Agenda and minutes

Improving Lives Select Commission - Tuesday 25 April 2023 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 7 March 2023 pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 March 2023 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission, held on 7 March be approved as a correct record of proceedings, with the inclusion of the amendments as discussed.


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.


An update was provided to members in respect of matters within the Commission’s remit and work programme. Members were reminded of the Strategy Day on Wednesday 26 April from 10am, which provided an opportunity for members to influence the scrutiny work programme for the year ahead and determine any priorities.



Corporate Parenting Panel - Update

To consider any updates from the Corporate Parenting Panel.



The Corporate Parenting Panel met on 28 March 2023. The Chair advised that consideration was given to the following items during the meeting:


·       An update was provided from the Looked After Children’s Council, which included an overview of its activities, including preparations for the summer festival.

·       The Independent Reviewing Officer Service Annual Report, which focused on what was working well, what the service was worried about and areas for development. There was a good discussion on the issues raised, including how the voice of the child was captured in reviews, workforce development and consistency in social work reports.

·       Performance Monitoring report, which included trend data, graphical analysis and latest benchmarking data against national and statistical neighbour averages.

·       The Rotherham Fostering Service Annual Report, which provided information on performance, panel activity and service developments. Discussions included placement sufficiency, understanding the reasons behind deregistration, embedding exit interviews and positive response from foster carers about the Rotherham ‘offer’.

·       Fostering Health Check and Recruitment Action Plan, this item detailed the outcomes of a recent survey and shared details of the planned marketing strategy.


The Chair advised that the next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 13th June 2023.



SEND Sufficiency Phase 4 update pdf icon PDF 301 KB

To consider an update on progress across Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Sufficiency Phase 4 following the annual cabinet update for CYPS Safety Valve Agreement.



The report provided an update on the progress across Children’s and Young Peoples Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Sufficiency Phase Four, following the annual Cabinet update for Children’s and Young Peoples Services Safety Valve Agreement. The Commission was familiar with this work having received reports on the Sufficiency Strategy and Written Statement of Action at previous meetings.


The Chair invited Nathan Heath, Assistant Director, Education, and Inclusion to introduce the report.


The Safety Valve Agreement update was provided to Cabinet on the 24 April 2023, which informed of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Transformation Work conducted in Rotherham. The Safety Valve Agreement was a financial plan provided by the Department of Education, to support the deficit in the High Need Grant. This allowed continued growth in Rotherham for SEND requirements. The Council had also taken the opportunity to transform SEND services aligned to the Written Statement of Action, which was provided as part of a previous SEND inspection.


Within the report, contextual information is outlined showing Rotherham’s current situation in relation to SEND. The SEND Sufficiency has reported to Scrutiny three times previously throughout previous phases. Phase One was focused on creating additional school places for children with SEND requirements. Phase Two was focused on learning to work closely with partners, to develop mainstream and integrated resource bases.


It was highlighted that attendance at Scrutiny from representatives of Wales High School was very positive, with the school being recognised as a model of best practise regionally. It was also advised that the developments at Newman School in Whiston was on track to be completed in July and this remained a positive new provision which would be accessible from September 2023.


Key areas that drove challenge within Rotherham were social, emotional and mental health as well as autism and communication which was outlined in the report. As part of the proposals submitted to Cabinet in September, it was agreed that an additional one hundred resource bases in Rotherham would be created. These would become available from September 2023 and focus on a partnership approach between the Local Authority, the Department for Education and schools across the Borough.


There has been a shift in movement from Phase Two where the Council worked in partnership with schools, to Phase Four where due diligence would be completed and the opportunity to support the development of schools would be offered. As a result, the expressions of interest from schools have been very high, which means that children and young people with SEND requirements that were attending schools, would have an opportunity to stay in a mainstream school setting for longer.


The profile of provision that the Council was seeking to create was focused on areas of need, by creating additional places. This includes forty additional places across social emotional or mental health and forty additional places across communication and interaction.


The resource base was a dual purpose focused around aligning and equipping Rotherham schools to meet the needs of their pupils, whilst also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To consider and approve the Commission’s Work Programme.


The Committee considered its Work Programme.


Resolved: - That the work programme as outlined be noted.


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 advised that there was no progress to report on sub and project group activity.



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 Tuesday 13 June 2023 commencing at 10am in Rotherham Town Hall.



The next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on 13 June 2023 commencing at 10am in Rotherham Town Hall.


Resolved: That the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission take place on 13 June 2023 commencing at 10am in Rotherham Town Hall.