Agenda item

Aim 1: All children get the best start in life and go on to achieve their full potential

Presentation by Suzanne Joyner, Strategic Director CYPS, and Dr Jason Page, Rotherham CCG


Suzanne Joyner, Strategic Director CYPS, and Dr Jason Page, Rotherham CCG, gave the following powerpoint presentation:-


Aim 1 – All children get the best start in life and go on to achieve their full potential


Priority 1:  Develop our strategy for a positive 1001 days – What’s Working Well

There continues to be a focus on delivering against the ambition of plans to transform maternity care

-        TRFT continue to work towards achieving the Continuity of Care target of 35% by March 2021 (currently exceeding target – 38% as at December 2020)

-        TRFT engaged in all of the Maternity Transformation Plan workstreams

-        The prevention maternity workstream was progressing well with smoking in pregnancy, infant feeding and healthy weight taking priority

-        An action being was being developed to enhance maternity engagement with BAME and vulnerable groups


Adult Care, Public Health and Housing Directorate will lead the strategic re-commissioning of the 0-19 Service:  

-        A Project Board has been established

-        The Board was recommending that a Cabinet paper be developed with revised timelines and seeking permission to re-tender the Service acknowledging the delays that have been incurred due to the pandemic

-        The revised timeline would support wider consultation and collaborative commissioning between Public Health and CYPS

-        The re-commissioned Service would be fully aligned with wider children’s pathways and would develop pathways with other Public Health commissioned services including Sexual Health and Weight Management


Issues to address

-        It had not been possible to realise the full potential of mapping the services and support available across the first 1001 days of a child’s life

-        Capacity for ongoing engagement from providers and stakeholders was likely to remain challenging as the system responds to the Covid-19 pandemic

-        Capacity for commissioning 0-19s and the market for provider response was challenging and may require the consideration of extension to the current contract

-        For maternity there was reduced capacity within the SY&B ICS Team to co-ordinate activity across the areas until vacant posts were recruited to


Next Steps

-        Refresh the Rotherham Local Maternity Transformation Plan

-        Continue engagement with maternity stakeholders particularly in relation to the smoking in pregnancy, infant feeding and healthy weight priority areas of work

-        Rotherham to input into the future development of the SY&B Maternity Prevention Work Plan to embed outcomes and emerging themes from consultation

-        Formal agreement of 0-19 re-commission plans by RMBC Cabinet

-        Implementation of plans to re-commission the 0-19 Service including full stakeholder engagement and exploration of opportunities to align delivery across services to meet the priority needs of Rotherham children and deliver the National Healthy Child Programme

-        Linking in with Healthy Weight work taking place within Aim 3


Priority 2:  Support positive mental health for all children and young people – What’s Working Well

-        The implementation of the Mental Health Trailblazer in Schools ‘With Me in Mind’ was demonstrating positive outcomes

-        The second mental health survey ran between 1st-26th October.  4,203 young people participated in the survey.  This was a 35% increase from the 2,737 that participated in June 2020.  The findings had also been shared with CYPS leadership teams and the Public Mental Health and Wellbeing COVID Group for them to identify any actions to address key areas of concern

-        DFE Wellbeing for Education Return programme has been rolled out across schools during the Autumn terms.  141 participants had attended and then cascaded learning onwards in their school

-        Rotherham’s Neuro-Developmental Pathway had been re-designed to ensure that children were supported regardless of whether they had a formal diagnosis


Issues to address

-        Children and young people were reporting that Covid-19 was having an impact on their mental health

-        Whilst positive that this was being recognised, there was a need to support the school workforce and wider system to respond to children and young people’s needs

-        The results from the October 2020 survey compared to June 2020 showed that:

·        7% increase in young people feeling anxious

·        11% increase in young people feeling stressed

·        A decline in young people feeling positive and managing problems well

·        An increase in young people feeling confused, uncertain and sad


Next steps

-        Schools will use the findings of the mental health survey to support children and young people across the new term

-        Plans may now need to be revised in light of announcements of further school closures

-        The importance of supporting staff wellbeing has been highlighted through the DfE Wellbeing for Education Return programme

-        An ongoing programme of CPD and opportunities for networking/sharing good practice was being developed

-        Rotherham was preparing to bid for any forthcoming opportunities to extend Future in Mind

-        The annual Lifestyle Survey would integrate questions from the mental health survey in 2021

-        The Covid-19 Mental Health Group and Social, Emotional and Mental Health Strategy Delivery Group would retain oversight of these areas of work


Priority 3:  Support children and young people to achieve their full potential – What’s Working Well

-        As part of the national lockdown, vulnerable groups and children with Education, Health and Care Plans continued to have access to education despite the wider school closures.  RMBC and school were prioritising access to education for these groups and other cohorts which could be determined vulnerable

-        A well embedded and supported Incident Management structure was in place to support Covid-19 clusters and outbreaks.  This was a supportive and multi-agency response which provided additional access to direct support for schools and their students

-        The Elective Home Education (EHE) multi-agency governance group had remained a strong mechanism to make sure a strong level of support was available for students/families who had elected to home educate.  Work had taken place with Ofsted to look at areas of development across this

-        SEND Strategic Board had developed an outcomes framework and performance dashboard to monitor the impact of school closures and intermittent school attendance on children and young people with SEND


Issues to address

-        The continued impact of Covid-19 was having on education was clear.  The new national lockdown would limit the access to education for only defined groups and the wider holistic support that schools had on the wellbeing of its students would be impacted.  Schools would move to supportive working practices but the face-to-face supportive interaction that was offered through school support raised a clear concern

-        Increased EHE numbers across the Autumn term sat outside normal trends.  The primary reason given from the elective choice to home education (60% of new students) was fears around Covid-19 and contraction of the virus in schools

-        The ongoing impact of the pandemic on the wider wellbeing of children and young people was a key concern.  With a number of student groups having reoccurring periods of self-isolation, the continuum of support provided by schools was being disrupted.  Although schools were adapting to meet the needs of their students, the visibility of vulnerable students remained an area of concern


Next steps

-        The prioritisation of EHE in discussions with school leaders, Ofsted and the DFE was an ongoing priority.  Outreach work and support to provide families with the full overview of EHE responsibilities and routes of support continued to be enhanced

-        Close work with school leaders to look at ways of minimising the impact of Covid-19 on school attendance, wider regular testing and daily testing would be available for secondary schools from January 2021.  The prioritising of students that were vulnerable or had a Social Worker had been enhanced as part of the phased start to Spring term in the secondary phase of education


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/highlighted:-


·        Strong engagement with the Office of the Regional School Commissioner

·        Recommenced work to re-establish the Rotherham Education Strategy Group which was key and would continue to help drive that strong collaboration across the sector

·        SEND Sufficiency work continued at a pace

·        Was there a better understanding from the results of the Mental Wellbeing survey conducted of any impacts on children or any actions/priorities schools should be taking?  This would also be picked up by the Public Mental Health and Health Wellbeing Covid Group


Suzanne and Jason were thanked for their presentation.



(1)  That the presentation be noted.


(2)  That the Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services ascertain if there was a deeper analysis of the results of the Mental Wellbeing survey available.

Action:-  Suzanne Joyner