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Agenda and minutes

Improving Lives Select Commission
Thursday, 10th November, 2011 10.30 a.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH

Contact: Hannah Etheridge, Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

17.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting.

18.

Questions from the Public and Press

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public or the press.

19.

Communications

Minutes:

There were no items to report.

20.

Review of Statutory Guidance on the Roles and Responsibilities of the Director of Children's Services and the Lead Member for Children's Services pdf icon PDF 36 KB

a.  Consultation document (report herewith)

b.   Rotherham response (draft attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report presented by the Strategic Director of Children and Young People's Services concerning the Children Act 2004 which requires local authorities to appoint a Director of Children's Services and Lead Member for Children's Services for the purposes of discharging the education and the children's social services functions of the local authority.  Statutory guidance on the roles and responsibilities of the Director and the Lead Member was first issued by HM Government in 2005 and was revised in 2009. The Department for Education plans to replace the current version with revised guidance, within the current consultation process, which is much shorter and less prescriptive. Consideration was given to the contents of the Government’s consultation document.

 

The first draft of the Council’s suggested response to the Government Department for Education was included with the submitted report. Responses were required to be submitted by Friday 6th January 2012.

 

The Select Commission’s discussion included the following salient issues:-

 

:           Government guidance issued in 2009

:           Munro Report on safeguarding of children

:           some Directors have responsibility for safeguarding children and adults

:           lead member responsibilities for children’s services and safeguarding adults

:           procedures for exercising lead member and director responsibilities

:           appointment process for the Director of Children’s Services

:           responsibilities of the Leader and the Chief Executive of the local authority

:           local authority assurance checks on the exercise of the statutory responsibilities.

 

Resolved:- (1) That the report be received and its contents noted.

 

(2) That the contents of the Council’s response to the consultation document, as now submitted, be approved in so far as this Select Commission is concerned. 

21.

Review of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education pdf icon PDF 78 KB

a.  Consultation document (report herewith)

b.  Rotherham response (report herewith)

c.  Summary of Scrutiny Review of PSHE (for information) (report herewith)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Department of Education consultation documents, presented by Kay Denton-Tarn, Healthy Schools Consultant, concerning the review of Personal, Social, Health and Economics (PSHE) Education.

 

The Government’s Schools White Paper, ‘The Importance of Teaching’, stated that there would be a review to determine ways of supporting schools to improve the quality of teaching of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, including giving teachers the flexibility to use their judgement about how best to deliver PSHE education. This request for representations and responses was seeking local authorities’ views on the core body of knowledge that pupils need to learn through PSHE education teaching and ways to improve the quality of teaching.

 

The first draft of the Council’s suggested response to the Government Department for Education was included with the submitted report. Responses were required to be submitted by Wednesday 30th November 2011.

 

Discussion took place on the following salient issues:-

 

:     assessing and tracking the progress of pupils in studying PSHE in schools

      (both primary and secondary)

:     non-statutory frameworks and programmes of study for PSHE education

:     learning life skills – to accept that people will have differing attitudes and

      values

:     the subject ‘Citizenship’ is separate from PSHE

:     learning about economic well-being; hardship and poverty within PSHE

:     careers guidance

:     the teaching and learning of sex and relationship (health) education

      (including the involvement of parents)

:     the pressure upon schools’ timetables to include the PSHE curriculum,

      alongside the many other subjects

:     good practice in Rotherham about challenging prejudice

:     resources required for the teaching and learning of PSHE in schools

 

The Select Commission noted the strength of views being expressed and welcomed the opportunity to be part of the consultation process.

 

Resolved:- (1) That the contents of the consultation documents be noted.

 

(2) That the contents of the Council’s suggested response be approved and it is the view of the Improving Lives Select Commission that personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education should become a statutory part of the national curriculum.

22.

Study Programmes for 16 - 19 Year Olds pdf icon PDF 147 KB

a.  Consultation document (summary) (report herewith)

b.  Young People’s Learning Agency presentation (report herewith)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the following documents presented by Anthony Evans (Co-ordinator of services to young people not in education, employment or training):-

 

(a) the Department for Education consultation document entitled ’16-19 funding formula review’ (October 2011);

 

(b) 16-19 Funding consultation issued by the Young People’s Learning Agency;

 

(c) the Department for Education document entitled ‘Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds’ which included details of the review of vocational education undertaken by Professor Alison Wolf and published in March, 2011.

 

The Select Commission’s discussion included the following salient issues:-

 

:     the funding and cost of education and training for young people, post-16

:     funding for education and training for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds (known as the ‘disadvantage uplift’)

:     a South Yorkshire-wide approach to learning provision for 16-19 year olds in the County (of the 10,000 post-16 learners in Rotherham, some 1,400 are resident outside the Borough area)

:     Rotherham is a ‘net importer’ of post-16 students from the other South Yorkshire districts

:     increasing the number of post-16 students engaged in a programme of study

:     bursaries for the costs of learning programmes

:     proposed changes to funding and to young people’s access to learning

:     support for children and young people with learning difficulties

:     measuring a pupil’s progress with learning, not only by means of qualifications gained

:     the focus on literacy and numeracy as a corner stone to life chances and the availability of the qualifications in functional skills at Levels 1, 2 and 3

:     funding for internships and work placements for post-16 learners, as the funding of work placements for pre-16 learners has been reduced

:     work placements within the Council for young people – nb: (i) there are places provided by individual schools and (ii) specific provision is made for looked after children seeking a work placement

:     the availability of apprenticeships for young people

:     the likely profile of the cohort of young people leaving schools, colleges and other places of learning in the future.

 

The Select Commission expressed concerns about the Government’s apparently disjointed approach to consultation on this issue, because of the unintended consequences of the different funding methodologies, ie: funding provided per each individual learner, or by specific course provision.

 

It was noted that the providers of education and training for 16-19 year olds would also be responding to the consultation documents.

 

Resolved:- (1) That the contents of the various submitted documents be noted.

 

(2) That the comments of the Select Commission be included in the Council’s response to the submitted consultation documents.

23.

Date of Next Meeting

Minutes:

Members noted that the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, scheduled to be held on 21st December 2011 has been postponed and that the next meeting is therefore to be held on Wednesday 25th January 2012.