Agenda and minutes

Corporate Parenting Panel - Tuesday 23 January 2024 4.00 p.m.

Venue: The Town Hall

Contact: Natasha Aucott, Governance Advisor  Email: governance@rotherham.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

124.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 265 KB

 

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel held on 12 December 2023 and approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.

Minutes:

Resolved: - That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 December 2023, were agreed as a correct record.

125.

Declarations of Interest

 

To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

126.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

 

To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.

Minutes:

Minute 131 (The Looked After Children’s Council Update) was exempt from the press and public. The Chair moved the following resolution:- That under Section 100(A) 4 of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of such Act indicated, as now amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 (information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual/financial information).

 

Resolved: - That members of the press and public be excluded for this items

127.

Virtual School Annual Report 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive an update on the Virtual School Annual Report.

Minutes:

This item provided a high-level overview of the Virtual School Annual Report 2021-2022 and the following was outlined:

 

·       The format of the Virtual School Annual Report 2021-2022 had changed significantly to previous reports. This was a result of suggestions provided by Ofsted, to ensure the report was more readable and accessible, whilst also ensuring successes were celebrated within the report.

·       In relation to early years and primary education, 100% of two-year-olds were accessing early years provision.

·       All children on the virtual school’s register were registered to a children’s centre from birth.

·       There was a good level of development (GLD) for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and for children without SEND. The GLD exceeded national averages, this was a result of interventions, support and effective partnership working.

·       The reading, writing and maths levels for all primary aged children with SEND and without SEND exceeded national averages.

·       In relation to Key Stage Three, the virtual school was working closely with schools to ensure a continued effective transition from primary to secondary education.

·       The impact of long-term work was evident within the report, in relation to children’s journeys throughout all of the school. This impact was visible in GCSE and Post- 16 cohorts.

·       In relation to GCSE results, a GCSE Grade Four was regarded as a standard pass and this was the first report post-pandemic that included formal end of year GCSE examinations.

·       There was a significant improvement in the Department of Education (DfE) Cohort, 8.1% of Looked After Children (LAC) DfE received a Grade Four or above in English and Maths in 2019, in 2022 this increased to 18.8%.

·       There was an increase in the number of young people post-16, accessing higher level courses and applying for university. Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) figures had also reduced.

·       The levels of non-attendance had increased post-pandemic, in part due to increased anxiety and emotional based school avoidance, however this year was the first that saw suspension levels drop under 10%.

 

The Chair thanked the relevant officers and invited questions, this led to the following points being raised during discussions:

 

·       It was noted that the report was in the public domain which would enable the promotion of the successes of the Virtual School. The report would also be shared with senior management, employees, and partners via the Corporate Parenting Panel.

·       The next report for the period of 2022-2023 would be presented at the Corporate Parenting Panel shortly. The Virtual School Headteachers would explore whether this could be promoted through the communications team.

·       Early indications for the next report were showing as positive overall, although it was acknowledged that there had been a higher level of suspensions.

 

128.

Quality Assurance Update

To receive an update on quality assurance, in the absence of a Performance on a Page Report.

Minutes:

This item provided a high-level update on quality assurance in relation to Children in Care (CIC) and the following was outlined:

 

Fostering Service-

·       In relation to fostering, there was a new quality assurance (QA) framework. This included a new case file audit form, designed for fostering pre-approval, post approval and the supervisory service. It also included a new dip sample template for fostering, which would be embedded over the next three months.

·       The Panel Advisor would further develop the QA function of Panel and build this into the QA framework.

·       New fees and allowances had been approved and implemented for the fostering service.

·       The Elected Members Fostering Working Group had achieved most of their objectives and would conclude in 2024.

·       A Fostering monthly scorecard was developed to enable the tracking of performance in Fostering, this was reported in to the Operational and Strategic Fostering Board.

·       Monthly Performance Meetings were scheduled with the Head of Service to track progress and identify development needs.

·       The Fostering Annual Report and Plan was now complete. The plan would be reviewed monthly.

·       Fostering Form F assessments were of a good standard, the voice of the carer and the voice of any birth children was evident.

·       There had been several independent foster agency (IFA) transfers over to the local authority, this was due to the support they have received from the service.

·       The IFA transfer reports provided enough information for the panel to make a recommendation.

·       Some development was needed with the wider service around the consistency of quality assurance of documents being submitted to the Fostering Panel.

·       The QA framework needed to be embedded in the fostering service.

·       The voice of the second carer was not always evident in review reports. This had been raised in individual cases with the relevant team manager.

 

Residential Services-

·       A high-level update was provided on all currently registered children’s homes, this included where in the process of registration they were, outcomes of inspections and the levels of current vacancies.

·       It was advised that the homes continued to meet the needs of the children, to a high standard

and regulation 44 visits were positive, with some low-level recommendations made to the residential services.

·       The residential staff maintained good partnership working with wider service areas.

·       One of the residential care staff members won an award for ‘Best Support Worker in the North’. Another residential home was nominated for the ‘Children’s Home Team Award’.

·       A high-level overview of recruitment in relation to residential services was provided.

·       There had been delays in the process of purchasing, completing work and registering new children’s homes.

·       Recruitment of residential staff had been slower than expected. 

·       There had been some staff absence, which had impacted upon the wider service.

·       It was noted that matching children to vacancies needed to be a speedier process and that residential staff need to be better included in planning for children and young people.

 

Children in Care, Care Leavers, and Family Activity Base Services-

·       There had been a refresh inquality assurance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 128.

129.

Corporate Parenting Strategy 2024-2027

To receive an update on the Corporate Parenting Strategy 2024-2027.

Minutes:

This item provided a high-level update on the Corporate Parenting Strategy 2024-2027 and the following was outlined:

 

·       The strategy was formally known as the Children in Care (CIC) and Care Leavers (CL) Strategy.

·       There had been slight revisions to the strategy which had been approved by Cabinet on the 22nd January 2024 and was subject to a seven working day call-in period, from the date the decision was published.

·       The strategy had been shared with the Looked After Children’s Council and any comments would contribute towards the associated action plans.

 

During Discussions it was noted that an RMBC child had won the entry to the Quorum Voices National Art Competition, feedback from the Awards Ceremony would be provided to the panel in March.

 

The Chair thanked the relevant officers and the update was noted.

 

130.

The Proposed Terms of Reference for Corporate Parenting Panel pdf icon PDF 369 KB

To receive an update on the proposed changes to the Terms of Reference for the Corporate Parenting Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item provided a high-level update on the proposed Terms of Reference (ToR) for Corporate Parenting Panel and the following was outlined:

 

·       Cabinet had approved the changes to the ToR for Corporate Parenting Panel on the 22nd January, this was subject to a seven working day call-in period.

·       The changes would be implemented from the beginning of the new municipal year.

·       The approved changes would see the Corporate Parenting Panel change to the Corporate Parenting Partnership Board, the name change would reflect children’s wider needs including health and education.

·       The Panel would move from a public panel meeting to an internal board, this would ensure that young people could attend each meeting.

·       The frequency of meetings would increase from four meetings a year to six meetings a year, to ensure sufficient capacity for business to be completed.

·       There would be an Annual Report presented to the Improving Lives Select Commission on a yearly basis.

 

131.

Looked After Children's Council Update

To receive an update from the Looked After Children’s Council, including a group presentation.

Minutes:

The Chair advised that as this item contained restricted information and as resolved in Minute 126, the Panel would go into private session for the consideration of this item.

 

The young people on the Looked After Children’s Council (LACC) gave a presentation to the Panel on the work of Rotherham’s Looked After Children’s Council drawing attention to the following:

 

·       Participation in the Big Ambition National Survery for 6 to 18 year olds.

·       Delivery of the Summer Festival.

·       An International Trip to Paris.

·       Participation in the Lost Land Project with Grimm & Co.

·       Participation in the Rememberance Sunday Service.

·       The LACC Pantomime and Christmas Dinner.

 

The panel thanked the young people for their inspirational presentation and noted the updates provided.

132.

Urgent Business

 

To determine any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business to consider.

133.

Date and time of the next meeting

 

The next meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel will be held on 19 March 2024, commencing at 4.00 p.m. in Rotherham Town Hall.

Minutes:

Resolved: - That the next meeting be held on 19 March 2024, commencing at 4.00 p.m. to be held in the Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham.