You are here: Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Jonathan Moore  0207 527 3308

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Gallagher.


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.




Declaration of Substitute Members




Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 174 KB




That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 October 2017 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.




Chair's Report


The Chair welcomed Councillor Caluori to the meeting, following his recent absence on parental leave.


Items for Call In (if any)




Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.


Ernestas Jegorovas asked how the overspend in the Children’s Services budget was going to impact on school improvements.


Councillor Caluori advised that the budget proposals go through formal scrutiny and that there are a number of opportunities to review them.  Councillor Wayne also suggested that as this question did not relate to any of the items on the agenda, it might be more appropriately discussed when the Committee receives the Quarterly Performance Report.


Vulnerable Adolescents Review - Witness Evidence pdf icon PDF 196 KB

a)    Helen Cameron – Health and Wellbeing Manager (Trauma Informed Practice)

b)    Abi Onaboye – Service Manager, Early Help for Families; and Holly Toft, Head of Play, Youth and Post-16

c)    Curtis Ashton – Head of Targeted Youth Services and Youth Offending Service


Additional documents:


The Committee reviewed the Draft Witness Evidence Plan and received a number of presentations as follows:


The Committee received a presentation from Helen Cameron, Health and Wellbeing Manager, Schools Improvement Service on ‘Islington TRIPPS – Trauma informed PRU, primary schools and partners project’.

The following main points were made:

·                Trauma is common and can happen as a result of a variety of experiences in childhood, including physical, emotional or sexual abuse, physical or emotional neglect or issues within the family, such as domestic violence, mental illness and substance misuse.

·                Developmental trauma is also referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) can have detrimental effects that last into adulthood.  It can affect the physical and chemical development of the brain.

·                Children who have experienced ACE learn to survive by assuming situations are dangerous.  They can have heightened survival skills that are not useful in a classroom; instead of learning to wait, share, problem solve, seek support and form relationships, they become ready to respond to any threat and develop strategies to meet their developmental needs, such as controlling or provocative behaviour.  They can also seek out conflict or dissociate.

·                For children who have experienced ACE there can be a school to prison ‘pipeline’, starting with exclusion from school.

·                The trauma project aims to catch this early, to encourage children to think about what’s safe and to build the skills they haven’t got because they’ve been learning how to survive.

·                Rather than looking at individual children, the project looks at what the system can do by equipping school staff to support children who may be dealing with underlying trauma, so that children see their school as a safe and caring environment in which there is an adult they feel comfortable talking to.

·                In addition to increasing their capabilities in supporting vulnerable children, schools are also helped to make more effective use of referral pathways.

·                The training has been completed in three schools and work is ongoing on developing a model and reviewing policies.  By the end of the academic year we will have evaluated the outcomes.


The Committee asked a number of questions. The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         The referral pathways and responsibility for safeguarding are already embedded within schools, the training helps them to develop a different, more questioning and considered approach to what would previously have been described as naughty behaviour.

·         In the USA, where the system has been used for some time, it is working very well and is helping children to remain in school; it’s keeping them in the classroom more.

·         This approach is evidenced based, recommended by clinical psychologists and part of a national response to trauma.  It’s not an individual intervention; it changes the way schools relate to, support and work with children.

·         The training is undertaken by all staff in the school from the Head Teacher to the Caretaker.  It should affect what happens in the classroom and the playground and help staff to build relationships.  The school decides how to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 267.


Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms and Impact pdf icon PDF 609 KB


The Committee received a presentation from Candy Holder, Head of Pupil Services on progress with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms and their impacts.


The following main points were made:

·         The robust identification of children with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) has been confirmed by an independent review by the National Autistic Society.  We are on trend with the numbers expected and other areas are now catching up; York has seen a 93% increase of cases in the past 12 months.

·         The Early Years services has improved the timeliness of assessments and we have good data on children by the time they get to school.

·         A SEND co-production board has been established with parents

·         Parents are being trained to be parent consultants

·         We are developing a Parent Parliament to consult as services develop

·         Three special schools have been rated as Outstanding by Ofsted

·         We have launched a handbook for early years and primary schools and are working on a second handbook for secondary/post 16s.

·         We have a higher than average number of children per 1,000 in specialist settings, with statutory plans and at SEND support, in comparison to similar local authorities and the high numbers stretch resources; we have to plan carefully.

·         Good progress is being made transitioning from the old plans and we are confident all children will be on the new plans by the 2018 target.  Once that work is complete we will have one plan in place for each child and can start to be more strategic.

·         Four strategic areas of work have been identified
- Delivering services within budget
- Social, emotional and mental health
- Consistency in schools SEND support
- Progressing to adulthood

·         The Local Area Inspection is expected soon; inspectors are in Hackney now.  13 out of 33 boroughs inspected have gone into special measures.  We are working on a self-evaluation and progression to adulthood is a key risk at the moment.


The Committee asked a number of questions. The following main points were noted in the discussion:


·         The biggest overall risk is delivering services within budget.  Early intervention through the Early Help service will help prevent higher costs at a later stage, but early intervention also sometimes means longer intervention, so it can also increase costs.  We are working on increasing people’s resilience as they move into adulthood so we can reduce levels of support.

·         A root and branch review of transport is ongoing, as the costs associated are extremely high.


Alternative Provision Review 2015/16 - 12 Month Report Back pdf icon PDF 202 KB


The Committee received a presentation from Jeff Cole, Head of School Improvement – Secondary on the 12 month report back on the Alternative Provision Review.

A lot of work has been undertaken to implement the recommendations of the review, including:

·         Management of Alternative Provision has been passed to New River College.

·         Year 10 pupils are under an entirely new system

·         Schools remain responsible for the progress, attendance and wellbeing of referred pupils and pay up to a limit of £10,000 per placement.  The pupils stay on the school roll until Year 11.

·         From 104 the numbers have reduced to 40; 35 children in year 11 and 5 children in year 10.  Those that are referred are receiving better quality services from a small number of providers.

·         The number of exclusions has not increased and there have been none so far this term.

·         The team is in constant contact with the New River College and Schools to ensure that the service is working well and that children are not pushed out into other areas.


The Committee asked a number of questions. The following main point was noted in the discussion:


·         The significant decrease in the number of referrals is one of the results of the scrutiny review which helped to convince Heads that they were drawing the line in the wrong place and that many of the children previously referred were entitled to a normal education.



Executive Member Questions - verbal update

Questions may be submitted in advance of the meeting by emailing by Wednesday 22 November 2017.


Councillor Caluori was asked to provide a brief update on progress with the Fair Futures Commission and advised that the consultation went well and work is now ongoing to analyse the responses.  Jermaine Jackman, Chair of the Commission has already published some of the emerging issues and a set of proposals will be available in February and will be presented at Budget Council.


Review of Work Programme pdf icon PDF 124 KB


Reviewed.  It was agreed that the Corporate Parenting Board Annual Report currently on the agenda for the meeting on 9 January 2018, would be circulated by email and the item is to be removed from the agenda.