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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

66.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Woolf. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Ismail.

67.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

None.

68.

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.

69.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 January 2019 be agreed as a correct record and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

70.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

The Chair noted that Councillor Comer-Schwartz had recently been appointed as the Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families and welcomed her to the meeting.

 

The Chair thanked the Committee for their work in developing the draft recommendations of the scrutiny review of permanent and fixed period exclusion from school.

71.

Items for Call In (if any)

Minutes:

None.

72.

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.

Minutes:

None.

73.

Quarterly Review of Children's Services Performance pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was introduced by Carmel Littleton, Corporate Director – People, Mark Taylor, Director of Learning and Schools, Jeff Cole, Head of School Improvement (Secondary) and Penny Kenway, Head of Early Years and Childcare.

 

The following main points were noted in the discussion.

 

·         The Committee welcomed that the number of young people diverted from the Youth Justice system had increased and the number of first time entrants had decreased. Officers were pleased with the progress made, although warned against complacency.

·         The number of repeat young offenders had increased by 2% compared to the same period the previous year, however, it was expected that the end of year figure would be lower than the previous year.

·         The number of young offenders receiving custodial sentences had increased in comparison to the same period the previous year, from 7 to 15. Officers had reviewed all of the offences and considered that all of the sentences were appropriate given the severity of the offending, which was generally related to violent crime.

·         The number of young people missing from care for more than 24 hours had slightly increased in comparison to the previous year. Officers explained that young people missing from care were almost always with a friend, however there was a concern that these young people were being exploited to commit criminal activity. The council worked in partnership with the Police to track and locate young people missing from care. The Committee requested further details of how many young people missing from care had been criminally exploited.

·         The Committee queried if the young people missing from care tended to go missing from particular residential settings. In response, officers advised that the council only used settings rated as Good or Outstanding. Officers regularly reviewed instances of children missing from care to identify any trends, however this had not raised concerns about any specific settings.

·         The Committee welcomed the high number of young people taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge.

·         The Committee noted the lack of progress on increasing the percentage of 2 year old places in Early Years taken up by low income families, children with special educational needs or disabilities, and those who are looked after. Officers advised that this was a London-wide issue. Islington had a diverse range of communities and it was commented that some communities preferred to be at home with their children or leave their children with relatives rather than access Early Years provision.

·         Increasing the number of young people accessing Early Years provision was a key priority of the service, as local provision was generally high-quality and it was known that young people attending Early Years provision tended to have better outcomes in the longer term.

·         The number of children achieving a Good Level of Development by the end of reception had increased to 71.1%, although was still slightly behind the London and England averages. It was explained that this figure was around 60 - 65% five years ago, so progress had been made in the longer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Islington Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alan Caton, Independent Chair of the Islington Safeguarding Children Board, presented the report which summarised the work of the Board in 2017/18.

 

The following key point were noted in the discussion:

 

·         Safeguarding children was a complex and challenging task. Although Islington Council was the lead authority for safeguarding in the borough, keeping children safe was everybody’s responsibility.

·         The Board was committed and determined to keep young people safe. During the 2017/18 year the Board was subject to an Ofsted inspection in which it was rated Good.

·         The Board had three key priorities, addressing the impact of neglect on children, including to help children become more resilient; address the consequences / harm suffered as a result of domestic violence, parental mental ill-health and substance abuse; and identification of children who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and holding perpetrators to account.

·         The Board was concerned about the under-reporting of private fostering arrangements; very few placements were known, and the Board was working with colleagues in the NHS and others to increase reporting.

·         62 young people had been identified as being at risk of child sexual exploitation during the reporting period. The most common form of child sexual exploitation in Islington was peer-on-peer abuse. Targeted lessons were being delivered to pupils in Year 9 about the dangers of peep-on-peer exploitation.

·         An ongoing priority of the Board was tackling county lines drug dealing. Young people involved in county lines drug dealing were at significant risk of harm; it was known that gangs were exploiting young people aged ten to seventeen.

·         In response to a question, it was commented that the most frequent form of neglect was emotional neglect.

·         It was explained that safeguarding arrangements would change in 2019 in response to the Children and Social Work Act 2017. The Act required the local authority, CCG and Police to establish a safeguarding partnership and determine their own safeguarding arrangements. Work was underway to develop the new arrangements, which would be implemented by 1st September 2019. Given that Islington already had good quality safeguarding arrangements, it was not proposed to radically alter existing processes.

·         In response to a question, Mr Caton believed that the London-wide increase in youth violence was attributable to several factors, including the reduction in resources across the public sector.

·         A member queried to what extent parents were involved in the work of the Board. In response, it was advised that the Board sought for young people to be involved in its work, but the involvement of parents was generally limited to participation in serious case reviews and child protection conferences.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Islington Safeguarding Children Board Annual report 2017/18 and its key messages be noted.

75.

The Children's Services Response to Prevent - Update pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Minutes:

Jeff Cole, Head of School Improvement (Secondary), and Mark Taylor, Director of Learning and Schools, introduced the report which provided an update on Children’s Services’ response to the Prevent Duty.

 

·         The response to the Prevent Duty was coordinated by the Prevent Strategy Group. The Group included representatives from a range of services and education settings. Work was underway to expand the remit of the Group into a more developed council-wide offer.

·         There had been a positive take up to Prevent training among schools, early years providers, mother tongue supplementary schools and foster carers. The Prevent Education Officer was working with schools to embed the training into training on safeguarding and gang issues.

·         An Ofsted visit in May 2018 determined that the council’s response to children and young people at risk of radicalisation was ‘appropriate’.

·         Members reported positive experiences of the Minority Matters programme and training in supplementary schools and community settings.

·         A member queried if an evaluation had been carried out of the impact of the Shadow Games programme. In response, it was advised that feedback would be sought from the relevant officer.

·         A member asked if the training offer to supplementary schools would alter  following changes to their funding arrangements. In response, it was advised that these arrangements were to be confirmed, however officers were optimistic that a training offer would still be available.

·         In response to a question, it was advised that the prevent work encompassed all types of extremism.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            To note the update on Children’s Services’ response to the Prevent Duty;

(ii)           To receive a further update in one year’s time.

76.

Permanent and Fixed Period Exclusion from School - Proposed Draft Recommendations pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the draft recommendations. It was agreed that a further recommendation on providing schools with a multi-disciplinary resource to help prevent exclusions at an early stage would be circulated to committee members for consideration.

 

The Committee noted the importance of monitoring the number of exclusions on an ongoing basis.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(i)            That the draft recommendations be agreed;

(ii)           That an additional recommendation be circulated to committee members for consideration.

77.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

Noted.