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Draft minutes

Proposed venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH

Contact: Dawn Mitchell, Senior Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th July, 2012, were considered and approved as a correct record.  


Matters Arising.


Nothing was raised under this item. 


Issues and Concerns


Looked After Children’s Council: -


Dorothy Smith, Director for Schools and Lifelong Learning, Children and Young People’s Services reported on a number of workstreams that the LAC Council were currently involved with. 


·         Corporate Parenting Week – representation of what it is like to be a looked after child/young person and to represent their views and feelings.

·         Young People’s Bus as part of Youth Services – Members of the LAC Council had acted as volunteers to run the service.  The service had been positively received. 


Parent and Carer’s Forum: -


Dorothy Smith referred to the strategic-level partnership that existed between the Local Authority and parents.  The group’s Parent Charter had been used nationally as an example of good practice.  The group had been invited to attend a round table discussion with the new Minister for Children and Families. 


Budget Analysis - CYPS/Partners


Consideration was given to the report presented by Joanne Robertson, Finance Manager, CYPS Business Partnering, which compared the available resources in support of the Children and Young People’s Plan for 2011/12 and 2012/13.  


The report detailed: -


  • Allocation of resources to the ‘four big things’ within the Children and Young People’s Plan (2010-13) – ‘keeping children and young people safe’, ‘prevention and early intervention’, ‘tackling inequality’ and ‘transforming Rotherham learning’.


  • There had been a reduction in funding to the revenue budget of £1.2m (3.25%) from when it had been presented in November, 2011, to 2012/13. 


  • Grant funding had reduced by approximately £100k from when it had been presented in November, 2011, to 2012/13. 


  • From the position presented in November, 2011, there had been the following changes to available resources: -


  • Capital Grant – reduction due to withdrawal of Department for Education Capital Grant Funding from £9.901m to £6.904m (-30%);
  • Dedicated Schools Grant – increased from £182,339, 206 to £182, 852, 338 due to an increase in pupil numbers.  90% of this funding was delegated to schools.
  • Early Intervention Grant – increased from £12, 379, 793 to £12, 644, 487 (+£264, 694 / +2.14%);
  • Youth Justice Board Grant – reduction from £710,444 to £639,606 (-£70,838 / - 9.9%);
  • Other grants – reduction from £16.13m to £12.85m (-£3.3m / -20%) due to a reduction in ring fenced grant funding for specific projects. 


The Finance Manager confirmed that, due to staff movement and restructuring of the Directorate, there had been a refocusing of work and staff were now based in other Directorates. 


Discussion ensued on the funding allocations to each of the Children and Young People’s Plan’s ‘Four Big Things’.  Partners in attendance confirmed their budget allocations to each priority.  


There was agreement amongst the Partners that their future budget contributions may be subject to budget savings from within their own organisations,  


Agreed: -  (1)  That the information shared be noted. 


(2)  That the Partner organisations in attendance confirm their budget contributions to each of the ‘Four Big Things’.


(2)  That priority setting for the next years beyond 2013 be undertaken based on the 2013 contributions.   


Child and Family Poverty


Michael Holmes, Policy Officer, was welcomed to the meeting to present an update to the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership in relation to the Welfare Reform Bill and the affect that it was expected to have on child poverty.  


Michael outlined how the issues were being tackled from across the Partnership.  An annual statement would be prepared to demonstrate mitigation actions that were taking place, along with early help and intervention that was taking place.  


A Strategy Group had been established to plan actions to mitigate the loss of benefits.  Key Partners and Strategies included: -


  • 11 most deprived areas;
  • Health and Wellbeing Board;
  • Troubled Families – in Rotherham the ‘Think Family’ initiative;
  • Early Help strategies. 


Data that was two to three months out of date suggested there would be 179 households that would be affected by the Benefit Cap.


  • The majority had children;
  • Gingerbread Report;
  • Childcare – it was anticipated that Benefit Reform would mean that parents could only claim up to 70% of their childcare costs, rather than 96% as now. 


Discussion ensued, and representatives of the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership raised the following issues: -


  • Low-skilled and entry-level jobs were required across the Borough;
  • Was an Annual Report/Statement too infrequent a measure of poverty across the Borough?
  • The role of the Pupil Premium that schools received for each pupil – is there awareness of the range of things this could be utilised for?;
  • Did we know what the impact could be on Free School Meal Eligibility?;
  • Are we sure that there is no duplication within the response to Benefit Reform that already exists within other strategies, for example, the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.  


The Policy Officer confirmed that the Welfare Reform work would draw information and focus from the Health and Wellbeing Strategy and would sit within the governance of the Local Social Partnership. 


Agreed: - (1)  That the information shared be noted.


(2)  That the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership receive ongoing reports in relation to this work stream within the wider Partnership. 


(3)  That the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership receive reports in relation to the performance management of the work. 


Proposal for a Strategic Approach to respond to the DfE SEN Green Paper 'Support and Aspirations; a New Approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability'


Paul Theaker, Operational Commissioner, and Jackie Parkin, Children’s Disability Team Co-ordinator, attended the meeting to update the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership to provide an update to the Partnership on the development of a Strategic Approach to the provisions of the DfE’s Green Paper. 


The Green Paper had been released in March, 2011, and sought to improve outcomes for children and young people, minimise the adversarial nature of the system and maximise value for money.  By 2014, it was expected that the legislation would exist so that all families would be entitled to a personal budget which included funding for education, health and social care. 


The five main areas of proposed changes were: -


  • Early Identification and Support;
  • Giving Parents Control;
  • Learning and Achieving;
  • Preparing for Adulthood;
  • Service working together for families. 


There were a number of strategic commissioning issues arising from the Green Paper: - 


  • Supporting 0 – 25 year olds with disability or special educational needs;
  • Personal budget options to families by 2014;
  • Early (and earlier) intervention and prevention;
  • Joint working – health, social care and education;
  • Partnerships – in and across agencies, communities and the Voluntary and Community sector;
  • Parental participation – individual and strategic level through consultation;
  • Structural and cultural change;
  • Focus on outcomes. 


A number of pathfinder pilots would take place in the future to test the core elements of the reform.  There were a number of ongoing pilots involving Local Authorities that covered: -


·         Developing a health and education care plan from birth to 25 years;

·         Personal budgets.


Learning from the pilots would be embedded into future policy. 


The Green Paper offered the opportunity to develop a strategic and co-ordinated partnership approach and for partners to work together to develop joint, integrated commissioning and service delivery. 


In Rotherham, it was proposed that a Project Group be established to act as the overarching body to respond to the new requirements.  Issues of focus would include: -


·         Education, Health and Care Plans;

·         Personal Budgets;

·         Market facilitation;

·         Market management;

·         Workforce and human resource implications;


Task and finish groups would sit underneath the Project Group.  Sub-Groups would be initiated that focussed on Finance and Resource Allocation, Personal Budgets, Consultation, Commissioning, HR and Education. 


The proposed Project Group would report to the proposed Joint CYPS Commissioning Group, who would in turn report to the Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group, the Children and Young People’s Partnership and the Health and Wellbeing Board. 


The risks and uncertainties of not adopting a strategic approach were considered.  These included the Local Authority not being able to respond to parental choice, risk to Services within the Local Authority, and competition.  Other risks of not developing a co-ordinated approach related to administration of personal budgets, legal issues around commissioning and workforce. 


Discussion ensued and the following points were made: -


  • Linkages between Children and Adults’ Services as the young people became adults;
  • Working within existing budgets.


The report would be considered by the Cabinet due to the crosscutting nature of the issues involved. 


Agreed:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 171.


Proposal for a Children, Young People and Families Commissioning Group/Terms of Reference


Consideration was given to the report presented by Clare Burton, Operational Commissioner, Resources Directorate, which outlined proposals for commissioning arrangements on behalf of Rotherham MBC. 


It was noted that Rotherham NHS and the Council planned well together as partners and there were established good practice in relation to joint commissioning around Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHs), substance misuse and disability short breaks, but changes were required in relation to the development of joint commissioning plans against the national and local priorities of the Health and Wellbeing Board, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and 29 outcomes going forward.  Taking forward the DfE SEN Green Paper, ‘Support and Aspirations’ would also require greater partnership working. 


There was currently no overarching group or body that oversaw the strategic direction of commissioning for Children and Young People’s Services across Health, Public Health, Social Care and Education.


It was proposed that a Joint NHS and Rotherham Children, Young People’s and Families’ Commissioning Group be established that: - 


·         Worked alongside the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership;

·         Accountable to the Health and Wellbeing Board and Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group;

·         Tasked with taking forward a strategic approach for commissioning of Children and Young People’s Services;

·         Considered intelligence from the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and other local intelligence;

·         Was responsive to the Health and Wellbeing Strategy;

·         Was responsible for meeting the recommendations of the Peer Review of 2011 and the Ofsted inspection of 2012;

·         Membership would include: -


o       NHS Clinical Commissioning Group;

o       Social Care;

o       Education;

o       Voluntary Sector. 


Discussion ensued and the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership confirmed their support for the principle of undertaking joint commissioning as there were clear benefits and opportunities for improving outcomes for children, young people and families.  Work was ongoing in relation to the development of the group’s terms of reference and engagement of all Partners. 


Due to the cross-cutting nature of the report, it was noted that the report be referred to Cabinet.


Agreed: - (1)  That the report be accepted and its content noted. 


(2)  That the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership receive further updates in due course.


Rotherham Development Demonstrator Site for Early and Foundation Years


Dorothy Smith, Director for Schools and Lifelong Learning, Children and Young People’s Services, reported on the positive result to Rotherham’s bid to become a Demonstrator Site for Early and Foundation Years.  


The bid had been made to the national Children’s Improvement Board (CIB) and the Local Government Association.  Rotherham’s commitment would be to host ten site visits for peer councils and at least two national meetings. 


There would be three areas of focus: -


  1. Integrated system leadership -
  • Integrated pre-birth and early years services;
  • Connects with services for over-fives and the community.

2.   Integrated health service delivery –

  • Collaborative commissioning;
  • Joint working.

3.   Adult learning and Job Centre Plus –

  • Joined up provision;
  • Stronger alignment for provision through Children’s Centres. 


Agreed: -   That quarterly reports be provided to the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership on the progress made against the three areas of focus.  


Children, Young People and Families Commissioning Plan - Quarter One Update


Clare Burton, Operational Commissioner, Resources Directorate, provided an update on the progress made towards achieving the outcomes of the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership agreed strategic commissioning outcomes as at June, 2012.


The agreed strategic commissioning outcomes and progress made towards them were: -


1.      Children get the best start in life which includes implementing the early help agenda and reducing health inequalities -

o       Early help offer was having an impact;

o       Establishment of an Early Help Assessment Team to provide a borough-wide , multi-agency response to referrals that did not meet the thresholds for social care intervention. 


2.      Reducing substance misuse by young people, specifically in relation to alcohol -

o       100% of young people had received first intervention within 15 days;

o       A social marketing campaign was being developed; 

o       Training for all frontline workers would be provided – including an assessment tool for night-time referrals. 


3.      Children and young people affected by domestic abuse are supported and protected -

o       Performance in relation to NI 32 remained at below target;

o       South Yorkshire Police had agreed to accept referrals to their MARAC for young people aged 16+ on a trial basis.


4.      To ensure all Rotherham schools are performing well, especially in relation to Key Stage 2 - 

o       74.9% of children had achieved Level 4 or above in combined English and Maths;

o       Rotherham School Improvement Partnership – had funded 5 National Leaders in Education, and 24 Local Leaders in Education;

o       Number of schools below the National Floor Target in 2012 was 6; compared to 12 in 2011. 


Agreed: -  That the report be received and its content noted. 


Draft 'Plan on a Page' Children, Young People and Families Partnership 2013/14


Sarah Whittle informed the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership that she had undertaken to begin developing Rotherham’s Children and Young People’s Services’ 2013-2016 ‘plan on a page’. 


Members of the Partnership were asked to provide their feedback on the principles, mission, vision and needs assessment that informed the document. 


  • There was support to change the ‘principles’ title to ‘values’;
  • Keen to keep the ‘Four Big Things’;
  • The new initiatives including ‘Disadvantaged Areas’ and ‘Think Family’ to be reflected in the revised document;
  • Emphasis on ‘we are all responsible for all Rotherham’s children and young people’.  


Any Other Business.


Dorothy Smith, Director for Schools and Lifelong Learning, Children and Young People’s Services, provided an update in relation to the Local Authority’s performance at Key Stage 4 in 2012. 


  • 10th successive year where performance had increased;
  • 60.6% of young people had achieved A* - C, including English and Maths (increase of 3.5% on previous year);
  • 84.2% had achieved 5 A – C grades (increase of 1.5% on previous year).


The concerns reported in the media around AQA marking English papers were being investigated in Rotherham to determine whether there was any detriment caused to students.  A number of schools had entered their pupils for the January paper, which was not involved in the controversy. 


A-Level performance had improved, including that of looked after children.  Validated data was expected and a further update would be provided when it was available. 


Again, validated data was required, but it was thought that Rotherham’s performance was above that of regional and statistical neighbours. 


Dorothy attributed the improved achievements in part to the improved use of data in target setting, enrichment activities and peer-to-peer support within school communities. 


Date for Future Meetings


Agreed: -  (1)  That the next meeting of the Children, Young People and Families’ Partnership take place on Wednesday, 21st November, 2012, to start in the Rotherham Town Hall at 2.00 p.m..


(2)  That future meetings take place on: -


                        23rd January, 2013;

                        20th March, 2013;

                        22nd May, 2013;

                        17th July, 2013.


All to be held in the Rotherham Town Hall commencing at 2.00 p.m.