Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH
To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 October 2021 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 26 October 2021 be approved as a correct record of proceedings.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
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.
There were no items that required the exclusion of the press or public.
Questions from Members of the Public and the Press
To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.
There were no questions from members of the public or press.
To receive communications from the Chair in respect of matters within the Commission’s remit and work programme.
The Vice-Chair provided an updateon the issues covered at the most recent meeting of the Corporate Parenting Panel.
The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services and the Assistant Director – Education attended the meeting to provide a presentation on how the Education service had been working to deliver the education recovery in the Borough during the 2020/21 Academic Year. The report also provided an overview of activity and a review of key areas of education across the Borough in the current academic year including Elective Home Education.
The Assistant Director - Education made a presentation that provided information on:
· Early Years provision.
· Primary and Secondary education provision, including recovery activity and the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
· the activity that had been carried out by the Rotherham Education Strategic Partnership to address the challenges across the education system created by the pandemic.
· the work that had been carried out in engaging with school leaders across the Borough to drive forward the education recovery.
· School attendance during 2020/21 and how it had been impacted by large numbers of children and young people isolating due to Covid-19.
· the Rotherham Inclusion Pathway.
· Elective Home Education and the increase in numbers of children and young people being home educated, the challenges that this presented, and the action being taken to address these challenges.
· the engagement activity that had been carried out with parents and carers.
· the surveys that had been carried out with pupils across the Borough on the impact of the pandemic and the activity being carried out as a result of the information gathered.
The Assistant Director provided information on the key challenges with regard to delivery of the education recovery across the Borough including:
· the increasing number of pupils and students with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs.
· the impact on School leaders and staff wellbeing as they faced the daily uncertainty of staffing levels in schools.
· the impact of staff absence on the delivery of catch-up interventions.
· ensuring that the breadth of the curriculum was not reduced for the most vulnerable pupils as they attended reading, writing or maths catch-up activities.
· ensuring that pupils and students who were self-isolating had the opportunity to keep up with their studies.
· the long-term impact of the pandemic on the education of vulnerable children and young people.
· the development on social interaction skills in early years as children learnt to interact with others after long periods of isolation from children and adults outside of their immediate family.
· the lack of assessment for primary children that had inhibited the understanding of the impact of the pandemic on educational attainment and progress of children and young people throughout the education system.
· notwithstanding the impact of the pandemic on school improvement, the need to increase the number of schools judged by Ofsted as being good or better.
The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services noted her concerns around the lack of formal assessments that had been able to be carried and how this impacted on the ability of schools to measure the progress that pupils had made. The Cabinet Member also ... view the full minutes text for item 56.
Councillor Clark attended the meeting to present a report on post-CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation) support that had been carried out by a sub-group of the Improving Lives Select Commission.
The sub-group had consisted of Councillors Victoria Cusworth, Councillor Maggi Clark and Councillor Jenny Andrews. It was noted that during the period of the review that Councillor Cusworth had been Chair of the Improving Lives Select Commission. Councillor Cusworth, who had been a member of the sub-group was in attendance at the meeting for this item to support Councillor Clark answer member questions about the review and its recommendations.
In introducing the report Councillor Clark thanked all of those who had been involved in the review including officers, officers and elected members at the other local authorities that the sub-group had spoken to and the representatives of the providers of the commissioned services that they had met with.
Councillor Clark emphasised that the purpose of the review had been to gain assurance on the services that were in place in Rotherham to support survivors of CSE rather than the historical or current issues of CSE in Rotherham and the Council’s response to CSE in the Borough.
Councillor Clark detailed the circumstances and context that that had led to the formation of the sub-group to scrutinise post-CSE support in Rotherham.
The report noted that in summer 2016 the Council had commissioned support services for young people and adults who had experienced child sexual exploitation, with these additional services acting to supplement the core support offer that was available to any adult who had ongoing support needs provided by the Council through its Adult Safeguarding provision. It was noted that the contracted arrangements had ran from 1 July 2016 to 31 March 2019 with an option to extend for a further two years, with the contract being extended until 31 December 2020.
The report stated that to inform the imminent re-commissioning of services, members of the Improving Lives Select Commission had conducted a short benchmarking exercise during August 2019 on the services provided by other local authorities to support survivors of CSE. The results of this exercise had subsequently been fed into the development of a needs analysis that had been used to underpin the anticipated re-commissioning process. Councillor Clark advised that because of circumstances beyond the Council’s control the commissioning process had been delayed and that due to the extension to timescales, members of the sub-group agreed that further work should be undertaken to enhances its review and to gain further assurance about the level of support offered to survivors of CSE in Rotherham. Councillor Clark noted that it had been resolved at the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission held on 3 March 2020 that the benchmarking work should be resumed, with the results detailed in standalone scrutiny report on post-CSE support and the delivery of commissioned support services.
Councillor Clark advised that in conducting the review that the sub-group had met with senior officers, officers and elected members at ... view the full minutes text for item 57.
To consider and approve the Commission’s Work Programme.
The Committee considered its Work Programme.
Resolved: - That the Work Programme for 2020/21 be approved.
To consider any item(s) the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
There was no urgent business.
Date and time of the next meeting
The next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on Tuesday 25 January 2022 commencing at 10am in Rotherham Town Hall.
Resolved: - That the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on Tuesday 25 January 2022 at 10am at Rotherham Town Hall.