room
Contact: Georgina Moore
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the
The minutes of the meeting of
the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 16 January 2023
were submitted and approved as a correct record.
At the Council meeting held on 30 November
2022, a Notice of Motion had been submitted, which requested that an assessment
of the costs associated with an extension of Middlesbrough’s free school meal offer
(to include 3 and 4 year olds) be considered by the Children and Young People’s
Learning Scrutiny Panel.
The Head of Achievement was in attendance to
provide an overview of the proposal and the associated costs.
Members heard that the Government recognised
the benefits of providing a healthy school meal to the most disadvantaged
pupils. It was highlighted that the Education Act 1996 required maintained
schools and academies (including free schools) to provide free school meals to
disadvantaged pupils who were aged between 5 and 16 years old.
Members heard that in 2011 the pupil premium
had been introduced to provide additional funding for local authority
maintained schools in England, to increase the attainment of disadvantaged
pupils and close the gap between them and their peers. Children eligible for
free school meals also received pupil premium for their school. The funding was
paid directly to the school as they were best placed to determine what
additional provision was required.
The scrutiny panel was advised that from
September 2014, Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) had been introduced
for pupils in reception, year 1, and year 2.
In respect of the Notice of Motion, three lines
of enquiry had been explored and those were outlined to the scrutiny panel:
was advised that extending free school meal provision to ALL 3 and 4 year olds
would have cost the Council £1, 748,000.
The daily cost of school meals (£2.30) had been multiplied by the number
of academic days (190) to give the price per head of £437 annually for 4,000
children (2,000 3 year olds and 2,000 4 year olds).
heard that extending free school meal provision to 3 and 4 year old attending
maintained settings for both 15 and 30 hours of nursery provision, would have
cost the Council £201,894. The number of pupils in the cohort was 462, however,
the majority of those children only attended nursery provision for 15 hours.
was advised that extending free school meal provision for those 3 and 4 year
old attending maintained settings for 30 hours (49 children), would have cost
the Council £21,413.
It was commented that the plans would have
needed to be extended to include children in all types of provision, otherwise
it would have left the Council open to being challenged for discrimination. It
was advised that, to only provide free school meal provision to those attending
maintained settings would have excluded a large proportion of Middlesbrough’s
children as those attending Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI), childminder
and academy sector provision would not qualify or benefit.
The Head of Achievement advised that, given
that proposal to extend free school meals to nursery-age children was highly
expensive, it was not affordable at present.
A Member queried whether the costs outlined were ... view the full minutes text for item 22/42
The Democratic Services Officer presented a
brief overview of the draft final report on the topic of Youth Offending and
Partnership Working with Schools. The following information was provided:
The purpose of the review
was to examine how the South Tees Youth Justice Service (STYJS) worked in
partnership with schools in Middlesbrough to improve school attendance,
educational engagement and attainment for those young people involved in the
criminal justice system.
2. The terms of reference, for the review, were detailed at paragraph 3 of
3. Evidence in respect of Term of Reference A was included at paragraphs 9
to 24 and provided details on the role of the STYJS.
4. Evidence in respect of Term of Reference B was included at paragraphs 25
and 35 and provided details on the barriers to young people in the youth
justice system engaging in education, such as drug and alcohol issues, serious
youth violence and complex needs.
5. Evidence in respect of Term of Reference C was included at paragraphs 36
to 61 and provided details on how the STYJS worked with schools and covered the
support provided by the service’s Education, Training and Employment Team, the
development of the Inclusion Pathway and the contextual safeguarding approach
that had been promoted.
6. Evidence in respect of Term of Reference D was included at paragraphs 62
to 71 and provided details on national effective practice in respect of
partnership working with schools, as identified by HM Inspectorate of
7. The report contained 7 conclusions, which were detailed in full at
paragraph 77 of the report. The conclusions summarised
the main points of the report and identified key areas for further
discussion, the following recommendations were agreed for inclusion in the
a) That the STYJS supports
Children’s Services to undertake a review of Middlesbrough
Council’s contextual safeguarding/risk outside of the home approaches to ensure
delivery of a robust and co-ordinated
whole-system/multi-agency response to violence and exploitation; which:
Ø allows schools and
education providers to react swiftly and firmly to early signs of criminal behaviour;
Ø improves ETE outcomes
for young people involved in the criminal justice system; and
Ø supports the work of the
Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence (CURV).
b) That each young person who
goes into custody is assessed to determine whether an educational psychologist
should be allocated to them, to ensure their educational needs are being met
(especially during the transition periods into and out of custody).
That data is collected, analysed and evaluated
to demonstrate the impact of the STYJS Inclusion Pathway on school attendance,
exclusions and attainment.
d) That a system, data management arrangements and information
exchange agreements are put in place to ensure the STYJS can access a wealth of
data and information, from partner agencies, to:
Ø drill down to an individual level;
Ø determine trends;
Ø develop summary dashboards for key areas;
Ø report on the progress of young people and their successes;
Ø identify barriers ... view the full minutes text for item 22/43
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 12 January and 8 February 2023.
The Chair advised that on 12 January 2023, the
Overview and Scrutiny Board had considered:
Forward Work Programme;
an update on
ongoing work and current key issues from the Executive Member for Neighbourhood
updates from the Scrutiny Chairs.
was advised that the meeting of the Board that had been scheduled to take place
on 8 February 2023 did not go ahead.