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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

203.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Nick Ward and Rakhia Ismail, and Erol Baduna.

204.

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.

205.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None.

206.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2017 be confirmed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

 

207.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair advised that this would be the last meeting to consider witness evidence as part of the review of Post-16 Education, Employment and Training.

 

The Committee was reminded that the May meeting had been rescheduled to Tuesday 9th May 2017.

 

The Chair noted that the Fair Futures Commission had been launched and commented that she looked forward to contributing to its work.

208.

Items for Call In (if any)

Minutes:

None.

209.

Public Questions

Minutes:

Ernestas Jegorovas noted that at the 22 September 2016 meeting, the Executive Member advised that the council was planning to expand Highbury Grove school to meet the demand for school places as it was popular in the community. Given that the school had since been placed in special measures, it was queried if the council’s policy on expanding schools had changed, and if the council should consider other variables when deciding on school expansions. In response, Cllr Caluori advised that the council’s position had not changed; the council would look to expand existing schools to meet the need for additional school places, and good and outstanding schools would be prioritised for expansion. It was noted that Highbury Grove was rated as an outstanding school at the time the decision was made.

 

 

210.

Post-16 Education, Employment and Training: Witness Evidence and Concluding Discussion pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To include:

 

·         Jodi Pilling, Leaning and Skills Manager – ‘Careers Clusters’

·         Evidence from two local employers

·         Evidence from another local authority

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)  Islington Schools/College Careers Cluster

 

The Committee received a presentation and noted a report from Jodi Pilling, Learning and Skills Manager, on the ‘Careers Cluster’ programme. 

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion:

 

·         Islington’s careers cluster was one of 12 pilots across London and was to be funded up to March 2018 by the European Social Investment Fund and the Skills Funding Agency.

·         Westminster Kingsway City and Islington College had won the contract for the careers cluster and had subcontracted a significant part of the contract to the council. The council had working relationships with all schools in the borough and this had helped in the implementation of the programme.

·         The programme was being delivered to 700 pupils and intended to bridge the gap between the academic and working lives of young people. In particular, the programme was to support young people in making better transitions, improve the relevance of intelligence and data which would help to embed more effective careers education in schools, and to support business and higher education engagement with schools and colleges.

·         The Committee considered the key performance indicators and outcomes as set out in the report. It was advised that the number of university applications would also be monitored, in particular the number of young people applying for university who were classified as ‘gifted and talented’ however who were considered by their schools to be less likely to apply to universities than their peers. Anecdotal evidence would also be considered when measuring the success of the pilot; including teacher confidence in providing support and advice. It was commented that increasing the confidence of teachers in providing careers advice could have a very positive impact on young people.

·         Some of the work to be carried out through the pilot was an extension of the work carried out through the iWork service; the pilot would provide more ‘Present Yourself’ days and more employment workshops for young people.

·         The pilot was engaging with more employers than required. The ESF funding stipulated that 18 employers must be engaged in the pilot; however the council had engaged 21 employers to ensure that a range of sectors were represented. It was commented that the employers were keen to work with young people.

·         Slaughter and May would be hosting a session on International Women’s Day for girls who had expressed an interest in law however did not have family connections in the city. The Institute of Physics was holding a session for students interested in a career in science. Assemblies were also being held for those interested in creative industries.

·         Industrial placements were being arranged for teachers to enable them to understand different industries.

·         Following a question, it was advised that the contribution to the programme from the European Social Investment Fund was not at risk from Brexit.

·         A member of the public asked how many young people were not in education, employment or training in the borough. In response, it was advised that the number had reduced significantly in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 210.

211.

Quarterly Review of Children's Services Performance (Q3) pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Carmel Littleton, Corporate Director of Children’s Services; Finola Culbert, Director of Targeted and Specialist Children and Families Services; and Mark Taylor, Director of Learning and Schools, introduced the report which set out the performance of Children’s Services in quarter three 2016/17.

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion:

 

·         It was clarified that data related to engagement in early years services related to children accessing services by age five.

·         The Committee expressed concern at the increase in the number of children missing from care, commenting that children could not be safeguarded whilst they were missing, and noting that these children were vulnerable to gang and criminal activity. In response, it was advised that the council had dedicated officer support to this issue. It was commented that children missing from care were generally staying with someone known to the young person. It was also noted that some young people repeatedly went missing from care and therefore would be counted multiple times in the data. All young people who go missing were offered return home interviews.

·         It was advised that a small minority of young people who go missing were involved in criminal activity, and whilst the council worked to divert these young people to other activities, the risk of criminals exploiting vulnerable young people could not be eradicated completely.

·         Two young people were subject to secure accommodation orders granted by the courts. It was advised that the courts tended to grant secure accommodation orders for children and younger teenagers and once a child reached age 16 it was unlikely that a request for a secure accommodation order would be granted.

·         It was queried if parental permission was required to make a secure accommodation order. In response, it was advised that parental permission was often sought, but not in all circumstances as this was not a legal requirement.

·         It was advised that some young people had agreed to be accommodated outside of London as an alternative to secure accommodation. Officers summarised the concept of ‘Gillick Competency’, which related to the age at which a young person could make their own decisions without reference to their parents.

·         The Committee queried why no comparative trend data was available for the performance of Black-Caribbean pupils at Key Stage 2.  In response, it was advised that this was due to how data was collected nationally. It was noted that a report on the educational attainment of BME pupils would be reported to the next meeting. Members requested that the report include a breakdown of performance by school; however it was acknowledged that identifying information may need to be obscured for reasons of confidentiality.

·         A member of the public highlighted the attainment gap between Black-Caribbean pupils and the Islington-average at KS4; and in light of this queried the proposal to replace monitoring 5+ A*-C grades with the Progress 8 measure, noting that there was no historic trend data for Progress 8 to track if this attainment gap was wider or narrower than before. In response,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 211.

212.

Executive Member Questions pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Joe Caluori, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, provided an update and answered questions related to his portfolio.

 

The Fair Futures Commission had been launched the previous week. It was reported that the Commission would listen to children and parents, and would be particularly useful in identifying the barriers they face and the services that they want. The Executive Member was looking forward to the work of the Commission commencing and advised that its conclusions would help to shape council services.

 

The Executive Member was disappointed with the lack of progress from the government on county lines drug dealing, commenting that vulnerable children were being exploited and that it was not being considered as a safeguarding issue. It was reported that London boroughs were lobbying the government on this issue and a meeting with the Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism had been scheduled for 16th March 2017. 

 

The Executive Member noted his disappointment at the recent Ofsted inspection of Highbury Grove School in which the school was rated as inadequate. The Executive Member was saddened that the school would become an academy and advised that there was no basis for appeal against academisation. It was not known which academy provider would be selected to manage the school, however it was hoped that the academy trust would engage with the council and Islington’s community of schools.

 

Ernestas Jegorovas queried if other schools were at risk of being rated as inadequate. In response the Executive Member advised that he did not think that other schools were at risk, but that performance would continue to be monitored.

 

Ernestas Jegorovas queried how many young people had left school in January following the Christmas break. In response the Executive member commented that he was not aware of the latest figures, however these pupils were generally referred to alternative provision and the number of referrals to alternative provision was reducing. It was commented that the education white paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ indicated that schools would retain responsibility for their pupils after they were referred to alternative provision.

 

A member of the public noted that the Executive Member would be meeting the Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism about county lines drug dealing and queried if he would also raise matters related to child sexual exploitation.  In response it was advised that CSE could be a factor in some instances of county lines drug dealing, and gang-related CSE was the biggest CSE risk in the borough.

 

213.

Review of Work Programme pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Minutes:

It was agreed that the concluding discussion on the review of Post-16 Education, Employment and Training would be held at the March meeting.