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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Moore  0207 527 3308

Items
No. Item

178.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Mary Clement.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Joe Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families; and Carmel Littleton, the Corporate Director of Children’s Services. 

179.

Declarations of Interest

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.

 

If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.

 

*(a) Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b)  Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f)   Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 

 

This applies to all members present at the meeting.

Minutes:

None.

180.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None.

181.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2016 be confirmed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

182.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair asked if members would prefer to start Committee meetings at 7pm. The Committee indicated that this would be preferential and agreed to commence meetings at 7pm from the next meeting.

 

183.

Items for Call In (if any)

Minutes:

None.

184.

Public Questions

Minutes:

A member of the public queried the impact of North Bridge House School, an independent fee-paying school, being located in Canonbury. In particular, the extent of its scholarships, bursaries, and community outreach work was queried.

 

The Director of Learning and Schools commented that there had been no notable impact on admissions to Islington’s secondary schools. Councillor Nick Wayne, a Canonbury ward councillor, commented that the school did carry out outreach work in Canonbury and had a positive partnership with the Rose Bowl Youth Centre and other Canonbury stakeholders.

 

 

185.

Post-16 Education, Employment and Training: Witness Evidence pdf icon PDF 264 KB

To include:

 

·         Lorraine Blyth, Post-16 Participation Manager

·         Jodi Pilling, Learning and Skills Manager

·         Cherrylynn Jaffier, Post-16 Progression Advisor (Vocational Pathways)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)    Employability Skills Support for Young People

 

Lorraine Blyth, Post-16 Participation Manager, and Hamish Mackay, Youth Employment and Apprenticeships Manager, introduced the report and made a presentation on the Council’s employability support offer.

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion:

 

·         The Committee noted the work of the Progress Team and the implementation of the Progress Pledge; which was developed with young people and clearly set out the support young people could expect to receive.

·         The Progress Team offered independent and impartial advice on a one-to-one basis and could make referrals to other support services as necessary. It was important for information, advice and guidance to be provided in a clear and accessible way. Young people particularly valued support in applying for work experience and volunteering opportunities.

·         The Committee noted three case studies of young people who had received support from the Progress Team. It was emphasised that those seeking employment support often had complex issues and faced additional barriers to employment. Support from the Progress Team was tailored to their specific needs and ambitions.

·         The Committee noted the targeted employment support for 18 to 24 year olds, including the Council’s work in providing apprenticeships, bespoke traineeships, and supporting the provision of apprenticeships in the local economy. The Council provided one-to-one support to young people and ongoing support once they were in employment.

·         The Council led the Islington Youth Employment Network, which arranged opportunities for local employers to meet young people NEET through speed-networking sessions and TED style talks. It was noted that the last such event was attended by 60 young people and 17 employers; within a fortnight 14 of those young people were in employment.

·         It was explained that Saturday jobs traditionally helped young people to develop employability skills and transition into employment, however there was significant competition in the local labour market and such opportunities were increasingly rare for young people.

·         The Council’s apprenticeship schemes were targeted at borough residents aged 16-24, however anyone was able to apply. It was hoped that these opportunities would support young people, as well as the long term unemployed, those with disabilities which were a barrier to employment, care leavers, and others.

·         The application period for the Council’s repairs apprenticeship posts had been aligned to the academic year. It was intended for apprenticeships to be considered on par with academic pathways.

·         The Committee noted two case studies of 18 to 24 year olds who had accessed targeted employment support services and had successfully applied for apprenticeships.

·         The iWork service had supported 104 people into apprenticeships in 2015/16; it was noted that this included adults who had been out of work for six months or more.

·         It was commented that the information provided did not allow for effective scrutiny of the service. It was noted that statistical information had been provided to a previous meeting, however further information was requested on: the percentage of successful apprenticeship placements (i.e. after receiving support from the Council, how many people unexpectedly left before the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 185.

186.

The Children's Services Response to Prevent pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Finola Culbert, Director of Targeted and Specialist Children’s Services, introduced the report on how Children’s Services had responded to the Prevent duty.

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion:

 

·         A strategy group had been established to consider how to respond to Prevent and an action plan had been produced. It was commented that the Prevent agenda covered sensitive and complex areas and it was essential to bring together colleagues with a range of knowledge and skills to respond to Prevent effectively.

·         Engagement with schools was an essential part of the Prevent strategy. It was important to ensure that schools were meeting their obligations effectively. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Newington Green Primary had been appointed as the two schools to lead on the Prevent agenda locally. Their role was to provide support to other schools on how to implement Prevent. 

·         It was emphasised that Prevent was about safeguarding vulnerable young people with complex needs. It was commented that, if young people were vulnerable to radicalisation, then they would most likely be vulnerable in other ways too.

·         It was essential for those working with young people, including school and council staff, to be appropriately trained on the Prevent duty. Effective training reduced the anxiety of staff and resulted in better targeted referrals. 

·         Although the Prevent strategy action plan was largely RAG rated ‘green’, it was commented that this was to be revised and re-focused on areas in need of improvement.

·         A member asked how many Prevent referrals had been made. In response, it was commented that the numbers were very sensitive, however the Prevent agenda covered a wide spectrum of activity and, whilst people were right to be concerned about the threat of radicalisation, some referrals had previously been made following fairly low-level concerns. It was commented that Prevent had now bedded in and schools and teachers were taking a more balanced view.

·         Officers commented that it was essential that the Prevent agenda did not restrict the school curriculum or young people from expressing political opinions.

·         A member queried if the Council worked to implement Prevent with supplementary schools and those who were home schooling their children. In response, it was advised that the Safeguarding Children Board had ensured that all voluntary sector organisations and supplementary schools had access to safeguarding materials, which included information on Prevent, although there was no obligation for this to be taken up. Training taken up by supplementary schools was logged and the impact monitored.

·         In response to a question, it was advised that training was provided by both internal and external trainers and through specific online resources. Prevent training had been integrated into safeguarding training, and schools had embedded Prevent activities into PSHE and Citizenship.

·         A member queried if officers could elaborate on the three school girls from Bethnal Green who travelled to Syria. In response, officers advised that such cases were discussed between local authorities to facilitate cross-borough learning, however the details were very sensitive.

·         A member expressed concern at the recent increase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 186.

187.

Quarterly Review of Children's Services Performance (Q2) pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Minutes:

Finola Culbert, Director of Targeted and Specialist Children’s Services, and Mark Taylor, Director of Schools and Learning, introduced the report which summarised Children’s Services performance in quarter two 2016/17.

 

The Committee considered the format of the quarterly performance report. It was noted that the Committee had previously resolved that the performance measures reported to the Committee be amended to include a greater oversight of the Council’s safeguarding activity and work to support looked after children. The Committee considered that it was important for the same suite of performance indicators to be reported each quarter to enable progress to be monitored. It was agreed that a draft list of performance indicators would be circulated to members for comment.

 

The Committee noted that the number of children missing from home was significantly higher than the same period last year. It was explained that there was now a greater awareness of when to report children as missing and data had improved as a result. It was commented that children could go missing for a number of reasons; some were victims of child sexual exploitation, others were involved in drug dealing and gang violence, and others were staying with friends without permission. Officers advised that working with children missing from home was challenging work; however the Council had strong safeguarding systems in place.

 

RESOLVED:

i)              That Children’s Services performance in quarter two 2016/17 be noted;

ii)             That the suite of performance indicators be revised and standardised in advance of the next quarterly report.

188.

Executive Member Questions pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

As the Executive Member had submitted apologies for absence, this item was deferred. It was suggested that any urgent questions could be submitted to the Executive Member by email.

189.

Review of Work Programme pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

Members indicated that it would be preferential to hold a visit as part of the review of Post-16 Education, Employment and Training before Christmas.