Contact: Stacey Gilmour
Note: Please copy and paste the following link into your internet browser to watch the meeting: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_ZGZkNmE2NmQtYzhiOS00YjJmLWIyYTEtOTAwZWNkNjBiZjQ1%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22cc18b91d-1bb2-4d9b-ac76-7a4447488d49%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22de181320-9e9a-429c-a8db-b37ae5b5ded1%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
1. The Chair, Councillor Erbil welcomed all attendees to the OSC virtual meeting which was also being broadcast live online. Committee members confirmed their presence and that they were able to see and hear the proceedings.
2. Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Lappage. Councillor Orhan was substituting for Councillor Lappage.
3. Council Officers involved in the meeting introduced themselves.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
Councillor Rick Jewell (Cabinet Member for Children’s Services) introduced the report of Peter Nathan, Director of Education outlining the re-opening of Primary Schools in the Borough.
1. The information report provides details on how schools in the borough have responded to the lockdown caused by Covid-19 and how schools are preparing for the proposed return to school for certain year groups from 1st June 2020. The report also outlined the Council’s position following the government announcement about extending school opening on the 28th May.
2. Primary schools have been asked to respond to a survey outlining their arrangements with about a third of schools proposing to return on 1st or 2nd June (based on current returns) with others returning on 8th June or later. Some schools have yet to decide. Schools are also proposing to open in different ways. Some are opening classes for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 classes at the same time. Some schools are staggering the return of classes, some are operating a rota system whilst others are closing on Wednesdays for midweek cleaning. All maintained schools have completed risk assessments and are following government guidance as provided, for example on cleaning.
3. Senior Local Authority staff have been meeting with headteacher representatives on a weekly basis to discuss a range of issues raised y schools and advice provided by the government. School opening and attendance is monitored daily by the Local Authority. There have been and continue to be weekly meetings with the Department for Education and more recently with the Regional Schools Commissioner. The Director of Education has been updating schools twice weekly and all updates from the Department for Education and local updates are published on the Enfield Hub website.
4. During this period, most schools in the borough have remained open for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils. Most Special Schools have been open throughout the lockdown period although to fewer pupils. Each pupil was risk assessed as to whether they should be in school or not although many parents made the decision to keep their children at home. There has been much positive feedback from parents on the support provided by schools to children with special needs and their families.
5. Government guidance has prioritised the need for vulnerable pupils to be in school with specific guidance issued to support this. In Enfield, the number of vulnerable children in school has continued to rise and is now at about 23% (much higher than national average).
6. In preparation for the proposed re-opening, all schools have been risk assessing this process and a guidance template has been provided to schools (see Appendix 1 of the report). All maintained schools have returned completed assessments to the Health & Safety team to be reviewed.
7. The Local Authority requests returns from schools each day providing information on whether they are open and how many children are attending. The Department for Education also request this information. Not all ... view the full minutes text for item 582.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
To note the dates of future virtual meetings of Overview and Scrutiny Committee as follows:
Thursday 2 July 2020
Thursday 30 July 2020
All meetings to commence at 6:00pm
NOTED the dates of future meetings and agenda items to be discussed as follows:
Thursday 2 July 2020
· Update from Public Health on Covid-19
· Pre-decision Scrutiny- Local Control Covid Plan
· Further update on the opening of all Schools including Secondary & Special
Thursday 30 July 2020
· Agenda items to be confirmed.
It was agreed that all future virtual Overview & Scrutiny meetings will commence at 6:00pm.
Members made the following comments:
(i) Councillor Aramaz said that the Associated Cabinet Members (ACMs) agenda item was still outstanding and wished to see this addressed at a future OSC meeting.
(ii) Councillor Georgiou said that he would like to see these meetings recorded as it would provide a record of the meeting and allow for a more virtual way of working. Councillor Aramaz added that it would also allow people to re-visit and watch the meeting in their own time. Claire Johnson, Head of Governance & Scrutiny replied that the record of the meeting is the minutes which are taken at every meeting. However, she did confirm that there was an option to record virtual meetings and she would therefore discuss this possibility further with the Monitoring Officer, Jeremy Chambers.
Action: Claire Johnson, Head of Governance & Scrutiny
The meeting ended at 8:40pm