Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room One, County Offices, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL

Contact: Katrina Cope  Senior Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

36.

Apologies for Absence / Replacement Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr S C Rudman (Church Representative) and Mrs P J Barnett (Parent Governor Representative).

 

An apology for absence was also received from Councillor Mrs P A Bradwell (Executive Councillor Adult Care, Health and Children's Services).

37.

Declarations of Members' Interest

Minutes:

Councillor M A Whittington wished it to be noted that he had an adopted son who was in receipt of services from Barnardo's.

38.

Minutes of the meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee held on 18 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 18 October 2019 be agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

39.

Announcements by the Chairman, Executive Councillor for Adult Care, Health and Children's Services and Chief Officers

Minutes:

The Executive Support Councillor for Children's Services advised that he had recently attended the Big Conversation Event; which had been very successful and enlightening.  The Committee was advised that one of the issues raised by the young people had been the language used when speaking to the young people, as Looked After Children.  The Interim Director of Children's Services had accepted the challenge and it was hoped that the changes would be put in place by April 2020.

 

The Executive Support Councillor for Children's Services advised further that at the recent Corporate Parenting Panel meeting, representatives from Barnardo's and health had extended their support for the proposed changes.

 

The Committee noted that officers from the Participation Team were raising the profile and attendance of the V4C, by developing a programme of activities; and exploring the use of alternatives venues. It was noted further that there had been increased participation within the East Lindsey Quadrant.

 

The Senior Scrutiny Officer agreed to arrange the circulation of forthcoming V4C meeting dates to members of the Committee.        

40.

Progress Report on Transitions Scrutiny Review Recommendations pdf icon PDF 248 KB

(To receive a joint report from Justin Hackney, Assistant Director for Specialist Adult Services and Sheridan Dodsworth, Head of Special Educational Needs and Disability, which provides the Committee with an update on the progress made on the recommendations from the Transitions Scrutiny Review Final Report – April 2019)  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a joint report from Justin Hackney, Assistant Director for Specialist Adult Services and Sheridan Dodsworth, Head of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), which provided the Committee with an update on the progress made on the recommendations from the Transitions Scrutiny Review Final Report – April 2019.

 

Heather Sandy, Interim Director of Education introduced the report and advised that the Transitions Scrutiny Panel Review had supported implementing the work identified as part of the SEND Steering Group Action Plan and the areas of development identified through the Ofsted/CQC Inspection of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  The Panel identified the need to undertake improvements in the following areas of transition:-

 

·         Information and Advice through the Local Offer – Page 17 of the report highlighted themes from the review;

·         Improve Health Outcomes – Page 17 of the report highlighted themes from the review; and

·         Review Pathway Plans for Care Leavers – Page 18 of the report highlighted themes from the review.

 

It was reported that in response to the Transitions Scrutiny Review, an Action Plan had been formally adopted to summarise the Executive response and monitor progress against the three recommendations.  Appendix A to the report provided a copy of the Action Plan for the Committee to consider.

 

The Committee was advised of the following progress made against each of the three recommendations:-

 

·         Recommendation 1 – Information and Advice Local Offer – The Committee was advised that a range of options had been undertaken to actively promote the Local Offer, which had included ensuring that the Local Offer was designed to meet the needs of all service users.  It was highlighted that this had involved the refresh of existing SEND information and layout to ensure that it was streamlined and accessible.  It was highlighted further that a new navigation system had been put in place to improve the service user experience.  Also, both the 'Local Offer' booklet and the 'Moving On' brochure had been reviewed and refreshed, with both of them now being available online and in a printed version.  The Committee noted that promotional events had been held to promote the Local Offer further.  It was reported that it was hoped that the working group would have completed all tasks relating to the said recommendation by 31 March 2020;

·         Recommendation 2 – Improved Health Outcomes – The Committee was advised that the Dedicated Clinical Officer for SEND, (who was employed by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)) had appointed an Associate Dedicated Clinical Officer who had responsibility for reviewing clinical report writing in order to improve the quality of reports, and provide clarity on health needs and health outcomes.  It was noted that an audit of the health elements of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans had been completed, which had provided useful evidence of where and how improvements could be made.  It was noted further that the use of the electronic Hub for all EHC needs assessments and annual reviews was continuing to progress; and that it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Child in Employment and Entertainment Prosecution Policy pdf icon PDF 214 KB

(To receive a report from Jill Chandair-Nair, Inclusion and Attendance Manager, which provides an update to the Committee on the work being carried out by the Inclusion and Attendance Team; and the strategies used to enforce the relevant laws around children working and performing)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report from Jill Chandar-Nair, Inclusion and Attendance Manager, which provided the Committee with an update on the work being carried out by the Inclusion and Attendance Team; and the strategies used to enforce the relevant laws around children working and performing.

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report was a draft copy of the 'Children in Employment and Entertainment Prosecution Policy – May 2019' for the Committee to consider. 

 

The report highlighted that in 2018/19, the Local Authority had issued 293 permits for children, 346 performance licences, 143 Body of Persons Approvals (involving 6913 children); and 483 Chaperone licences.  A table on page 28 of the report provided comparison information from the last four years for the Committee to consider.

 

The Committee noted that the Inclusion and Attendance Team provided guidance to officers of the County Council, employers, organisations involved in the entertainment i.e. theatres, young people and parents on the enforcement practices of the County Council relating to child employment and children in entertainment legislation.  The Committee noted further that schools were also trained on the policy.

 

It was highlighted that prosecution was only a means to an end; the desired outcome was for being compliant with all legal requirements.  It was highlighted further that when there was failure to comply with legal requirements, it was because of a lack of awareness, a failure to interpret the legislation; or, as the result of a mistake. It was noted that in some cases there was deliberate attempt to exploit, or consciously break the law.  It was noted further that in these cases, the decision to prosecute rested with the authority.    

 

It was reported that the power to licence the employment of children rested with the Executive Director of Children's Services.  It was noted further that it was the Executive Director who could authorise other officers within the Inclusion and Attendance Team and also Trading Standards should joint prosecution take place, to enforce all legislation and by-laws relating to the licencing of child employment.

 

The Committee was invited to comment on the draft policy before the policy was submitted to the Executive Director of Children's Services for a decision.

 

During discussion, the Committee raised the following comments:-

 

·         Confirmation was given that the Inclusion and Attendance Team was proactive in going out and speaking to businesses and organisations to make them aware of the law, but also relied on intelligence coming into the team of potential offences.  Concern was raised that there was a risk that some incidences might be missed as there were not enough officers to look into everything.  However, it was noted that training was provided to schools to raise awareness so that schools could monitor children's attendance and identify early on any potential concerns that children might be working;

·         It was highlighted that the document was not clear on when the Council would prosecute and whether there were certain situations when the Council would not prosecute.  Officers confirmed there was discretion for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 250 KB

(To receive a report from Tracy Johnson, Senior Scrutiny Officer, which provides the Committee with an opportunity to consider and comment on its work programme for the coming months)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which enabled the Committee to comment on the content of its work programme, to ensure that its scrutiny activity was focussed where it could be of greatest benefit.

 

Details of the Committee's planned items were shown on pages 42 and 43 of the report.

 

The Senior Scrutiny Officer advised the Committee that there was one amendment to the work programme.  The Committee noted that a report on "Schools Funding Changes 2020/21" was going to be added to the agenda for the next meeting of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee on 17 January 2020.  The Committee noted that this report was for pre-decision scrutiny prior to an Executive Councillor decision on 21 January 2020.

 

Also, detailed at Appendix A was a list of all upcoming Forward Plan decisions relating to the Committee.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee Work Programme presented be agreed, subject to the amendment as detailed above.

 

 
 
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