Agenda and minutes

Improving Lives Select Commission - Tuesday 6 December 2022 10.00 a.m.

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

Contact: Barbel Gale, Governance Manager Tel: 01709 807665 email:  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 September 2022 pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 September 2022 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 6 September 2022 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 of business on the agenda that required the exclusion of the press and public from the meeting.


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.


There was none.


Corporate Parenting Panel - Update

To consider any updates from the Corporate Parenting Panel.


The last meeting was held on 20 September 2022.  The leisure card was discussed with a view to ensuring the young people could access the leisure card by December.


Outcomes from the review of the draft Early Help Strategy pdf icon PDF 371 KB

To consider the key points that arose from the discussions and recommendations that came from the ILSC meeting on 21 September 2022.

Additional documents:


The report was provided for information.  In September 2022, Members had held a workshop to scrutinise the draft Early Help Strategy. 


The report summarised some of the issues that had emerged from the workshop.  Due to the timescales required to ensure that the recommendations were considered by Children and Young People’s Services and Members of the Cabinet, the Chair submitted a letter to the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board to outline the recommendations to ensure they could be considered at an early stage.


The Early Help Strategy was due to be considered by Cabinet early in the new year.


The Chair felt that the workshop had been a good development session and that it was a well written report.


Resolved That: The Improving Lives Select Commission:

1.    Noted the outcomes and recommendations of its review of the draft Early Help Strategy as outlined in the report.

2.    Noted that the recommendations have been approved by Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB) and submitted to Cabinet for consideration.

3.    Receives further updates on the progress and implementation of the Early Help Strategy as approved.




OFSTED Inspection - Draft Action Plan pdf icon PDF 275 KB

To consider a presentation providing context around key areas of inspection findings, linking to public inspection report, and including the draft action plan to be submitted to OFSTED.

Additional documents:


The Joint Assistant Director, CYPS introduced the report highlighting that an inspection had been carried out in June and the authority had to publish its action plan in response to the recommendations made from the inspection outcome.


The inspection covered how the Council helped and protected children, the experiences and progress of children in care, its arrangements for permanence for children who were looked after, including adoption along with the experiences and progress of care leavers.  Ofsted also evaluated the effectiveness of the Council’s leaders and managers as well and the impact that they had on the lives of children and young people.


Ofsted found the following:

  • the overall effectiveness was good,
  • the quality of services that were provided to children and families in Rotherham was good,
  • the impact of leaders was good,
  • the experiences and progress of children in need were good, and
  • the experience and progress of children in care and care leavers was good.


The report contained lots of positive references however some areas for improvement were identified.  Children’s Services were striving to become outstanding, so all comments were welcomed.


The four areas identified within the action plan were the four areas in which Ofsted made their recommendations.  They also provided lots of advice that would help the service move towards outstanding.


Ofsted indicated that services had continued to be delivered effectively during the pandemic.  The new Director of Service and strengthening of the management had helped drive the continuous improvements forward.


The first area where improvement could be made was ‘Consideration of previous history and current circumstances when responding to ‘front door’ contacts and child protection concerns.’  For context, Ofsted identified a very small number of contacts that had come into children’s services where no further action had been taken where it was felt that the history wasn’t recorded within that contact as being fully considered to inform decision making.  This was where children had previously been contacted and Ofsted identified no concerns or safeguarding risks, but it was felt that the way it was recorded didn’t evidence that the service had taken into consideration and analysed previous contacts.


Action number two was regarding the ‘Assessment of the identity needs of children when planning for their future.’  Ofsted specifically considered the unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and some care leavers within that recommendation.  Ofsted that whilst every individual child’s experience was recognised that for some children with particular cultural needs or experiences that may have influenced their identity, that this hadn’t been recorded within the assessment as robustly as it could have been. 


The third action was regarding ‘The level of ambition for individual care leavers, the support for them to achieve their aspirations and the detailing of this in pathway plans.’  During the inspection the services ambition for all children in Rotherham was acknowledged however it was regarding how it was described within the pathway plans along with the level of ambition included and needed to include their ultimate ambition and their aspirations.


The final action  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Rotherham Youth Justice Service Progress Report pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To receive a progress update on Peer Review and introduction to Youth Justice Plan.

Additional documents:


The Joint Assistant Director, CYPS provided an updated on the Commission’s recommendations from a previous meeting.  The first recommendation was regarding liaison between the Youth Justice Team and the Performance Team to ensure that the performance data was understood and incorporated.  It was confirmed that the liaison had improved. 


The Youth Justice Service Manager confirmed that quarterly feedback was provided, and a monthly development day was held where all practitioners attend ensuring shared learning and promoting best practice.


The second recommendation was in recognition that the Young People involved with the Youth Justice were among the most vulnerable residents in the borough and that work was to be carried out to ensure the management resources were utilised to ensure the operation could be delivered.


The Youth Justice Service Manager explained that the name had been changed to promote the child first approach.  It was hard to understand the difference the name change had made to the children however our professionals expressed that there was less stigma attached to the service meaning the young people would feel that they hadn’t been labelled for life.


There had been a number of actions centred around the national standards for which the time frames had been removed to highlight that the actions were more important than the timeframes assigned.


The delay in going to tender was around having the correct commissioning framework in place to ensure a consistent approach across the council, however this was now being addressed.


On update could be provided to the Commission regarding whether the service interacted with Rotherham Sight and Sound.


In response it was clarified that the number of offences listed was not the same as number of offenders.  The Commission felt that having a breakdown of this included in the reports going forward would be beneficial.


Resolved That: The Improving Lives Select Commission:

1.    Noted the contents of the report and the accompanying action plans.

2.    Agreed that an update be provided, within an agreed timeframe, to members of the Improving Lives Selection Commission detailing how actions are re-visited to determine the impact of the actions carried out.

3.    Agreed that the update submitted to the September 2023 Improving Lives Select Commission meeting specifically include details on how the target has been met in relation to item listed as Area for improvement 7. Enhance Board oversight of effectiveness of Out of Court Disposal (OoCD) decision making across the partnership.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To consider and approve the Commission’s Work Programme.


The Committee considered its Work Programme.


The Chair invited Members of the Commission to contact her directly if they wished to discuss potential topics for inclusion.


The Chair sought Member’s interest in taking part in the Young Producers Spotlight review which was to be scheduled around January to Early February 2023.


Resolved That: The Work Programme for 2022/23 be approved.


Improving Lives Select Commission - Sub and Project Group Updates

For the Chair/project group leads to provide an update on the activity regarding sub and project groups of the he Improving Lives Select Commission.


The Chair provided a progress report on sub and project group activity, explaining that all current activities had been completed.


Resolved That: the update be noted.


Urgent Business

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 31 January 2023 commencing at 10am in Rotherham Town Hall.


Resolved That: the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission would take place on Tuesday, 31 January 2023, commencing at 10am at Rotherham Town Hall.