Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Georgina Moore
Declarations of Interest
The minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 6 September 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
Officers from the Local Authority and the NHS will be in attendance to provide the Scrutiny Panel with:
a) key data in respect of special educational needs and disabilities in Middlesbrough, specifically data on type of needs and pupil characteristics and how these compare regionally and nationally; and
b) a detailed overview of how Education, Social Care and Health work collectively to deliver SEND provision at a local level, including information on the SEND Strategy and the SEND Strategic Group.
Officers from the Local Authority and the NHS were in attendance to provide the scrutiny panel with further information in respect of its current review of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The Strategic Lead for the Inclusion and Specialist Support Service advised that the submitted report, which had been circulated with the agenda pack, contained:
a) key data in respect of special educational needs and disabilities in Middlesbrough, specifically data on type of needs and pupil characteristics and how those compared regionally and nationally; and
b) a detailed overview of how education, social care and health worked collectively to deliver SEND provision at a local level, including information on the SEND Strategy and the SEND Strategic Group.
Members were also informed that a copy of the SEND Strategy had been circulated with the agenda papers. It was advised that the SEND Strategy had recently been updated and shared across the local area. In respect of the strategy, briefing sessions were currently being arranged for October/November and colleagues across education, health and social care would be invited to attend.
Members heard that The Children and Families Act and the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice (2014 updated 2015) transformed the system for disabled children and young people and those with Special Educational Needs (SEN), ensuring that services consistently supported them to achieve positive outcomes. The scrutiny panel was provided with a brief outline of the SEND Code of Practice 0-25. The reforms had created a system from birth to 25 through the development of coordinated assessment of a single Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which aimed to improve cooperation between all services responsible for providing education, health and/or social care and giving parents and young people greater choice and control over their support.
Alongside the SEND Code of Practice, the Local Area SEND Inspection Framework had been implemented. In 2017, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a joint inspection of the local area of Middlesbrough. Following the inspection, the local area was required to produce and submit a Written Statement of Action, focussing on four areas, which aimed to:
· develop stronger leadership and governance at all levels to ensure that the SEND Code of Practice was fully implemented across the local area;
· introduce greater strategic planning for the joint commissioning of services across education, health and social care;
· improve the local offer and its co-production with families; and
· utilise data to drive improvement in provision and promote positive outcomes for children and young people who had SEND in the local area.
The local area was revisited in 2019 and inspectors commented that significant and sustained progress had been made in respect of the four priority areas and the implementation of the SEND Code of Practice. As a result, the local area no longer required formal monitoring from Ofsted or the CQC.
Members were advised that the Local Area SEND Inspection Framework was currently being updated/revised and it was anticipated that the new framework would include ... view the full minutes text for item 21/22
The Scrutiny Panel will be asked to consider, discuss and agree the terms of reference for the review.
Members were invited to consider, discuss and agree the terms of reference that had been proposed for the review, which had been circulated with the agenda pack.
That the terms of reference be agreed as follows:
a) To examine key data in respect of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Middlesbrough.
b) To identify:
· the range of special educational needs and disabilities that children and young people may experience; and
· the impact of special educational needs and disabilities on the ability of children and young people to learn and achieve alongside their peers.
c) To examine how the Local Authority works with early years providers, schools and colleges to identify and support all the children and young people in Middlesbrough who have or may have special educational needs and disabilities.
d) To investigate how Education, Social Care and Health work collectively to deliver SEND provision at a local level.
e) To examine how the views, wishes and feelings of the child/young person and their parents are gained and how the child/young person is encouraged to participate as fully as possible in decisions.
f) To identify best practice strategies in supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Education and Covid-19 Recovery
The Director of Education and Partnerships will provide a verbal update.
The Director of Education and Partnerships advised that:
· as schools returned from the summer break, initially the number of COVID-19 cases had risen;
· cases of COVID-19 were being monitored and managed effectively by schools, resulting in less disruption for pupils;
· the rollout of vaccinations in schools, for 12 to 15 year olds, had begun; and
· contingency plans were in place to ensure the effective delivery of online/remote learning continued.
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 8 September 2021.
The Chair advised that at the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, held on 8 September 2021, the Board had considered:
· an update from the Mayor on his aims and aspirations;
· updates from the Scrutiny Panel Chairs;
· the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel’s Final Report on Behaviour, Discipline & Bullying in Schools, which was approved and would now be submitted to the Executive on 9 November;
· the Executive Forward Work Programme; and
· an update from the Chief Executive in respect of the Council’s response to COVID-19 and other organisational matters.
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.
The Chair advised that a member of the scrutiny panel had put forward a suggestion that, at a future meeting, a brief update be requested in respect of the Council’s School Meal Service. The importance of a school meals providing nutrition and improving a pupil’s ability to focus was outlined. The importance of physical activity being offered in schools was also referenced.
Following discussion, Members were in agreement that the topic of School Meals and Physical Education would be added to the work programme for the current municipal year.
A Member commented that a briefing paper had recently been published on Free School Meals. It was agreed that a copy of the document would be circulated to the scrutiny panel.
That the topic of School Meals and Physical Education be added to the work programme for the 2021/22 municipal year.