To receive pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) a report from the Director of Schools and Children’s Services. (Non key)
Cabinet are being asked to consider this as an urgent item given the recent publication of the Rotherham Council report and the key challenges identified as a result.
Members received pursuant to Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) a report from the Director of Schools and Children’s Services (No.169) responding to the DCLG report inspection of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. Members were asked to consider the report as an urgent item at the meeting given the recent publication of the Rotherham Council report and the key challenges identified as a result.
AGREED that the report be considered at this meeting for the reason of urgency set out above.
Andrew Fraser (Director of Schools and Children’s Services) introduced the report (No.169) reflecting on the recent events in Rotherham, the publication of the most recent report by the Government’s investigation team led by Louise Casey (publication date 4 February 2015) and instructed in compliance with Section 10 of the Local Government Act 1999.
1. That it was relevant for other local authorities to learn the lessons from the Rotherham report and to act accordingly, Members’ attention was drawn to the information detailed in appendices A and B of the report.
2. That the Rotherham report had highlighted the key role that Council Members must play in holding professionals to account in safeguarding vulnerable children and young people.
3. That the report made recommendations to further strengthen the robust governance and political oversight of safeguarding to vulnerable children and young people.
4. Members’ attention was drawn to the recommendations detailed in the report and the importance of moving ahead with the proposals set out.
5. That the detailed terms of reference would be considered at the first meeting of the task group once established. In considering its terms of reference, Members felt that the task group should have regard to any further issues raised by the Secretary of State on how to proceed in Rotherham, as set out in the background to the report. Members considered the proposals in the report to be timely. In considering the proposals, the importance of building an effective relationship between the new task group and the existing Safeguarding Children’s Board was highlighted.
Alternative Options Considered: None.
RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL
1. To support Scrutiny’s focus on children’s and young people’s issues and recommend that Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) include a standing item on every OSC agenda regarding children and young people’s issues.
2. The establishment of a specialist dedicated task group with a strong focus on Child Sexual Exploitation and associated risks for children and young people.
3. That the membership be in accordance with the requirements of political proportionality, chaired by Councillor Ayfer Orhan as Cabinet statutory lead member, with the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny also invited to be a member. The detailed terms of reference to be considered at the first meeting of the task group once established.
4. The task group would report on its work to Council on a bi-annual basis along with any recommendation on tackling on Child Sexual Exploitation and the associated risks for children and young people.
Reason: The recommendations above address the following:
· The current climate of national concern in relation to safeguarding children.
· The publication of the report into Child Sexual Exploitation at Rotherham and the effect across the country.
· Reflection on lessons learnt from “the Rotherham effect” where the investigation report describes the council as “complacent, with institutionalised political correctness and blatant failures of political and officer leadership”.
· Recognition that Enfield cares deeply about its children and young people, and prioritises their wellbeing within its structures for governance, support and challenge.