Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel - Monday 21st February, 2022 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 two governing bodies



Minutes - Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel - 17 January 2022 pdf icon PDF 221 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 17 January 2022 were submitted and approved as a correct record.



Post-16 Education pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Officers will be in attendance to provide:


·       information on the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill; and

·       an overview of the Post-16 education landscape in Middlesbrough and the range of opportunities currently provided.



At its meeting on 28 June 2021, when considering its work programme, the scrutiny panel had previously agreed to hold a one-off meeting on the topic of post-16 education.


The Council’s Head of Achievement and the Head of Community Learning and Employability were in attendance to provide:


·         information on the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill; and

·         an overview of the post-16 education landscape in Middlesbrough and the range of opportunities currently provided.


The Head of Achievement advised that in line with the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, many providers were reviewing the provision on offer in the local area to ensure post-16 education and training was more responsive to employers’ needs. Previously, the provision available did not necessary match the needs of local labour markets.


Locally, the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill aimed to:


·         develop local skills improvement plans;

·         make provision relating to further education to ensure it was fit for purpose;

·         make provision about the functions of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, relating to technical education qualifications, to assist in meeting the needs and demands of local labour markets;

·         make provision regarding student finance and fees to narrow any inequality gaps;

·         make provision regarding assessments by the Office for Students; and

·         make provision regarding the funding of certain post-16 education or training providers.


It was explained that Government action/intervention was required as:


·         too many individuals were leaving full-time education with low skills and too few had higher technical skills (i.e. level 4-5);

·         participation in lifelong learning was low and declining; and

·         too much learning was done in subjects with relatively low economic value.


In terms of post-16 education, Middlesbrough had the following providers:


·         Macmillan Academy post-16;

·         Middlesbrough Community Learning;

·         Kings Academy Sixth Form;

·         Trinity Sixth Form; and

·         Middlesbrough College.


In terms of post-16 education in Middlesbrough:


·         All Middlesbrough’s providers had been inspected by Ofsted and were graded as good.

·         In 2019, over 2200 apprentices had found employment across Teesside and the North East.

·         Last year, 1300 students had applied to university.

·         At least 97% of Middlesbrough’s students progressed to positive destinations when they had completed their college course, including higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

·         The quality of education meant that there had been a 99.6% overall pass rate for A Level subjects.


In terms of what was on offer in Middlesbrough, there was a suite of academic, vocational and apprenticeships available across multiple colleges and sixth forms.


Given Middlesbrough’s high levels of deprivation, there was financial assistance available for families, which could be accessed through a bursary scheme. Each of Middlesbrough’s post-16 educational settings provided bursary schemes.


In 2020 a new T Level qualification was created, which was an alternative to A Levels. T Levels focused on vocational skills and could help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships. In Middlesbrough, T Levels focussed on areas such as Childcare, Construction, Digital and Healthcare.


Members were advised that Middlesbrough Community Learning was the Council’s adult learning, skills, apprenticeship and employability service. The service worked in partnership with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/45


Education and Covid-19 Recovery

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


The Executive Director for Children’s Services explained that:


·         Covid-19 rates continued to decrease in the lead up to the half-term break;

·         schools were now focussing their efforts on the determining the impact of the disruption to learning, which had been caused by the pandemic;

·         attendance and oversight of vulnerable children remained a high priority;

·         the Safeguarding Children Partnership was continuing to address the challenges that were outlined in a letter received from the Department for Education (DfE), entitled ‘Keeping Children Safe in Winter’;

·         overall attendance in school was good and improving; and

·         the trend for vulnerable children attending school was improving.




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 18 January 2022.


The Chair advised that on 18 January 2022, the Overview and Scrutiny Board had considered:


·        the Executive Forward Work Programme;

·        an update from the Chief Executive;

·        updates from the Scrutiny Chairs;

·        the Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel’s Final Report on The Recruitment and Retention of Staff within Adult Social Care;

·        the Medium Term Financial Plan and Budget Consultation; and

·        the Corporate Performance Report at Quarter 2.




Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.


Updates on Key Developments


A Member requested that updates on key and significant developments in the town, in respect of education and learning, be reported to future meetings of the scrutiny panel.