Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel - Monday 12th December, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Mandela Room

Contact: Georgina Moore 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel - 21 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 154 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 21 November 2022 were submitted and approved as a correct record.



Youth Offending and Partnership Working with Schools - Further Evidence pdf icon PDF 123 KB

The Head of South Tees Youth Justice Service (STYJS) will be in attendance to provide the Scrutiny Panel with information on the barriers to young people in the youth justice system engaging in education.


The Head of South Tees Youth Justice Service (STYJS) was in attendance to provide the scrutiny panel with information regarding the barriers to young people in the youth justice system engaging in education.


It was explained that the significant majority of students attended school each year and went on to achieve great things. It was advised, however, that in some circumstances a small but crucial minority may become involved in crime and therefore would require support and rehabilitation. Members heard that issues leading to those incidents varied case-by-case but could typically be described as exposure to exploitation, such as substance misuse and/or the inability to regulate behaviour resulting in violence or persistently disruptive behaviour.


In terms of drug or alcohol related issues, the STYJS worked with Project ADDER to provide substance misuse support. In May 2021, an ADDER Worker post had been appointed to, to create additional capacity in the STYJS and provide advice, guidance, intervention and support for young people with substance use needs.  The post also improved links and redefined pathways to ensure that young people were referred into Tier 3 services in a timely way. In addition, the post had been successful in establishing links with the Substance Misuse Services in the Youth Custody Service, which had supported a better pathway for the resettlement of young people back into the community. The scrutiny panel was advised that all young people open to the service, who had drug/alcohol issues, could be referred to the ADDER Worker for specialist support. The role offered a point of contact and support for STYJS staff, re-introducing a level of expertise for staff which was previously not available. Staff had also benefitted from increased training in substance misuse and receiving advice and guidance on how to best support those with drug/alcohol issues. It was also commented that links had been established with the wider ADDER Team, which planned to support pathways into adult provision, for those young people who transition to Probation.


It was highlighted that serious youth violence had become an area of significant concern for agencies working with young people, and that included schools. The scrutiny panel heard that there were increasing concerns that the most vulnerable young people in society were being drawn into differing forms of organised crime. Members heard that exposure to such behaviours and lifestyles could leave young people vulnerable to exploitation.


It was advised that, in 2021, a report had been published by the Crest Advisory Group (Violence and Vulnerability), which was referenced at Appendix 1 of the submitted report.  The report stated that the risk of violence was heightened for those living in areas with high levels of neighbourhood crime and income deprivation, such as Middlesbrough.  The scrutiny panel heard that the STYJS was currently working with CREST Advisory Group, as part of a strategic needs assessment for the newly developed Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence (CURV). Once published, STYJS planned to work closely with the CURV and partners, including schools, to address  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/33


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 16 November 2022.


The Chair advised that on 16 November 2022, the Overview and Scrutiny Board had considered:


·         the Executive Forward Work Programme;

·         an update on ongoing work and current key issues from the Executive Member for Finance and Governance;

·         the Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel’s final report on The Role of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in Supporting Adult Social Care (with a focus on Covid-19 and recovery); and

·         updates from the scrutiny chairs.




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


Supplementary Exclusion Data


A Member raised a query in respect of the supplementary exclusion data, which had been circulated to the scrutiny panel, following its last meeting. The Strategic Lead for Inclusion and Specialist Support Service had provided further data in respect of those pupils who had been permanently excluded who had Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), were eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and had Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP). The Strategic Lead for Inclusion and Specialist Support Service explained that in respect of the data reported, each statistic should not be considered in isolation as the figures reported did not necessarily relate to individual pupils, for example - information on one particular pupil could be reported across all three categories as they could be accessing SEN support, be eligible for FSM and have an EHCP in place.


A discussion ensued in respect of exclusions. The Director of Education and Partnerships commented that the current head teacher of Unity City Academy had been appointed as the new head teacher of Trinity Catholic College and would start in January 2023. Members heard that solution focused meetings (as reported at the last meeting) would continue and staff members from the Inclusion and Outreach Service would continue to be based at the school. Furthermore, it was commented that the school had appointed additional staff members to provide improved monitoring and oversight of pupils throughout the school building.


A Member raised a query in respect of the physical assaults reported and the support provided by the STYJS. In response, the STYJS Education, Training and Employment Specialist commented that meetings would be held to discuss cases and determine a package of support.


The Director of Education and Partnerships commented that disruptive behaviour negatively impacted on classroom teaching and learning. Therefore, alongside the monitoring of school exclusion data, it was highly important that the majority of pupils were supported to effectively access high-quality education. It was advised that several schools had introduced structural changes to better manage behaviour and provide on-site alternative education provision, which provided pupils (at risk of exclusion) with the opportunity to work in a different place.




Site Visit to Discovery Special Academy


During the review of SEND, the scrutiny panel had received evidence from the head teacher of Discovery Special Academy. During the presentation, it had been suggested that members of the scrutiny panel visited the school, once it moved to its new building, located on the former Nature’s World site.


As the school was now open, the head teacher had advised that the school was flexible in accommodating visits after 3.15 p.m.


Following discussion, Members were in agreement that the school should be contacted and asked to propose two dates (one Monday and one Wednesday) for visits, in the hope of accommodating all members of the scrutiny panel.