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Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillors Bell-Bradford, Caluori and Graham. Apologies were also received from Carmel Littleton.


Declaration of Substitute Members




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 of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB



That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 28 September be confirmed and the Chair be authorised to sign them.


Chair's Report


The Chair reported that, as she was concerned that some of the wording of the recommendations on the scrutiny review into educational outcomes was not clearly enough focused on the target groups, she had attended an Executive meeting to clarify this and the Executive had taken it on board.


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.



In response to a public question the officer gave an update on digital devices for young people.  The number of devices expected from the DfE was now lower and other sources were being looked into, a survey to check access to devices was being undertaken and work was taking place to reach 100% access. The council was ahead of other boroughs in its work to achieving this.


Child Protection Annual Report 2020 pdf icon PDF 248 KB


Laura Eden, Director of Safeguarding, presented the Child Protection Report which provided an update on the progress being made in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Islington’s most vulnerable children.


In the presentation and discussion the following main points were made:

·       As of August 2020, Islington Safeguarding and Family Support Service (SFSS) was working with 900 children in need, 377 children who were looked after, of which 26 were disabled children and 62 were Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), 538 care leavers and 180 children with child protection plans.

·       In 2020 Islington had a full Ofsted inspection. The inspectors considered the impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families and concluded Islington’s overall effectiveness as outstanding.

·       Islington had a Motivational Practice Model which was relationship based and feedback from children, families, staff, services and Ofsted had been positive.

·       The report outlined quality assurance through data and auditing activities.

·       Safeguarding was a high priority for the council.

·       The Chair asked about the performance outcomes in relation to paragraphs 6.14, 6.15 and 6.16 of the report. The officer advised that all auditing activity highlighted areas for improvement, senior officers discussed this and action plans were signed off. The officer would provide data relating to this.



That the report be noted.



SACRE Annual Report 2020 pdf icon PDF 177 KB


Anthony Doudle, Head of School Improvement - Primary, presented the report which outlined the work of SACRE.


In the presentation and discussion the following main points were made:

·       The four recommendations in the report were outlined.

·       Increasing diversity and membership of SACRE would mean more voices would be heard and more perspectives would be included. Using partners and resources could make studies more attractive and relevant at Key Stages (KS) 3 and 4. More members were required to help share the workload.

·       Work had taken place in relation to remote and blended learning. During lockdown some Religious Education (RE) materials had been provided online but this required more work.

·       Developing professional development opportunities for staff across Islington had stalled during lockdown but this was now being progressed.

·       The RE Syllabus and Scheme of Work would be implemented in light of

the Islington Recovery Curriculum and the Children’s Scrutiny Education Inequalities 14 recommendations with a particular focus on KS3 and KS4.

·       There had been no secondary membership for three years. This meant SACRE was lacking the secondary perspective.

·       The 2020 GCSE results were a reflection on the impact of COVID-19, the lockdown of schools, partial reopening and the challenges of the teacher assessment processes that secondary schools were asked by the DfE to implement. The number of GCSE entries decreased by 45 in 2020. Pupils achieving the highest grade (9) remained stable compared to 2019. Work was being planned to work with secondary schools to raise the profile of Religious Education studies at KS3 and KS4.

·       There had been no complaints about RE and no requests for withdrawal. There had also been no requests for change of designation and no complaints about collective worship.

·       There were two Freedom of Information (FOI) requests which were responded within the statutory time frame.

·       The current syllabus would expire in July 2022 so SACRE would have to start reviewing the syllabus soon. There would be considerable cost to this.

·       In response to a question from a member on the relevance of a Philosophy for Children approach in RE, the officer advised that collective worship meant schools providing an opportunity to reflect and contemplate. This could be in relation to a word, emotion or situation and what this meant to the individual. It was not necessarily praying.



That the report be noted.




COVID-19 Recovery Scrutiny Review - Witness Evidence


Penny Kenway, Head of Early Years and Childcare, gave a presentation on supporting families with children in their early years.


In the presentation and discussion the following main points were made:

·       COVID-19 had resulted in the dramatic shut down of most Bright Start face-to-face services for families.

·       Work had taken place with partners to put alternatives in place and there had been a quick move to online services.

·       Families had been reached through virtual platforms including home learning via their nursery.

·       The Bright Start vision over the last 4-5 years was about building resilience and reducing stressors such as physical ill-health, mental ill-health, drugs and alcohol misuse, harmful relationships and domestic abuse, poverty and housing. Building resilience included engagement with high quality early childhood services, supportive relationships and social networks, good parenting, knowledge, skills and behaviours, positive parent-child attachment and relationship and self-belief.

·       The main impacts of COVID-19 on children under 5 and their families were poverty and inequalities being highlighted by COVID-19, growing poverty and food insecurity, domestic abuse, lack of usual support networks for new parents, the exclusion of fathers from ante-natal appointments and early labour, cramped housing, no access to play and stimulation, low nursery uptake by the most vulnerable, digital poverty i.e. no access to digital device or data poor. There was a particular impact of COVID-19 on BAME families.

·       Many services continued to run including health appointments and vitamin distribution. Courses and sessions were delivered by the service of partners and most sessions were targeted with families invited. The bilingual songs and rhyme sessions had been popular.

·       Since May there had been 6,982 virtual contacts with children and families through universal Bright Start early childhood services.

·       Between April and September 2020 there had been 3,697 Bright Start face-to-face health visiting meetings in clinics and 17,532 non face to face health visiting appointments.

·       There were 3,583 subscribers to the Bright Start Bright Ideas e-newsletter. These were sent out twice weekly with ideas on how to support early health and development along with links to activities, research and other resources. It was also sent out in Turkish, Bengali and Somali.

·       There had been 16,942 parent champion contacts since April 2020 by 28 parent champions who together spoke 16 languages.

·       The figures of those attending nursery were 73 in March, 361 in May, 2,057 in July and 3,552 in October.

·       Activities had been run for children with special educational needs, play and learn activity packs had been distributed as had healthy start vouchers and food parcels.

·       190 families had been supported through the crisis by Bright Start family support practitioners.

·       There had been 281 face-to-face family support contacts with adults and children since September.

·       There had been 678 contacts with children and their parents via face-to-face Bright Start sessions since July.

·       1,249 families with 2,720 children with additional vulnerabilities (aged 0-19) known to social care and early help were provided with food hampers.

·       The number of vulnerable children attending nursery since the start of lockdown was 8 in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 210.


Study on Disproportionality of BAME young people in the Criminal Justice System pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Additional documents:


Curtis Ashton, Acting Director of Youth and Community, gave a presentation on The Disproportionality Project: Addressing issues relating to the disproportionately high representation of Islington’s and Haringey’s BAME young people in the Criminal Justice System.


In the presentation and discussion the following main points were made:

·       Crime had decreased and serious offences were curtailing.

·       The project had been initiated as a result of the disproportionality of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) young people in the Criminal Justice System. These young people were more likely to be treated more harshly and more likely to be sent to custody than White young people.

·       The programme sought to strengthen the multi-agency approach to addressing disproportionality.

·       The project was the second partnership project involving Islington Council and criminologists at City, University of London. The first project – Enhancing the work of the Islington Integrated Gangs Team was published in 2019. The third project was exploring the Andover estate and offending originating from there.

·       There four service aims were: 1) To provide training around Adverse Childhood Experiences within BAME communities for staff; 2) To set up an initiative whereby parents from BAME backgrounds had a safe space to discuss the pressures associated with their children’s involvement in ASB and/or offending behaviour and the structural and societal pressures they faced; 3) To better support young people and their families from the poor outcomes and lack of opportunity which was more prevalent in BAME individuals and families e.g. in education, employment, income, health outcomes and treatment etc. The criminal justice system, unemployment and Covid19 were also examples of this; 4) To strengthening communities who had been marginalised - helping to influence Islington and Haringey to shape and improve the services provided, so that young people and their families were supported to ‘live their best life’.

·       The 11 recommendations of the project were included in the report and the action plan had been submitted to the previous meeting of the committee.

·       In response to a question from a member of the public about whether the study had found any racial discrimination at the council, the officer advised that no young people had said they had been discriminated against by council staff. Staff had been trained to understand possible biases and unconscious bias training was being rolled out across the council. The study had focussed on courts and the police. The Borough Commander was from a BAME community and was determined to tackle disproportionality issues.



That the report be noted.