Agenda and draft minutes

Children, Young People & Education Scrutiny Panel - Monday, 18th January, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting/Remote - please use the links on the Agenda Front Sheet to join the virtual meeting

Contact: Susan O'Connell - email:  susan.o'connell@enfield.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME & APOLOGIES

Cllr Ergin Erbil, Associate Cabinet Member Non-Geographical covering young peopleto provide a brief verbal update on his new role.

 

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies had been received from Cllr Ergin Erbil.

 

The Chair agreed to amend the running order of the agenda as there were a number of external attendees present for the Exclusions item. However, for clarity the minutes are shown in the order of the published agenda

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Committee are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevent to the items on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

3.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To agree the minutes of the meetings held on the 1 and 10 December 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED the minutes of the meetings held on 1 and 10 December 2020.

 

4.

SCHOOL FINANCES pdf icon PDF 400 KB

To receive the following reports:

 

·         Dedicated Schools Grant

·         Overall Education Budget- this report is not attached to the agenda and will be circulated as a to follow paper

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that Cllr Rick Jewell and Tony Theodoulou were in the meeting but had to leave due to other commitments.

 

Peter Nathan, Director of Education, Sangeeta Brown, Resources Development Manager and Louise McNamara, Finance Manager introduced the reports.

 

NOTED

1.    The first report which outlined the amount of funding received through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and covered the rules around each aspect of the grant and how it is spent.

2.    The DSG supports the education function and is the main source of funding for schools in terms of delivering education.

3.    There have been a lot of changes in funding arrangements and regulations some of which is detailed in the report.

4.    The recent changes have introduced four blocks; Schools Block (SB); High Needs Block (HNB); Early Year Block (EYB) and Central Services Block (CSSB). There is minimum flexibility for the Council to move money around these blocks.

5.    The two blocks that the local authority has direct input into are HNB and CSSB.

6.    Table 1 in the report shows that HNB is increasing, however 5 years prior to this there were no increases. This has created a lot of pressure leading up to the 2016/17 budget and then the introduction of the SEND reforms were introduced. Whilst the funding is now increasing in this block, it is not sufficient to meet the demands evidenced in Table 2 of the report.

7.    For CSSB a small amount of funding is provided to deliver statutory services to all schools including academies and free schools. For maintained schools no funding is received and the Council has to seek their approval to take back money to support maintained schools.

8.    Table 4 detailed the breakdown of the DSG. Most of this grant goes to schools for direct education, rows 4-6 are those that support central services. Appendix 1 contains a more detailed breakdown.

9.    The second report is the education budget and the table shows the broad areas grouped into for the finance system and details the gross spend, gross Income and net spend. Most of the income is the DSG, various streams of income come in to offset the expenditure. The fees and charges income is £3m.

10.The main areas funded from the council budget are; non schools human resources (ongoing pension costs of people retired on enhanced packages not in the last 4 years but the previous 20 years. This will gradually reduce year on year). The Children Centre costs around £1m every year and the rest is funding for statutory functions.

 

Questions, comments and queries:

·         On the education budget report regarding the overspend what are the political priorities for bridging the gap? On financial management there is a deficit, how is this being managed and where is the money coming from to cover it? Officers advised that the change in SEN legislation in 2014 meant that the age range was extended from 5-16 to 0-25 with no additional funding, some of the provision needed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

EXCLUSIONS pdf icon PDF 154 KB

These reports are not attached to the agenda and will be circulated ‘to follow’.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Lappage led on this item.

 

NOTED:

1.    Cllr Lappage had led the workstream on exclusions in the previous municipal year. At the Council meeting 1 July 2020, it was agreed all work on workstreams would end, but that items could be added to panel work programmes, as in the case of the exclusions workstream being added to this Scrutiny Panel. The thrust of this work was to make a difference and reference was made to the reflections in a prison report. Exclusions should be a catalyst for change for the positive, however exclusions are often as negative downward spiral.

2.    Cllrs Pite, Yusuf and Lappage observed a Fair Access Panel (FAP) and noted that there appeared to be a lack of consistency between schools in how they approached exclusions; different schools across the borough excluded for different things. Officers advised that schools are independent, the split of those attending FAP is 50/50 between academies and community schools of various kinds. Each school will have their own behaviour policy and operate in different ways. Headteachers and governing bodies have different views on exclusions. What is considered a very serious offence at one school may be handled in a different way at another school. The local authority works with schools to try to improve consistency and try to get into the school before a final decision is made on exclusion. The Behaviour Support Service (BSS) has alternatives to exclusions which can be used effectively before this stage is reached. It is very difficult to get consistency across schools, as schools are very different. In terms in FAP this does work well in Enfield, these meetings deal with a lot of pupils and the schools are well prepared for these meetings, there may have been discussions prior to the meeting. It is important when the children go to another school, they do not repeat the same behaviour.

3.    Concerns were expressed that it seemed that some students are moved back and forth between several schools, Clarification was requested who has responsibility for a child when they move from school to school. Members were advised that if the child is still enrolled at both schools there is joint responsibility.  The local authority has tried to put a limit on the number of managed moves to no more than two. There must be exceptional reasons to move a child to a further school. In terms of who is looking after the child there should be a relationship between both schools. At FAP there is accountability from both schools, so everyone knows exactly where a pupil is. If the move is starting to go wrong the expectation and requirement is that the home school is involved with the new school to get together with the family and the young person to try to resolve the difficulties. If home schooling is taking place at present as choosing not to be on site, the responsibility will be with the home school until they physically attend the new  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

CHILDREN YOUNG PEOPLE & EDUCATION SCRUTINY PANEL WORK PROGRAMME 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 212 KB

To note the Panel’s agreed work programme for 2020/21.

Minutes:

The work programme was noted. Following a query as to when children’s hunger in Enfield will be on the work programme it was confirmed that this will be covered under Poverty and Inequality Commission item in March.

 

7.

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

To note that the next Panel meeting is scheduled to take place on:

 

Wednesday 3 February 2021- 6:00pm

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was noted.