Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions
Contact: Email: Democracy@enfield.gov.uk
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
Cllr Elif Erbil (Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting and those present introduced themselves.
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Mustafa Cetinkaya, Cllr Tolga Aramaz and Cllr Ayfer Orhan
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Committee are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were received.
INTRODUCTIONS- PURPOSE OF THE MEETING
The Chair to introduce the purpose of the meeting.
The Chair advised that the purpose of this meeting is to devise and agree a work programme for the coming year.
LOCAL PRIORITIES FOR 2021/22
The Scrutiny Panel will hear from the Cabinet Member and officers outlining priorities and areas of challenge:
Children and Family Services
Annual Safeguarding Report
Priority Areas for 2021/22
· Early help services – reviewing effectiveness
· Safeguarding children – self-evaluation
· Protecting young people from exploitation and family breakdown
· Service user feedback and how this will be used to improve services.
· Leaving care service review
Priority Areas for 2021/22
· Holiday activities and food programme
· Education Recovery programme
· Mental health support in schools
· Pupil place planning
· Increasing in-borough SEND provision
· SEN services - reviewing effectiveness
· Improvement support to schools
Cabinet Members and Officers will be asked to leave the meeting at this point.
The Chair invited Councillor Mahtab Uddin (Cabinet Member for Children’s Services) and Tony Theodoulou (Executive Director People) to present to the Panel the local priorities for 2021-2022.
Cllr Uddin began by advising that the Council will do their utmost to safeguard the children of Enfield and provide the very best for them, especially over the summer holidays, with many fun activities and delicious food in place.
Tony Theodoulou confirmed this commitment and highlighted the following priorities to be considered:
1. Annual Safeguarding Report: The Council are obliged to complete this report every year and once consultations are completed, the report will eventually go to full Council to be approved. Therefore, the report will be added to the work programme to be discussed as it outlines activities and protection of children in the Borough.
2. Early Help Services - Reviewing Effectiveness: this service provides support for families and children who need help without the intervention of a statutory social worker. This service has been built up over the years but as the grant comes to an end, it is a good time to review which parts of the service should continue and prioritise accordingly.
3. Children’s services - Self Evaluation: A report is produced yearly and is very important as Ofsted meet with us to discuss the self- assessment and they provide a challenge of what work we are doing compared to the 2019-20 report.
4. Protecting Young People From Exploitation and Family Breakdown: an increase has been seen in criminal and sexual exploitation and family breakdowns which could be pandemic related, in particular very young babies (parental issues) and older teenagers, where there has been a lot of family conflict and young people have been asked to leave. The Council are duty bound to look after these young people until they are 18.
5. Service User Feedback and How This Will Be Used to Improve Services: The Children in Care Council, Youth Parliament and School Council’s are engines to enable the Council to hear directly from school children and families. This will be re-established this year as it has dropped off during the pandemic in recent months.
6. Leaving Care Service Review: It is the Council’s duty to look after children in care up to 21 or 25 if still in education or have special educational needs or a disability. An Ofsted inspection is expected this year and in preparation the Council have commissioned a review of our leaving care service and the Panel may wish to hear the outcome of this. It was recognised that it is an important transition to leave being in care, begin an independent life once school has finished and then perhaps have no secure employment. It was recommended that the Panel may wish to assess whether young people are adequately supported during this important time of their lives.
7. Holiday Activities and Food Programme: The Government have given funding of £1m to be spent on holiday activities during Easter, Summer and Christmas ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
PLANNING THE WORK PROGRAMME FOR 2021/22
To agree and prioritise items for the new work programme.
To note that the following item was agreed by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee for the Children Young People & Education Scrutiny Panel to consider as part of their scrutiny work programme for 2021/22 as follows:
The Children, Young People and Education Scrutiny Panel is asked to consider continuing with Exclusions as an item in order to complete the work previously undertaken.
The Chair noted the detailed discussion and suggestions that had been raised together with the priorities and the Panel’s terms of reference. In conclusion, the following areas were priorities for the current year, some of which are for information only by way of an update.
AGREED the following items for inclusion on the Panel’s work programme for 2021-2022:
1. Annual Safeguarding Report
2. Early help services – reviewing effectiveness
3. Safeguarding children – self-evaluation
4. Protecting young people from exploitation and family breakdown
5. Service user feedback and how this will be used to improve services.
6. Leaving care service review
7. Holiday activities and food programme
8. Education Recovery programme
9. Mental health support in schools
10. Pupil place planning
11. Increasing in-borough SEND provision
12. SEN services - reviewing effectiveness
13. Improvement support to schools
In conclusion, Councillor Erbil (Chair) advised the Panel that the work programme would go forward for consideration by Overview and Scrutiny Committee by the 20th July, Cabinet by 15th September and Council by 22nd September.
To note, for information, the attached terms of reference for the Children Young People & Education Scrutiny Panel.
The Panel Members noted and agreed the content of the Terms of Reference for the Children, Young People and Education Scrutiny Panel as detailed in the Council’s Constitution.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the next Children Young People & Education Scrutiny Panel meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday 7 October 2021
The Panel agreed the following dates for future meetings:
Wednesday 20th October - changed from original date of 7th October 2021
Tuesday 14th December 2021
Additional meeting to be confirmed once agreed by the Monitoring Officer of Wednesday 5th January 2022
Tuesday 8th March 2022