Agenda and minutes

Improving Lives Select Commission - Tuesday, 24th April, 2018 5.30 p.m.

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

Contact: Richard Bellamy  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Cusworth declared a non-pecuniary interest in Minute No. 128 as she was a Governor at a Rotherham school.


Questions from members of the public and the press


There were no members of the public present at the meeting.




(1)  As it was the last meeting of the Municipal Year, the Chair wished to place on record her thanks to Members of the Select Commission and every Officer who had attended and also to Caroline Webb (Senior Adviser) for her support during the year.


(2)  The inaugural meeting of the Pause Board had taken place on 20th April to agree its Terms of Reference.  The next meeting would be held in June.


(3) Councillor Cusworth reported that the Corporate Parenting Panel had not met since the last meeting of the Select Commission.


(4)  Councillor Cusworth reported that the Performance Sub-Group had met to discuss the Early Help scorecards.  The Sub-Group would meet quarterly to consider the data and briefings submitted to the Performance Board.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th March, 2018 pdf icon PDF 107 KB


Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 13th March, 2018, and matters arising from those minutes.


Further to Minute No. 119 (Adult Learning), it was noted that the report would be submitted to the June Select Commission meeting.


Resolved:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission held on 13th March, 2018, be approved for signature by the Chairman.


2017 Education Performance Outcomes pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Additional documents:


Del Rew, Head of Education, presented an overview of the educational outcomes of children and young people in primary, secondary schools and academies in Rotherham for the academic year ending in the summer of 2017 in comparison to statistical neighbours, regional Yorkshire and Humber authorities and national averages for the same period of time. The report also made comparison with Sheffield’s results and whilst not a statistical neighbour, provided a further sub-regional context.


The Department for Education (DfE) had made significant changes in the Key Stage 1 (KS1) Teacher Assessment (TA), Key Stage 2 (KS2) TA and Test Outcomes and Key Stage 4 (KS4) and Key Stage 5 (KS5) examinations in 2016 and further changes in KS4 and KS5 in 2017.  It was not, therefore, possible to make comparison to historical data prior to 2016 at KS1 and KS2 and prior to 2017 for the majority of the thresholds at KS4 and KS5.


The report detailed:-


-          A summary of outcomes

-          School Ofsted Inspections

-          Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

-          Key Stage 1

-          Key Stage 2

-          Key Stage 4

-          Key Stage 5

-          Rotherham 2017/18 Overall Priorities


The following strengths were highlighted:-


-          Early Years Foundation Stage – the good level of development had continued to rise above the national average.  This was a well established trend and was first compared to statistical neighbours and joint second within the region


-          Phonics – At the end of Year 1 (5/6 year olds) had shown an improvement but this was 2% below the national average.  Last year 79% of Rotherham’s children gained the Phonics Screening requirement compared with 81% nationally.  .  The authority was joint 5th against its statistical neighbours and 7th out of 15 regional local authorities


-          KS1 was strong and for the first time Rotherham was above the national average


-          KS2 was in line with the national average with particularly good progress in writing (girls) and mathematics (boys).  The Higher Standard at the end of KS2 for more able children was below national average and needed to improve


-          KS4 average attainment score was broadly in line with the national average. 



-          KS5 was above the national average


Areas of improvement included:-


-          Performance of disadvantaged children from Foundation through to secondary stage


-          Performance of Gypsy/Roma/Traveller children had fallen below the national average


-          Reading in KS1 and KS2, although above the national average in the combined score, it was below in reading


-          The higher ability children at the end of KS2


-          For secondary schools, the new measures introduced last year around grades for English and Mathematics


It was noted that the assessment for KS1, 2 and 4 had changed so it was difficult to compare like for like.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·           The description of a “disadvantaged child” in the report was as defined by the DfE and all the statistics collated were in accordance with that criteria.  There was to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 128.


OFSTED Single Inspection Framework Recommendations pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:


Sue Wilson, Head of Performance Planning, presented a report on the Ofsted Single Inspection Framework recommendations.


The Ofsted report with the findings from the November 2017 Single Inspection Framework (re-inspection) had been published on 29th January, 2018, and found that overall services for children and young people in Rotherham were Good.  The report detailed 8 recommendations across the Framework where the Service still needed to make additional improvements; these would be monitored as part of the routine Service Planning and reported to the Children and Young People’s Service monthly Performance Board.


An action plan had to be submitted to Ofsted by 10th May, 2018 (70 working days from the publication date of the report) in relation to the recommendations as part of their Single Inspection Framework.


A named Lead Officer had been allocated to each of the 8 Ofsted recommendations to ensure that the Service was accountable for the actions that needed to be in place to fully undertake the recommendations.  The Officers would be held to account as part of the quarterly Service Plan Performance Clinics and monthly Performance Board meetings.


The Audit Committee continued to review an overview of progress from recommendations from external inspections and as such progress against them would be included in the regular report on a 6 monthly basis.


Inspection readiness continued to be a priority in Children’s Services as the Framework for the Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Services had now been published and included an annual self-assessment (which would need to cover progress against the 8 recommendations) and an annual conversation which was a visit from an Ofsted HMI to discuss the progress being made and any risks and issues.  These together determined when the next inspection would take place.


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


-          There were an additional 8 specific actions regarding the Looked After Children Service with the aim of moving it from Requires Improvement to Good and beyond


-          There was a process of Quality Assurance Framework across the Service which included Social Care, Early Help and just about to embed some Education Services.  There were approximately 30-40 audits undertaken on a monthly basis by Team Managers.  The Team selected cases for which Early Help and Social Care Managers undertook a detailed audit which included providing an Ofsted style rating e.g. inadequate etc.  A report was then compiled and submitted to the monthly Performance Board.  In addition there were monthly Ofsted style visits – practice learning days – where a team of staff from the Director down to Business Support went out and conducted an Ofsted style visit, observed practice, looked at performance, held a focus group for staff.  The Director would return and provide feedback


-          The performance measures were reviewed on an annual basis, however, if something cropped up during the year it would be added.  A refresh of the measures and targets that were to be included in the Council Plan had just taken place to ensure the Framework and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 129.




The Chair thanked Councillor Cusworth for her Vice-Chairmanship during the 2017/18 Municipal Year and all her support and encouragement.


Date and time of the next meeting


Resolved:-  That a further meeting be held on Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, commencing at 5.30 p.m.