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Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Graham and Zaleera Wallace.
Declaration of Substitute Members
There were no declarations 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.
There were no declarations of interest.
1) That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.
2) That the Chair identify questions that still required a response and would send these to officers.
The Chair reflected on both the UK passing 100,000 deaths from COVID and the fatal stabbing of a young person in Islington on 25 January.
The Chair also stated that the majority of witness evidence on the COVID-19 recovery scrutiny review had now been collected. Every member had been involved in some way. Councillor Ngongo and Ozdemir were thanked for arranging the evidence gathering session with members of the BAME community and officers were thanked for arranging the meeting with headteachers.
Items for Call In (if any)
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.
COVID-19 Scrutiny Review Evidence
Councillor Cutler gave a presentation on the evidence gathered from children, young people and adults to date. In the presentation and discussion the following main points were made:
· The meetings were undertaken in November and December 2020 and unlike in previous years, it was not possible to have face-to-face discussion or see the children and young people in their schools or settings. All discussions took place virtually.
· It proved impossible to arrange any meetings with primary schools pupils or their parents/carers other than incidentally in the Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) Community Group discussion. It would have been useful to speak to primary school pupils or their parents/carers and, as a result of not being able to, the evidence was slightly imbalanced.
· In three of out of the five meetings, the number of participants was in single figures.
· There had been some technical problems with Zoom meetings.
· As the meetings took place in November and December 2020, the impact of the most recent lockdown was not captured.
· The meetings that took place were as follows:
- Year 10 students at a secondary school and a senior member of staff
- parents whose children attended an early years children's centre
- Year 12 and 13 students and some staff from the Upward Bound project (an education project aimed at raising attainment for young people attending Islington schools and organised by Islington Council in partnership with London Metropolitan University)
- members of the BAME Community Group (comprising community organisation and supplementary school leaders and some parents)
- a member of the Children's Active Involvement Service (CAIS) group and an officer. CAIS is a group for care experienced and looked after young people.
· Both groups of students had found lockdown difficult. Reasons for this included a lack of routine, no interactive or face-to-face lessons, little feedback from teachers and anxiety about the virus. Some young people had barely left home since the start of lockdown. The extent of Year 10 students’ learning was often dependent on parental encouragement.
· Only one student had no access to a Chromebook or laptop but used his iPhone.
· The Year 10 group was worried about not sitting GCSEs; Year 12 and 13s raised concerns about missing exams and a lack of confidence in teacher assessment. The Upward Bound group had received their grades and most felt that they had been marked down. One student was concerned about being marked up as this meant now being expected to be working at a higher base level.
· The Upward Bound group found the pastoral support they were offered helpful.
· Parents from the BAME Community Group identified additional
challenges such as a lack of resources and space to study, concerns about spreading the virus in intergenerational households and the difficulties of coping with children who had special and additional needs.
· Community leaders stated they lacked sufficient space, funding for teachers and IT devices to offer a broad curriculum and they were worried about sustainability.
· The chair of CAIS had raised the concerns ... view the full minutes text for item 228.